How to Write Your Best Gadget Blog Post

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

April 15, 2023

For the past month or so I have been seriously thinking about getting back into gadget blogging, but before I do that I knew I had to figure out how to write my best blog post.

While I have been writing about gadgets for over a decade, I have to admit that for a lot of that time I was just winging it. I’d see an announcement, bang out a post, and call it good. Even though I used spell check and also reviewed my posts for consistency, I still didn’t have a rigorous process for writing a post (something I could use to make sure that I didn’t leave out any useful info).

This was a problem because not all of my thoughts ended up on screen. Sometimes I would forget to include research I had done, or neglected to flesh out an argument with sufficient detail. For example, I recently wrote a post on backup power solutions for my house in Clendenin and neglected to mention solar power even though I had looked into it.

That is the kind of mistake which I do not want to repeat with my new gadget blog. I am only going to be writing maybe 3 posts per month, so each one really does need to be as comprehensive and as useful as possible. That’s why I decided that, before I officially launched the new blog, I would come up with a set of criteria to define what a blog post should contain.

What I have decided is that an ideal post for a gadget blog should answer the following questions as completely as possible.

  1. What problem are you trying to solve? What need are you trying to fill?
  2. What is your chosen solution to the problem/need?
  3. What are the alternatives to your chosen solution?
  4. Compare and contrast the alternatives to your chosen solution.
  5. Did your chosen solution succeed or fail at filling the need or solving the problem?
  6. If it failed, what do you think would work better?
  7. If it succeeded, how can it be improved?

I see an ideal blog post as focusing less on ”Here is X” or  “Here’s how to do X” and more on solving a problem or filling a need. What this means is that rather than writing a product review or a process (how to) post, we should instead ask what problem the product or process solves, and use that to come up with alternate solutions.

Let me give you an example: the Freewrite by Astrohaus. 

The Freewrite is a portable, distraction free writing device. It’s clear what problem the device is intended to solve, so you should ask yourself what else could also solve that problem (EX: Chromebook, iPad plus BT keyboard, Windows tablet plus keyboard cover, Alphasmart Neo, smartphone.)

The reason we should include alternatives is that while the Freewrite may be the ideal solution for some, other people might find the iPad to be more useful. Also, comparing the device to its alternatives makes it easier to show readers the device’s strengths and weaknesses.

Let me give you another example. Over on my home remodeling blog I have a post about Cricket 5G hotspot. That post isn’t bad, but it would have been better if I had gone into further detail on alternatives. For example, I had previously tried a similar product from T-Mobile which was equally unsatisfactory. Also, I had already known about the internet service provided by the local cable company, but passed because I wanted a portable solution.

These guidelines were inspired by a few product review posts (one, two) I had written on my home remodeling blog which I had planned to repost on the new gadget blog. I thought they were okay, but (as I mentioned in the above paragraph) in retrospect I now see that there were areas where I could have gone into greater detail, and that the posts weren’t as useful as they could be.

And the other thing about the above guidelines is that they are incomplete. They cover the content that should be included, but not necessarily the form that content should take. 

What I mean is that if you are going to take these guidelines and run with them, you should think about how you are going to structure your posts. For example, do you want Pro/Con bullet points somewhere? When writing a review, do you want to start each post with a one sentence summary? (I plan to do that, actually.)

How would you tweak the guidelines?


Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

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  1. Pigeon

    I think the list is good for posts that are specifically about how well a gadget worked for you. But I think some tweaks might be necessary for more of a general review of a new product post.

    • Nate Hoffelder

      I think that if you don’t know what need a gadget fills and how it compares to competing products then you won’t be able to say anything useful about it.

  2. Jan Bulawan

    I like your list. It covers all the questions I might ask about a new gadget. I’m looking forward to your take on new products I may be considering using. I do pay attention to bullet points for clarity in my thinking, but I would pay more attention to ‘what else could work’. I have found alternatives to be better for me and a specific need/use sometimes.

  3. Terri Thomas

    #1 what are your priorities? what do you want it to do?
    #2 perhaps product specs included here?
    what made you decide on this option instead of the others?
    #3 include links to considered alternatives?
    #4 you might consider a grid of features that the product and the comparisons have.
    then readers could look for the feature(s) that are most important to them (their priorities)
    this would also show as direct “apples-to-apples” comparison/contrast as well as assure you don’t leave out a considered feature.
    #5 did the solution partially succeed or fail? or overwhelmingly well or completely disastrous?
    recognizing partial success/ failure will help identity items for #6 and #7

    re pros and cons:
    which (one?) was the deal-maker or deal-breaker for you?


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