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Paid Reviews & Integrity: Maintain Yours At All Costs

Steven 13 responses Blogging

If you’re trying to make money blogging, paid reviews are probably a big part of your world. As soon as you start developing an audience, people will be offering yo pay you for your opinion.

Paid reviews can be extremely lucrative for a blogger. As such, it can be quite tempting to put your integrity aside when you are writing a review because good reviews generally bring in more business.

paid review maintain integrity

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However, you have to be very careful with the opinions you are expressing within your paid reviews: Integrity is your most powerful asset as a blogger. Integrity is always giving your opinion whether it’s positive or negative. Integrity is not allowing the vendor to put words in your mouth.

  1. Always Express Your Real Opinion: from the very start, you need to make it clear for the website/product owner that they are paying for a review of their product or service. More than often, your clients will try to put words in your mouth and have you say that “their product is the best at…”. You should never say that a product is the best at something unless you extensively tried it and you are fully convinced.
  2. Dedicate Some Real Time Towards the Product or Service: On a lot of blogs, you can read paid reviews where the author just took 5 minutes to try the service and read the “About” page. Your review won’t be useful to anyone unless you are 100% familiar with the product/service, and the only way to do that is to take some time to learn it.
  3. Never Shy Away From Criticism, Just Be Constructive: you will never see a service that deserves a 100% positive review. Don’t be afraid to offer constructive criticism, it will generally be welcomed.
  4. Respect The Client’s Wishes: If your client want a specific anchor for their backlink, you can generally do that without harming your own site (as long as it’s not obvious keyword spamming). Using backlinks as a negotiation mean can allow you to get away with negative comments on a website.
  5. Don’t Get Bribed By Promises of Future Business: It happens very often that a client ordering a paid review will drop the hint that if they like your review, they have other websites/products that they will probably order paid reviews for. Be careful as it may only be a way to bribe you into making a misleadingly positive review.

No matter how many paid reviews you are writing, always keep in mind that your integrity and people’s trust are your most valuable assets. Without his audience, a blogger is nothing more than a bunch of html pages.

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  1. Affmaster

    This is all very good advice, the only thing I would add is to just be yourself. If your writing style is humorous, make your review have some funny parts! The last thing you want to do is to come off as being insincere.

    1. Samie

      It’s important to stick to your style, if even for “branding” sake.

  2. Liz

    I love writing reviews, it’s so much fun!

  3. Anon

    I think as long as you’re good at B.S.ing, you can write a review of anything without having tried the product. A good, experienced writer should be able to do that.

    1. Dana

      You’d be surprised how easily smart readers can see through false reviews like that. And the clients will more than likely be able to tell. Low-quality work can only ever get you so far.

    2. Anon

      That’s why my writing is never low quality. :)

  4. Sarah

    I think this is some very good advice! You can always tell if someone wrote a review without completely knowing the product. Not good quality work.

  5. Shad

    If I want to write reviews, but have not been approached by anyone asking me to, how to I get into that?

  6. Michelle

    This article really struck a chord with me, last night I watched the movie Persepolis (it was so great!!) and it was basically all about keeping your integrity. It can be tough, sometimes there are easier ways to deal with things but it’s important to stay true to yourself.

  7. Chris

    Mean reviews are sometimes the most fun. :)

    1. Liz

      Maybe for movies or something like that, but I guarantee you if someone is paying you to review their product, “mean-ness” is something I’d stay away from! lol

  8. John

    Do people really try to bribe you?? Wow, some folks will do anything.

  9. Buysellwordpress

    Agree with you totally about the fact that we should always express our real own opinion. Thanks a lot for sharing this post!