Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reviewing 101: "Hints & Tips On Becoming A Reviewer"

I have actually come across a dry spell in my reviews, so I decided I'm going to do my readers a service and offer some tips about reviewing. I've had some friends ask me about the subject recently, so it's the least I could do. I hope that the information I provide on this subject helps all of those who wish to become a respected reviewer ...

TIP #1: Establish Good Writing Skills

The ability to write well, and express your thoughts/views in a well spoken manner are the core elements of good reviewing. I was always talented in the area of grammar, and literature so reviewing came naturally for me. Often times I would write poems that were pages in length, and that were well versed. Being able to write in a creative way such as with poetry definitely helps in the reviewing field. Most high school graduates out there have been through enough literature courses to fair well in the field of reviewing. I also suggest trying to learn as many new words as you can, as often as you can. Learning how to express your opinions using a wide variety of words will definitely help in the review process. Two of the best friends a reviewer has in school are spelling, and grammar. Learn them well, and you will go far.

TIP #2: Practice Writing/Reviewing

I realize that my talents as a writer/reviewer came naturally, but for some people it is more of a learned process. As with a lot of things in life persistence pays off in the long run though. What I mean by that is "Practice makes perfect". It is necessary that anyone interested in improving on a certain skill constantly practices what they want to become good at. When it comes to reviewing I found that working for other review websites allowed me to practice my basic skills, and improve on them. Not all websites out there are going to hire somebody without some sort of proof that they at least know how to compose a proper review article though. It is best that you observe other reviewers at first, and then try to type up some reviews of your own. Creating an online blog is an excellent way to start your own reviewing site without being obligated to complete reviews on a deadline. Having a blog of your own can also be used in applying for other paying review jobs. It's nice to have something that you can use as proof that you actually have viable writing/reviewing skills. Keep in mind though that if you contact developers for review codes as I do, you are obligated to delivering your reviews in a timely fashion, otherwise your reputation will be ruined.

TIP #3: Find That Special Subject You Wish To Review

I have been a video game enthusiast/player for most of my life. It's the one thing I've always enjoyed doing in my life. For others out there it may be something like art, or science that they are interested in. As a reviewer you'll find that sticking with a subject/topic you love is the best choice when it comes to doing reviews. Not only does this allow you to review about something your passionate about, but it also allows for your thoughts to flow more freely when writing about an actual subject. When it comes to reviewing video games it's easy for me since I have practically played them for over 25 years. I find that I can express myself easily, because I know all the video game terms and things that are associated with that genre of entertainment. It's also a good idea to review something that you have access to. Being able to review something that you can easily obtain on a constant basis is the key to long term success in the reviewing field. I found that I was able to get review codes by contacting developers, and letting them know I'm an experienced reviewer who is interested in doing an article on their game. This is where having something like an online blog helps in proving you are capable of getting the job done. References definitely help.

TIP #4: Seek Employment/Work For Yourself

The final, and most important tip I can offer is for you to choose whether to work for yourself, or for someone else. I have found through experience that there are pros, and cons to both choices. The choice for me was split down the middle. I have plenty of extra time in my life which is perfect for fitting in multiple reviews. This may not work so easily for a person who has a job though. If you are like me, and have tons of time on your hands then I'd say working for yourself, or for another website would most likely be manageable. If not then doing reviews on a blog, or website of your own would most likely be the best choice. Either way it all depends on your daily schedule. One other thing you need to consider is that working for others is not always going to be a pleasant experience. It's like having a job out in the real world. Your boss (the editor) may be the devil, or they may be fun to work with. It's a very good idea to get to know who you're working for before you commit to do so. Another thing I almost forgot to mention is that when you work for someone else they expect results, and usually have a deadline that you need to meet. It's like any other job out there, and requires serious work and dedication to earn your pay.

Well, those are my 4 basic tips for becoming a proper reviewer. I know they're not presented in great detail, but they should give you a hint as to what you'll be getting yourself into if you choose to be a reviewer like me. Reviewing is not some easy job that should be taken lightly. If you want to become a respected reviewer building a good reputation is the key to success. People will rely on you to tell them what product/topic is good, or not and failing to be truthful about it will hurt you in the end. Always be honest with your opinions, and you will gain an audience that likes you for who you are. In conclusion I hope i have helped you in some way to understand what reviewing is all about. Take my advice, and I may be reading some of your reviews one day. I wish all of you success in whatever you choose to pursue as a career.

You're Friend,
Brad (OtakuDante)

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