So you want to become a product reviewer? Or maybe you’re wondering “What is that, even?” You’ve come to the right place.
Product reviewers are people who voluntarily receive free products to review in exchange for some kind of reward (usually cash) from a brand or company. You’ve probably seen some sort of product review across any channel.
In fact, most influencers’ job entails reviewing products to some degree. They often participate in sponsorships and ads to make a living.
However, most people that review products wouldn’t be considered (or consider themselves, for that matter) a product reviewer. It’s often considered as a part of a role rather than a full-time thing. BUT it is an underrated side-gig!
If you like to:
- Try new products
- Are active on social media (or want to be)
- Constantly bombarding your friends and family with new products and recommendations….
Starting a side-gig as a product reviewer may be in your future. Keep reading to learn some first steps on how to get started!
Which path to take?
There are a few avenues you can take in order to become a product reviewer. Each way has its upsides and downsides – it truly depends on what you are seeking from the experience. For example, if you want to build an audience and be seen as an authority/influencer, then you probably want to start a blog.
However, if you just want to have fun making some extra cash, affiliates or using a third-party platform is your best bet.
Don’t get me wrong- every option takes work and commitment (though some more than others). Again, think about what outcome you desire, then choose which method of product reviewing best serves that result.
Without further ado, let’s get into each strategy!
Signing up for a product review site is the most straightforward way to get started as a paid product reviewer.
This is similar to product testing, but with the added caveat that a review is the sole purpose of receiving a product.
Product reviewers may be expected to follow certain guidelines such as a certain word count, pictures and/or videos, and using certain keywords. The process is pretty much the same as signing up for survey sites.
Below are some of the best sites to register for to start getting paid for product reviews!
Sites to Check Out
What about Amazon?
Amazon used to be the spot to get paid for product reviews BUT the conglomerate recently cracked down on paid reviews from companies due to the influx of spam and fake reviews.
Whether this is good news or sad news, the point is that now Amazon has changed how paid product reviews work. Don’t
The Amazon Vine program is Amazon’s response to paid product reviews. It’s a private selection of top users that receive products for free in exchange for high-quality reviews that meet their guidelines.
We won’t get into it too much here since it’s invite-only, and it’s not paid. Amazon knows a lot more about the program details than we ever will, so we’ll point you to them.
However, you can still make money from Amazon products in a roundabout way by writing your own reviews for free… THEN linking to your Amazon affiliate links.
Building your own platform
This is the most labor-intensive, but probably most rewarding and sustainable way to get paid for reviewing products.
Basically, you establish yourself as a blogger who reviews products within one or a few specific niches. You can choose which content medium you want to use (YouTube, your own website, Facebook, etc) to host your reviews.
Some people leverage Amazon and product review sites to build their audience and establish credibility with brands first, then transition to their own stage. This is a good strategy if you are still exploring the product review world and are serious about doing this long-term.
What makes a good product review?
No matter what platform or path you choose for creating your product reviews, the criteria for a quality review pretty much stays the same. Below are the 3 key factors to make your reviews stand out so you can cash out.
Honesty. Whether your review is positive or negative, make sure that you are honest (but tactful!) about the product. Explain both what you like and dislike about the product to maintain balance, but don’t shy away from criticism. Customers and companies alike appreciate and take feedback seriously. If they sense a bias either way it could harm your reputation as a legitimate reviewer.
Also, always disclose that you were paid for a review. If you receive a free product or affiliate/discount code where you receive any kickback, it’s mandated by the FTC that you notify your audience.
Don’t get into any legal trouble – always disclose when in doubt! Plus, your readers will appreciate and value your transparency.
Attention to detail. Nothing is more distracting than an otherwise great review with countless careless typos. We’re all human, but a quick read through goes a long way in establishing (and keeping) your credibility and professionalism with both brands and consumers.
Context in your content is also very important. Who are your readers? What do they like or dislike? Asking your audience’s concerns and addressing them is a surefire way to gain fans and build community. It takes a couple extra minutes of your time,
Photos and videos. The proof is in the pudding – err picture. And what’s a good review without one? A picture is worth a thousand words. Show people the packaging, product, accessories – anything that will help people visualize and demonstrate the quality of your product.
If you’re extra motivated/fancy, an unboxing video is always welcome for curious buyers. Don’t go out buying expensive equipment either – any smartphone nowadays is perfectly reasonable as far as production value goes.
Just please – clean your camera lens of pocket lint first.
These are just a few of the details that matter when reviewing a product. But – think to yourself: ‘What do I look for when choosing a product? What’s missing from a lot of reviews I see?’ Answering those questions will set you far apart from the masses and result in you being successful.
Market research is always the key to creating value.
Becoming a paid product reviewer is fun, but it’s no easy feat for sure. We covered three main avenues that you can explore to pursue this side gig.
Are you considering taking up paid product reviews? Which strategy sounds like the best fit for you? Let us know down in the comments.
I am a father to a beautiful baby girl, a husband and a serial gigster 🙂 I live in Toronto, Canada. My claim to fame: I made thousands of dollars from focus groups and surveys over the last 15 years. Studied Marketing in Ryerson Univerity and worked in Marketing and Marketing Research for the last 14 years+ My mission is to educate others how to be successful with side hustles. You can contact my be email or on Facebook.