One of the most effective ways of making money as an affiliate marketer is by writing product reviews. If you have an affiliate website and you’re not creating product reviews, you’re missing out on a potentially huge amount of money.
Having said that, I speak to many fellow affiliate marketers who tell me they’re getting tons of traffic to their review pages but suffer from low conversions.
The few people who do create high-converting product reviews will tell you that it’s some sort of black art, and without years of practice you will continue to suffer from low commissions.
Creating product reviews is actually very easy to do and in this blog post I’m going to explain exactly how I do it on my website and achieve nearly $5 EPCs and 22.5 percent conversion rates.
Let’s get to it!
The first thing is to…
Review Products That are Relevant to Your Audience
In order to make consistent sales and maintain high EPCs, you must review products that are related to your website and your audience.
You could write the best reviews on the Internet, but if you review an Internet marketing product and put it on a website about gardening, like this one...
...It’s going to bomb.
Think about it.
If you’re on a website looking to buy grass seed, would you be the slightest bit interested in a product that teaches you how to make money on the Internet?
Also, if you typed "Internet marketing product review" into Google and you clicked on a site about gardening, would you really make a buying decision based on what a gardener says?
It’s like a butcher trying to sell a sirloin steak to a vegetarian – never going to happen!
So when you’re looking for a product to review, ask yourself:
- Does it claim to fix a common problem that people in my niche face?
- Does it claim to make the lives of the people in my niche easier?
- Does it claim to help the people in my niche do something quicker?
- Does it claim to help the people in your niche get better results?
It is super easy to find the right kind of products to review – if you know anything at all about your niche, you’ll already know the answers to the questions above. A product only needs to answer one of those questions to be reviewed and pre-sold successfully. If it answers all those questions, you better do whatever you can to get hold of that product and test it out!
Which brings us nicely onto my next point…
Never, EVER Review a Product You Haven’t Seen
If you’re going to review a product, make sure you get access to it first.
I cannot stress this enough!
No one can possibly review a product that they haven’t seen and by doing so you are misleading your audience, which is not only dishonest but also the quickest way to an FTC smackdown.
In 2009 the FTC revised its endorsement guidelines. So if you market product using social media, blogs or affiliate websites you MUST abide by the following;
- Endorsements must be true and not misleading: They must reflect the user’s actual experience of using a product or service.
- You cannot make claims about a product or service that requires proof you can’t provide: The person writing the review can’t say that a product will help you lose weight, for example, without having the evidence to back it up.
- A material connection between an advertiser and an endorser must be disclosed: This means that if you’re getting paid a commission for any sales you generate through your reviews, you must state that on your website.
For more information about FTC guidelines, visit this page.
So how do you get access to products or services to review?
Well, there are two ways to do it:
- Ask the advertiser or the product owner for a sample to review: If you review digital products like ClickBank offerings, then a lot of vendors will be happy to give you review access so long as you can prove that you’re not just trying to rip them off for a free copy.
When I want to get a review copy of a digital product I send the owner of that product an email that goes something like this:
SUBJECT LINE – I’d like to promote you…
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I run a website called [WWW.YOURWEBSITE.COM].
I’ve just found your [PRODUCT NAME] and I think my customers would love it!
So, I’d like to promote it to my email list of [ENTER A NUMERICAL AMOUNT] subscribers and review it on my website.
I’m sure I could send a good number of sales your way and you’d get some awesome subscribers from my promotion.
Is it possible to get review access so I can familiarize myself with it before sending out a promotion?
Look forward to hearing from you soon!
What I’m doing here is selling the product owner on sales and subscribers – he’d be mad to turn this down, right?
Of course he would!
This doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, but it I’d say I get a reply from 80 percent of the emails I send out so try it for yourself.
But what if you don’t have a website, an audience or an email list?
Or what if you want to review a physical product?
Well that’s where the second option comes in:
- Buy the product: I know! The concept of actually buying a product to review is quite foreign to most affiliates, but some digital product owners might not want to give out their products for free. After all, why should they?
If you’re reviewing physical products, then you’ll more than likely need to buy the product before you can review it because the cost of giving you a sample is prohibitive to the advertiser.
But don’t be put off buying products to review. Reviewing a product as a customer will give your finished review an added depth because then you’ll be able to talk about what the service and support was like, which is something that very few online reviews talk about. If you can, get a refund on it, then you’ll be able to talk about the refund process, too!
Educated and Inform Your Readers Instead of Trying to Sell to Them
Let me ask you a question.
What do we know about someone who types "Product Review" into the search engines?
That they’re already interested in it, right?
Otherwise they wouldn’t have typed it in.
They have already seen the promotions, visited the sales page and more often than not, they’re already partially sold!
All they’re looking for is some sort of validation that the product does what the promotion says it will (or not).
Yet in spite of this, most product reviews are written like really bad sales promotions by affiliates that are desperate to make sales.
That’s because they ARE written by affiliates desperate to make sales!
And the fewer sales they make, the more sales-y their reviews get.
If you write your reviews with sales in mind, your readers will see it and click the back button quicker than you can say, "I’ve lost another one."
Your job as a reviewer is to help the reader make an informed decision about whether or not a product is right for them, not to sell it to them!
All you need to do is steer them in the right direct using your experience of the product or service.
If you can do that, you’ll make sales.
So how do you do it?
Here are my top tips;
- Introduce the product to your reader and tell them why you’re reviewing it: If a product makes a bold claim, such as:
“Discover an Unknown Method For Quickly & Easily Potty Training Even The Most Stubborn Child In 3 Short Days…”
Start by talking about the points that the products claims to address. So in this case you could talk about how difficult potty training your child can be, the struggles you’ve gone through personally, etc.
Then go on to explain how you found out about the product and that you’ve put it to the test.
- Show the product to your reader: Proving to them that you actually own the product you’re reviewing will work wonders for your credibility.
The best way to do this is on video. If it’s a physical product, get on camera with it (you don’t have to be on camera personally; you could shoot a "moving hands" type of video). If it’s a digital product, record a screen capture video and take your viewer on a tour of it.
- Tell them the price, exactly what they will get if they make a purchase, who the supplier is and the guarantee: Everyone wants to know how much something costs, so be upfront.
If the product come with extras or bonuses, list them.
Tell your reader who the maker/supplier is and any background information that might be useful.
Talk about the guarantee, too. How long is it? Are there any clauses that a purchaser should be aware of?
Include as much information as you can.
- Talk about your experiences with the product: If you’re at this point, you should have already tested the product and be in a position to talk about how easy the product was to use, what you liked about the product, what you DIDN’T like about it and what you think could be done better.
Don’t ever just talk about a product’s good points without mentioning some negatives – this is critically important. Remember, this is a review, not a sales pitch so it needs to be balanced. Even if it’s a personal thing.
For example, when I wrote my review of AffiloBlueprint, the only negative thing I mentioned was that the course was pretty much exclusively video. Personally I like to read, and I found this wasn’t 100 percent to my taste.
The rest of the review was very positive, but that one negative helped to create balance.
So what can you talk about in your review?
There are tons of things you could cover – the more the better.
You could talk how you tested the product, the promotion and whether the product lived up the claims, the customer service and support, the product quality and how it worked (did it even work at all?).
These are just a few examples.
- Share your results: If you have genuinely used and tested a product, you must have some results to share. Whatever they are, positive or negative, share them. This adds so much credibility to your review and if your results are positive, your conversions and EPCs will go through the roof.
If your result are negative (which often leads to a negative review), publish them anyway. Having negative reviews on your site is THE BEST way to build credibility because it shows that you have your reader’s best interests in mind. Even if they don’t buy the product you’re reviewing, they will trust your next review and potentially make a purchase.
- Summarize your review in a paragraph and make your recommendation: Taking everything on board, would you recommend the product? Do you think it represents good value for money?
- Don’t be afraid of writing a negative review: As I said, writing a less-than-glowing review will build trust in your audience.
Also, don’t think writing a negative review won’t make you money; it will. All you need to do to turn that negative review into a money-maker is to recommend an alternative product and give them a link to either the product itself or if you can, a review that you have written for that product.