What is the first thing you do before you go see a movie or buy a product? That’s right, chances are, you go and look up some reviews. Reviews have become a big part of our lives, as we reference them for almost everything nowadays. If you have ever wanted to create a product review blog of your own, then you are in the right place.
Yes, you can go to several of the big websites and write reviews on items, services, movies, and more. However, what if you were able to build your very own review site? You could pick a niche, or review several different things. The point is, it would be your own. You could even allow others to come and make their own reviews.
Not sure where to start? If you want to be a review blogger but have no idea how to get a website online, then this easy-to-follow tutorial will show you exactly how. Follow the steps below in the order they are given, and you will be on your way to having your own product review blog.
What You Need to Build a Product Review Blog
There are several items you want to have in place. Let’s go over these in order. This should help you have some content, and better visualize what all needs to be done. More importantly, I am going to tell you how to do it as well.
The first thing you want to do is make a checklist for your product review blog. These are items you want to include on your site, or have in place to help with the review blog building process. You may have some ideas of your own. If not, here are some items to add or think about adding to your checklist.
Product Review Blog Checklist
- Choose Things to Review
- Put Together Review Process
- Figure out a Review Layout (can be added to theme later)
- Put Together a Rating Scale
- Have Some Reviews Ready
- About Us Information
- Branding (logo and colors)
- Photos for Each Review
- Video Demos (if applicable)
Domain Name and Web Host
Now that you have a review blog checklist in place, it is time to move on to getting a domain name and web host to host your website. To make this as easy as possible on yourself, it is a good idea to find a web host that will give you all the tools you need to get a site in place and start putting reviews on a blog.
It is also a good idea to find a web host that is also a domain name registrar, as keeping it all in one place makes the process even easier. GreenGeeks will give every tool you can imagine as part of their web hosting plan. Furthermore, we are a domain name registrar. You can choose a free domain name as part of the web host plan and have everything in one place.
Remember, the exact domain name you want may be taken. Play around with the wording some. If that doesn’t work, then try using a different domain name extension. There are so many now available that you should be able to find something you love.
Installing and Using WordPress
At this point, you have your domain name and web hosting plan. You are ready to move forward. The next step is to choose a CMS (content management system) to build your website with.
While there are several good ones to choose from, I recommend WordPress for a number of reasons. First and foremost, WordPress is very user friendly and fairly easy to create and build with. There are a lot of page-building tools available, and the platform makes it as easy as possible to build a site without having to use code.
It is also very easy to install and activate. Once you have your web host set up, you can easily install WordPress a couple of different ways. You can use the one-click installation process found in your cPanel. Or, if you choose, you can install WordPress manually and activate it that way.
Finally, since WordPress is so widely used and respected, you will never have to go far to find tutorials and resources to help you along your website building journey.
Choosing Themes and Plugins
Once WordPress has been installed, you are ready to pick a theme and figure out some plugins. WordPress has thousands of themes that are both free and paid. Most of these will help get your website where you want it.
That being said, you want to get a theme that works well with what you are trying to accomplish. In this case, you are putting together a review blog. Try searching for themes that have built-in tools you can use for reviews.
Here are a couple to look at if you are interested. These are perfect for writers looking to build a product review blog.
The Valenti theme is a premium WordPress layout that is fully responsive. It comes fully integrated with a drag and drop page builder. You also get access to the very powerful reviews widget that is built into the theme. It has tons of functionality and is also fully compatible with WooCommerce and BuddyPress. This is definitely a theme to checkout for your review blog.
Ratency is another powerful magazine and review style theme worth looking at. It also comes complete with a drag and drop page builder that gives you the freedom to design your website however you want. It includes premium sliders and a full review system you can implement in a number of ways across the site.
When you finish picking your theme it is time to figure out the right plugins. There are certain plugins you need to have to make any WordPress website function smoothly. Things like a great SEO plugin and a tool that allows you to optimize and compress images are also both important.
With that in mind, there are also some specific plugins you may want to check out that could be useful for a review site. Here are a couple to look at.
The WP Review is perfect for review sites. This plugin will come in particularly handy if you have a theme that does not already have a review system built-in. It also allows you to create a full-blown product review blog within any review niche or type you want. This plugin also works excellent with Google because of the schema markup.
You probably want to make some money on your new review blog. A great way to do this is to have ads running. This is where AdPush comes in. You simply link your Google Adsense account and the plugin allows you to easily place and display ads in website pages, posts, custom posts, search results, categories, tags, and widgets.
Marketing Your Product Review Blog
Now that your review blog is up and running, it is time to start getting the word out and doing some marketing for it. You may have some ideas on how to do this. If not, here are some ways to market your site you can look in to.
- Build Social Media Pages
- Publish Social Media Ads
- Write Reviews for Other Sites
- Allow Guest Reviews on Your Site
- Build an Email List
- Run a Promotion
- Add Analytics
- Use Google Webmaster Tools
Creating a review blog so you can write reviews and share content online does not have to be difficult. If you have to right steps in place and a good idea of how to start, then you should be able to get a fantastic product review blog up and running in no time at all.
Follow the steps above as they are laid out and you will find that creating your new blog was both fun and informative. I hope this tutorial gave you everything you needed. Good luck. Now go out there and start writing those reviews!
Author: Jeremy Holcombe
Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.