Starting a Gear Review Website - C&C pls!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by DGMPhotography, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hello friends,

    I've had many of my peers ask me what I think about certain pieces of gear, and if I'd recommend them, and so I've decided to start a review site. I don't have a ton of gear under my belt just yet, so I'll mostly be using this to help local peers, but as the site (and my inventory) grows maybe it can be a helpful resource for many people.

    If you're familiar with Ken Rockwell, I'm sort of following his approach, but making it better. So far, it's cleaner and better organized. I just need the content now.

    But before I get too deep into it, I'm hoping I can get some feedback on the layout.

    Here is the main page: Daryll Morgan Photography | Richmond Photographer

    And if you want to see what a review page looks like, I've started one for the Nikon D750 - you can click on the picture to view it. It's in progress, so don't read too far into it.

    The most annoying thing, I'll admit, is my Facebook lightbox popping up on every page. So far, Wix hasn't addressed this issue just yet, but they hopefully will soon and it will no longer be so persistent.

    Thanks for your feedback!


     
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looks good.
    Your link brought me into reviews. When I looked at some photos I couldn't navigate back to reviews again in the menus. Maybe there is something I overlooked
     
  3. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Umm... I think I'm not sure I should ask, but did you get releases signed by those subjects? I think this might be going beyond editorial use because it's not just for a portfolio or posting on social media. These could be art prints for the buyer's personal use, but if you're selling digital files (especially hi res!) you don't know how they might be used or where they'll end up.

    Seems like it would be better to figure out how and where to market cosplay photos and have releases signed to allow you to use the images so you're covered. It doesn't seem to fit with gear reviews. It might be worth taking a course or workshop on marketing to learn how to best use/sell the cosplay photos since you have some good photos there.
     
  4. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You are correct. The reviews page is hidden from the menu right now, since I don't have any content finished. That's why I linked it directly here, for feedback.

    Uh... what are you talking about exactly?

    I linked my reviews page.

    I'm not asking for feedback on the rest of my website.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Your review page is advertising the products and your Amazon affiliate links.
    You might want to check with TPF regards links here to affiliate links on your web site.

    You probably need model release forms from the people in the videos because you are using their likeness to advertise your links.
    If you did not make the YouTube videos you are likely infringing the video makers copyrights by using their video in your review that includes affiliate links you make money from.

    Hopefully you have had a qualified attorney make sure you don't have any significant legal exposure to law suits.
     
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  6. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Anybody gonna give feedback on the layout like I asked?

    The video is a Wix stock video, free for me to use. It's just a place holder until I create my own.
     
  7. Light Guru

    Light Guru Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A new review on a 3 year old camera?

    No offense but a good gear review website MUST have the most recent gear.

    There are a TON of websites that that review gear. And they actually cover the new stuff. What’s going to make yours better then theirs?

    A couple tips and ideas.

    Do video reviews. When I want to know about a product a video review is worth 100 times more then a written review.

    To get NEW gear see if you can partner with a local camera shop. They let you use new stuff when it comes out and you plug them in the videos.

    Oh and please don’t say your basing what you do off of Ken Rockwell. He is horrible!

    As for layout of your site lit looks bad on my iPhone.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know Ken Rockwell isn't great. That's part of why I'm making this page.

    And yes, I know I need to do newer gear. It will take time to build up to that. But I'm not super concerned about it just yet. Right now I want to do it just to do it. I think it will be fun. But I want to do things right from the beginning, so it can be scaled.

    As for differentiating: one, my site is already way cleaner and better organized than what Ken has. Two, as I said, I'm making this more of a resource for my peers right now. But as it grows I'll find other ways to differentiate. I have a couple of ideas. And I'm open to hearing others.

    Thanks for the comment about mobile. I haven't optimized it for mobile web use yet. Though I realize that makes up a large majority of web usage, so I will work on that soon.
     
  9. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Here are a few things I've noticed:
    • I understand that you want to make money off of reviews. But, you need to make it more subtle. You specifically tell the reader that you're looking to profit off your review. After reading that, I'm no longer interested, and you've lost me as a reader. Seriously.
    • Agree with @jaomul , you need an easy way for me to return to main review page. Don't count on users hitting their back button. If I get lost, I just close the window.
    • You state that "No piece of gear is safe from my reviews," and yet you're only reviewing gear that you own. I very much doubt you'll own gear that would get a poor review from you. Why should I trust that you'll be providing unbiased reviews when you're only reviewing gear that you probably researched and determined was a best fit for you?
    • This needs a lot of work before this goes live, IMO. This could easily be a couple week's worth of work. Before you really sink time into this, see if it's actually worth your time.
    • Equipment isn't in alphabetical order. If you're planning to have lots of reviews, make it easy for viewers to find the equipment. If I have to search the site for more than a few seconds, I'm already gone as a reader. My mouse has a "back" button within half-an-inch from my thumb. I use it quite liberally when searching the web.
    • It's clumsy to use and navigate. Sure, it works for a few items, but if you plan on having a good amount of items, it's very clumsy. Think drop-down list, or some way to sort by brand, or mount, or type, or something.
    • Your section called "My Experience" has this stated: "This is the part where I talk about my own personal experience with the lens, in real life situations. If you're going to read any part of this review, let this section be it." Great... so, how is it going to work for me? You need to cater to the reader.
    • I see all Nikon gear (except for the GoPro and the bags/filter). I use Olympus and Canon. Why am I coming to your site? If I want a review of only the equipment you own, I can get individual reviews on Amazon, B&H, and countless other sites. You need to have an in-depth review to keep me interested as a reader.
    • You provide some tech specs, but then tell me to just look at someone else's site to view the full specs. By you telling me to click somewhere else, I'm already gone as a reader.
    • If you're going to just list the specs, put them in a table. They're unreadable to me outside of a table.
    • Your text needs to be much more professional, readable, and needs to keep me as a reader. For example, you say, "You can find this information anywhere on the Internet, so I'm just going to list the important stuff." First, yes, I can find it anywhere on the internet so maybe I'll go elsewhere, since you're not taking it seriously. Second, I don't see anything about battery life, which is pretty important to most people.
    • Another example on text: "Feel free to peruse and then meet me down below for My Experience." You've got it all wrong. Why do you think that tech specs are always the last thing one reads on products? If I'm reading your site for the review, tech specs need to come LAST. In addition to listing them in a table, you could integrate the tech specs in your review, which would be much more helpful to me as a reader. "Oh, I didn't need to worry about battery life because I was able to use the camera for a full day of XX number of pictures before needing to be recharged." See, much more useful.
    • Did you take the photos of the equipment? If not, I very much doubt Nikon would appreciate you making money off their photos.
     
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  10. DGMPhotography

    DGMPhotography Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    While I appreciate your detailed feedback, half of your points are of things I've explained already and are moot points.

    Alphabetical order is a good idea.

    As for your comments on the review, it's unfinished. As I've said multiple times, I'm mostly looking for feedback on the layout right now.

    As for the gear, as others have mentioned, I would like to try out equipment from all brands and budgets. Partnering with a camera shop would be ideal, but for now I'll review my own stuff and that can still help people who are interested in that gear.
     
  11. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As soon as the "Like me on facebook" pop-up appeared, I left. Pop-up windows = someone I don't do business with.
     
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  12. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    ^This. I prefer to see a static icon. As far as the suggestion for video reviews, that will also drive me away, especially if they are auto-starting; I guess I still have enough patience to read.
     

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