Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guess How Many People by Andy Scheer

The email's subject line asked, “Guess how many people have seen your reviews?”I was surprised to learn the total now stands at 10,632. Not bad for about 60 short-paragraph pieces I've typically written in less than ten minutes.

It's been unpaid work, but I gain the satisfaction of helping others by writing reviews of restaurants, hotels, and attractions for the travel website TripAdvisor.

I check the site's reviews whenever I plan a trip, so contributing my assessments and an occasional photo enables me to offer some payback. And it's a great writing exercise to reflect on the highs and lows of an experience, then boil it to one or two paragraphs.

So far my most popular review, with 1,142 readers, was of the Motel 6 in Springfield, Illinois, where I stayed while driving from the Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference to the HACWN conference in Kansas City. And my “most helpful review” was last summer's assessment of Zapata Falls near Great Sand Dunes National Park.
In reviewing the Studebaker National Museum,
I advised visitors not to miss the cars stacked
two-deep in visible storage in the basement.

I'm surprised that 14 percent of my readers live outside the United States,
with 9 percent from Germany and 1 percent from India.

That's part of the beauty of reviews. You never know who might be able to gain from what you've experienced – and your skill in writing about it.

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