Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Freelance Gig Worth Considering: Online Reviewer

Hey there!  Not talking about books or those sites that have rigid requirements and pay pennies after you write thousands of words for them.  This would be more along the lines of blogging or vlogging but under your name and/or your true identity.  Yes, it can be fun venting on sites like Yelp but this not only requires a little planning and can be a great service to consumers worldwide.

Consider What You Will Talk About

There's a lot that people will read and share but they want a consistent voice and possibly topic.  For instance, you may be a big fan of Trader Joe's and vintage car restoration.  Can you write about both?  I don't see why not if you're willing to invest the time into creating two different entities to share your honest views.

On the other hand, it may help to ensure there's some congruency in your topics.  Let's replace Traders with Whole Paycheck Foods (or another premium grocer with a following) but you also like to shop at Dollar Tree.  This makes sense to some but most likely, not the majority.  If Amy Dacyczyn (author of The Tightwad Gazette series) were to share the best places to buy goose liver, she'd been laughed out of her book deal.

Plan Your Brand

Are you funny, informative, serious, or so darned detailed that it's not funny but people love you anyway?  Will you need visuals or a funny theme song as your vlog/podcast intro?  Like any other venture, consider what your competition is doing and see how you can make it better or different.

When people are choosing a brand, they may feel that certain colors or visuals are the norm but these days, that's changing.  If I had it to do all over again, food would be my chosen career.  Even before foodies or Frankenfoods became popular, I could see myself demonstrating recipes or discussing meals before a live audience.  While I get blowing your stack in the kitchen like Gordon Ramsey, discussing the scientific side of food (Alton Brown) or wearing a jacket and tie (Geoffrey Zakarian) in the kitchen is foreign to me. But don't tell their fanbase these cooks aren't awesome!

Get a Content Strategy

Sounds simple but here's where the creativity comes in.  We know that the preferred word count for blogs is at least 450.  While this may be nothing to experienced writers, the word count can be daunting for others...especially when there's nothing else to say.  And unless you have a helluva sense of humor or access to interesting statistical figures, the rest is filler nobody wants.

Back during my short stint with Epinions.com nearly 20 years ago, I was often criticized for "not saying enough".  Also being a newbie to food writing, I was uncertain as to whether I should be looking to the late Jonathan Gold or tell a story from the time I entered the building.  My suggestion to someone looking for their voice should check out other sites like Trustpilot or those with a specialty.

Sell Your Services

If you have no problems with transparency and have receipts to back up your claims, why not go for the gusto?  Once you have established yourself as being a trustworthy source who can write objectively in your own voice, getting an audience shouldn't be hard.  People are shopping online more than ever and a good portion of e-shoppers are looking for the best value.  Not the cheapest item but the one that isn't likely to be returned.  The pandemic has cooled in some areas for the moment but no one wants to gamble with a retailer that doesn't accept returns...or give refunds!

No comments:

Post a Comment