June 7, 2023
20 Min. Read
Product reviews are a tried and proven method of promoting affiliate marketing offers but if you have never written one before, where do you even start? Reviews are a simple way of making money online once you understand the format. If you want to know how to research, structure, and write an affiliate product review, then keep reading!
This article will also explain what makes product reviews so successful and how you can make passive income using well-crafted reviews. Creating an honest review based on your personal experience, combined with understanding your target audience, is one of the best ways to promote affiliate links and increase your affiliate sales.
There are lots of options when it comes to promoting products in affiliate marketing. Below is a quick overview of the key ways you can promote your affiliate links.
In this article, we are focusing on product reviews, and even if it’s possible to be successful by only writing affiliate reviews, you may also want to include a few of these options in your affiliate marketing strategy.
Most of the product reviews you read online will contain affiliate links. Some make you aware of this fact and some don’t. If you have ever used Google to find the best product for your needs, then you have probably read an affiliate product review.
Product reviews are usually an in-depth review of one product, or a list-style article ranking a range of the same type of products. A great list-style article includes products and affiliate links for multiple products in the same niche.
Any product that you can test yourself and give feedback on your personal experience will allow you to write compelling reviews. Genuine reviews are always the best, because you can give real-life examples and honest opinions. This strategy works on both physical and digital products.
You can also create reviews without ever trying the product - this is known as a meta-review. By researching the product as much as possible and finding as many other reviews as you can, it is possible to rank a range of products against each other based on data. Preferably, you should always write reviews from your experiences but writing them from research can also work as long as you have a clear data-based method of evaluation.
If you are trying to build up a reputation as a good resource in a particular niche, it is also important to review products you don’t have an affiliate link for.
Why review a product if I am not promoting it?
Not only will you increase your authority by offering value to readers but you can signpost them back to your link! If you review other products that aren’t as good, you can include a call to action to a product that is a better alternative (a.k.a the one you have an affiliate link for).
Review posts are great because they provide value to the reader by helping them solve a problem; which product to buy. They offer assistance in the purchase decision and help create highly motivated buyers. If customers know the product they are buying has all the features they need, the right price, and it’s better than alternative products, they are going to be more confident in their purchase.
Offering your personal experience also provides the potential buyer with social proof. This means that because someone else is recommending the product, they are more likely to buy that one, as opposed to a product they have heard of.
Think about it… If your close friend strongly recommends you buy something because it will make your life easier in some way, you are actually going to consider buying it because you trust this person.
When a consumer searches for a product or product review, they are already further along in the buyer’s journey. They know what product they need; they just don’t know where to get the best version of that product. This makes it much easier to get them through your affiliate marketing funnel.
Google ranks content based on how valuable it is to the user. Writing affiliate product reviews is valuable because they help users make informed decisions. If a consumer is making a purchase decision based on your article, it means the information you provide is super valuable to them. The more traffic to your site, the better your affiliate blog will do overall, as well as increase your ranking on Google.
The first step you need to take is to set up a blog page or website.
Affiliate marketing content can come in a vast range of shapes and sizes. Product reviews are one of the most common because they are easy to use to promote affiliate links. How-to guides, tutorials, e-books, newsletters, social media posts and videos are all good choices too. The main goal is to offer an honest opinion and real-life examples of how a product can solve a problem for the consumer.
Whether you are responding to questions in forums or creating in-depth e-books, the principles are the same:
How do you create the best reviews possible?
There are 3 key elements to a killer product review:
Great reviews are aimed specifically at a target audience. Simply put, you have to connect with them with your content and find the ideal channel where to target them.
Not sure what style or channel to use?
Think about the age and background of your ideal customer. Older generations won’t appreciate modern slang and may prefer longer content. Younger people probably won’t spend as much time reading an article so you might want to include short summaries or tables, bullet points, images, short videos and so on.
All this information should be in your buyer persona. If you don’t know what a buyer persona is and haven’t created one yet, check out this article on How To Make A Buyer Persona. When writing reviews, it’s a good idea to have your buyer persona at hand and to imagine you are speaking directly to your ideal customer.
The best review shows the reader how a product can solve one, or multiple, problems. Well-crafted reviews understand the problems of the target audience and offer solutions. If the reader has had a problem for a while, they are much more likely to spend money trying to fix it. In your review post, try to explain how the product you’re promoting solves their problem, and how it does this better than alternative products.
Writing genuine reviews with your honest opinion is great, but if you don’t use any data to back up what you are saying it’s not very credible. To build authority in your niche, you need to have a clear method of evaluation (more on this later). Whether you use star ratings or a numbered system, it's good to offer a clear product comparison so the reader knows why the product you’re promoting is better than others.
You can create your product reviews any way you like. The best method is to try out a few formats before choosing the one that works best for you. However, if you have no idea where to start, you can follow one of the simple structures below. The first structure is for an in-depth review of a single product, while the second offers product comparison in a list form.
How to structure a single product review:
2. Introduction, including the problem the product solves
3. Summary (this could be in the form of a colored box, table, or bold paragraph)
4. Subheadings for each of the main features this type of product offers, in which you give a detailed review - including negative and positive aspects
6. Call to action
How to structure a list-style product review:
2. Introduction, including the problem the products solve
3. Summary comparison table of all the products
4. Explanation of how to use the product/what it is for
5. Mini-review of each product ranked with your best affiliate offer near the top
6. Methodology (how you ranked the products)
7. Call to action
Becoming an expert in your niche is great, as well as becoming an expert when it comes to your target audience. Knowing exactly how they like to be spoken to, where they spend their time, and what their problems are, is essential for good marketing.
How can you find out more about your ideal customer? If you have already made a sale to someone closely fitting your ideal customer, reach out to them with a survey. Offer an incentive for their response to make it more likely they will reply. Gather as much information about your target audience as possible. This way you can make all your articles super targeted.
When writing, keep your ideal customer in mind. Imagine you are talking directly to them. What would they want to know about this product? What are the most important features to help them in their daily life? A generic article might be useful to a wide range of people, but a specific article will be highly valuable to your target audience. Remember, offering more value will also help increase your rankings on Google!
How do you research a product for a review? An informative review covering all the features of a product should be done by using the product yourself. Of course, this may not always be possible. Below, we go through the steps on how to research a product online, as well as how you can offer real-life examples of it being used.
How To Research A Product Without Access:
How To Research A Product With Access:
(Follow the steps above and add the steps below)
If you want to become a reliable resource in your niche and get the Google rankings to go along with it, you need to be real. You need to have genuine feedback on products from using them yourself. Otherwise, your review will be the same as any other review and will offer no real value to the user. Reviewing without access to an affiliate product should always be the last resort if you cannot try the product yourself.
There could be instances where you can never use the products in your niche. For example, if you are a woman writing about a supplement for men, then ask yourself: why would anyone listen to me on this topic? Write what you know. Build authority by offering real advice and value to readers. If you write in a niche you are already familiar with, you will find it much easier to become an expert because you have used similar products before.
It’s important to rate products so that users can see a comparison of which is better. Now, each product may be better in different areas, so a good method is to have rankings for features, as well as an overall ranking. This could be out of ten or a star rating, however you see fit - as long as it is always consistent.
How can you ensure your rating system is consistent?
First of all, by being thorough in your analysis and research of the product. Secondly, don’t be afraid to change ratings after you have published. Keep a spreadsheet of every product you have reviewed and where it ranks against all the others. If you review a new product that beats the top positioned one by a long way, it may be worth moving around your ratings.
You wouldn’t want to be doing this regularly, as it would appear that you couldn’t decide. But if things change over time, it’s important to keep your reviews accurate and relevant. Before changing a ranking, you can always update the review first, that way you will also get a nice boost in your Google rankings for having up-to-date and useful reviews.
Affiliate product reviews are a balance between promoting all the advantages of your affiliate offers and presenting the negative aspects. A great affiliate offer shouldn’t necessarily rank at the top if the product itself is below average. Try to keep the affiliate offers you’re promoting near the top whenever possible but keep in mind you need to tell the truth to keep attracting readers.
The best affiliate offer you’re promoting should also be a product you believe in. Then, when you rank it highly and promote it, you are still being honest! Of course, you could just rank the affiliate offers you’re promoting high and every other product low, but you are less likely to get repeat customers this way because your advice isn’t useful.
Remember, even in product reviews where you don’t have an affiliate link, you can still make affiliate sales by including a product comparison. Simply offer alternative products which are better by using a CTA button, signposting the user back to the best affiliate product - aka the offer you’re pushing.
The best affiliate marketers know how to solve problems for their audience. If you can identify the issues related to your niche and match them with the right products, you have already done half of the work!
How do you find the problems?
First of all, if you are already passionate about your niche, you may know of certain problems you have faced yourself. What issues did you have when you first started in this niche?
Then, you can check social media comments and forums where your audience will likely discuss their issues. For some niches this is easy - gardening, for example, is a very simple niche to find problems in. People are constantly posting about their gardening mishaps. Other hobbies may have less obvious issues. You will need to become a detective and spend time researching your target audience to find out what they are struggling with.
A customer is going to feel better about their purchase decision if they know it will solve a problem they are having. It’s your job to show them how a product will make their life better, and encourage them to make the purchase.
A wall of text is not the best incentive to buy anything. People want to see how a product works, what it looks like, and how it can help them. If you can use the product, then include images and even tutorial videos of the product. Screenshots online also work really well. But how else can you add visuals, especially if you are promoting software or something you can’t take pictures of?
Visuals can be more than just pictures of a product. Can you illustrate how it works with a diagram? Can you create an infographic or graph to show the benefits of the product, or how it is used by other people? Is there a graphic that would help to show a particular feature?
Use your imagination!
Solid walls of text should be avoided at all costs.
Reviews come in many shapes and sizes. Some are short, some long, and some insanely negative. When you are creating your first product reviews, the best tip is to try to be positive. Focus on the benefits of the product and how it helps the user. This is particularly important when you are talking about one of your affiliate offers. You want to highlight the good aspects of each feature as much as possible without sounding fake or over the top.
Why be positive in your early reviews? When you are starting out, it is a good idea to focus on the positive because you are more likely to gain affiliate sales with positive reviews. Once you have built up a database of product reviews you can start picking out bad products to review and offer comparisons.
This statement does not disagree with the previous section. Even though your reviews should be mainly positive that does not mean you leave out the negative aspects. Even if the top affiliate offer you’re marketing has no drawbacks or downsides, try to think of at least one small con.
Finding no downsides at all to a product will make your product review seem less believable. Even one small issue with a product, can make your review more trustworthy.
How do you report the negative aspects in a way that won’t cause problems?
If you are too negative about a product you could cause yourself legal problems. If you say a product is terrible, the owner of the company could decide to take action against you if they start losing sales.
How do product reviewers get around this?
There are a couple of things to be aware of when writing negative product reviews. Always make it clear the blog post is about your opinion and that you are not stating a negative opinion as fact. With every negative statement, make it clear the evidence you have for that statement. Finally, you may want to simply be careful of the language you use. You can say certain features are not great and explain why you wouldn’t use a product, without being over the top negative or rude.
There are very few products in the world that have no competitors or similar products out there. For every product you review, try to give the reader an understanding of where that product sits in the world. Is it better or worse than other similar products?
If you decide not to use the list-style articles found on many online review sites, it is still good to offer a comparison. This could be a table with data, or it could be an alternative section of the review. Keep in mind who the industry leaders are in your niche and compare the product to their offerings. Someone who is familiar with the niche is likely to already know about the best-branded products already, and this offers them a comparison of your product to what they already know.
While your opinion on a product is useful, early on in your product review writing career, people will have no particular reason to trust you. But data allows you to give evidence to your opinions and clearly show how one product is better than another.
So the question is… What data do you need?
Every fact and figure about a product is data. The price, the size, and the number of features - are all data points. Collect as much information as you can and find exciting ways to present it. Tables and graphs both can work well for different types of products. Make sure the pricing is very clear, as this is often the most important aspect for users. But the price is not the be-all and end-all, it is only a factor. A high price with a high value can be easily marketable, whereas a low price and very low value can be difficult. Use the data to show the value the product offers for the price.
If you are trying to make a name for yourself as a product reviewer, you need to draw people in.Try to find what extra value you can provide that competitors don’t.
Can you create a more in-depth article?
Can you shoot a tutorial video to help users?
Can you offer a unique insight or a new way the product can be used?
Another option you could offer is a lead magnet. This is something you offer for free in order to get the user to read your reviews and give you their contact details. Then, you can send them updates of new reviews or affiliate sales letters directly to their inbox. What you could offer for free will depend on the niche you are working with but a how-to guide or an informative ebook, for example, would work well for most niches.
For every product, you review and think about the unique selling point (USP). What makes this product different from every other one on the market? It’s important to include the USP high up in your review so that it is clear to the reader. Every product you list, good and bad, should come with a USP. Whether it’s better for beginners, or it saves more time, or it’s the cheapest option. Whatever that USP is should be very clear in every review.
USPs aren’t just for your product. What is your USP? Why should anyone take your advice on a product? Maybe it’s because you have included real-life experiences and most other reviews don’t. Maybe you have been involved with your niche since you were a child, or maybe you have researched your product reviews more than other sites. Include your own USP not just on your about page but within your blog posts.
There are plenty of fake reviews online. 62% of consumers say they have seen a fake review for a local business in 2022.
What makes a review appear fake?
So, how can you stop consumers from thinking you are writing fake reviews? With a few easy steps you can help prove your review is real. Start by making sure that you offer both the pros and the cons for each product. Try to make your reviews stand out from other websites.
You will probably want to stick with one format for your own reviews but be careful when writing the reviews and don’t use the exact same text and phrases every time. Finally, include a profile of yourself and link the byline in each review to it. That way you have a space to clearly explain who you are and what experience you have in your niche.
Following the advice in this article will help you write affiliate product reviews that generate great affiliate sales.
But don’t expect miracles overnight.
Your writing skills will improve and it will take time to build up your reputation as an expert product reviewer but consistency is key. Even if you don’t post frequently, make sure you are posting regularly. Test out formats and ideas on your affiliate marketing blog to figure out what works for your target audience. Once you have nailed the best format for your niche, just keep on producing reviews!
If you have any other questions, or want to see us cover any other affiliate topic, don’t be afraid to get in touch!!
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