Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to Write a Smartphone App Review

This is a guest post by Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P. If you're interested in submitting a guest post, please contact me.

How to Write an App Review 

Amazon book and product reviews have changed the way I shop. Instead of reading the publishers description I immediately scroll to reviews from other shoppers. I read the five and one star comments to learn the best and the worst about a product. Since smartphone apps require time to select, download, install, and learn a well written review helps me decide if an app is worth my time and effort which is often secondary to the negligible price of the app.

A smartphone app review is a good topic for your own blog or to submit as a guest post to blogs in your niche. Reviews tell readers about the apps you find useful. This is the format I use and recommend for organizing an app review:

Paragraph 1: Introduce the app – name, function, features, and cost. Include a few sentences about the problem the app solves for you with a short anecdote about why you needed an app with these features or how you use the app.

Note: this is your first opportunity to hyperlink the app name to an affiliate account you might have for the app.

Paragraph 2: Write about what you like about the app. Which features are most useful? How easy was it to install and learn to use? What have you told co-workers about the app? In paragraph one you wrote about facts. In this paragraph write your opinion.

Paragraph 3: Describe features that would make the app more useful to you. This might lead to a comment from a reader about an alternative app or a response from the developer welcoming suggestions to improve the app. It may even lead to an opportunity to be a beta tester or receive free download codes for future editions of the app.

Paragraph 4: Close the review with a final paragraph on where readers can find more information and purchase the app.

This is the second opportunity to hyperlink from your post to the app’s website. If I don’t have an affiliate account for the app this is the only link I include in the review. I want readers to finish reading my review before clicking away.

About you: Include a few sentences about you – work and connections. Link to your website, Twitter account, and or Facebook profile.

Finally, if I don’t have a positive opinion of an app, book, or product I have been asked to review I follow my mom’s timeless words of wisdom, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Thus, I only share any negative thoughts with the developer or vendor that asked me to do the review and instead of posting a negative public review.

How do you structure your book, product, or app reviews? Do you write negative reviews and why? What makes an app review most useful?

Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P is an educator, author, blogger, podcaster, and paramedic.  EverydayEMSTips.com App Reviews is the best location for EMS professionals to learn about EMS apps for the iPhone, Droid, and Blackberry. Send him reviews of apps that are essential for paramedics, EMTs, and EMS students to share with Everyday EMS Tips readers.

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