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Confused about writing reviews

jmcoker
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Joined: 30 Jun 10
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Confused about writing reviews

Hello everyone!

I’m a complete newbie to all of this, so some of these questions may have been answered elsewhere.

I just watched Mr. Ling’s Super Affiliate webinar located here:

http://www.affilorama.com/videos/83423

During the webinar, he talks about how writing reviews for the product you’re advertising helps immensely. He uses his World of Warcraft website as an example. Later he goes on to say that you don’t have to know anything about the product you’re advertising, but to use forum research to better understand the niche and find keywords.

I guess my question is this… Say I decide to market the e-book “Rico’s Ultimate Muffin Baking and Bubble Blowing Guidebook.” (Sounds legit, no?) First of all, I’m no chef. I’m doing good if I don’t burn my grilled cheese. Second, I’m not a bubble blowing expert. If I’m not knowledgeable in these areas and I’ve never read Mr. Rico’s e-book, how do I give it a proper review?

In the webinar he mentions an email template that would allow me to ask for a copy of the product. Assuming I’m just starting out, don’t have that template, and don’t have the money to get the Blueprint and template, what would be my first order of business? Would it be better to stick to a product that I DO have and DO know, which would be extremely limited?

Again, these may be common sense questions, but since watching the webinar this morning, they’ve been nagging at me.

Thank you all in advance,

Jon
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jmpruitt
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he is not saying to review things you know nothing about. you are confusing yourself by looping different things together.

forum research is great to find information on your niche and write articles.

a product review is different. I would never write a review for a product that I have never seen. also, if you dont know anything about your topic. personally, I would never go into a niche that I don't know about, but that is a personal preference. Morally, I feel like it is wrong to pretend to be something you are not. just look at all the fake IM gurus who have never made any money in a niche market. how does it make you feel to see that crap? how much does it make it hard to trust another site in that niche? This is one niche that it is common in, but look at it from the customers point of view.

anyway, there are ways to get free review copies, that Mark teaches in the AB course. using his methods I have gotten about 85% of th products that I have requested.

I tell my clients the same thing. If they want me to do a product review for them, they are required to give me access to the complete product. I won't do a blind review, even if my own name isn't going on the review.

What it all comes down to is do you want to build a business that will last? if you get caught trying to fake it, you will destroy your reputation in the niche. Word moves fast online, and one person posting on FB, youtube, or tweeting about how you faked them can destroy your business over night.

that is just my opinion, and it is very highly contested by most marketers. if you can sleep at night knowing that you are lying to people and only care about milking their wallets, then go for it. personally, I care about the people in my niches, and would not recommend a product to them that doesnt meet my expectations of quality
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digiblue
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Just to add to the excellent answer James left above, to do proper reviews on subjects you know nothing about you really need to do thorough market research and understand your target market. Tools such as qantcast.com, alexa.com, community sites, niche specific sites, and forums are great for market research on your market, as well as to research products that you are thinking about promoting.

Obviously the best way to get a review copy of a product is to ask for it. I have never had an issue with getting a review copy.It is best to have a Website with content added to it so that you can show them it when you ask for the product, this always helps and makes you more legitimate.

Hope this helps!
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sonitin
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@Jmcoker

If you are not really an expert into the niche then get a review copy and hand it over to an expert in that niche and ask them to give you their honest opinion in a review form.

I normally publish such reviews under the name of the person who has reviewed it (you can add that person as a member of your writing team for your blog).

I personally feel that a review from an industry expert is going to stand for a much longer duration and get more clicks and conversions as opposed to a review by an outsider. Most of the time your readers can make out if you know anything about the product or not, so its better to get an expert to look at it.
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covenantguy
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I had never thought of reviewing a product i had NOT used until doing the AB course! I have done research on a certain health e-book but I haven't used products in this niche myself because I don't have ailments in that area. I had ailments in another area well-trodden by Internet MArketers and did order a product before I learned much about I.M. I later reviewed that product from my first hand experience. HAd some clicks on that but no sales.

In the first case, how do I review the e-book mentioned, if the vendor does not agree to send me a "review copy".? (I thought at first what was meant by that phrase was some spiel created by the Vendor for his affiliates but now I realize its actually the product itself) Also someone mentioned "give it to an expert to review". How does that work in the health area? e.g if selling an Acne e-book, and you don't have acne yourself, or you previously used an acne product from a source that does not sell online, how can you give a positive review of the said online product-and where would you find the "Acne expert" or "happy customer" that would be able to review it??
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jmpruitt
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personally, I do all my own reviews, even if I dont use the book personally. you jjust have to add somewhere in your review that you have read the book, but did not personally use it.

With my get your ex back sites, I know a lot about relationships due to years of research into it for personal reasons. So, when i review a book in the niche, I don't say that I used the product, rather i say that many people have successfuly used these techniques. one thing that I like to do is funnel the buyers of a product I promote through their own email list. how i do this is to offer a bonus, and they opt in to the list to get the bonus download.

Then, I will send them personalized emails asking for their experiences with the product, as well as with the bonuses they use. Then I use these experiences that my readers share with me in the review.
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covenantguy
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Hi James

The problem is with a niche like yeast infections which doesn't lend itself to opt -in lists, you can't do that;and if you can't get a review copy from the affiliate company (which so far has not been forthcoming) then you're stuck!
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jmpruitt
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That is true. Not all niches are ripe for email marketing, or for getting free review copies. I would say that outside of the IM niche 9/10 products I promote i got a free review copy. The ones that don't give out a free review, you can always just buy it. Having a copy of the product will put you in a position to better promote it anyway, so you will make your money back. I understand money is tight for some people, Been there myself a lot. if you can't afford to buy a copy, try to get up some sales without a review first, do a review table with 4-5 products, with just a paragraph on why you think they should be interested in the product.

I would hold off doing a full review until you have a copy, whether by buying it or getting a review copy. Personally, I don't like to see reviews done that only contain information that you can find on the sales page. it loses credibility of being an honest review.

one thing i try to get across to people (occasionally successfully) is that you cannot build trust with people by lying to them. be honest and up front. If you haven't gotten a copy, don't try to fake a review. you may get some short term sales, but long term, it will hurt you more than it helps.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 
covenantguy
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Makes sense but it does make it more difficult when one of the central themes of some I.M course (including Affiloblueprint) seem to advise the opposite- and I'm not going to buy a health product for women am I?
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jmpruitt
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Well, I am not here to teach morality, I just share my personal view points. if you have read anything about what I use to choose niches you will know that i choose niches based on 1 things I know about, and 2 things that i persoanally want to improve myself.

Doing this, i wouldn't be in a niche that is something I would not use. i think it lends to more credibility to have used the products myself. Also, i am not out to build hundreds of niche sites. I have my goals set for what i want, and I don't need hundreds of sites in niches that i am not personally involved with.

now, this doesn't mean that I am personally involved in everything that I write. after all, most of my clients are not in niches that I am involved in. however, I when writing reviews, I always require that they give me access to the product. For an ebook, I like to cite quotes from the book that you won't find on the sales page. I noticed my conversions increased when I started doing this.

not everyone does their reviews this way, and I am sure many people will disagree with me. i am not saying it won't convert to sales, I am just expressing how I would do it myself.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 
covenantguy
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That is appreciated James, and I will be making a point of checking out your website as I actually
agree with your ideas and I believe you are right in saying that the moral approach is the best.
I will wait on one of the reviews I was going to do until I can either afford the product or folow some of your
other tips instead.

http://johnreason.com
http://cureyeast-infection.com
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jmpruitt
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your welcome covenantguy. When I started out, I decided that my main goal was to help people that needed it. As time went on, and I started trying to focus more on making money, I saw drops in my conversions, so i let those sites go that i wasnt actively involved with. Granted, the way I work takes a lot more work. there is definitely no set it and forget it in the way I run my websites. however to me it is more rewarding to help someone out, and I tend to make more money than I did when making money was my primary focus.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 

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