You know you’re an able writer, you’re good at researching on the web, yet somehow you feel it’s not right to review products you haven’t used yourself.
Look, forget the naysayers who claim you must have actually used a product to review it.
We know it sounds logical, but let’s face it – who’s going to send you products for review if you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer?
Moreover, there is no way you can afford to buy each and every product you intend on reviewing when you’re yet to make money from your venture.
So, what’s the solution?
How do you write reviews for your affiliate site that don’t scream FAKE and gives your audience the impression that you’re only after money?
We’ll explain everything in this guide.
Things you’ll learn in this guide
• How to use the AIDA model to write affiliate reviews
• The mistakes that make your blog look like a scam and how to avoid them
• The power of images in boosting authority and getting more conversions
Some Ground Rules For Your Reviews
Obviously, the best case is to actually use the product and base your review on that.
If you do not physically try out the product, then you at the very least need to do some heavy research. Remember, your audience may end up parting with their hard earned money based on what you tell them; you owe it to them.
Don’t lie to them.
Don’t ever claim that you personally used the item.
Understand how the product works, what it does and the benefits – follow the AIDA formula below.
A great source would be third party reviews – e.g Amazon, Ebay, Walmart,Google Shopping, etc. You can check other review sites but be careful because they may be promoting the product as an affiliate, so could be biased.
Be very careful here. I will not review a digital product unless I have personally tried it out
You should follow the same practice, particularly if it’s a product in the “make money online” niche or some kind of self-improvement course. For some of these products, you can get a free trial and if you can utilize that, then that may help.
To give you just one example why I don’t review digital products that I haven’t tried – there was one product that appealed to me both as something I could use and also with an eye to writing a review, so I checked itout starting with the reviews already posted. The first FIVE pages of Google results were almost all extremely positive – all were recent, but the product was very new also. I checked for a guarantee and signed up as it was fairly cheap.
What I walked into was possibly the “scammiest” item that I had ever seen! (I’ll review it very soon as I feel it’s my duty) If I had sent anybody to that site, I couldn’t live with myself. So there.
By the way, I got my money back, probably because I paid with PayPal, and I now have great information for a review post.
Now, let’s get on with this article.
Using The AIDA Model
AIDA stands for Attention Interest Desire Action
The AIDA is a time-tested marketing strategy that helps marketers communicate with their audience in a way that creates a sense of desire, leads them to take action, and make profit as a result.
The system sets up a funnel with the intention of making people buy a product as the final goal.
The AIDA begins with brand awareness; it then gradually builds interest in the potential buyers and entices them to take the last step of buying a product, subscribing to a service, etc.
But how do you put this idea into use?
To demonstrate, we’re going to pretend that you’re selling vacuum cleaners for pet hair as an Amazon affiliate. This is roughly how the AIDA model will apply in your case:
From the moment a visitor lands on your site, you have just a few seconds to capture his or her attention.
To do this, make sure you start by writing an eye grabbing short sentence that is quickly consumable.
Ditch the old methods of writing paragraph after paragraph as an introduction. People just don’t have the time to go through it all nowadays.Well, they do but mostly they just can’t be bothered.
Since you’re going to be targeting people with dogs and cats, more precisely people who are having problems with cleaning pet hair, it is important to take with an empathetic approach.
What not to do: don’t even think about showing pets in a negative light. Your audience won’t appreciate that.
Instead, introduce the concept of vacuum cleaner for pet hair and how it will make their life easier.
Now that you’ve got your audience’s attention, it’s time to build up an interest in the product you’re selling.
People like to buy, but hate being sold to, so focus on genuinely solving the problem instead of pushing your affiliate product.
Remember: people only buy stuff that they think would solve their problem or buy stuff that they have a deep desire for.
If you’re going to tap into their emotions or logic, you have to really dig deep into the mechanisms of vacuum cleaners and explain how they’ll help in maintaining a clean home.
To create a desire in the hearts of people, you have to appeal to their emotion.
While a vacuum cleaner might not be the best product to evoke emotions, you can still market your product by showing how it is superior to many others in the industry.
Again, the necessity of solving a problem takes priority above all else. Here are two ideas that you can use to generate interest in pet hair vacuum cleaners:
• Do comparative reviews with your competitor brand and show how your product is superior
• Use testimonials to show how other pet cleaners are happy with using your product
If you have done all the three steps correctly, your affiliate product review should be leading them to a Call-to-Action (CTA) and urge them to buy through your link.
Instead of putting “Buy Now” in your Amazon affiliate button, you can consider using less pushy alternatives like “Check Out Price on Amazon” or “See Best Price.”
Amazon works great for affiliates (even though their commission is relatively small) because they have an enormous authority in the eCom marketplace. Above all, the “Amazon cookie” works in your favour so even if they opt for a different vacuum, you will probably still get a commission. Getting your reader to Amazon is half the job.
Mistakes to avoid that make your blog look like a scam
You know what, we’re going to make this simple as possible and give you a seven point checklist.
Here we go:
- Avoid salesy language at all costs. People can tell who is trying to sell them what.
- Don’t try to play it safe by following the layouts and patterns of your competitors. If you make “just another affiliate site,” then your audience will find something else that is unique.
- Don’t procrastinate on the research phase because the impact your reviews will have depends on the knowledge you have on those products.
- Don’t just review top rated products as that’ll give the impression that you’re trying to make sales. You should review some inferior products also following the exact same guidelines we show you here, except your opinion will not be a particularly positive one. Your Call to action should maybe point them to an alternative product, preferably another one you have reviewed elsewhere.
- Don’t rate every product 5/5, hoping your audience will buy just about anything you recommend.
- Don’t miss out on the opportunity to quote industry experts and authority sites as that’ll help you boost legitimacy.
The power of images in boosting conversions
If you want your affiliate reviews to make the most impact, you’re going to have to use images liberally to retain attention and drive people to take action.
So, make use of infographics, images of stats and data, customer testimonials, product images, etc. and scatter them throughout your review.
You’ll be surprised to find out how much of a difference they make in boosting time on page. The longer you can hold your audience’s attention, the better are your chances of making sales.
You can either create infographics yourself using a tool like Canva or order one off fiverr.com for cheap.
The use of quality images in your blog posts can help establish you as a trusted authority instead of some hack trying to make a few quick bucks.
The Bottom Line
Writing affiliate product reviews is not tough; it’s just time consuming if you take into account the time spent on research. Remember, don’t skimp on the research because whether you buy the product yourself or not, you need to offer a valuable service to your readers.
Remember to utilize independent reviews.
If the manufacturer claims that their product will, for example, lift pet hair from your carpet, then that is something I look for in the comments/reviews.
I won’t bother with an article if there are less than about 300 reviews on Amazon, for example, because it shows there is demand and also you can find enough solid evidence from that many. I will also read at least that many reviews. The Amazon reviews are generally the fairest because Amazon, as I well know, tends to favor the purchaser and are very tough on sellers of poor products. If the seller receives a bad review, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to erase it.
Remember, the public is well informed and you are in effect channeling a lot of information into one article so you are providing a service. Don’t lie and say you have used something when you haven’t. Also, never quote directly from or copy an Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, or any other review.
I use the phrase “based on our research, we find X to be a quality product, find out more here (add the link).
So, the next time you’re about to write a review keep the tips of our guide in mind. We promise that the process will become a whole lot easier.