November 12, 2018

How to make money by putting Adsense ads on your blog

When you start a blog, you do so either as a hobby - just to put your thoughts into it OR you make the blog to earn money out of it. Earlier, most people created blogs for the first reason, but now the trend is towards trying to make money out of blogging. 

AdSense becomes very important for bloggers who want to earn from blogging, because it is one of the easiest ways to monetize one's blog - even with a free blog and without spending a penny on hosting, web designing etc.

There are thousands of posts on the web on AdSense. In this post, we have tried to answer most questions that bloggers face, and the tips given here will work well in 2018 and next few years. Because the post is an all-in-one post on AdSense, it has become quite big. So, we have divided it into two parts. If you are new to AdSense, you would want to learn as much as you can: if so, continue reading the rest of the post. If you already have AdSense on your blog or are interested  only in tips on maximizing your blog's Adsense income, jump to this  section:
What must be done so that AdSense really earns dollars for you.

What is AdSense

AdSense is an advertisement network run by Google, through which advertisers can place their ads on websites. In November 2018, it is reported to be serving nearly two million websites, including blogs!

The process of putting AdSense and earning from it can be summarized like this: Advertisers register on AdSense site and tell it to serve their ads on different websites. They also set their budget for the ad campaign and tell AdSense how much it should pay to the website owner/ blogger when someone sees or clicks on the ad. On the other side, bloggers and website owners register on the same AdSense site for placing advertisements on their blogs/ websites. Once AdSense approves his application, the blogger specifies what type of advertisements he want on webpages (advertisements are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, choice of picture, etc) and in which places (top, bottom, sidebars). When the ads are published on webpages and visitors click on them, Google pays to the blogger/ website owner at a rate that is determined based on many factors - the most important being how much cost the advertiser has fixed for one click. 

Let's talk more on these one by one, but before that: does your blog qualify for AdSense?

Does my blog qualify for AdSense? If not, why?

When you apply for AdSense, it is usually approved by Google within a day or week. But a number of bloggers see their applications rejected. Some reasons for rejection of AdSense application are given below:

  • technical reasons (e.g. not filling the application form properly or not putting the AdSense code on the blog)
  • very new blog
  • not enough content
  • content of very poor quality

Even when the blog is initially approved for AdSense, Google can reject the blog later if it finds that the blog is not following Google's policies. The common actions disliked by Google on AdSense are:

  • using improper means to bring traffic to the blog
  • clicking on own ads
  • soliciting clicks
  • using copy-pasted content from others' websites/ blogs
  • putting inappropriate content, e.g. pornographic material

Don't worry. If your blog is not getting approval or has been rejected later on, you can take corrective actions to get your blog approved. Please visit this Top Blogs link for more details:    How to overcome AdSense rejection

Please note that you can use AdSense only when you have the permission to alter the HTML code of your blog. Blogger platform allows that very easily. You can also put AdSense ads on Tumblr blog too. Wordpress, Medium and LiveJournal free blogs do not have this facility. Paid blogging platforms such as Ghost allow AdSense because you can modify your blog's HTML. You can put AdSense ads on any blog or website that is self-hosted (= created through any content management system (CMS) such as, Joomla, Drupal; or through website builders; or through HTML tools and then hosted on a web host).

Steps for opening AdSense account and putting ads on your blog

  • Go to this site: AdSense: start
  • Open your account; signup by filling all the required details. Copy the code offered. [If you already have a Google account, you can use that for AdSense also.]
  • Copy code and paste it in the <head> section of your website/ blog. Follow these steps for this:
  • On Blogger blogs, it is very simple: on the dashboard, go to Theme, then open theme editor. Look for </head> in the HTML. Just before this tag, paste the code. After that, go to Layout and put the desired ad either between blog posts or as a gadget (=widget) anywhere on the blog.
  • On other websites/ blogs, after you have placed the code before </head> tag, you need to go to your AdSense account, to to 'Ad units' and create new ad units of whatever size, shape and color you want. Then you copy the given code and past it on the HTML of the website/ blog at the location you want.
  • If your blog is not on Blogger platform and you do not have the confidence to manipulate the blog's HTML, look for a plugin that might be there for placement of AdSense or HTML or Javascript on the blog. Most website builders, CMSs and premium Wordpress plans have plugins for this purpose.

In 2018, Google has come out with a system of automatic placement of advertisements using the Auto ads facility: if you opt for this, you do not have to bother where the ads will appear on the blog because using its artificial intelligence tools, Google will decide the best placement for AdSense ads on your blog. This option is available in the AdSense account: 'Auto Ads' is just below 'Ads' on the dashboard.  

adsense on blog
Ads can be posted at different places on the blog.


AdSense advertisements are everywhere, but not many people earn handsomely from their blogs by using AdSense. There are many reasons for that, and if you are an established blogger and still not earning good from AdSense, you must pay attention to the minutest detail of your blog and the way ads have been placed on your blog and take necessary corrective actions.

How to make the best use of AdSense

For great AdSense earnings, you need good traffic and also people clicking on the ads. If you can crack both, you have the key to success. But if you lack in one, the other one cannot compensate for that. Mind it, the second one is more important than the first!

Good traffic would mean that a large number of people who are interested in the blog's content visit the blog. There are a dozen ways to get good traffic. You need to:

  • Have the blog in the right niche, i.e. talking about the subject that gets good traffic. If your blog talks about a very narrow subject, not many people would come there naturally. So, a niche with good to high traffic is the first requirement.
  • Write quality content. If  you have a photoblog, have your best photos there. If your blog is a curation of others' content or is a news blog, showcase the most interesting things on top of the blog. This may not help too much in getting traffic directly, but it gets indirect traffic as visitors bookmark and share the blog/ post and refer it to others. It also makes people stay on the blog longer.
  • Optimize the blog for search engines, i.e. SEO. For better search traffic, each post has to be optimized for keywords that get good traffic but do not face too much competition. A bit of research is required here because high-traffic keywords have already been optimized to the hilt by others. Many SEO experts suggest that if you are not getting much search traffic, you should go for extra long keywords and target small audiences - this way, you come on top of at least some search pages and get traffic from them. In addition, getting good references from others (e.g. back links on other blogs, sharing on social media) is necessary for a blog for its moving up on the search pages.
  • Cross-post on social media. You must re-purpose your posts' content on social media. Do not copy-paste but make 2-3 tweets out of each post, make a short post for Facebook, one for LinkedIn (or whichever social platform suits your type of blog) and give links back to the main post. However, do not expect enough traffic from social media unless you are quite active there or have many followers. Social platforms often try to serve promoted (=paid for) posts more than organic ones and Facebook does not even serve your page's posts to all your followers if you do not promote the post.
  • Offer feed or subscription so that people regularly read your blog. Send regular emails to people who subscribe to your blog. Promote the blog's individual posts among your acquaintances who would be interested in that content.
  • Go for paid promotion. If nothing else works, advertise your blog on social media and websites. Ads served by Google, Facebook and Twitter are among the easiest methods to publicize the blog on the web.

There also are many ways to make people click on the ads. Consider these:

  • Make visitors stay longer on the blog. For this, your headlines need to catch attention and the content needs to be engaging.  As said earlier, good content not only attracts traffic, it makes people read it and thus stay longer on the blog. You can increase the time of stay also by putting images, videos and infographics.
  • Induce people to click on ads. While soliciting clicks is not allowed, you can induce visitors to click on ads by putting focused content ( to increase the probability that visitors are served relevant ads) and then suggesting action that would make them feel like checking out the ads. (e.g. on a post on cameras, visitors can be told to check the latest offers from different brands and compare them according to the sensor size. There is a good probability that the post would get AdSense ads on cameras... and the visitor might feel that he should check the sensor size of the cameras being advertised.) 
  • Don't go overboard with advertisements. Placing too many ads and from many advertisers may invite AdSense penalty. Even if that does not happen, visitors might get irritated and may decide not to stay longer on the blog.
  • Optimize ads. AdSense itself has many options (Go to dashboard and click on 'My ads'). You may want to avoid ads of certain types. You can think of placing large ads at prominent locations on the blog. You could also think of running A/B test [You let AdSense serve different ads at different places on your blog to different visitors and after some days, it would tell you which ones were clicked more.] There are other options worth looking and optimizing the blog for AdSense.
  • Go for Auto ads. This new feature does the work of proper sizing and placement of ads on your blog. So, if you do not want to experiment with size and placement of ads, this option would suit you.

How much can I earn from AdSense on my blog

If you have your blog in the right niche and you take right actions for traffic, optimization, content etc as well as proper placement of AdSense ads on your blog, you can earn handsomely from the blog. Google does not allow sharing earning data, so we cannot share our data. But if you search for AdSense income on Google, you will find some reports of bloggers earning over $10,000 a month from their blogs! Even if you discount exaggerated claims, there seems to be good scope of earning if you take the right actions. You can safely fix the target of a few thousand dollars a year. 

Is AdSense enough for earning from the blog?

Depends. If the blog is only a supplementary source of income, AdSense alone may do the job. However, many successful bloggers who earn their livelihood from blogging have reported that they do not depend entirely on AdSense, because it cannot earn you beyond a point however much you optimize your blog for it. So, if you want the blog to earn enough like a full-time enterprise, you must also think of other streams of earning, e.g. affiliate advertisements, product reviews, etc. In fact, the top bloggers do not depend upon the blog fully for earning. They make the blog the center of all their earning activities and add non-blogging activities such as selling courses to supplement blogging income.

    November 6, 2018

    We cleaned 'Top Blogs'. Will it boost SEO and relevant traffic?

    When we blog for a long time, the blog amasses huge amount of resources. Like we keep buying furniture, furnishings and other products, and after some years the house is full of them. 

    One thing that not all families do, or have the courage to do, is cleaning the house of old items that have outlived their utility. Only savvy people do that, and their houses are less cluttered,  more efficiently arranged, more livable and better looking. 

    Recently we realized that over years we at Top Blogs have created massive content - over 720 posts and a dozen pages. Some posts were important at the time they were written but have lost relevance now. We have showcased a hundred blogs and have now found that many of them are no longer updated. So, we thought we'd clean Top Blogs of old baggage.

    What we are doing to make the website lean and more focused on content


    cleaning blogs improves SEO

    • Removed all comments. We found that in some pages (especially the blog directories), we have over a thousand comments. Only a few of them are spam but we think that keeping comments of 2011 vintage and in such large numbers do not serve any purpose. 
    • No more comments under the posts. But there is a comment form now. We would still love to engage with visitors and friends with whom we have long relationship. Such blogger friends and casual visitors can comment through the form or write to us at
    • Removing showcased blog that have gone bad. 
    • Updating old posts that are still relevant but some information has become obsolete or new technological developments have taken place in the mean time.
    • Removing old posts that were transitional, like calling for entries for the next edition of blog directory. But we are retaining those which have good information that gives perspective of old times (e.g. how has Hindi blogosphere grown over the years).
    • Merging posts when similar content has been posted year after year on a sub-topic, and then updating the merged post with the latest information.
    • We are continuing with badges for directories on demand from bloggers but we are not too keen to continue them in future.


    Lessons learnt: cleaning helps improve search optimization

    • Though SEO experts would have different opinions, we believe that a too heavy blog becomes thin in focused content and therefore becomes less search optimized. There may be some loss in terms of number of indexed pages on Google and Bing, and some backlinks going waste, but that would be compensated by density of good content. This is because when there is more valuable content in a blog, there is likelihood of better click through rate (CTR) and a lower bounce rate - both good from the point of SEO as well visitors' satisfaction.
    • When the blog has numerous posts, the fresh content can be lost in the crowd. Old pages might compete with new pages in the indexes of search engines. If old ones come high on search result pages, the searcher may be put off because he is served old pages with information/ advice that is no longer useful.
    • Navigation of the blog improves when the number of posts on various sub-topics are not too many.
    • In fact, we have seen good improvement in search ranking of Top Blogs and even in AdSense earnings within a few weeks. 
    • However, be careful in removing old content. A sample study revealed that many of our old posts have been linked on the homepage of many bloggers; thus, if we remove them, those bloggers will have a 'broken link' which will look bad. Moreover, many times some old posts have been linked on new posts. If we decide to remove these old posts, we must also remove links to them.
    • Comments are good for engagement. However, when they become too many - and when most of them are of  'nice information' or 'thanks for including my blog in the directory' type - they lose value. If some people put valuable comments, they also are lost in the crowd.
    • Badges and cross links are not good for SEO. Bloggers should issue badges only to help others in getting value for their blogs. As a blogger who wants to put others' badges on his/ her blog, you must avoid placing badges from shady sites or blogs with very low value. 

    This process is likely to go on for a few months. We would share actual gain or loss in terms of relevant traffic, domain authority, position in search pages etc sometime in early 2019. In the meanwhile we won't publish social media updates except when something too big happens.

    October 29, 2018

    How to earn money from blog by reviewing products and services

    We see reviews of products and services on a very large number of blogs. However, for earning from the blog using reviews, this task is to be done professionally. Let's see how. 

    If you are a blogger who has already been doing reviews but his/ her reviews are not getting good results in terms of engagement, traffic or earning, please jump to this section: Why is my review blog not earning traffic and money?

    We would start with a bit of theory for new bloggers because a strong conceptual base helps in taking right decisions. However, if you are in a hurry, browse headings and move on to the actionable points that suit you.

    What are reviews on blogs and what products are best suited for reviews?

    Product reviews are nothing but articles about products (or services) produced and offered by others. You can review on your blog anything that people sell and buy.

    Reviewing of products is one of the best earning streams for bloggers. As we have said earlier, reviewing of products and services is easier than many other ways of earning from blogging, but needs a professional approach. 

    The following are most obvious products and services that are amenable to reviews on blogs:

    • food products
    • restaurants and hotels
    • travel packages
    • beauty and health products
    • gadgetry and equipment
    • books
    • movies
    • website hosting services 
    • online services
    This list is far from exhaustive. In fact, there are numerous narrow niches (e.g. 'ethnic jewellery' or 'musical instruments') in which reviews could be more rewarding because (i) there is less competition from advertisers and bloggers, and (ii) people interested in such specific items are likely to be real buyers. 

    What must a product/ service review contain? 

    A well-rounded review should have these elements:

    • general description of the product/ service and its utility
    • photographs
    • technical details/ chemical composition/ dimensions
    • availability and price: how to purchase/ obtain; if discounts etc available 
    • unique selling points: why should one buy this product/ service
    • references: expert views of others/ preface in case of book reviews/ quotes from the book
    • negative points: high price (it can be turned into a positive point in sponsored reviews)/ something that could have been better
    • comparison with similar products/ services
    • precautions in use
    • disclaimer: your relationship with the seller/ whether you were paid for the review
    You can review a particular product or a set of related products. You can also compare competing products one by one or side by side (as in a table) and also give them ranking. Many review bloggers also bring out lists of best products (e.g. 5 best digital photo frames) and explain why the selected products are the best.

    When the blogger is paid for writing a review, the review is called 'sponsored review'. Sometimes the blogger hides this fact, and writes a very salutary review - this is dishonesty and it is found that readers are savvy enough to sense that the review has been sponsored.The ethical and desirable way is to declare that the review is paid for (e.g. I was part of the press team that was recently taken to the resort... I received the dress as a gift from the brand...).  


    What constitutes a good product/ service review on the blog?

    In technical terms, the review should have

    • lucid language, mostly in first person voice (i.e. 'I used it and found...' rather than 'People who use it say that..."
    • readable font size, color; wide enough column; overall neat looks of the site/ blog
    • text broken into sections that deal with different aspects (e.g. where to buy, different shades available, price) 
    • links to relevant places (e.g. product site, a page describing the chemistry of the product, a wiki-how page on using such products)
    • photo(s) that help in seeing the product from different angles (e.g. different colors available, photos showing how to use it, packaging, trailer in case of film, jacket in case of book)

    In terms of content, the blog should give

    • honest opinion, without hiding obvious negatives and telling half-truths
    • useful insights for taking a decision and not 'balanced' or wishy-washy and confusing ideas
    • detailed information so that the buyer does not run away to other sites
    • to the extent possible, personal experience gained after using the product
    • proper conclusion at the end of the review.

    I sometime review products that I use. How do I go forward?

    As a blogger, you might sometimes review a few products after using them, but that is not what we are aiming at. Such reviews do not come high on search pages and are not taken seriously by selling firms. We are talking about product/ service reviews that the blogger can use to earn money.
    review products on blog to earn money
    As a 'professional' review blogger, it is necessary that people start knowing you for your excellent product reviews. So, you will devote the blog fully (or its significant part) to reviews.  It also helps to keep sections in the blog that give additional information on the subjects of review. For example, you can have a blog on make up on which you regularly review beauty products, and sections that contain a lot of additional information about chemical composition of beauty products and their health effects, what type of products are suited to different skin types, what products work best in some climates, and so on.  

    There are so many product review sites; why would firms and buyers care for a small blog? 


    WWW is so big, but there are so many more people surfing it that there is still space left for savvy bloggers to make their blogs shine and earn. You have small shops along side huge brand outlets even in the most famous shopping malls, isn't it?

    You can sure have your place, and your blog would make money for you in a crowded marketplace too, if
    • Your reviews are exceptionally good so that people visit your blog again and refer it to others;
    • You promote the reviews through social media, so that people know where your blog is and come to you for more;
    • You optimize the blog for search so that more people visit your blog while looking for that product;
    • You monetize the blog by having a paying arrangement with brands/ sellers so that you earn good money out of your hard work.
    Yes, there are big review sites and blogs, but many people want to research beyond the opinion given there. People want specific information given without hiding facts. People also want a variety of opinion to arrive at a right buying decision. So, a blog that gains authority because of honest and informative reviews becomes more and more sought after. Another points to note is that most big businesses of today started small. Most big travel bloggers (some with travel agencies, portals and many employees working for them now) have confided in us that they started as individuals wanting to travel a lot and writing about it. Some didn't know a bit about blogging! So, be sincere in your effort, work in the right direction and work a bit hard - and success will be yours - despite competition.

    Should I review a range of products or go for a narrow niche?

    That depends on a dozen factors, and so you should do research beforehand. Don't go for a broad niche if you are a newbie blogger. When you have established the blog, you can expand the horizon.  If you ask how narrow the range should be for the blogger who has created his blog only recently, we'd say, go for a narrow niche but not too narrow. It will mainly depend on how many people are looking for that product.   If you think, going narrow beyond a point will not get you any visitors, go for the broad niche but go local if you can. Let us take an example: As an individual budding blogger, you can't compete with huge review and comparison sites if you have a review blog on digital cameras. Going for reviews of camera bags, stands or flash lights would not take you anywhere. So, why not review the camera shops in your city? Or which packages being sold by local camera shops are best buys? As another example, you cannot compete with huge sites and apps that compare restaurants whichever corner of the world you go. But if you regularly review restaurants in your city, your blog could be a big hit among people. You can review them in a number of ways, and can add hotels, bars etc as you go along. While studying products that can make money by review, and competition at global and local levels, also study the audience well. Who will come to your blog and go by your advice? Where does the audience live? What are the likely lifestyle and search habits of the target audience? And so on. It will also help you in deciding whether you should go for elite products or mass-use products. 

    Is it OK to approach brands/ sellers directly, offering reviews on payment?

    You can have AdSense and affiliate ads (e.g. Amazon, CJ) from the very beginning, but wait before approaching sellers directly. If you are a new blogger or you have reviewed very few products so far, it is necessary that you build up a solid portfolio before approaching sellers one-to-one .  And yes, once you have a good number of reviews to show, it is not only OK to approach them, it must be your regular drill.  Make a directory of firms that sell your type of product, and approach them by whatever means you feel as the best way - by email, phone or meeting in person - depends on your own circumstances. In whatever way you contact them, these are the best practices you should follow:
    • Choose the seller with care. You should not be desperate to get any seller. There is a big probability that a shady seller (as compared to an established and reputed one) will agree to your offer or give you a good deal. But it might hurt badly in long run.
    • Be ready with your terms. Don't sell yourself cheap even in early days of blogging. At the same time, don't show attitude. Be the real you. Offer short as well as long term deals, and make the long-term deals more attractive. 
    • Be ready with your arguments. Have convincing arguments - backed by facts - and at the end the product seller should feel that a review on your site will help him.
    • Showcase your assets. Make a one-page flyer about the blog, which should describe the blog, its target audience, any good comments you have received, any deals you have made, and its traffic stats. Give one or two lines about yourself. Send it electronically as part of your email. Keep its print ready if you intend to meet sellers in person. 
    • Be polite and accommodative but slightly persistent. If the other guy wants to test your standing, he might  initially be cold to your offer. If any amount of convincing does not help, walk out but leave the door open by suggesting that if they wish to still consider your offer in future, they could call you at ... number OR they should not mind if you ring them after a week just to see if they had a change of mind.


    Why it is often wiser to buy the product than ask for sample

    You will learn the tricks of the trade as you go, and you will get plenty of free products, as some beauty, fashion and travel bloggers have shared with us. We also know that books keep pouring to bloggers who regularly publish good book reviews and have a following. But one thing is sure; don't wait for the thing to come to you if you feel you have a duty to review that product. For example, highly reputed reviewers get smartphones free when these are launched, but even mid-level bloggers are not likely to get them free for a review. As a blogger reviewing mobile phones, you need to review the mobile early. In such a case, you will need to read all the information available on the web and based on your understanding of the features, you will present your views on that smartphone. You must, in such case, tell beforehand that your opinion/ advice about the set is based on ... (links) and you have not used the set yourself so far.  We have seen many bloggers of beauty products reviewing products after buying and using them. Such bloggers get a fan following because the reviewer is under no obligation from the brand to project only good aspects of the item.  But there is no harm asking for the product or service, and it would come free especially when the seller is desperate or it won't cost him much to gift it to you (e.g. a book, an e-book, a software, a free stay before tourism season).

    How do product reviews go with affiliate marketing and AdSense?

    There is no harm having any type of ad on the blog along with reviews. However, sometimes a seller who gives you good money for his reviews might put the condition that you will not serve his competitor's ads. But don't worry; such situations can come when you are an expert - and in that case you will have all the wisdom to take the right decision.  

    What if seller demands only praise, no honest review?

    Yes, you will have to deal with such situations. That's why we said above, choose the sellers discreetly and be ready with your terms.  You have opened the blog for making money from reviewing, not for fighting with sellers or teaching the bad ones a lesson. So, avoid bad sellers from the beginning. After that, you will be left with good sellers whose products and services will be genuinely good. If you find a product bad after using it for free, you can tell the seller, your review will have those bad points or at least the review will not be all positive. So, either he improves the product (e.g. customer service in a hotel or a bug in software), takes it back from you (e.g. key for a software), agrees for the review, or you don't carry the review. You can have your say only when you had made these terms clear before you used the product - that's what makes it even more important to make your terms clear in advance.

    Why should a reviewer put disclosure; does it not sound apologetic? 

    Disclosing your affiliation with the product or service under review is not only an industry requirement, it is also a good business practice. Instead of weakening you in any way, it gives you great advantage in terms of credibility. It also gives you higher marks in internal rating done by search engines. Moreover, if someone gets hurt because of your recommendation, your disclosure would save you from any legal action by the users.   Take a few examples. You would caution that the face cream you have reviewed has a high concentration of aldehydes and products with extra aldehydes can cause rashes. Or, this particular yoga should not be done by people with a history of bone fractures. Now if a lady gets allergy after using that face cream or a guy breaks his bone after doing that tough yoga asana, they won't be able to sue you. Similarly, if you mentioned that your views about that food supplement are based on your experience and you are in no way connected with the brand, people would take you at face value (But it must be true too). If you review a restaurant after a press trip or a paid dinner and mention about this fact, people would trust you more and will take it in the right spirit if they find that you have praised the restaurant slightly more than it deserves. Got the point? By the way, the US FTC has detailed guidelines on what should be taken in mind when endorsing a product. [Link is given here to FTC main page as the links to the specific documents sometimes do not open. Go to the website, search for 'endorsement guides'.]

    Is it ethical to be critical just for the blogger's credibility?

    Criticism meant to gain points is not good at all; similarly, unnecessary praise to get reward from the seller is too bad. The review blogger must be a fair person, and his/ her aim should be to give the most honest and expert opinion about the product/ service to the visitors. This applies even when the seller has refused to give you a free sample and also when he has sponsored the review. The reviewer should also be tactful while criticizing the product or service. As mentioned earlier, the best way to come out of the dilemma when the product is very bad but you don't want to be too critical is - don't review that product. When there are minor blemishes in the product or it is very steeply priced, t is better to use expressions that make the criticism look graceful, e.g. "it would have been better if the makers put the cutout button on the right side", "The camera is superb in the quality of sensor and optics, and the only sore point is the small size of LED display."

    Why is my review blog not making enough money?

    (This section is for review bloggers who find that for some strange reason, their blog is not getting traffic or earning money.)
    Instead of our answering your questions, let's pose questions that will help you get your own answers.

    Do you review products related to your blog?  

    It is obvious that the product or service that you review must belong to your niche, and yet a good number of bloggers are seen reviewing products that do not fit well with the subject of the blog.  Just so that you must publish a big number of reviews or some offer has come your way, you should not post reviews on unrelated products. We have seen occasional book/ beauty-product reviews on personal blogs and are acceptable as these are hobby posts to be shared with known people. But a fiction review on a fashion blog: NO, if you want to make money by reviewing products/ services.

     Are you well qualified to review the product/ service?  

    If you are not expert in the field to which the product/ service belongs, your review will not have the required depth and people will find out that you have made the review with a shallow understanding. Some type of products need more specialization than others. For example, if you are a voracious reader, your review of books may pass but if you do not have good medical knowledge and you review medical products, that won't work.  

    Do you do enough research before writing the review?  

    Review, whether of a nail polish, a web-hosting service or yoga mats, needs proper understanding of the product - and this comes from not only expertise but also long use/ experience, keen observation and study of others' articles. This all comes under background research. Some things, especially services and gadgets, may need deeper research.  

    Do you use personal voice?  

    You should talk straight and not in third person. Tell about your experience with the product, so that it is believable and convincing. That also helps you connect with the visitor, who might get encouraged to ask you further questions through comment box/ contact form/ email.  

    Do you look reasoned, and not superficial, emotional, unsure?  

    The review should be well-reasoned and not based on emotions. Don't ever get influenced by a free offer or the sales pitch on the product site or what you were briefed during a press trip to a new hotel. Never publish a review in a huff, e.g. you bought a new kitchen gadget and it worked fantastic. You can share the joy on your personal blog/ FB page or WhatsApp chat, but not on your professional review blog. What if the product fails in a few days? What if much better products are available in the market? What if you bought it at an exorbitant price but as you are a rich lady it looked cheap to you? At the same time, do not publish a review if you are fed up with a product because it didn't work well and you did not get the customer service immediately. When in anger, you might miss some fine qualities of the product or a key step you yourself did not take while using the product.  

    Is your presentation appealing  

    You might write an outstanding review but if it is not packaged well, people will not read it or stay on the blog long enough to finish it. Be sure that the review meets the quality parameters given in the section above, 'What constitutes a good product review'.  

    Do you disclose your link with the product?  

    Disclosure is a must in case of all reviews, especially when you have benefited in any way by publishing that review. As already emphasized above, disclosing your relationship with the brand/ product that you are promoting is not only ethical, it increases visitors' trust in you.  

    Do you promote your reviews well? 

    Finally, if you do not promote your reviews, it is likely that people will not know about them. If people do not know of  your excellent reviews, they won't get you popularity and money. So, promote them well. Use social media, WhatsApp or other chat groups, email lists and other tools to let people know about your latest review. Be part of forums and social media groups active in your niche. Tweet the post, cross-link with other similar posts, tell your friends or clients or colleagues about the post. Write on product evaluation and comparing sites.  Don't fritter away your energy in many promotional efforts but focus on what suits your type of product.