Many people often wonder if affiliate marketing still works today.
The answer is yes.
Of course, there is a “but” after “yes”.
And this is followed by “but only if you do it right”.
Affiliate marketing, a type of online business wherein you promote another person’s or company’s product, depends on several factors for success.
One of these is trust.
Trust is said to be the foundation of affiliate marketing success.
The only way you’ll be able to generate enough conversions and sales on your affiliate website is if you’re able to earn the trust of your target customers enough to make them believe your product recommendations.
An effective way to earn the trust of your target customers is by writing honest and unbiased product reviews.
This is one of the content formats that are often recommended for affiliate marketers.
What is a Product Review?
As the term implies, a product review is an extensive review of a product that highlights its uses, features and benefits, and allows the user share his/her experience using the product.
Writing product reviews for your affiliate website provides the following benefits:
- Increase in sales
- Higher ranking in the search engine results pages
- Building authority and expertise
- Free items
More than 88 percent of online consumers say that they trust an online product review more than an advertisement to influence their buying decision.
If you’ll post product reviews on your affiliate site, this can definitely drive your sales up.
With this type of content, you can target long-tail keywords that will help drive organic traffic to your site. As you know, SEO is one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing that no affiliate can afford to ignore.
Also, publishing extensive product reviews that provide objective information to your target audience is highly effective in building your expertise and credibility, which also helps in instilling trust in your customers.
Some affiliate programs actually give away free products for their affiliates to try and write about. If you’ve chosen to work in a niche that’s within your passion and interest, this would be highly beneficial for you.
Now to achieve all these, you don’t just churn out random words and publish it on your site, calling it an extensive product review. You need to do this right in order to enjoy all the perks that it can give to your online business.
Qualities of a Good Product Review
There are four things that you need to remember when writing a product review for your affiliate website.
Your product review should be:
- Easy to understand
- Enjoyable to read
The most important key is honesty. After all, the goal of writing the product review is to earn the trust of your customers. How can you earn their trust if you are not being honest with your reviews?
If you think that you can get away with a few white lies here and there, or if you try to mislead them with information, your target customers will surely find out in the end.
For example, if you say in your product review that you have tried using the product you’re reviewing even when you didn’t, and you’re just copying other people’s reviews about it, if your target customers ask you a question about it that only someone who has used the product can answer, you’re busted. It’s also likely for your target customers to discover the other reviews that you copied from.
Instead of boosting trust among your target customers, you will immediately lose it.
Aside from honesty, your review should also be unbiased.
Having biases does not necessarily mean being dishonest.
So let’s say that you are an affiliate for Product A, and you are writing a product review about it.
If you fill the product review only with the product’s benefits and leave out its cons on purpose so that your audience will think that the product is perfect, and they’ll be more convinced to purchase it, this will have a negative impact on your credibility once your customers find out that you omitted some information.
Don’t make a mistake about it. Online customers are always bound to find out because they have gotten a lot smarter, thanks to the years of paranoia from online scams.
Finally, your product review should also be easy to understand and enjoyable to read.
Write it in simple language. Use simple words. Keep the tone conversational and write as if you’re talking to a friend. It helps to infuse a little humor as well.
You don’t want your readers to get a headache from the information overload, and you don’t want to bore them to death.
If the product you’re reviewing entails technical information, keep this to a minimum, and do your best to explain things in layman’s terms that they will be able to understand it more easily.
Even if you have the most honest and most objective product review, if no one understands your highly technical product review except for the creators of the product themselves, then it would be of no use at all to you and your affiliate marketing business.
Structure of a Good Product Review
Aside from having the previously mentioned qualities, a product review also has the right structure.
Below, you will find the crucial components of a product review.
# 1 – Title
Any blog post needs to have a catchy and informative title that will immediately tell your audience what it is about.
Resist the temptation to make use of the cliché product review title which is:
A Product Review of [Insert Product Name]
Instead, you can use something more creative but at the same time, still optimized for the search engine.
Everyone’s Saying About [Insert Product Name]
The Pros and Cons to Using [Insert Product Name]
An Extensive Review of [Insert Product Name]
# 2 – Introduction
After the title, you need to proceed to writing a good introduction that will do a great job in holding onto the fleeting attention of your audience.
You need to prepare them for what you will say in your post. It’s a must to inform them right away that the post is an objective product review based on your experience using it, but that you are an affiliate for it, and should they purchase the product using the link, you will be given compensation at no extra cost to them. This is actually the affiliate disclosure part that is required for every affiliate blog post that you publish on your site.
# 3 – When you purchased the product
This is something that many affiliates fail to include in their product reviews—the date when you’ve made the purchase or when you’ve used the product.
You might be wondering if this really matters. Yes, it does.
This is particularly important for any product that can be affected by time.
One good example is a digital product on online business or online marketing.
Since the internet is an ever-changing platform, your target customers need to know that the product you are reviewing is something that’s new and relevant. Otherwise, the strategies in the digital product may no longer be effective.
This is also necessary for products that have to do with any niche that requires before and after scenarios.
For example, if you are an affiliate for a weight loss product, and you want to show your target customers what the effect of the product on your weight is. You need to let them know when you bought the product and started using it, and how long it took for you to see the effects of results.
# 4 – Product history
It’s a must to give a little background information about the product you are reviewing and the person who created it.
Again, you must be asking, what does this have to do about the product and whether it works or not.
You see, part of your job as an affiliate is to research about the merchant whose product you are promoting. The merchant’s reputation has a direct impact on your own reputation.
Even if a product is highly effective in delivering what it is supposed to do, if the merchant who created the product has a shady background, people will find it very hard to trust this merchant and all the affiliates who vouch for him/her.
And this is why, you need to include this information in your product review.
This will show your target customers that the merchant behind the product is someone who can be trusted.
Other than this, this can also generate more interest among your audience.
Once they find out the back story behind the product, the product becomes even more interesting for them.
# 5 – Reasons for buying the product
This part, meanwhile, is all about making a connection with your target customers.
A product is usually designed or created to help solve a certain problem.
You can share in your product review about this particular problem that you are having, sharing specific scenarios about it that your audience can related to, and inform them that this was the reason that you purchased the product.
This will make your customers think that they are in the same shoes as you are, and will most likely to convince them to follow your footsteps and buy the product for themselves as well.
While thinking of buying the product, did you jump at the opportunity right away? Did you think that the price is just right? You need to be honest about these things as well.
Here are some of the other things that you need to include in your product review:
- What you were in search for when you encountered this product
- What problem were you looking to solve
- What caught your attention about this product
- What made you think that this is worth your money and time
# 6 – The product
Of course, the product review won’t be complete without detailed information about the product itself.
By this we mean that you should include the following:
- Product specs
- Product features
- Product benefits
It would also be a good idea to have images (preferably of different angles) of the product. Don’t forget to include the packaging of the product.
Some affiliates now make a habit out of creating unboxing video posts. This has become very popular among affiliates.
You should also answer the following questions about the product:
- What makes this product unique from others
- What are other similar products
- Who are its top competitors
Make this part as detailed as possible so your target customers will have a good idea about what the product is all about and if it is something that they would want to buy.
# 7 – Pros and cons
This is a crucial part of the product review that will help your target customers make the right decision whether to buy the product or not—the pros and cons.
Informing your customers about both the pros and cons will show them what the good and bad things about it that they should weigh carefully so that they can make an informed choice.
You need to be completely honest when writing about a product’s pros and cons.
You might be tempted to sugar coat the pros and minimize the cons just so you’ll get your audience to buy the product. But this is never a good practice for any affiliate.
If you want to do affiliate marketing with integrity, you will give equal treatment to the product’s pros and cons. That is unless the product is nearly perfect that it truly does not have that many drawbacks.
In case there are plenty negative things about the product, you should write in such a way that it will show the readers that these are not mistakes but instead are “opportunities to improve”.
You can even make suggestions on how to make the product better. If the merchant sees your posts, who knows? He/she might consider making some changes or adjustments in the product to make it better. Your target customers will definitely appreciate this.
# 8 – How the product helped you
In the earlier part of the review, you mentioned to your audience the reason why you purchased the product, and what problem you were having at that time that made you decide to buy it.
You should not leave your audience hanging.
You should let them know how it worked out for you.
Answer the following questions:
- Did the product resolve the problem or issue that you had?
- Did the product make your life more comfortable or better?
- Did you find it highly effective?
- Did it achieve its purpose without putting you at risk?
If it’s possible, include photos or screen shots of you using the product, or the effects of using the product.
Let’s say that you purchased an anti-acne beauty cream, you can take photos of your face from day one that you started using it, and then every day until you completed a certain period.
This will show you the improvement of your condition, and how the product was effective in resolving your problem, which in this example is your acne.
# 9 – Your experience
Aside from sharing with your audience the effectiveness and the results of the product, you should also share with them your experience using it.
- Did you have a hard time figuring out how to use the product?
- Did it make you uncomfortable at first or did you find it easy to use right from the start?
- Did people have comments when you were using the product?
- Did it have any side effects? This is especially necessary for products that you consume (e.g. weight loss products).
- How did you feel while you were using the product?
While it’s not necessary to relate to them every second of your experience while you were using the product, you need to provide them with the pertinent details about using the product so they will know what to expect.
# 10 – Your recommendation
Finally, give your recommendation.
Just because you are an affiliate for a product, it does not automatically mean that you should recommend the product to everyone.
Some products should only be recommended to some people, while there are some products that you should not recommend at all.
If you had a bad experience about the product, even if you are an affiliate for it, you should not recommend it to your audience. You do not want to go through the same thing that you went through. You should stop being an affiliate for the product as well.
So that’s it, you’ve written an objective and honest product review that your customers will find useful in helping them come up with their buying decisions.
Keep all these tips and strategies in mind so that your customers will not find it difficult to trust your reviews and recommendations, and that they will see that you are the go-to expert for topics in this niche.