This is a quick list of tips to help create an effective customer review that will help the reader make a better informed decision:
1. Put The Item/ Brand/ Type/ Company In The Subject Line
Since we're not a website that sells stuff, the reader should see what you reviewed before they click on anything. "Bought this camera thing and it sucks!" is not a good subject line. Lets say you're reviewing the "2014 GoPro Video Camera" set you purchased for your airplane to create a video record of your flights. Your subject line should be as descriptive as possible, means if there are many different models, don't be afraid to put anything that identifies the item into the subject line or put a sentence first that states something like: "In this post I am going to review the GoPro 2014 XLY Camera."
2. Who is writing the review?
Here nobody is looking for your bank account number or anything private, just let people know who you are and that you bought a specific item or took some training from the XYZ Flight School and are about to share some feedback with people who may or may not find it useful. I'll call this the credibility paragraph, rants and raves are easily spotted and dismissed because people jump right into the war-zone with slamming the product/ service. You're not sharing your opinion with Joe Blow off the street, its fellow members and parts of your "extended" family you're sharing this with, so put some effort into showing that you're genuine. Be free to describe where and how you use the equipment/ item reviewed as it helps the reader to identify themselves in your usage.
3. Feature pros and cons of each product/service
One of the coolest things a good review has is a "Pro/ Con" list right up front. Consider things such as MSRP, Price, Weight, Available Colors, Shipping, anything that you believe makes this particular item stand out from the list of others, or makes it tank in comparison. E.g. What could be of importance when considering purchasing such a item? Did you have to buy or manufacture additional items to make it work? Was there hidden costs or efforts you had to take to make it work out but didn't know about? Basically anything that makes you go: "Dang! I wish I had known that the batteries are not included!" should be in your review.
4. Non Emotional - Non Persuading
A good review gives an honest assessment but does not persuade the prospective buyer to run out and buy the item. Only well informed buyers are good buyers and all the review is required to do is give your perspective. Its fine to assign stars or add a rating scale (lets say from 1-5 with 1 being worst and 5 being best) with an overall rating at the end. Example: "Returns & Return Process: 3/5" "Online Ordering 5/5" "After Sale Service" 1/5 or N/A" Its not wrong to substantiate negative ratings with your story or at least explain why this particular item or its retailer/ seller fell on its nose with you.
5. Share Pictures Of The Item Or Show It In Action
People love pictures and especially like pictures of action that lets them get an impression of how it is like to be there/ have that. More of an emotional thing, but you can see that pictures cause more interest than just text.
6. Encourage the reader to write further comments or ask questions
Example: A review can be enhanced by seeing how others feel and what they perceive to be real benefits of the product/ service/ item.
Never forget to solicit/ invite feedback.
7. READER ENGAGEMENT
Nothing drags more than spending an hour typing a review for something out and not getting some sort of acknowledgement for the effort. Ask your forum administrator or any old time member and they can sing you a song about that! If you read the review and extract useful information out of it, say thank you (at least) or if you can't ever bring yourself to be nice and say thank you, post a exclamation point or a just to show that you read the review.
8. YOU CAN Ask For Reviews From Fellow Members
Chances are, one of our members has done it, bought it, signed up for it or is in the process of doing so, soon. If you are looking for opinions from fellow members on anything, ask them to share their take. Could be as simple as "Who Like Mammoth?" to start a new discussion topic!