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How to Start a Product Review Blog in 2019: Step By Step Guide

How to Start a Product Review Blog in 2019: Step By Step Guide


I’m always receiving emails from my followers asking me how to start a product review blog, how to get products to test for their new blog, and how to monetize a new blog. Therefore, I decided to create a blog post that covers everything for you guys to reference.



Blogging is a wonderful way to share your thoughts and opinions about products and services that you come across, which is why I created Productreviewmom.com. I love sharing about the brands I love, discover, and try out for the first time with you guys so you can check them out and add them to your daily life. I’ve been able to review brand new cars that are dropped off to my front door, test out the latest beauty products, get sponsored hotels stays, meals, and more!



Thanks to blogging, I was able to quit my job, become a full-time blogger, AND spend more quality time with my family. Plus, the money I earned from my blog allowed me to save and purchase my first house!



The good news is it’s not hard to get a product review blog up and running. Below you’ll find an easy step by step tutorial guide that will allow you to get started sharing your honest feedback of items that you’ve tried and tested on your new up and running blog.





#1 Select a Domain Name



The hardest step of getting your product review blog up and running is going to be picking your domain name. This is also one of the most important steps because once you make the decision of your domain name you’re going to be stuck with it for the most part.



I recommend doing some extensive research and narrowing down to a list of 5 potential domain names that you absolutely love. Once you have narrowed down your search to 5 domain names you’ll want to go through the process of elimination by keeping the following things in mind: 



  • Check to make sure that your domain name is not in use.

  • Make sure that the potential domain name is unique and not a similar name as another person’s review blog.

  • Make sure it fits what you plan to discuss on your blog.

  • Make sure there are no hyphens in the domain.

  • Make sure the domain is easy to remember.

  • Make sure that it doesn’t have alternative meanings.

  • Make sure there are no trademarked words in it.

  • Avoid using numbers.

  • Make sure a .com version is available.



Once you have narrowed down your domain name, then it’s time to move on to registering your domain so someone else can’t start a website using it. The easiest way to register your domain is going to be to do it via your web host as many of them offer deals when you register a domain and use their hosting services. We’ll discuss the registration process a bit more in the next two steps.





#2 Select a Web Host



Selecting a web host is also something that’s going to take a bit of research on your end.



I recommend looking at reviews that others have left about each of the web hosts that you are considering so you can decide which host will be the best for your needs.



The main things to keep in mind when researching web hosts are:


  • Make sure it’s a reputable company.

  • Make sure they have 99% or higher uptime.

  • DONT make your decision based on who offers the cheapest rate.

  • Make sure customer support can easily be contacted.

  • Make sure they are easy for beginners to use.



These things are important because as your site grows, your audience is going to be coming to your website for your expertise. The last thing you want to happen is them trying to access your site only to find that it’s always offline and then heading over to your competitors.



Your web host is your blogs home. It is what allows you to control how accessible your website is and when it can’t be accessed you need to have peace of mind that they will get it back up quickly.



To help you get started, below you’ll find some of the most popular web hosts to begin your research with:








#3 Setting Up Your Web Host Account



Once you’ve selected your web host, the next step is to set up your web host account.



Most web hosts will begin by asking you if you want to purchase a domain or register one. Here you should be able to go ahead and purchase the domain name that you decided on earlier in the tutorial.



Once you’ve purchased your domain, the next step is going to be to select your hosting package. Since you’re just setting up a blog and have to grow your audience you don’t need to start off with a dedicated server package or the most expensive shared hosting package if it’s out of your budget. It’s perfectly okay to sign up for one of the cheaper packages and upgrade as your blog traffic grows.



When you’ve decided on your hosting package, you’ll have to enter your contact info and go through some additional options. There will be many options for add-ons and what not, however, I recommend the following selections for new bloggers:



  • SSL: This lets readers know your website is safe to visit.

  • Domain WhoIS Privacy: This keeps your contact information private to the public.

  • Monthly payments: This may be a little more expensive than paying annually, however, if you’re not sure that being a product review blogger is for you its best to start off with monthly payments.


When you’ve finished paying and checking out, you’re almost ready for the fun part – creating your new product review blog!





#4 Select Your Blog Platform



Selecting a blog platform allows you to move on to designing and creating content for your blog. There are quite a few options available from WordPress to Blogger to Square Space and more. However, during your research, you’ve probably realized that WordPress is one of the most popular among bloggers for the plugins, therefore, for the purpose of this tutorial we will be selecting the WordPress platform.





#5 Install WordPress



When you log into your web hosting account there should be a control panel section (or similarly named section) where you’ll be able to install WordPress. Once you locate the “Install WordPress” option you’ll go ahead and install it and go through the steps. It’ll ask you for your domain name, domain URL, and it’ll have you create a username and password.



When creating your username and password keep the following things in mind:


  • Avoid usernames such as admin.

  • Make your password very tough to guess. Ideally, it should be a combination of numbers, letters (upper and lower), and special characters.



Keep in mind, this username and password is the gatekeeper to your site. The last thing you want is someone to be able to hack into your site and mess with your hard work. Your product review blog is not only going to be a place for you to share your honest opinions, but its also going to be a business that makes you money.





#6 Design Your Product Review Blog



Now all of the hard work is out of the way so you’re ready to move on to the fun stuff. The first step is going to be to design your product review blog.



When it comes to designing your product review blog, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to select a theme. Theme wise you’ll have free and paid options to choose from. Since you’re a new blogger you don’t have to start out hiring a professional website designer on day one. However, it is recommended that you do go with a paid theme (if you can afford it) so your website stands out from other bloggers and gives off a professional feel to help jump-start your income opportunities.



You can find reasonably affordable themes on:







Prices for premium themes can range from $20 - $100 from these sources.



The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a theme is you want to go with a responsive theme that fits your personality while still giving off a professional appearance. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the theme doesn’t have a ton of add-ons so you can use plugins without slowing down your site and losing different functions when you decide to change themes.



If a free theme option is where you want to start you can find free themes in your WordPress admin portal by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.



Alternatively, if this entire theme selection talk is making your head spin, don’t feel alone. In this case, if your budget allows it you may just want to hire a website designer who can create a customized theme for you and get everything designed to your specifications.



Some affordable places to search for a website designer include:











#7 Make Sure Your Blog is Secure



While it is true that your username and password will keep most people from accessing your site, another thing you must factor in is hackers. Hackers skills have advanced over the years and the last thing you want is for a hacker to be able to gain access to the backend of your website and cause chaos. Therefore, security is something that you should install from the beginning of your product review blogging journey.



Ways to make sure your website is secure include:



  • Not using admin as your username.

  • Creating a strong password.

  • Always making sure you have the latest version of WordPress and any plugins you download installed.

  • Downloading a backup of your site to your computer once a week.

  • Delete unused plugins.

  • Download security plugins.



When it comes to security plugins that you can download, you’ll have quite a few options. However, the ones that I recommend are:



  • Wordfence Security: Keep in mind they do have a paid version of this plugin, however, most folks find that the free version works just fine.


  • Sucuri Security: As with Wordfence Security there are free and paid versions available. However, you should be fine with the free version.


  • Google Authenticator: Two-factor authentication makes it super tough for people to get into your site. Therefore, this is quickly becoming a favorite security plugin among bloggers.



There are a ton of security plugins available for WordPress and this list gives you the rundown on each.





#8 Start Creating Content



Once you’ve gotten all of the technical details out of the way, it’s time to move on to creating content.



The WordPress platform is super easy to use, which is why I based the tutorial off of them. When in your admin panel you just click Post > Add New and let your words come to life.



However, before getting started on your first blog post I recommend that you go ahead and create the following pages, especially if your goal is to monetize your blog in the future: 



  • About Page

  • Contact Page

  • Hire Me Page


Since you’re a new product review blogger my recommendation would be to publish a post every day or every two days so you can start attracting people to your site. When they see that you update your site regularly they’ll be more likely to subscribe and actually look forward to your blog posts.



However, when keeping in mind my recommendation of daily, or close to daily publishing, remember that you only should blog when you have something to say. Don’t feel as though you have to force yourself to write something every day for the sake of having a new post as it will definitely show in your writing.



Lastly, when writing your content make sure that you’re including photos in each post and incorporating SEO. There are a ton of guides on creating SEO friendly blog posts, so if you’re unfamiliar with SEO I would recommend giving some of them a read through.



Now, have fun!





Final Thoughts – It’s Easier Than You Think to Start a Product Review Blog in 2019



While this may seem like a ton of information to digest to be prepared to start a blog, it’s really not that hard. The hardest part will be settling on your domain name, I promise. Once you have your domain name purchased and install WordPress you’ll find it to be smooth sailing from there.



This tutorial has covered all of the technical aspects of setting up your product review blog in 2019. Now, you just have to focus on creating quality content and building up your audience. Once you have a good content buildup and some loyal readers, you’re then able to start making money from your product review blog.



Monetizing your blog will require more work on your end as you want to keep your audience happy without coming off as always trying to sell them something while also giving your clients a good return on their investment. Once you get to this point just make sure that you have Google Analytics installed on your blog so you can see which posts are performing well with your readers so you can know which advertising opportunities are a fit and which ones are not.



Now, go ahead and get started creating your product review blog!





Bonus Tip: Monetizing Your Product Review Blog



Once you’re ready to monetize your product review blog feel free to check out my eBook that shares some valuable tips that helped me when I took the leap to start making a full-time income from my blog. Additionally, I have shared some valuable tips in this blog post about different ways to make money from blogging.



Now, as a bonus for you, I’ll give you some quick tips for monetizing your product review blog so you’ll know what to expect or you can come back and reference this post again when you’re ready to make the leap.





Pitch Brands for Products to Review



While it is true that once you start gaining traction with your product review blog brands will start contacting you directly to work with them. However, you don’t have to wait for your dream brand to reach out about a blogging collaboration. Instead, you can pitch them. I’ve written a blog post that shows you how to reach out and pitch brands to review their products.





Join Ad Agencies



To start generating a passive income from your blog you can run ads. I do want to warn you to do your homework before joining ad agencies though because some have been known to have payment delays, show inappropriate ads, or even have software’s that break blogger sites.



A few ad agencies to consider applying for include:









Join Blogger Networks



Blogger networks can be great when you’re first starting to monetize your blog. Basically, these are sites you will join where someone else has already contacted the brand and you know right from the start that they are looking to hire bloggers to work with them.


A few blogger networks to consider joining include:









Join Affiliate Networks



Affiliate networks allow you to have a passive income. You write a post as you normally would and you incorporate products or services in the post that you may already be using. Each time someone makes a purchase you make a percentage from the purchase in profit.



A few affiliate networks to consider joining include: 










Tools to Help You Save Time



Blogging can be like having a full-time job if you’re in it to make it into your business. The good news is there are some tools that you can use to help you save time. My top recommendations are: 



  • Yoast SEO: This free plugin allows you to make sure that every post you create is SEO friendly.


  • MailChimp: MailChimp allows you to give your readers an easy way to join your mailing list.


  • Monster Insights: This plugin allows you to view your Google Analytics stats directly from your WordPress admin panel.


  • W3 Total Cache: This plugin makes sure your blog loads in the quickest time possible, which is important if you want to rank high in Google.


  • CoSchedule: This is a paid plugin; however, it makes promoting your posts on social media a breeze. The best part is the scheduling you can be done from your WordPress admin panel.


  • Facebook Groups: Joining Facebook groups to connect with other bloggers in your niche can be a helpful tool when you have questions or need advice. Often there are veteran bloggers in the groups who can answer your questions quickly and thoroughly saving you hours of research.


  • Canva: Canva is a great tool when you want to take your photos to the next level but aren't good at editing photography or haven't been able to invest in a quality camera yet.


  • Trello: Trello is a free tool that is great for keeping you organized. You can use it to help you plan out your content, content marketing strategy, or even just stay on top of your blogging to do list.


  • Push Assist: Not sure if your readers are getting your content when it goes out? Give them the option of signing up for instant notifications with the Push Assist plugin.


There are plenty of other time-saving tools for product review bloggers, but these should help shave off a good amount of time for you in the beginning.



Just remember to have fun writing your content, promote it as much as possible, and enjoy the journey of turning your product review blog into a full-blown business!





As always, if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out.


2 comments

  1. Lots of great info, Lou, and we thank you for putting all together! Hugs...and Happy Monday! RO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome RO!!! Have a great week!

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