Reviewers Who Think
Have ever read a review and still wondered whether you’d like the product? Do you know any reviewer who you rely on because he or she has the opposite opinions of you? Sometimes a reviewer who thinks differently than we do is more valuable than one who doesn’t say what he or she thinks at all.
I’ve been reading a passel of product reviews all weekend. Now I remember why I don’t read reviews. In an effort to be unbiased, reviewers seem to be too distant, too flat — they give the facts. The facts aren’t enough.
Don’t Stick to the Facts
When you blog the facts only, anyone could write basically the same review. The differences will be in the writing only. When you blog the facts only people tend to read to the minute detail to make sure your facts are exactly right . . . and that they’re all there. Too many facts can be either distracting or boring. Would the VW Beetle have been a hit based only on the facts? What about McDonalds? the iPod?
If you want to write a product review that folks find useful, don’t stick to the facts.
- Facts don’t tell me if I will love my future mate.
- Facts don’t tell the story of history.
- Facts are only a part of the whole picture.
Write your experience too.
The Two Key Reasons to Write Your Experience
Here are the 2 key reasons why you should write a review with both the facts AND your experience.
- When you add your experience, readers get to see you. They know you used the product. It’s your voice and your credibility.
- When readers hear talk about using the product, they can picture themselves. It doesn’t matter whether they agree with how you found it, If you explain what made you think as you do — they’ll decide for themselves.
Any customer needs more than facts to decide whether to buy any product. Sure the facts are important, but looking only at the facts doesn’t tell what it’s like to use it.
When you add your experience, people are more likely to remember both the product and you. A great review can save a reader a great deal of time and money.
Don’t be shy. Tell me what you think.
— ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar. Call her now!
To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.
Blogs Are Tools, Not the Core Business
Two days ago, Steve Broback and Teresa Valdez Klein announced that Blog Business Summit Chicago would not be happening after all. In its place they have launched a new blog called Web Community Forum. Steve explains their reasoning this way.
Our conferences have always relied heavily on local participation, and our feeling is that Chicago has been very well served this year by at least two excellent, and very reasonably priced blogger conferences: SOBcon and BlogHer. A third event close on the heels of these other shows is obviously a tough sell. In addition, itâ€™s clear from discussions with local marketers that blogging has normalized and is not the disruptive force it was back in 2004 when we launched the BBS.
I applaud Steve and Teresa for their insight and courage.
I think they’re right. Blogs shouldn’t be the center of what we see anymore.
Where Does Your Blog Fit in Your Business?
In February 2006, I posted that blogs are technology. At the time, I didn’t take the idea as far as I might. But I’ve been thinking about this since SOBCon07. My thought is that we don’t talk about computers, spreadsheets, or pencils the way we talk about blogs. Yet to me, all are tools we use to get our work done.
Unless we charge a subscription, blogs are not our businesses. They help us advertise, communicate, teach, interact, meet with our customers, but they are not our product or service. They are not what we do or sell. A blog is a business support not the business itself.
My point is this:
Just as knowing how to lay bricks, work with wood, paint walls and decorate can make beautiful store, but does not ensure a thriving business. Having a beautiful blog with wonderful content is not having a thriving business either.
The design, the usability, and the words on our blog are merely a vehicle to sell the products, ads, or services that are our real income streams. Knowing how business works is still key.
A great business uses a blog, but is not merely a blog.
So I leave you with these questions.
- How would you describe your blog’s place in your business?
- If you could get one all-important question answered about your online business what would it be?
Thank you for your answers.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
Why I Wish My Son Grew Up Blogging
I’ve been a publisher, worked with publishers. I’ve met publishers from all over the world — book publishers, software publishers, web publishers. Bloggers are web publishers. We do what web publishers do.
If you give that some thought something begins to become clear.
Blogs are micro businesses. Every blog, monetized or not, is an entrepreneurial publishing business.
10 Ways Every Blogger Is an Entrepreneur
Running a blog is an undergraduate course in business if you pay attention to what you are doing. From how they are built to how they are run, you can learn about entrepreneurial businesses from your blog.
- Great entrepreneurs often study the business they’re about to enter before they start their company. Great bloggers often learn about blogging that way too.
- Great entrepreneurs have a vision for what they are building. They gather data and historical statistics to keep improving based on customer behavior. Great bloggers do too.
- Great entrepreneurs know that their business needs to be an expression of their authentic self in action — their passion at work. Great bloggers blog their passion with transparency.
- Great entrepreneurs build a company that is a quality reflection of their vision down to the last detail. Great bloggers design their blogs to reflect their passion with the same care.
- Great entrepreneurs have great communication skills. Great bloggers do too.
- Great entrepreneurs know that a strong business stands on authentic relationships. Great bloggers are great at those.
- Great entrepreneurs realize that their business is only about choosing for their customers in what they say, what they do, how they smile, and every detail of what they offer and what they choose. Great bloggers configure their blogs to meet their customers, not the other way around.
- Great entrepreneurs celebrate their competition, because they know that game is won in serving the customers they love better than anyone else can. Great bloggers realize the same thing.
- Great entrepreneurs know that the best marketing is paying attention to the folks who already know who you are and want to help you be the best you can be — listening to your evangelists. Great bloggers are great listeners. It’s inspiring to watch them.
- Great entrepreneurs know that a great enterprise really belongs to the customers who helped to build it. Great bloggers might know that even better than great entrepreneurs.
What a difference it would have made if this small town girl had know half this before I started my first job in business. What a difference it would make if most businesses knew it now.
I gave my son a blog for his birthday last year.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
I’ll be talking about this very thing when I discuss our relationship to our blogs and our community at SOBCon 07. Register now! Friday is the last day the convenient rooms at the Sofitel Chicago Ohare are blocked at the supersaver rate.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.