Mastering Article Types: The Review

by | Mar 12, 2010 | Marketing & Selling

As should know by now, there are numerous templates that your articles can follow. These templates are the commonplace article forms that people are used to reading, and knowing what they are can actually help you write your articles more quickly. So far, I’ve talked about “The Top List,” “The How To” and “The Round Up.” Today, I’ll discuss The Review.

Ever wanted to be book, movie or music critic? Well “The Review” is what these journalists write. But you can review anything:

  • Products and services – think Consumer Reports
  • Entertainment, such as movies, books, theater – Think Roger Ebert
  • Food – food critics will review cookbooks and restaurants

And anything that someone else might consume.

Of course, if you’re using article marketing to boost your expertise status or traffic, you’ll want your reviews to be related to what you have to offer.

For example, I write a blog called “The Genre Traveler.” This blog focuses on travel for science fiction, fantasy and horror fans. For this blog I review books in a section I call “Travel Reads.” The point of my reviews is either to point out the locations mentioned in the book … so people can visit them … or talk about whether this would be a good book to bring along when traveling. Therefore, all the books I review fall into the science fiction, fantasy or horror genres (many straddle more than one).

So how do you write a review? Ultimately, this will depend on your personal style, but here are the most common parts of a review:

The Summary
This is where you describe the basics of what you are reviewing so that readers will all be on the same page as you. If it’s a book or movie, the summary will cover the main plot points. If its a product, the summary will cover what the product is and what it is meant to do.

What Worked
Here is where you cover what is good about the thing you are reviewing. What worked in general? What worked for you? What are the points where this product, services, whatever really did it’s job.

What Didn’t Work
Where did the item you’re reviewing miss a step? What caveats should the reader be aware of before purchasing or consuming this item?

Salient Facts
Here’s where you might cover the basic features of the thing you are reviewing. For a book or movie, this would include the writer, director, actors, main characters, etc. For a product, it would be the primary feature set. For food it would include primary ingredients. These are facts that help the reader decide if this is an item they will wish to learn more about.

Overall Score or Opinion
Given the pluses and minuses you’ve discussed in your review, would your recommend this product, service, movie, recipe, etc.? And to what degree would you recommend it? For example, for my Travel Reads column, I score each book on a scale of 1 to 5 palm trees. You can come up with your own scoring system for your reviews, too. Stars are very common, but you can be creative if you wish.

Would you like some help with your article marketing? An Article Marketing Marathon may be just what you’re looking for! I’ll hold your hand — virtually, of course — and assist you with key word research, writing headlines and writing guidance. To see when the next Article Marketing Marathon will be held, visit


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