How To Get A Job Reviewing Gadgets
Gadget reviewers evaluate the latest smartphones, GPS navigators, and other high-tech toys, and then write about their findings in magazines, websites, or their blogs. Although it sounds appealing, this is not an easy industry to get into. To write an authoritative review of a product, you need to prove your tech skills. If you are writing for your website, you will need to establish your reputation and build an audience.
Get better tech knowledge
While you might be interested in smartphones, or a fan of one brand of technology specifically, technology reviewers need to be knowledgeable about the entire market. Learn about the many technological innovations available by reading reviews from others. Although you don’t have to be a tech professional to understand what you are reviewing, it can help you better explain the product. For example, a few college courses can help you get the basics.
Improve your writing skills
Reviewers of gadgets need to be able to write well and understand their audience. Reviewers often play a role in teaching, helping users understand the workings of gadgets and determine if they are suitable for them. They need to be able to explain information in a clear and concise manner, while still providing enough detail to assist consumers in making responsible decisions. They must also have insight into the needs of consumers and their decision-making processes, as well as the ability to write for everyday consumers.
Create a name for yourself
When you start out, it is likely that you won’t be able to land high-profile gigs. You will need to build your reputation slowly. To get an idea of the style, read established tech publications and sites. Comment on posts and pitch an idea. You might be able to find a fresh angle on a topic that the site covers regularly. You might not be able to submit a clip until you have accumulated enough clips. You might be asked by editors to submit your piece “on spec,” meaning they won’t charge a fee until they have read it to decide if it is a good fit.
Create a blog
Many gadget reviewers have their own websites and blogs. This can be more expensive than writing for other publications and requires a greater investment of time. If you don’t have a well-established blog and a large following, manufacturers won’t likely give you products to review. Companies will want to see how many people visit your site each day. You may need to spend several months writing about tech topics or buying gadgets out of pocket in order to prove your worth to companies that make the products.
Contact magazines and web sites
Gadget reviewers are employed by both technology-focused publications and general consumer websites. Business Insider employs full-time gadget reviewers at its New York City office. Applicants must have strong writing skills as well as a passion for technology. A basic knowledge of all the available gadgets is also required. Ars Technical is looking for full-time, work-from-home gadget reviewers. Candidates must have at least two years’ experience in tech writing. Candidates who live in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or elsewhere are preferred.