How To Write A BAD Review

As a Blogger we often seek out the opportunity to Review products we love still there are times when we try out products we would never choose on our own or may have never heard of. This is where the risk for not liking or even understanding how to use them can come into play. So how do you handle it? How do you write a honest and still brand appreciated bad review?

How To Write A Bad Review |

The truth of the matter is when brands request you to review a product they want your honest opinion. They can’t improve or adjust their products, campaigns or approach without it. That means you have to develop a way to provide that opinion even if you don’t like the product. 
Inform The Brand/Company that your Review may not be positive. I have had the experience when after telling a company that I had a bad experience and that I planned to reflect my honest opinion within my review they would either opt out of the review all together or go above and beyond to fix whatever was wrong. Brands are simply people pursuing their dreams. There is always the possibility for error. Give them a chance to fix it if possible.
Introduce the Brand/Company in a neutral manner. Present the company for what it is and what it stands for. Keep it simple. It is always better to simply introduce a Brand rather than tearing the company and/or product apart. You may not like or favor this product but you still want to maintain a good partnership for future opportunities.
Present the description of the product or service clearly. Describe the product for what it does and what it claims to offer. Include images and link back to the Brands site. State the facts of the product before your own opinions.
Describe your use and experience with the Product/Service. Tell the story of your experience with the product from an neutral stand point. Simply tell how you used it and what the results were. Refrain from inserting too many emotions.
Give constructive criticism. Explain clearly what you  felt was dissatisfactory with the product or service. IF you feel there is a way to improve it or even adjust it to work better suggest it. Brands are looking for your hands on experience – you and your Readers are it’s target audience. By providing your honest opinion you offer them the opportunity to change or adjust their product or service accordingly.
Highlight the pros or good features in your closing. End your Review with the positive aspects of the product or service. Allow the Reader to leave on a positive note even if it’s just one. By offering the Brand you are working with a positively toned Review even if your opinion of the product or service is negative shows that you are able to provide honest feedback without destroying the reputation or potential of the Brand itself.
 Bonus Tip TRANS


BONUS: By always providing your honest opinion (negative or positive) you are giving your Readers the assurance that they can trust you.

Have you ever had to write a Bad Review?

How did you approach it?




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Blogger, YouTuber & Media Influencer at TheMrsTee
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.
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About TheMrsTee

Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.

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64 thoughts on “How To Write A BAD Review

  • ProductiveMompreneur

    This is a great post! I'll be sure to apply this if I am in a situation where a product isn't for me. I have a quick question: would you invite the brand to review the post before publishing it? Just asking because they may want you to privately inform them if the product isn't for you, or if it's defective, instead of posting a review where you aren't completely "in love" with their item..

    • MrsTee Post author

      Hi! Thanks so much. I always give them notice if a Review may not necessarily be singing their praises? If they ask to review it I would give them that opportunity but be sure they know my opinion will remain honest no matter what. Most times they offer to somehow fix the problem or send a new product for a better impression.

  • sunphant

    These are some great points especially the first one. Contacting them first and giving them a chance to fix it, it's just like receiving the wrong meal item at a restaurant. Give them a chance to make things better. Will save this in case I ever need it.

  • Bekki

    I have only reviewed one product so far and I was blessed to love it. I hadn't though about what I would do with a product/service that I could not endorse. This is beyond helpful!!
    My recent post Homeschooling Through the Holidays

  • Karen

    this is great advice! If Monsanto (monsatan) ever asks me to review any of their prodcuts I will have to follow this, of course, they wouldn't be that foolish. I recently ordered some snacks online from a new company and wanted to praise them, but they messed up in too many ways. I rather just pretend I never ordered the snacks.
    My recent post Just Finished Reading…

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Karen! Oh wow! Yes, sometimes the ‘if you can’t say anything nice’ rule ends up applying even in reviews. Giving the company that option to opt out can make it easier on both of you.

  • Rea Alducente

    Thanks for sharing this! I think every blogger who writes a review should know this too. After all, readers will always appreciate an honest review and it doesn't mean it has to say something bad about a brand or a company.
    My recent post Brique: Good Food. Good Company.

  • Adrian

    I am having this experience right now. I was offered a free banner, which I decided to donate to my church for their Christmas Eve service (time sensitive). But then the company wouldn't return my Email for almost two weeks. Finally, I went through the front end of their website and contacted their Helpdesk. They got the banner out to me within 24 hours. I haven't opened it yet, so I'll have to see how it looks, but I think I'll be able to do a decent review for them and maybe just a brief mention of the communications snafu. #SITSharefest
    My recent post The Dog Whisperer gives me Hope for Parenting

    • MrsTee Post author

      I had a similar experience and they ended replying to me 2 months later but even then the product was broken. I told them that my review would have to reflect the poor customer services and they opted out completely. I think if the product is still good then a short mention of the service is warranted. I\’m so glad you stopped by Adrian…always nice to see a comment from you 🙂

  • Lisa

    Great advice!!!!! Honestly, I haven't done any reviews were I haven't liked everything, you know. I always talk about the things I love – what value it will bring to them and their family. Then, I have a notes section about the things that made me say "huh?" or that were confusing or user unfriendly or whatever.

    I guess I have been very lucky.

    Thanks so much for this lovely article.
    My recent post The Homeschool Link-up – week 59

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Lisa. I love the idea of having a ‘huh’ section in your reviews. There are often things you just wonder about with products. Great idea! Thank YOU for coming by…

  • Kerri @ B&T

    Great post! There was one time when I was trialing a product for review and my skin reacted to it. I emailed the PR and she decided to opt out which I was totally fine with. It didn't work for me but I'm sure it did for others.
    My recent post The Christmas Tag

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Kerri! Wow…I am always so nervous when trying face or beauty products. It is good that they didn\’t force you to review it anyway. It can all be really relative at times.

    • MrsTee Post author

      I’m so happy you think so. I know when I first had to write a ‘bad’ review I was stressed because I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I was so happy when I figured it out I knew I wanted to share my tips. Thanks so much for the Pin support 😀

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Aleshea!! You’re right. As a Blogger and Influencer you have that chance to impact something with your opinion. Take it. Don’t give negative without offering a positive.

  • spiritedlife

    I approached it neutrally. I had a pedometer that I liked the features but the darn thing would come off ALL.THE.TIME! I felt it was ineffective because I had to pick it up several times a day. I even lost it for a while because it was inconspicuous and fell. I just found it last week in the toy box while cleaning it out. So far, that was my worst review yet. Hopefully I can genuinely like most of the products I review.
    My recent post 15 Acts of Kindness This Christmas Season!

    • MrsTee Post author

      That’s always a good approach especially if there is just something that doesn’t work with the item. Luckily the bad ones are usually in the minority of our Reviews but it is good to have a plan of action just in case 🙂 Thanks for coming by Lovie!

  • Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

    What a great post!! Thank you so much for putting this post together. I am pinning it for a reference later!

  • sarahsofiaproductions

    Tiffany this is a great resource! I haven't ventured into this area yet, but have been asked. I'm not sure if it's a fit for me and my big concern is what if I don't like it. I have pinned this post to use as a guide for me in the future.

  • My Rays of Sunshine

    This is a very helpful post! I have yet to write a negative review, but it's scary to think that it will happen one day. I hate being mean and this post was a great encouragement for me!
    My recent post Experience a Wild Wonderland at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks!! It can be really nerve racking trying to figure out how to approach it. Don\’t look at is as being mean – your giving your honest opinion which is exactly what they are asking you for. 🙂

  • jennabrussee

    This is extremely helpful! I've never had to write a bad review, but I've always wondered about how I should handle it. I would definitely give them the option to opt out of a review or fix the issue. Your other tips are also very helpful! It's nice to know that it is possible to write a bad review without leaving a bad impression. I wouldn't want to come off as being critical or negative on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing this with Hump Day Happenings! Have a great week.
    My recent post Hump Day Happenings #40

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Jenna! I know when I first started and had that first product that wasn’t as great as I thought it’d be I was at a loss…I wish I knew then what I know now! Thanks for coming by today 🙂

  • aimee fauci

    I actually have done this once and it was so hard.. I actually stressed over the product.. it was a game, but I presented it as.. it's not the right fit for me and my family but def the right fit for older kids and a school environment. I'm not sure what the company thought but thankfully it was a detailed questionnaire versus a blog post but then he asked me on Instagram what I thought.. UGH…

    • MrsTee Post author

      I can imagine! I know when it happened to me I was so scared to tell them I didn’t like it but then I figured they asked me right? LOL..I’m glad it worked out and you didn’t actually need to write a post. How did you handle the instagram question?

  • FabEllis

    GREAT post! Believe it or not, a few months ago, I just learned that it's a good idea to share my experience with the products with the company PRIOR to posting the review. It sounds so simple, but I had never thought of it. That has really helped me build some great relationships with companies. Pinning!
    My recent post Personal Style | Transforming My Wardrobe with L'eggs Tights

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks! Yes, give them a chance to either rectify or provide better use guidelines that may totally change your view. It is definitely key to establishing and maintaining good Brand relationships.

  • Purfylle

    That's good to know Mrs Tee (that you've never had them pre-read your review that is) I've pinned your post so I can come back and re-read your advice when I do find myself in the position of writing a bad review for a sponsored post.

  • Purfylle

    I've written a post about a lip balm I love with packaging that wasn't up to par and also a satirical piece about my toaster, neither were sponsored posts. The main difference about them was how easy it was to get in touch with the company to give them a chance to make things right before I wrote about it. I think if it were a sponsored post I would have been a little more neutral in my writing and have provided the company a chance to review the post before I published it.
    My recent post How To Make A Fabric Scrap Garland In 5 Easy Steps

    • MrsTee Post author

      Reviews that you write on your own can be a bit more giving in the allowance for personal feelings for sure. I have never had a post reviewed prior to publishing but I always give a heads up if I feel my opinion is not 100% positive. One company did decide to eliminate a review all together because I would not change my opinion.

    • MrsTee Post author

      Thanks Julie! I remember the first time I had a bad experience with a product it took me forever to figure how to write the review so I figured sharing a few tips would be good 🙂