Over the last ten years, I have found the best way to earn income from blogging is to write and publish in-depth and detailed product reviews. But, before you head off and begin writing your reviews, let me give you some guidance and tips.
According to a 2013 study in Search Engine Journal, 79% of consumers trust online reviews!
In a similar article published on Marketing Land, a survey conducted showed that a whopping 90% of consumers' decisions were influenced somewhat by reading online reviews.
Affiliate marketing is STILL, by far, one of the most effective ways to earn income from blogging.
The problem is, however, many bloggers are still doing it all wrong!
I've been doing affiliate marketing since 2009 and I still consider myself a learner. Unfortunately, there are still many bloggers trying to monetize their blogs using old tired and expired tactics.
One such tactic is the plaguing of a blog with banner ads and pop-up ads. Thankfully, pop-up ads are less common these days.
Another tactic is literally linking out to every affiliate product under the sun. And these links, by the way, look so unnatural!
If you're doing any of the tactics I mentioned above, I really need to as - How's it all working out for you?
So, why do I believe those tactics are now obsolete and not as effective as they used to be? Let's take a look -
Since starting my blogging journey, I've tried many of those old-school tactics.
In the beginning, I tried placing banners and ads all over my blog from top to bottom.
I included banners and links in my email marketing. I shared affiliate links in my social media posts, and none of those tactics worked that great.
After some time, I found a strategy that I truly worked for me, and I believe it can work for you too.
That strategy was - "writing online reviews".
I know what you're probably thinking - "Yeah, everyone knows this, Fabz"
But do they really?
So, the math is simple here. If you want to boost your blog's income and become a rock star affiliate marketer, you've got to write more online reviews.
Before you dash off to start writing your product reviews, know this first:
That's right. Only the best, well researched, highly-informative, well-written, well-formatted reviews will make the cut.
Just writing mediocre online reviews of anything will simply not be enough. Although there are plenty of mediocre reviews out there, sadly. The hard part is, writing a review that actually matters to your readers.
Writing a review so comprehensive, so complete, so definitive, that it blows literally everything else out of the water!
Can you write such a review?
Of course, you can. Anyone can.
You see, a lot of bloggers make so many mistakes when they're publishing online reviews on their blogs. After reading a few of them myself, it's hard to believe that these reviews even exist. Whether they convert into real sales or not is another matter altogether.
If you take the time to craft a really helpful review for great a product or a service, you're going to win at doing affiliate marketing.
A great online review can withstand the test of time, although it may need updating from time to time.
Other than that, once your review gets ranked up in the search engines, you're going to potentially earn income from that review like you never imagined possible, and for as long as possible.
Now, just imagine, if you were to create a dozen well-crafted online reviews, you could potentially earn a substantial little income from blogging.
Take a look at the screen-capture below.
This is the result of promoting a fantastic single product from a reputable company in the WordPress community.
These sales didn't occur overnight but over the course of a few years. But the bulk of these came from the result of doing effective affiliate marketing and writing detailed product reviews that converted into sales and affiliate commissions.
I'm sure you've heard of blogging and affiliate marketing superstar Pat Flynn by now, right?
Well, if you haven't, then I suggest you go and check out his blog.
More importantly, go and check out Pat's income reports. You'll soon discover just how much money can be made with affiliate marketing.
Pat is a high-profile blogger and entrepreneur. Amongst all the amazing things he does for his growing online community, Pat hosts a very popular podcast series on iTunes.
In the intro byline of each episode of his show, you will hear the phrase -
"...Where it's all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later".
This is absolutely true to the core.
That's what doing affiliate marketing the smart way is all about. Putting in the hard work at the very beginning, and reaping the rewards much later But, of course, it has to be done right from the very beginning
There are several types of online reviews you can create. Some work better than others. Let's take a look at a few -
Comparison reviews can be very effective and profitable because it gives potential buyers the option to compare several products or services in one place.
The customer must decide which product or service stands for their needs before committing to buy.
The best way to start writing comparison posts is to take 2 or 3 popular competing products or services and review each of them properly.
You can then compare them against each other, before sharing your honest personal opinions.
Here's an example of a comparison review article I wrote a while back about two popular WordPress themes.
Online reviews of single products or services are easier to write about as you're only focusing on one item of interest. Still, there is much research, testing, evaluation to be done beforehand.
OK, so now I'll leave you to decide which type of review article you'd like to create. A comparison post or single product review?
Let's crack on.
So, the first thing you need to do is find products or services to review and compare.
When I'm doing this for my own blog, usually it's the products or services that I'm either using in my business or have used in the past.
That's still very much the strategy I use today.
I never go searching for new tools, products, or services to review. If I learn about something new and end up using it, then I'll review it at some stage.
So, I recommend you start reviewing all of the things you're currently using in your business right now, and I'm betting there are quite a few things.
For example, you could write reviews about -
You see, you don't actually need to go looking for products to start reviewing. You already have plenty that you're already using right now in your business.
Take a pen and notepad and go make a long list of all the things you're using in your business or blog. Don't hold back either, include even the smallest things.
I use well over a dozen tools, apps, services, and various technologies in my businesses. And although I've reviewed most of them, there's still plenty that I've not written reviews for, yet. And that's OK because there's another type of review I've not mentioned about.
What are these exactly?
These are posts where you write about your experience with something. For example -
The short of it all is - Whatever product to service you decide to write a review about, keep an open mind on a few things -
Once you have your list of products and services you want to review, it's time to take each one by the horn and begin doing some research and testing.
The other reason why I love reviewing products and services that I've used in my business is that I already know so much about them.
Let's take Thrive Themes, for example.
Thrive Themes create a suite of powerful conversion-focused WordPress tools for businesses.
I have used every single tool created by the company, so far, over the last four years. So when it comes to writing honest, compelling, thoughtful, and helpful reviews. Or even recording tutorial videos using their products, I know exactly where to start and what to talk about.
As a result of my strategy with promoting Thrive products, I've been able to earn over $22K in commissions in just a few years with Thrive Themes.
So here's the deal for you:
I highly recommend that before you write a single word for your online reviews, is to do your research first.
I would also recommend that you purchase the product or service and use it for a while before you review it.
As you're using a product or service, you can make small notes to add to your review later on.
This will make your job of writing a review easier, I can tell you. But most importantly, you'll write an honest review.
The other mistake I see so many bloggers making is that they review products they've never even used before.
This is a mistake you really need to avoid, in fact.
To be successful with any kind of affiliate marketing, you have to gain the trust of your readers and customers.
You will NOT earn their trust if you provide them with biassed and dishonest reviews just so that you can make a quick buck or two.
Don't damage your blog's reputation by promoting trashy or shady products or services.
Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult these days to distinguish the real honest online reviews from the trashy ones. The crap reviews are often written quickly with little substance with only one aim, to make a quick sale.
If you've been following my blog since the very beginning (Hopefully since 2010), you may know that I like to do something very unique with most of my online reviews.
I like to share a screenshot of the actual payment receipt for a product or service I've purchased to use.
Maybe, that's something you could try doing too.
You want to inform your visitors that you weren't just given a product or offered a free service by a company just so that you could endorse them. This should be included in your disclaimer on the review post.
Remember, all of this will help you to build trust, reinforce your reputation, and help you towards becoming successful with your affiliate blog.
Now the fun really begins, writing your review.
Don't be tempted to edit your review whilst you're writing it, just focus on writing alone.
I would recommend you start with writing down all of the sub-headers for your review. Doing this will help you organize the content properly.
You can always chop and change it later on.
Here's a list of sub-headers that I might use myself when writing review articles.
When you write your own product reviews, make sure you add some relevant images or screenshots of the product or service in use.
I would highly, highly, highly, highly... Is that enough highly's?? Recommend adding some video content to your online review.
Yes, I know that videos can take considerable time to create and put together, but videos are so powerful and can really help boost your sales conversions like nothing else.
Adelie Studios reported that 64% of consumers are likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
So - if you want to increase the chances of someone making a purchase through one of your awesome review articles by 64%, you know what to do, right?
If creating and editing videos of your own is simply too much work for you, then consider embedding a video from another user on YouTube perhaps.
Or, why not create the content for your video and hire an experienced video editor to put it all together.
A video can add considerable value to your review article, so consider this carefully.
Make sure you also add the word "video" into your post headline title too, to help make it more click-worthy.
Once you've spent a considerable amount of time writing your review, like with any other written content on your blog, start revising and editing your review post.
Once again, I would recommend that you don't do any editing until you've written your review in full.
What I like to do is write my content first and edit it the following day with a fresh mind and revived focus.
Once you're happy with the final edit of your online review, proofread it several times to make sure it makes perfect sense and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
Use something like Grammarly to help you do this.
Get your review as close to 'perfect' as you can, but don't get too nit-picky with it. Read this post for tips on how to check if your content is as awesome as you think.
I don't usually pay a great deal of attention to optimizing my content for SEO, as you may know. That being said, when it comes to online reviews, you have to make sure your posts are optimized for search engines.
You need to optimize your reviews so that they have every chance of ranking high up in the search engine search results. You can do this without going overboard on SEO.
When optimizing your review for search engines, one BIG tip I would like to give you is, focus on writing an attention-grabbing headline!
Make your headline is not just search engine friendly, but human-friendly too.
You can write the best online review in the world. You can out-rank your competitor's review on Google even. But if your headline title is boring and doesn't compel people to click on it, this is going to hurt your conversion rates.
There's an awesome plugin available from Thrive Themes called Thrive Headline Optimizer. I would highly recommend you give it a try.
You can use this plugin to create multiple headlines and test them against each other to find the most conversion optimized headline title for your online review.
Cool stuff, right?
Recommended Post: Thrive Headline Optimizer Review + Video
Once you're happy with absolutely everything in your online review, it's time to hit that publish button and feel darn well proud that you've contributed something of value to the world at large!
You've potentially helped thousands of online shoppers make better buying decisions.
Now the real work begins.
Did you seriously think that your work was done?
You've planted the seed, now you need to water it and watch it grow.
So, whilst you've created the best review article that you can, it takes time for traffic to come flooding in, it doesn't happen overnight, sadly.
That being said, there's plenty of things that you can do, in the meantime, to promote your online review. Here are some of those things -
So, we've come to the end of this post. I bet you're thinking, hoorah!
I know, it was a bit of a long one. But we've covered most of the essential things you need to know about writing great product reviews for your blog.
Just follow the steps and I'm confident you'll generate more affiliate sales from your blog in absolutely no time.
Be patient and the very best of luck!