Affiliate marketing is often seen as a source of passive income that does not involve much effort. But those who know what affiliate marketing truly involves, also know that it needs considerable planning and skill. Quality affiliate content is what makes your affiliate marketing endeavors deliver results. Product reviews for affiliate marketing, if written well, have the capability to drive sales for an affiliate product.
Yet, the aim of affiliate product reviews is not just to drive sales but to build trust among your audience too. Only when your audience finds your product reviews and other content valuable, will they be willing to click on your affiliate links.
Research says that nearly 79% of consumers rely on and trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.So if your review is not honest or lands a consumer in a bad deal, you risk losing their trust and goodwill forever.
So how do you ensure that your product reviews can build trust as well as drives sales? We’ll discuss all about that and more on how to write the perfect product reviews for affiliate marketing.
Here’s a quick look at what’s in store.
- What are the different types of product reviews for affiliate marketing?
- How to write an honest product review for your affiliate marketing blog?
- How to write product reviews for products you have not used or seen?
- How to write Amazon product reviews?
- What does a good product review template look like?
- How to write product reviews for SEO?
- Best practices for creating product reviews
What are the different types of product reviews for affiliate marketing?
Before we go on to discuss how to write an excellent product review for your affiliate site, you need to know what are the different kinds of product reviews you can write. A product review can be written in different formats. It may be brief or an extensive blog post by itself.
- Brief product reviews
You can choose to write a very brief review about a product for your affiliate marketing site. These kinds of reviews are not usually written for a single product. You may have come across sites that share brief reviews of different affiliate products listed together. The brief review is often accompanied by a star rating or a numerical rating to add more substance.
The affiliate link to the product on the merchant site is usually added at the end of the review. These reviews are great for people who want to make a quick purchase decision at a single glance. They work fine for less expensive products/ services where a person would not put much thought before purchasing.
- Comprehensive product reviews
These are far more detailed and holistic reviews of affiliate products. A comprehensive review covers all aspects of the product and tries to answer all the questions that consumers may have about the product.
A review like this has to be written really well, though, for the reader to be convinced to click on your affiliate link. With a shorter review, readers usually click on the affiliate link easily because they need more information on the products from the merchant site. But with a comprehensive review, they’ve already got all the information they need to make a purchase decision. So, only if the review can surpass the quality of the merchant’s sales page, will readers be convinced to click on the link.
That is why comprehensive reviews need to be very well-researched and complete to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important points the reader may be interested in.
- Product comparisons
Product comparisons are another commonly seen format of product reviews for affiliate marketing. They only include an image of the product, the key features, and likely a star rating. The features and ratings are compared to other products in the same category, to show how the product is better than its competitors.
These reviews are usually created in a table format, but we will not be diving deeper into this for now.
Before you start, you might want to check out a few good product review examples. This will give you an idea of how successful affiliate sites arrange their content. Collect a few product review samples and build on them to create your own style.
How to write an honest product review for your affiliate marketing blog?
We can’t stress enough on the word “honest” here. Your audience’s trust is what you need most to drive conversions with your affiliate marketing content. If your product review sounds like just another sales pitch, your audience will see through it. An honest product review should sound like you know what you are talking about. It should establish your authority in the niche and knowledge of the product.
Here are a few tips on how to approach writing an honest affiliate product review.
Start with the facts
When writing a review for any product, the first and most important thing is to base your review on facts. Start with the facts that the reader should be aware of. For instance, if you are writing an affiliate product review for a face cream, you can start by listing the ingredients mentioned on the package. Or if you are reviewing an electronic gadget, you need to list the specifications of the product.
Instead of starting with irrelevant statements that don’t add any value to the review, try a short introductory line followed by the facts.
Source: Headphones Addict
This is a product review example from an affiliate site called Headphones Addict. The reviewer has started the product review with a short introduction followed by the features that the product does and does not have. This gives readers a fair idea of what to expect from the product.
Tell them why you chose to buy it
If you have used the product, you need to tell your audience what it was that prompted you to give the product a try. You can do this even if you haven’t used the product – more on that later.
At this point, you would want to mention what the product claims to do. The pain points or the consumer problems that the product claims to address are usually what urge people to buy it. You can list all the advantages that the product claims to offer and discuss them in detail in the later sections. You can also discuss how you came to know about the product, whether it was on social media or an ad, or somewhere else.
It is important to be straightforward and honest here as well. If you had second thoughts before buying the product, you should tell your audience why. Or if you think it is missing some common feature that you would want to see in a product like this, open up about it. Your audience needs to see you as one of their own. The more relatable the review, the more chances you have of building a connection.
Share your experience with the product
With all the facts taken care of, it’s time for your opinion on the affiliate product. This is the most important section in any affiliate product review. Here you need to put forward your honest opinion after using the product. You don’t necessarily need to talk about all the features of a product/service here. Talk about the ones that your audience would be most interested in.
Apart from your written review, it is also important to add product images and videos, wherever applicable. 62% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after they see a customer photo or video. This is mostly because buyers like to see how a product actually looks and if it matches with what is described in the review. Users’ images and videos of the product also give the audience a better idea of the product’s quality, size, color, and material.
This is an example of a product image included by Headphones Addict in their review showing the product and accessories that come with it in the box.
They also added a video testing the product to show their viewers if it does work as expected. This product review sample tells you how you can integrate your YouTube affiliate content, if you have any, with your product review on your blog.
Having said everything about writing an honest review, it is also important that your audience is convinced to click on your affiliate link. They will only do so if they think the product is worth a little more research on their part. So when you are trying to push a product, albeit discreetly, you need to show the product in a slightly better light than its competitors.
It is important that you mention other products in the category and compare a few features of your product with these competing products in the market. It’s not necessary that the product has to ace in all of them. Discuss all the pros and cons, but try to highlight a few more pros of the affiliate product when compared to its competitor.
How to write product reviews for products you have not used or seen?
It is always advisable to buy the product and use it for a while before you write a product review for your affiliate blog. But we understand, some products may not be that affordable or you may not even want the product at all. That does not stop anyone from writing a good product review though. If you can’t buy the product, you have to do a really good job at writing a balanced and well-informed review.
Do your research
The first thing you’ll have to do here is a lot of research. Look around on the internet, check other affiliate marketing sites in your niche or search for relevant YouTube videos that have described the product in detail. Get to know as much about the product as you can. A review cannot be a general, superficial opinion. You have to know more than an average customer would from what they see online.
Look for customer reviews on e-Commerce sites
Check out where else the product is available other than the merchant’s website and see what people have written in the reviews on these sites. Reviews by customers on sites like Amazon will give you unbiased opinions, unlike other affiliate sites.
Pay attention to merchant and manufacturer’s sites
Carefully go through all the details on the merchant’s sales page and the manufacturer’s website as well. The product/ service website will usually have more than enough information that you can frame into an authentic-looking review. Dig around a little to see if you can find any additional crucial information.
Even if you are writing a product review for affiliate marketing without using the product, the idea should still be to add value for your customers with whatever information you can provide.
How to write Amazon product reviews?
Amazon has by far one of the most successful affiliate marketing programs. So writing affiliate product reviews for Amazon products is not something you should consider, it is something you should definitely do. It is also important to remember that the competition in Amazon product reviews will be tremendous. So your product reviews have to be top-notch.
Find products that align with your niche
Affiliate marketers need to select a niche and stick to it, irrespective of how lucrative other affiliate products may seem. It is important that the Amazon products you choose to review align with your niche as well. Not only will you be able to write better reviews for Amazon products in your area of expertise, but your audience also sees you as an authority in the field.
Check out questions that people ask about the product on Amazon
One very useful feature on Amazon is the “Customer questions and answers” section. People ask all kinds of questions related to a product on every product page through this feature. Have a look at what people are asking. This will help your research when writing product reviews for Amazon and will give you an idea about what buyers want to know. Pick some important points to include in your Amazon product review from here.
Here’s an example from Amazon.com. These are the questions and answers related to a laptop sold on the site. You can tell that people considering buying the laptop have a lot of questions about its gaming performance. Also, they want to know whether some of the components (RAM, battery, etc.) are replaceable. These could be good points to cover in an affiliate review for this Amazon product.
Find out what Amazon doesn’t say about the product
Your Amazon product review will only be valuable when it adds some more insights to the customer’s decision-making process. They may already be aware of what Amazon says about the product. You need to tell them what Amazon doesn’t.
If you have used the product yourself, this won’t be a problem since you have first-hand experience. If you haven’t used it, again do your research. Go to the manufacturer’s website or other sites that have reviewed the product to find out more about it.
What does a good product review template look like?
Structure of the product review
How you structure your product review decides whether people will read through the entire review or abandon it midway. A good product review template should be something like this –
- An attention-grabbing headline. Make sure not to use clickbait though. Be honest right from the start.
- A short introduction. A few sentences should suffice. Write only what is purposeful and relevant.
- A link to the product on the merchant’s site. This is a good place to add your affiliate link. It is always better to use the anchor text as a Call-to-Action, say “Buy it on merchantsite.com”.
- List of features/ specifications. A bulleted list is the best way to list all the features of the product.
- Review of the product. This is where you discuss your opinion on the product. You can highlight some of the key features and discuss how you think the product performed in these aspects. This could be a few paragraphs long with a subheading for each key feature you discuss.
- Pros and cons. This is your opinion of where the product did well and where it lacked. Always make sure to add a few cons at least, without being too critical about them. Nothing can be a 100% perfect.
- Comparison to other products in the category. If you do not mention any of the competitors in your review, it may seem biased to a reader.
- Your final verdict. After all this discussion, a reader would want to know what you finally think about the product. This is your summary/ conclusion of the review. Tell the readers why you recommend this product.
Source: Best Reviews
This affiliate marketing site, Best Reviews, does it very well with its product review template. Firstly, the headline they have chosen for the product review above is very relevant and definitely trending these days. You can see how they have first summarized the review in a table format for a quick view, letting readers compare the different products.
If a reader wants to know a little more about choosing the best cloth masks for kids, they can read further before making a purchase decision. The site discusses all the essential features and key considerations in detail.
Placement of affiliate links
Another very important thing to note, when creating your product review template, is how and where to add your affiliate links. There should be just enough affiliate links throughout your review, but not too many. Stuffing your affiliate content with affiliate links will defeat the whole purpose of writing an honest review. That is one affiliate marketing content mistake you would always want to avoid.
You can place the affiliate links at strategic positions, such as right after the introduction, as mentioned above. This can progress two ways – the reader may click on the link if they don’t feel like reading the whole review or they may skip the link and continue with the review. In any case, it is a win-win situation for you.
You can also scatter affiliate links throughout your content. You can add some clickable images of the product that lead to the product page. Or you could link the product names within the article to the merchant site a few times in the review.
Another good way to draw attention to the affiliate link is by adding a catchy Call-to-Action button. This can be either at the end of the review or someplace where it is constantly visible to the reader. Look at the product review sample below.
Notice how Best Reviews has placed their CTAs with the review. They have listed their top picks in the category at the end of the article with a CTA button on each, so readers can know where to click.
How to write a good product review for SEO?
Similar to any other content, your product reviews for affiliate marketing sites also need to be optimized for search. SEO requires diligent keyword research to find the most relevant keywords in your niche. Having a keyword strategy and using keywords organically throughout your content is essential. Here are a few tips –
- Make a list of primary and secondary keywords/ phrases
- Use the main keyword within the first 150 characters if possible, or at least in the first paragraph
- Scatter the keywords throughout the content and make sure they fit in
- Use main keyword once or twice in the conclusion
Use short sentences and paragraphs. Each paragraph should only 2 to 3 sentences long. Add images to break the monotony of text and leave enough white spaces to make your content more readable.
Make your product review skimmable by adding more bullet points, subheadings, numbered lists, etc. Bullet points work best when mentioning the pros and cons of the product.
It is also a good idea to include an FAQ section in the end. Find some common questions that customers have related to the product and answer them briefly here. Be concise when answering the FAQs.
Best practices for creating product reviews
- Add a summary at the beginning
Most reviewers do this in the form of a summary box or simply a TLDR segment. In the summary, you just need to briefly put together what you feel about the product and probably add a rating. This is for the almost-determined buyers who are just looking for a quick second opinion. They have all the information they need but only want to know whether you recommend the product and why. Don’t forget to add a CTA with your affiliate link at the end of the summary, so the reader does not have to keep scrolling to find the link to the product page.
Here’s a product review sample from the very popular review site, Wirecutter. You can see how they have neatly summarized their top pick in a summary box along with an affiliate link. For someone, who was already thinking of buying these Bluetooth earbuds, this is all they needed to go ahead.
For others who need a little more insight, there is a detailed review of this and other similar products below.
- Empathize with the audience
The best way to connect with your audience, and not come across as a salesperson for the product, is to empathize with them. Show them that you understand the pain point they’re seeking a solution for. Tell them that you were facing the same problem, preferably by adding a short backstory. The language and tone of your affiliate product review must be friendly. Don’t be too harsh or negative about any of the competing products you mention. Try to be as neutral as you can.
- Tell who should not buy the product
Though the purpose of a product review for affiliate marketing is to get the reader to buy the product, it also helps to mention who should not consider buying it. Every product has a target customer base so you should specify who would best benefit from the product. Consider the following product review example.
If you are reviewing a pair of expensive hiking shoes, you should tell the audience that it would only be reasonable to buy them if they are regular hikers. People who do not indulge in adventure sports or hiking would not be able to make the best use of these shoes and it would be a wasteful investment. Direct them some of your other affiliate products instead.
This way you are building credibility with an honest review, ensuring that you target the right audience, and also leading people to your other affiliate product reviews.
- Be consistent in your grading criteria
If you are grading products on their features or adding ratings with your reviews, make sure to be consistent. If you are using star ratings stick to it in all your product reviews. If you choose to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, use this scale in all of them. Also, if your product reviews include grades for key features, make sure you pick the same key features for products in the same category. This makes it easier for readers to comprehend and compare the ratings/ grades.
Here’s how Nerdwallet summarises its top picks for the Best Savings Account of August 2021. Notice how the rating system and the key features they are grading the banks on is uniform throughout.
They have kept the format consistent in their other review articles as well.
Writing a product review for your affiliate blog or website is more about building a loyal following for your content in the beginning, rather than driving sales. Once you have established yourself as an authority in your field, your audience will automatically start taking your word seriously when making a purchase decision. A product review may not start generating revenue for you overnight. But when you keep churning out honest and balanced reviews every time, your affiliate site is sure to take off sooner than later.