You Have Played Here Before, Haven’t You?
What is the number one reason, perhaps the only reason in fact, why people read reviews of anything, including poker room reviews? Well they haven’t tried or experienced what they are looking to find reviews on, and therefore they are willing to rely on other people’s experiences to become more familiar with it and help them decide whether they want to give this a try or experience it themselves.
Do the people who write reviews play on the site they are reviewing? Do they even play at all? This is not a silly question. If you need to wonder about this at all, and we very often do, then there’s something really wrong here.
One of the problems in our industry is that often times the people writing reviews really haven’t played at these poker sites at all. I honestly don’t care if you have or not, as you can certainly write good reviews without any direct experience, but you at least have to bloody well pretend you’ve played there and reference that somewhere in the bloody thing.
I’ve spoken about establishing our expertise several times in past articles, and this can be seen as the more advanced version of what I’m talking about, which is simply conveying your experience with this site.
So once again, they have not played here, you have, presumably, and they want your opinion based upon that. So this will require us to personalize our reviews at least somewhat, although we do want to also look to go beyond describing our own experiences here and also describe the experiences of others as well that we are familiar with, to add weight to our opinions.
When we don’t approach our reviews this way and don’t even bring up any of this then we are surely failing to deliver what is expected of us, and that failure will be obvious to anyone who is seeking this and fails to see it.
This Is More Than A Nice Touch
Doing reviews at least partly in the first person can certainly warm things up as well as make them more effective. Not only do we want to use the terms I and we though, but as I mentioned, we also want to use they, and all of this serves to convey people’s actual experiences with the poker site.
So while providing information on a poker site is important, it is only part of the picture. There are three main elements of a review actually, which is the information, our opinion, and what our opinion is based upon. The third is the most important of the three in fact and is where all of the credibility of the review stems from.
Of course if you don’t have the second step, the opinion, then there’s nothing to qualify here really, as all you have is the information. Even so, the factual truth of the information does require credibility, and backing even that up is pretty important indeed.
In other words, this is a loose site, because I have played there and found it to be loose, and others have as well. Saying it’s loose is one thing though, we need to translate that to the language of benefits, such as I have found this site to be pretty easy to win money at, other players have told me they do better here than elsewhere, etc.
So if I told you that a site was loose, or I told you why I think this makes it desirable and what the opinion is based upon, which would you find to be more convincing?
By the way I don’t really think there are loose sites out there anymore, at least with the game of Hold’em anyway, and we need to be careful that our statements are factually correct and up to date, at least reasonably so anyway.
Everything Is Subject To Believability
I mentioned the loose comment because Poker Listings does claim that 888 is a loose site but really doesn’t back up that opinion with anything. Perhaps they don’t feel the need, but it certainly would be useful for them to substantiate this more if they really want people to believe what they say.
So if people want our experience with a poker site, we best give it to them, and when we don’t, they will come away less informed then they could be, and even more importantly to us, less influenced.
Influencing them, by the way, isn’t just the most important part of what we are looking to do with our reviews, it is the only thing. Everything else is entirely subservient to this goal.
So always look to provide reasons that people should believe you if you wish to be believed. A big part of this will rest on how well we communicate our experiences with the poker site we are reviewing to them, which always must include our own experiences but can and should also include the experience of our “players” as well.
We are in the business of recommending poker rooms so it’s natural that we have access to feedback from players who we have recommended these poker rooms too. If our own experiences are pretty much forgotten, the experiences of our “players” are even more so. Bring all these experiences together for your readers and you will then have something that has some substance behind it. Neglect this and it won’t.