If you’re an affiliate marketer, chances are you know that a large percentage of your income can come from product reviews. Even if you’re not in affiliate marketing reviews can be a great way to attract, not only traffic to your site but, qualified traffic and that’s the true trick of the trade.
In this post, I’ll provide A Product Review How-To to help you leverage the power of reviews and boost your income potential. I’ll cover why you should provide product reviews on your site, how to organize your thoughts in order to create the reviews, in a systematic way, that will save you time overall, tell you why you should provide use examples to help engage your audience and leveraging comparisons to support your position and even introduce your visitors to other options they may not have considered.
I don’t want to give it all away here in the introduction so let’s get started…
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
You may have a storefront or a blog site where you just list items for sale and think that it’s the way to go about generating business and, in a way, you’re right. Simply providing links for your visitors to follow may result in some sales but it’s not as lucrative as engaging your audience and telling them why they need to make the purchase.
Now if you have a sales funnel already setup and your page is the final landing page in the flow, then chances are, you’ve already qualified the buyer and you may not need a review at this point (and you’ve probably already provided one someone in the funnel). That said, most people don’t necessarily have a funnel set up and getting one going can be costly both in time and money.
Enter product reviews. If you take a look at some of the other posts on this site, you’ll notice that many of them are reviews of various programs and services. Some are affiliate opportunities that I have partnered with and others are simply to provide information and may have links but are not part of an affiliate program.
Now many of these reviews, are more of a warning than a review to sign up or purchase. Even those reviews serve a purpose, aside from warning people before they make a mistake. By leveraging such reviews and I turn around and recommend an alternative that does work or is worth the investment, etc.
The whole point of the review is to provide your viewer with information and help them to make a decision. By doing so, you’re providing a service and building a level of trust that can ultimately have the visitor trusting your recommendations, leading to sales.
What’s of utmost importance here is that you provide a true, honest review and recommendation based on the facts. Nothing will tank your reputation faster than simply pushing something to make the sale. This will not only sour the visitor you misled but will eventually give you a reputation that will lead to your site drying up and withering away.
Now, if you want to write reviews efficiently, you’re going to need to organize your thoughts and come up with a template for your review format. The reason for having a template is so that your reviews on your site have a consistent look which will lead to your visitors becoming comfortable with your format and anticipating what your reviews will contain.
My reviews pretty much meet the following template:
By having an idea of how you plan to layout your review, you can better prepare for writing it. The way I break down most of my articles is as follows:
In this case, the keyword will contain the product you’re reviewing. Still, run it through a keyword research platform, like Jaaxy, to see what combination of words has the best traffic statistics. You’d be surprised at just how effective simple changes can be when it comes to search results.
Once I have my keyword/title figured out, I’ll build the bones of my review. What I mean by this is I’ll fire up my editor of choice (in this case SiteContent) and Fill in my Title and section headings.
Now that I have my article template all ready to go, I can fill in each section with a few paragraphs related to that section’s heading. Not only does this speed up my writing but, by breaking my review down into sub-sections and only having to write two to three paragraphs, by the time I fill in all the sections, I have a pretty hefty article that didn’t take much effort to write. Just look here, after about 20 minutes of writing (and I was half-distracted during that), I’m already at 877 words!
When you’re on a roll, you can make all sorts of errors, especially if your brain is faster than your hands. As such, it’s a good idea to read back through your article and make sure everything makes sense and then run it through a spell and grammar checker, such as Grammarly, to back up your writing skills.
Text-only articles are boring. People are visual by nature. As such, you should have imagery in your article. I recommend the following types of images:
By placing a summary at the beginning of your article, you’ll give the reader a brief synopsis as to what to expect and this can help your reader make a quick decision if time is of the essence.
If you apply these tips to your review, you should see a marked increase in your results. Give it a shot and see if it works for you.
Now, let’s take a look at some more specific recommendations…
It’s one thing to list facts in a review. It’s quite another to provide examples of the product or service in use. Take my reference to Grammarly for example…
By relating to its use and showing that, not only does it save me from spelling and grammar mistakes but, it also helps me to become a better writer and save face with my audience, I’m introducing the reader to information and possibilities they may not have considered. Such additional information can be the difference between a purchase and a pass.
This additional information simply provides the reader with more to work with and consider. It can be applied to pretty much anything you’re reviewing and should be used to give that personal touch and relationship view.
The next topic is another great way to boost your review’s effectiveness…
I can’t tell you how many times I used to get “what about item x or service y” as comments to my reviews. One way to address this is to provide a brief comparison in the review itself. Not only will this reduce or eliminate the what-ifs out there but it can actually lead to alternative sales you might not have otherwise gotten.
There are times when there’s a product out there that’s missing one simple feature that your comparison product has. For many, this feature is not important but, for a small few, it’s the most important piece. If you have a product that has this most important of features in your review, and you have an affiliate link to it, you might make an unexpected sale on that alternative item.
One of the best ways to leverage this type of alternative sale is to actually write full reviews for competing products and then provide a separate top X review post where you have, let’s say, 5 items that you briefly review in one overall review and have links to the more detailed reviews with the affiliate links in the more detailed reviews.
That type of top x review actually kills multiple birds with one stone:
As you can see, comparisons offer options, both for you and your readers. Try using them in your next review post.
I’ve already touched on this in an earlier section but I want to drive this tip home. People are suckers for a pretty picture. We really are. Pie charts, bar graphs, last night’s Instagram post of that awesome dinner at restaurant X… It all plays to our need to visualize information.
Are you craving freshly ground coffee now?
Take advantage of that need. Put those pretty pictures in and see the results. It can be anything as long as it relates to your topic. Infographics are very powerful when it comes to comparisons but don’t forget to have an image of the actual product or service too.
I know many people who will take one look at a bland page and simply say nope and move on. Don’t let that be your page.
Once you’ve finished your post, go back to the top and provide a summary review. You can use a pretty picture, employ the features of a review plugin, etc. Just be sure to do it. I’ve found that a 5 point system seems to work well and tend to format my review summaries as follows:
It doesn’t have to be that exactly but you get the idea. It’s important to not just have 1 rating but various ratings that factor into an overall rating. The categories can be features, ease of use, support and so on.
This summary will be beneficial to both you and your visitors. Start using them and you’ll see an increase in your overall results.
I hope you found this article useful. If you don’t take all of my suggestions that’s fine. I just hope you found something here to enhance your current review process and, if you don’t have one yet, helped you start one.
Now that I’ve provided A Product Review How-To, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Did you find it helpful? Do you have a tip that you think should be included? Is there something you don’t agree with? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please let me know by commenting below.