Friday, January 1, 2016

My Hobby of Writing Amazon Reviews

A little over six years ago I began writing book reviews on Amazon. I started writing reviews as a way to help me remember what I read and to help others know about the books I was reading. I enjoy writing reviews not only for these reasons, but because I like to write and improve my writing. I find it rewarding when people vote my reviews as helpful or provide me helpful feedback. The key word is helpful.

Today a good chunk of my Amazon reviews include product reviews. Because I’ve written a few reviews (over 400) and have received a few helpful votes, companies every day want to send me their merchandise (usually for free) in hopes that I’ll provide them a positive review. I don’t accept the overwhelming majority of the products because I’m a mature adult with responsibilities. Writing reviews is a little work, and there is only so much time.

A few reviews that people have enjoyed include my reviews about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures and a Japanese eau de toilette. These reviews are by no means my most helpful reviews, but they’ve brought me great joy knowing that I’ve made a few people laugh. I have a few other reviews that I find comical that haven’t received many or any helpful votes, but maybe I’m the only one laughing. I am often my biggest fan.

If you desire to have a good laugh, I highly recommend checking out this review on sugar-free gummy bears. In my humble opinion, it is the king of all Amazon reviews. Even if you don’t like this kind of humor, you have to appreciate the reviewer’s skilled use of words. Brilliant. Another review that has made me crack up is this one concerning a unique and expensive watch. What are people thinking?!

Something I’ve learned as an Amazon reviewer is that not all reviews are equal and some can be biased. Can you believe it? Many authors receive reviews from their friends. Shocking. Some reviewers are afraid to be critical of a book or product because they think they'll receive unhelpful votes. This can make their Amazon ranking go down and when you get products from companies because your Amazon ranking is in the top 10,000, this hurts your chances to receive more products. Often my “least helpful” reviews are my most critical reviews.

When I started writing reviews on Amazon, I had no idea it would lead to free health supplements, kitchen gadgets, and iPhone and MacBook products. That certainly was never the goal. I simply wanted to write down my thoughts hoping they might also bless others. I definitely have liked some of the free stuff, but what matters most to me is that my reviews can help people better know whether they should invest time in a book or product. Hopefully I can make a few people laugh too.