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Review Tips for Entertainment Bloggers


Little known fact about Alli: Long before I worked for BlogWorld Expo, even before I worked for b5Media or Binge Gamer, I was an entertainment blogger. I ran a blog called Reality on Bravo, which was all about those formulaic reality shows on Bravo, like Top Chef and The Real Housewives of Orange County. Back in my day, circa 2006, Bravo wasn’t getting much attention, except with Project Runway, and although there was definitely a fan base, finding traffic was, at times, like finding a needle in a haystack.* People who were interested generally went straight to the Bravo website, so I didn’t see much traffic.

Except for review days. Review days were my bread and butter* as far as blogging traffic went. Doing a review of some form of entertainment, like a television show or movie (or even live events, like a concert) is a bit different from reviewing products and services. Yes, you should still be honest, and you should certainly cover both good and bad points, but as an entertainment blogger, you should keep the following in mind as well:

  • Post your review ASAP. As soon as show is over or a movie is released, people are online reading reviews. You have a lot of competition, no matter what you specific topic within the entertainment niche, and one of the ways to drive traffic is to be the first one with a review posted. If you’re consistently first, especially for those of you who review TV shows, fan will soon realize that your blog is the place to be for immediate dishing, and they’ll before regular readers.
  • Talk like you’re gossiping with a girlfriend. Men, use your imagination here. Everyone has their own writing style, but if you just write a run-down of what happened on the show…meh. And I hate the word “meh,” but there’s no other way to describe it. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just boring. Give your opinion, and do so in a conversational tone. Don’t be afraid to get emotional with your writing, especially if you were surprised by a plot twist, outraged at a reality show outcome, etc.
  • Use “Spoiler Alert” generously. I seriously can’t believe the number of entertainment bloggers who don’t warn when they post spoilers in reviews. Hell, I’ve even seen some entertainment bloggers give away spoilers in their titles. It’s a courtesy that needs to be the rule on your blog, unless you want to lose the respect of your readers.
  • Consider live blogging the show/movie/event/etc. Few bloggers have time to live blog all the time, but it’s something you can consider for a season premier/finale, an awards show, a televised concert, or something else unique related to your niche. If you don’t want to live blog, consider tweeting throughout the event – just warn people first so your non-entertainment followers can ignore your billion tweets until the event is over.
  • Don’t forget to recap. When you review a product, you include specs, like the length of a book or the retail price of the hairdryer. If you’re reviewing something in the entertainment world, don’t forget the “specs” – in this case, a short recap. Sometimes, I don’t have the time to see a movie or watch a TV show, so bloggers bring me up to speed with what happened. If you post a review without a recap, I’m going to move on to another blogger. Your opinions don’t mean much if I have no clue what happened in the first place.
  • Be honest, but be classy. Believe it or not, celebrities, directors, producers, and others in the entertainment industry actually read blogs. Would you be ashamed if the star of a movie read a comment you made about him? Don’t hold back your opinions, but be aware that even big-name celebrities might see what you wrote. Rather than attack a person, attack the performance, and be constructive by saying what was wrong or how it could have been better, instead of just bashing people with insult after insult.

If you’re an entertainment blogger and not doing reviews, you’re missing out on tons of traffic. Seasoned entertainment bloggers – what are your best review tips?

*God, I love overused, corny cliches.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. Do not judge her for her love of Real Housewives marathons.

Image credit: sxc.hu

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