Access to the internet has drastically changed how people make decisions about buying products and visiting places. 93% of consumers read reviews before purchasing a product, using a service, or traveling somewhere, and 56% read at least four reviews before making a purchase. Whether they are looking for a new mobile phone, takeaway restaurant, or a hotel for a weekend getaway, people rely on other’s experiences for making purchasing decisions.
Online reviews give us plenty of information about a given product or service and show us its benefits and potential flaws. Most importantly, reviews convince us we are making the right decision in picking one thing over another. In fact, 3 in 4 people put a similar amount of trust in online reviews as they do in the opinions of their family and friends!
What if you could become that reliable source of information whilst also netting a financial boost from affiliate sales? All you have to do is publish reviews about products you have already used, and include an affiliate link. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
While writing a review about a new café you recently visited or about a new purchase may be a piece of cake, writing an affiliate marketing review might feel like a much more challenging task. What should you write? How can you convince someone to try your products and click on your affiliate link? Should you mention product flaws or present it as the best of the best? And what should the review even look like?
If you’re curious about these things, keep reading. In this article, we’ll show you how to write a killer affiliate marketing review and give you a few technical tips as well.
What product should you choose for your affiliate marketing review?
The product you pick can make or break your affiliate campaign, so spend some time figuring out which product is the best fit. Your main goal is to make your readers or viewers trust that you have their best interest at heart, so the main rule when choosing a product for your affiliate campaign should be: pick one that is relevant to your audience’s needs and one that you have used yourself.
Let’s say you have a DIY home decor blog that provides tips and video tutorials. For your affiliation purposes, you could team up with a DIY store to promote their products and show how to use them when creating hand-made home decorations. You could also make a comparative analysis of the five best toolbox sets with the pros and cons of each, or promote handy, new, gadgets for DIY and show how they can be used in practice.
Those are the things your readers or watchers are already interested in, so showing them a product matching their interests or needs increases the chance they will click on your affiliate link and make a purchase. This is especially true if you can prove that you have used the product inside out and know exactly how it works and how it can be used.
But what if you suddenly post an article about an excellent cooking course, health supplement, or your new running shoes? If they are in no way related to the actual content of your blog, then your readers will have a reason to become uninterested. One, they might be doubtful about whether you have really used the product you are promoting or have enough knowledge to evaluate it objectively.
And two, if the product you are reviewing isn’t in line with your and your audience’s interests, convincing them to try out the product might be much more problematic. In the worst case scenario, they might even start doubting your intentions and stop following your blog content.
How should you write the review?
Okay, so you have picked a product to use for your affiliate marketing review – one that you are sure your audience will love. But how should you write the review? Let’s start with the most important rule – being honest. You may think that mentioning only the good stuff and ignoring the negatives will persuade more readers to try out the product while writing about the disadvantages might lead to lower conversion rates and thus lower sales. And that may be true.
But the times when all five-star reviews were a guarantee for great sales are long gone. Nowadays internet users are far savvier than even a few years ago, and they are also pretty good at spotting questionable reviews. If they find just one questionable review, they can be quick to avoid both the product and the blogger who recommended it, so it’s not the right way to build a good reputation with your followers.
Meanwhile, portraying the flaws of a product makes your review more authentic and trustworthy. It showcases that you’re not simply trying to sell the product but are honest enough to tell the audience about all the necessary information so that they can make an informed decision.
What’s more, an aspect that you identify as a flaw might not necessarily be one for your audience – for some, that same thing might actually be a plus. Going back to the DIY store example – let’s say you are currently evaluating a DIY toolkit, so you identify the flaw that it’s pretty small and contains only basic tools. However, for a reader who doesn’t need a large set of tools, a small and handy set of tools might be just what they are looking for.
How to write a useful affiliate marketing review?
1. Answer the “why?”, “what?”, and “where?” questions
The main purpose of your review is to help your readers make informed decisions about the products they want to purchase. To provide them with all the info they need, start by answering these questions:
- Did you purchase the product or get it free from the partner company to test it out?
- If you bought it, when did you purchase it, and why were you looking for a product like this?
- What problem or need were you hoping to address with it?
- Are there any similar products to it on the market?
- What convinced you to try out the product?
- Has the product helped you or not, and why?
- Would you recommend the product to a friend or not, and why?
When reading your review, your audience will want to know why you choose that particular product and how exactly it helped with your problem, if it actually did. For example, let’s say you are rating a mini-drill on your DIY blog. Besides the main reason why you are reviewing the product, the audience might also be looking for how handy it is to use, how heavy it is, whether or not it’s easy to use for inexperienced people, or how steady it is, etc.
All that information will be used by your readers to decide if they want to try out the product for themselves, so the more (relevant!) information they have, the easier it will be for them to make up their minds.
2. Add your own photos or videos
You could simply rely on the images you receive from the partner company, but these photos won’t’ be of much use to your audience. Why not take your own photos and use them in your review? They will give extra credibility to your article as it proves that you really used the product while showcasing how it works in action. In addition to that, you could add a video to your review. Showing how you used a given product from start to finish is a great way of showing all the product details to your audience.
3. Create a scoring system
When reading a review, most people focus on a score or rating before going on to read the whole thing. So why not help them find the information they are most interested in straight away? Creating a scoring system is pretty easy.
First, you need to decide what features of a product are most important for you and your audience. For a DIY product, it could be ease of use, battery capacity, price, or design – whichever features you see as most important.
You also need a scoring system for each of the features. The most popular ones are star ratings (with 1 star being the worst and 5 stars being the best) or points systems (from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10). You can create your own scoring system as well – just remember to explain it well in a clearly visible place.
4. Make the review easily digestible
A long body of text isn’t appealing to anyone. Most people “skim” large texts for the information they need and then read the whole piece if they are interested in the topic.
Forcing people to look for the most important details in a long body of text is not going to convince them to start reading, but making your reviews easy to understand at a glance might. What should you include in your reviews to make them easily readable and digestible?
First of all, you need headings to tell readers what a given section is about. And since some sections are more important than others, assigning different heading levels to different parts of your review is necessary.
Another thing that will improve the readability of your review is using short, concise sentences without skirting around the issue or putting too many ideas into one sentence. You could also think about adding a summary box with a short round-up of your review including the pros, cons, score, and overall opinion of the product. This should give enough information for the reader to form their own opinions about the product, even if they don’t have enough time to read the whole review.
Remember that reviews work like recommendations. Ask yourself if you would recommend the product or service in question to a friend or family member before choosing to review it and treat your audience the same. Now you’re all set to start writing compelling affiliate marketing reviews!
It might take some effort to build your position in your chosen niche, but if you keep providing useful content to your readers, growing a sizable audience for your affiliate marketing reviews will only be a matter of time.