In picking/reviewing software and life in general, I have an investigative approach I live by.

To be specific and a little more dramatic, this quote by a fictional anime character, Inspector Lunge, defines my philosophy:

Inspector Lunge on betrayal

I will repeat that for you—“If you don’t want to be betrayed anymore, then start by doubting the person you want to doubt the least.”

When I begin testing any tool/app/software, I am skeptical of everyone by default:

  • the haters
  • the fans
  • and the indifferent ones (especially them).

Two significant things you should know about my software reviewing process:

  1. I never review any software without using it for at least a day.
  2. And I never promote any software that I don’t find useful (value for money) but has shiny affiliate commissions.

Of course, I can’t buy the premium plans for all the apps and software.

If I am going to use that app long-term, I will buy the paid plan.

But for most of the apps that I find interesting, I reach out to the person-in-charge, (mostly through email or LinkedIn) and I explain the situation.

This is the conversation flow template that I usually follow:

  • I genuinely thank them for creating the app.
  • I explain exactly how I use their app or any specific features that I find helpful.
  • I introduce myself.
  • With solid reasoning, I request a paid plan to test out the software inside out.
  • For social proof, I always add a link to an existing blog post I published.
  • I specify what they get in return: new customers, leads, or at the very least: product awareness.
  • Then I specify what I get: affiliate commissions if a reader buys through my link.
  • End of the conversation.

You would be surprised to see how many people are ready to help you when you are authentic about your intentions.

Once I get access, I test out the software, sometimes spanning up to a week.

NOTE: I never read the articles already ranking on the top of the search engines, at least not before I use the app myself.

Then I start writing.

That’s it.

I do this over and over again.