Affiliate Marketing Musts: 5 Tactics to Make Money With Your Product Reviews

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Reviews are not difficult to write, but writing reviews with profit in mind using affiliate links is a difficult ballgame altogether.

Writing a product review blog may sound simple and easy, but the same cannot be said when it comes to monetization.

Whether you’re sneaking in affiliate links into your content or are still living off of ads, you need to focus on positioning your site for a steady stream of traffic. But that’s just the easy part.

Despite working hard and investing in SEO, you also need to make sure your content fosters trust amongst your readers.

You should see yourself as an influencer that they will see as credible. But every online marketer knows that authority and trust are the two things that are not easy to come by.

When it comes to writing product reviews, it’s not about the design of your site or the effectiveness of your lead generation. It’s all in the reviews themselves.

Related Article: 77% of People Read Online Reviews Before Buying: Are They Finding You?

Remember that writing product reviews that sell require you to speak with an authoritative voice. Moreover, you should convince your readers that your points are valid and unbiased. You need to sound authentic. There are plenty of review sites that sound as if they’re merely product pages of the stuff they talk about. This is a surefire way to lose all your credibility.

Instead, you should find the perfect balance between being objective and subjective. Become honest with the weak points of a product while assuring your readers that it is still a valuable investment.

How exactly can you do this? Here are the five things you can learn from successful review sites.

1. Present a Problem to Readers and Provide Solutions

As the saying goes, people want holes, not drills. Consumers value solutions more than the products themselves. Even if you have an imperfect product, it will still be valuable if it can offer a solution to the problem a customer is having. This is why you need to present a problem to your readers and focus on selling the solution and not the product per se.

Of course, this is an absolute must for reviewing affiliate products. And it doesn’t matter how shallow or severe the problem is. Whether it’s a need or a want, it will still generate a demand for something. For example, your readers might be fussing over how to get fade haircut for men.

For the solution, prove your authority by telling them exactly what to do and throw in an affiliate link for a product that can help them fix their problem. Remember – you are selling the hole, not the drill. This time, you are selling the particular look, and not the pomade needed to achieve it.

2. Feature the Best of the Best

Sometimes, you no longer need to convince your readers that a product or service is worth having. Sometimes, products are already popular enough that readers simply need verification from review sites. Or they could be struggling between two brands and need an influencer’s opinion to make the best decision.

In this strategy, it is your job to identify the unique value propositions of each brand you feature. For example, when featuring the best dating sites, you can highlight the types of relationship that users can get through a specific service. You may also give a short description on how their matching service works.

example of eharmony best rated dating apps

Even though you are featuring the best brands in a niche, it is still important to build your credibility by stating a few cons whenever possible. Be insightful and remember that if you commend a bad service, it’s all going to reflect poorly on your image.

Related Article: 7 Surprising Ways Online Reviews Have Transformed the Path to Purchase

3. Do Comparative Studies

A strategy that will increase engagement as well as build your credibility as an influencer is by writing comparative studies between two brands. Out of all the reviewing strategies you can use, this is probably the most in-depth as it requires extensive research and technical details. Of course, you may try both brands firsthand so you can provide a more authentic comparison.

Never forget that it is your authority as an information provider that’s at stake. What are the specific advantages and weaknesses of one brand? Who will benefit more from choosing either?

For example, let’s say you’re writing a review article on Infusionsoft versus Ontraport. The only way to appear unbiased is to focus on every area of each brand. Start first with the core features such as the autoresponder service, payment systems, and marketing tools. It is also a good idea to include your personal opinions to build yourself up as a thought leader.

example of table of contents

You should explore every corner and scrutinize every detail to prove your expertise. This will also show that you truly performed an in-depth comparison. The more information you provide, the more your readers will trust you. In turn, this will improve the clickthrough rate on your affiliate links.

"If you’ve earned credibility with your readers, then writing an in-depth product review is one of the best approaches to affiliate marketing,” says Head of Paid Acquisitions Shanik Patel of Grammarly. “Because your readers trust you, they’re likely to value your opinion on products that you love and recommend.”

4. Develop a Products Recommendations Pages

If you want to establish yourself as a credible influencer, then you should prove that you are familiar with a number of niche products that might help your readers. Whether it’s for a product review or a full-fledged online store, placing product recommendations on the right side of your page is useful for cross-selling, increasing dwell time, and of ultimately, increasing your revenue.

example recommended products page

Developing recommendations is more apt for niches with a huge selection of products. For example, you normally see a list of related products on the right side of a clothing review page. This way, the reader will have easy access to related product reviews – thus, improving user experience.

5. Use Storytelling

Perhaps the best way to get your readers to trust you is to incorporate storytelling to your content. Don’t forget that a lot of readers read reviews to find a solution for their specific problem. With storytelling, you can show them that you have experienced their problems and struggled with finding the right solution. And for the review, you will focus on your experience with the brand in question.

example of storytelling with product reviews

Related Article: Customer Reviews on Ecommerce: Do We Really Need them?

For example, take a look at this particular review on Beats by Dr. Dre. From the very beginning, the reviewer has established his position as someone who is similar with his target reader – a musician/music enthusiast in need of quality headphones. From that point on, the reader will be hooked and eager to find out how his experience went. And that is the magic of storytelling – to establish a human connection with your audience.

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