So you wanna become a “Professional” Reviewer?

Hello folks, the name is Clay. Some know me as Terminally Nerdy. Its probably the youtube channel. And the title of the blog. And my twitter handle.

Anyway, I want to talk to you a bit about getting into the “Review game” as it were, and what you should expect.

Reviewing things is a ton of fun. You get to share your passion with the world, help people make informed decisions, and generally talk about things you love. You also have the potential to get free shit. Who doesn’t love free shit?

But, reviewing stuff is not for everyone.

I have, to date, reviewed games, tabletop rpg products, books, music, and even dabbled a touch in comics. I am established enough now that I have people coming to me to request my services in reviewing their items. Suffice to say, I got a bit of knowledge on how to do this.

First and foremost: Dont expect free shit. Its a perk, to be sure. But until you get established, until you get your name out there and show that you are a legit reviewer and that you KNOW what you are talking about, don’t go around asking people to give you their products. Some of these things (games and tabletop products) can get pricey! (I just got a book that retails for $45 sent to me) and a publisher / creator / developer is not likely to trust sending you something like this unless you have a track record that shows you can deliver.  Hell I got a custom dice box thats going to retail for $50.  Because I am now a known quantity in the world of Tabletop products.

Secondly: Don’t bite off more then you can chew. If you don’t understand something, don’t try to review it. I personally wouldnt really talk about movies too much, as I am not a bit cinemaphile. Comics are another thing I refuse to touch now, as the medium doesn’t work for me. If you love video games, and decide you wanna review books but are not well read….then thats a big issue.

Third: Review things you own and GET ESTABLISHED. If you wanna review tabletop stuff, go look for free shit on DriveThruRPG. Talk about the systems you already own. Wanna review games? Talk about the ones you already have and played and understand. Get content out there for people to see.

Fourth: SET GUIDELINES and BE PROFESSIONAL! Make sure you have a review guidelines page or list of things you are willing to look at, so you can point people to it. Be professional about it. If you want to request something from someone else, make sure you send them a formal request to their press contact if you can find it. Explain why you are interested in their product, what experience you have. Its kinda like applying for a job.

Its not easy, but it is rewarding, and for me, the best feeling is having someone ask me to look at their work. It tells me that they trust me enough to want me to give my thoughts on their product. Or they are desperate. One of the two.

But there ya go. Now get out there and show us all what you are made of!

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4 thoughts on “So you wanna become a “Professional” Reviewer?

  1. Pingback: How I Write Reviews – Falcon Game Reviews

  2. Thanks for this post. Once I finish my thesis I’m considering writing mobile game reviews since I download them all the time for fun. I want to get more seriously into game studies/game design and I thought reviews might be a good way to start edging my way in.

    Liked by 2 people

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