The Blogger & Vlogger Network is a group and website built specifically for networking and education purposes. BVN strives to provide bloggers and vloggers with the most pertinent, up-to-date, and interactive information available. The BVN inworld group is free to join and open to all bloggers and vloggers. Every week they also hold live discussion panels where they have different bloggers, vloggers, creators and other members of the community covering a range of topics from vlogging, photography, events and more. Everyone is invited to join in on these discussions and presentations when they happen at the BVN headquarters inworld.
On Friday, August 18th at 8am SLT I will be talking about how I do my product reviews. I will talk for around 30 minutes sharing my insight and opinions on how to do effective product reviews on your blog. Then there will be a question and answer session for about an hour where you can ask any questions you may have for me. Everyone is invited to attend; it will take place at the BVN headquarters, but if you can’t make it inworld at that time, I will also be live streaming it at this link. After the discussion, the live stream video will be automatically uploaded to my youtube channel so you can view it at your leisure.
UPDATE: Thank you to those that came to the discussion inworld. It was wonderful to see you all and I hope you found the discussion informative. Following is the link to the uploaded video of the discussion: https://youtu.be/V0ReI38Y0vA
Here are the notes that I used for this discussion:
Today I’ll be talking about how I do the product reviews that you can read on my blog or watch on my youtube channel. I don’t review all the items I blog like clothing, skins, hair, etc… but I do like to give full details on big purchase items that can really impact your avatar or your Second Life like mesh bodies, mesh heads and other informative technical items like HUDs AOs, etc…
The reason I started doing these detailed reviews is that I realized people had a lot of questions about them. So much so, that I would get bombarded by questions every time I logged in, which I still do, but because of the way I started reviewing them now, the questions have decreased significantly.
There are three basic rules that I follow for each review:
- Provide as much information about the items as possible.
- Direct your readers to people and/or links where they can find even more information about the item.
- Remember to share facts correctly and in detail about the item. While it is also good to share your opinions on the item, remember to do it constructively and make sure to point out that it is your opinion.
- Providing as much information as possible:
- Price: When I first started to do detailed reviews, I realized that the one major aspect that everyone will want to know about the item right away is the price, so the price is one of the first things I share. I know sometimes people see the price and get sticker shock and then just stop reading, those people probably wouldn’t have purchased the item anyways. Sharing the price first can prepare then mentally and make them pay more attention to see what they get for that price, especially it it’s something they can afford.
- What’s in the box/folder?: It’s also very important to share all of the contents of the box or folders the items comes with, so people understand everything they are getting.
- Explaining all items: Then you want to show how to wear and utilize each item in the folder, including all HUDs. While explaining, you want to answer the following questions: How does the item work? What can you use it for? What are the benefits of having said item? How does it differ from other similar items on the market? What features does it have? (is it omega compatible, what is the complexity, etc… )
- People don’t read: Most of the time, people don’t like to read these kinds of posts in detail. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to read by splitting it up in points or spacing it out well and bolding important parts. When people see a big wall of text and they tend to skim over it.
- Direct them to creators and/or links for more information:
Once you have shared all of the facts and information, you also want to make sure to share the name of the content creator that made the item and encourage your readers to contact them if they have any further questions or their CSR for all their customer service issues. This is important to do because if you don’t, you will get bombarded with people contacting you with issues that they may be having with their item. Also, for some reason, a lot of people are just not aware of who the creators are even though they purchased the item from said creator.
You may still get people contacting you, but it will definitely cut down a lot of the questions. In my opinion, you should not be answering CSR questions unless you are 100% familiar with the item and can give an accurate answer because if you are not sure and give the incorrect answer to someone, you are not only wasting their time, but also yours.
Also, do remember to link to the creator’s websites, social media and/or any tutorials or information they may have to make it easier for your readers to have access to that content.
- Remember to share facts and opinions constructively:
Remember to share facts correctly and in detail about the item. It is also good to share your opinions on the item, but remember to do it constructively and make sure to point out that it is your opinion.
If you are reviewing something that you decide to call ugly or atrocious, then that is your opinion, not fact, because everyone has different tastes. What you dislike, others may love & vice versa. Instead you can try using phrases like “it’s not my style” or “not something I would wear.”
Giving constructive criticism is important because if done well, you are helping to improve the further development of said item as well as other future items. So you can point out constructively, if you find an error or if you feel a certain aspect of the item is lacking in quality, but usually, if I find something that is lacking in quality or if I see a glaring error, I approach the designer directly first, let them fix that item and then wait to blog it once they have fixed it.
If I do have difficulties with certain items, like a HUD or something, and it doesn’t affect the functionality of the item, I will mention it in my videos that I had so and so issue with this so people know in case they get the same issue and the designer can fix and update it if they feel the need.
Sometimes I also include my wishes for future updates of the items, like I wish it also had this feature, etc… and a lot of times I’ve noticed the designers have gone and added those features in future updates. So it is definitely important to be vocal about what you think and feel about the items, but do it in a very honest and constructive way.
So those are the three basic rules that I follow when doing my reviews. Two other things I want to talk to you about to improve your blogging/vlogging and reviewing are:
- Be an early adopter
- Grow a thicker skin
Be an early adopter:
An early adopter is a person who starts using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available. Early adopters are usually the pioneers and leaders of tech communities. People that are more accepting of change and are willing to be adventurous and try new things are the ones that make the most impact in our virtual worlds and communities.
As bloggers and vloggers in a virtual world, we are already the leaders in our communities because we are out there trying all the things and reporting back to our readers about said new things. So if we are slow to adopt or resist the change, then our communities will not grow and prosper.
You are a leader in our community, don’t be afraid of change. Read all of the notecards in the folders, the instruction manuals, fill your head with all the knowledge and then go out and spread that knowledge like a virus.
This is for not only this virtual world that we are in now, but other virtual worlds and tech communities. The more you educate yourself and adapt to all the changes and updates happening all over, the more effective your blogging and vlogging will be because you will be one of the leaders in that field.
Grow a thick skin:
Because we are so vocal about our opinions we will also get people that don’t appreciate us being vocal, and they will voice their opinions about our opinions and posts. Don’t take these things personally and don’t let them deter you from any work that you enjoy. If you are truly enjoying what you are doing, then what others say and do about it should not really matter. Some will also give constructive criticism, which you can then use to improve your posts and cater to even more people. I know it’s easier said than done, but it will really help you continue to enjoy what you do and improve on it further.
That was it for my presentation, which lasted about 30 minutes and then afterwards we had a question and answer session for about 30 minutes, which was also very informative so I highly encourage you to watch the uploaded video of the discussion.
Finally, a big thank you to the BVN team for inviting me to do this today, I appreciate it. Don’t forget to join the BVN Group inworld to catch more live discussions and interact with your fellow bloggers and vloggers! BVN is also on Discord btw!
What I’m wearing in this post and discussion:
Shape: StrawberrySingh.com May Shape by Strawberry Singh
*Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V4.1 by Onyx LeShelle
*Mesh Head: .LeLutka.Head.May 3.0 by JadenArt
*Skin Applier: Glam Affair May (comes with head)
*Hair: *barberyumyum*S05(black) by toraji Voom (PocketGacha August 2017)
*Blazer: The Secret Store – Juniper Blazer by Maylee Oh
*Shorts: The Secret Store – Audra Linen Shorts by Maylee Oh
*Shoes: [Gos] Charlotte Mary Jane Pumps by Gospel Voom
*Ring on right hand: Zaara : Kasita finger-harness by Zaara Kohime (@ C88)
*Ring on left hand: EarthStones Sweetest Romance Bridal Wedding Set Bento by Abraxxa Anatine
*Earrings: EarthStones Solitaire Stud by Abraxxa Anatine
Nosering: Amala – The Heart Nose Stud by crystalny
*AO: VISTA ANIMATIONS *HUD 5.32*ESTHER BENTO AO-V1 MEDIUM by Vista Barnes