How to Write an Amazing Sex Toy Review

I love reading sex toy reviews. They’re a great way to discover new ways to try a toy out, and lots of them are super fun. But unfortunately, some reviewers don’t know how to make the most out their review. So here are some tips to help  them out!

One of the most valuable skills for an affiliate to develop is the ability to write a toy review that is honest, compelling, accurate, and fun. After all, one of the reasons you’re an affiliate is to encourage people to click through and make a purchase, and there are some common mistakes that bloggers make that keep that from happening.

This article isn’t going to focus on how to set up a blog because we have this series of posts with plenty of tips and advice. But once you have your site, there are several things you can do to make the most of it.

Do a little research first You might think that this is obvious, but some reviewers don’t realize until after they get the sample that it won’t work for them. Of course, mistakes happen, but do a some research first. Read about the toy and think about whether it’s something you’d want to try, as well as whether it’s something that you can try.

For example, one reviewer requested an anal toy that was simply too big for comfortable use. All of our toy measurements are on the product page but they just didn’t think to check. Another reviewer got a vibrating cock ring, only to find out that her boyfriend wasn’t interested in trying it. If you’ll need to recruit a partner, check with them before you request it. We’re happy to send you goodies, but we want to know that you’ll actually use it.

Use it in lots of ways. One of the most amazing things about sex toys is the incredible creativity people bring to their experiences. As a toy reviewer, you’ll be able to connect with more readers if you do the same thing.

Using a vibrator? How is it externally? Internally? On the nipples? The clitoris? The penis? The perineum? Externally on the anus? If it’s anal-safe, how about internally? Does it work better in some positions than in others? What about after you’re already warmed up? Or with another toy? Try it without lube and with.

That’s not to suggest that you have to do things that you don’t enjoy. But the more you experiment, the more info you’ll have to share with your readers. You can also read about the toy on our website to see if there’s anything inspiring there!

Keep notes. Unless you plan to write your review right after using the toy, you might want to keep a pad and pen nearby to write down anything you notice. You might be surprised at some of the things you come up with!

Structure your review. Readers want to know what you think about the product. Disorganized posts make it hard for them to find the information they need. And while your personal experiences can be really helpful, when your post is more of an erotic story than a toy review, you might find that you’re getting fewer conversions because folks are distracted by the story.

Here’s one good framework for your post.

Preamble. Give us a bit of a teaser to get us to read the whole post. Here’s an example:

“Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes these days. I’m usually a fan of the more powerful electric options, but I was surprised at how powerful and fun this mini vibe was.

Product Description/Features. Tell us about the toy. What’s it made out of, what are the dimensions, describe it, what other colors or sizes does it come in, what batteries does it need (if any), how does it recharge (if it’s rechargeable)? You can get a lot of this information from our web site.

Remember- features that might not work for you could be someone else’s favorite, so describe everything.

Product Performance. How did you use the toy and how did it work? This is the core of your post and will usually take up the most space. What did you like? What didn’t work? What about cleaning it?

 You can give your readers both the pros and cons- we want your review to be 100% honest. But this is where you’ll be glad you took notes because you’ll be able to include the details that you might have forgotten.

If a toy didn’t work for you, say that. You can also add some suggestions for who it might be a good fit for. For example, “I’m not a big fan of buzzy vibrators, but if you want something small that offers a gentle sensation, this is worth trying.

Avoid making sweeping statements or judging the toy. Remember that everything will work for someone and nothing works for everyone. If you want to keep your readers coming back, don’t alienate them.

Summary Remarks. Give us one or two sentences that wrap everything up. Who would this toy be good for? How might it be used? End on a positive note whenever possible.

Keep your writing general. Don’t assume anything about the gender, sexual orientation, experience level, or relationship status of your readers. You want as wide a range as possible and saying things like “Ladies, you’ll curl your man’s toes with this toy will get in the way of that. Similarly, don’t say things like “every woman likes the rabbit! It’s not true and will make a lot of people stop visiting your site.

Write well. This is a toy review, not Shakespeare, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful with your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. If it’s easier, write it in Word and spell-check it before copying it into your blogging software. It can be helpful to get someone else to review it for you, too.

Keep your writing simple and you can’t go too far wrong. And if you find yourself using the same words over and over, visit thesaurus.com for some new expressions.

Be accurate. You don’t need to sugarcoat your review. If a toy is too strong for you, or too big, or doesn’t fit your body, say that. At the same time, you can also offer tips for people it might work for. Note- if your experience with the toy was frustrating, wait to write your post until you’ve cooled down. Writing when you’re upset is a great way to write badly.

Learn about the toy. We have lots of info on our site about all of our products. Read about how they work, how to use them, how to clean them. As a toy reviewer, people expect you to know enough about the products to speak knowledgably. If you have questions, contact us. We’re always happy to help.

Give us some good quotes. We love to post review links on our Facebook page. It generates some excitement and gets you more traffic. And the easiest way to be one of the writers we highlight is to give us a juicy 2-3 sentence snippet we can quote. The preamble and the summary are good places for them.

Use photos and links. Try to take a photo with a contrasting background so your readers can actually see the product. Or you can right-click on the photo on our website, save it, and upload it. Make the image a link to the product page, not just to the photo. The more opportunities you give reviewers to link to our site, the more conversions you’ll get.

You can also link to our how-to pages, our product category pages (e.g. “this toy worked great with a silicone lubricant), or to a specific product. Just be sure to add your affiliate code!

Learn a little about SEO. There’s a lot to be said about search engine optimization. If you’re just starting out, here are two tips:

Label your photos. A .jpg file with the name “Good-Vibrations-Tiny-Tickler-Vibrator.jpg with an alt tag “Buy a Tiny Ticker Vibrator at Good Vibrations will get more notice from search engines than simply “IMG_3872.jpg.

Add titles to your links. Similarly, when you insert a link, give it a title. “[Product Name] from Good Vibrations, for example.

That’s good for us because it helps the search engines recognize that you’re linking to us. But it’s also helpful for you! If you hover your mouse over a picture or a link, you’ll see that some of them will show the title. Adding descriptive titles also allow browsers to make your review more accessible to readers who are vision impaired. More of your readers will click on the links when you do that, which means more conversions for you.

If this seems like a lot, don’t get too stressed about it. Just take it one step at a time and sooner than you think, you’ll have an amazing sex toy review site!

 

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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6 Responses

  1. Thank you for this information. It is nice to get tips to add to your own knowledge.

  2. Joan – in my experience, if someone is looking for reviews, they are looking for them in particular. As in, they are aware of the toy and now they want real opinions on it. 
     
    However, it’s important to mention the size if it differs any from what the site claims it to be (like with items that are tapered or have various width points) and one can mention the size with the utmost of brevity – talking about the size shouldn’t take up a whole paragraph. It should be a bullet point unless clarifications are needed. Then again, I’ll likely already have mentioned that a toy is slim/moderate/girthy pretty early on and that basic info should be enough for someone who is reading the review but isn’t familiar with the toy.
     
     

  3. Joan Price says:

    Dangerous Lilly, For my demographic, the size info is important. Let’s say my reader is a widow who uses a sex toy for penetration but is only comfortable if the toy is 1.5 or slimmer. She shouldn’t have to spend time clicking through to learn that the width of a particular toy is 1.75. 

    Dana, I don’t think you could spend a minute reading Dangerous Lilly’s reviews or mine and still think they’re “boring” and “samesy”! 

     Joan Price
     Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex  and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.

     Join us — we’re talking about ageless sexuality at http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com.
     

  4. Dana says:

    This sounds like a recipe for an avalanche of boring, samesy reviews.

  5. If someone is reviewing for a site like GV, who does include all of the necessary size info, lube compatibility and materials, I do not think it is necessary (or somethiing I ever read) to regurgitate that stuff. Skim it, briefly.

    When reviewing vibrators, especially, I think that it’s very, very important that the person reading the review knows that the reviewer is sensitive or not. A woman who can orgasm easily with just fingers and tongues is not someone that I will turn to for vibrator reviews because she is much more sensitive than I am; therefore anything that she proclaims as “strong” will likely be “moderate” to me.

    It’s also crucial to talk about the type of vibrations, and it’s crucial to understand what they are. I’ve bought toys based on reviews who claimed that it was rumbly (deep, thuddy, etc) when it was most certainly not. Some vibrators are powerful but buzzy, and can seem itchy. Some are just surface-level and with all the power in the world, they don’t do me any good. Without a description (and what I will mention next) of the exact type of vibrations, a review is pretty much useless to me.

    I also think that comparisons should be made whenever possible. In regards to size, shape, weight, vibration type and intensity, etc. Perhaps the reader isn’t like us reviewers and they don’t own a lot of toys….but hey, maybe they do. To me the best reviews will tell me that the vibrations feel like this toy and that toy, but are stronger/weaker than this other toy. A frame of reference, if you will.

    Before I became a reviewer I was on the hunt for a particular type of toy, and the few reviews I was finding just simply were not telling me what I wanted to know before I laid out another $50 for my 8th toy that wasn’t going to work for me. The only way that I found out the truth was by finding a blogger who reviewed the toy, whom I was able to email and ask my exact questions.

  6. Joan Price says:

    Great tips, Charlie. I would add:

    1. Don’t make a lot of your review about the packaging. I know it’s an easy way to get into the topic, but do we really care?

    2. If you’re writing for a specific population, target your review to the needs/wants of that population. For example, I review toys from a “senior perspective,” so my readers age 50-80+ want to know whether the toy will go a long time without overheating or turning itself off, how easy it is to use with arthritic hands, whether we need our reading glasses to see the controls, the dimensions if internal, etc.

    Joan Price
     Author of Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex  and Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty.
     Join us — we’re talking about ageless sexuality at http://www.NakedAtOurAge.com.