Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing online business models. Try typing any product name followed by the word “review” in Google, and I bet you’ll find at least a few blogs full of affiliate content. In fact, thousands of web properties rely solely on this type of content to monetize their traffic.
And it’s no surprise – a high-quality product review is one of the easiest ways to make affiliate sales. Wju are they so lucrative and how to create one for your website?
The Statistics Speak For Themselves
People like to learn from the experiences of others. According to a study published by moz.com, online reviews impact the purchase decisions of 67.7% of online consumers  In some of the earlier surveys that number is even higher – 90% .
Regardless of whether it’s 60, 70, 80 or 90%, these statistics clearly show that people still trust online reviews. Naturally, they realize that some of the reviews are fake and many of them know what affiliate marketing is. But they rarely mind that – as long as the review provides them with valuable, helpful information.
But how to ensure that your readers will trust your review enough to click your affiliate link and make your wallet heavier? Let’s go over steps necessary to create a converting and profitable affiliate review.
Before you start – choosing the right product
Even the best reviews won’t help you if your chosen product doesn’t sell. Make sure that what you chose is of high quality and that it fits your blog, its niche, and your audience. Look for a product that can solve popular problems in your industry. If you don’t know where to start, visit Clickbank, Amazon or Offervault.
Don’t forget to do some due diligence on the product. Check its popularity, customer reviews, price, and seasonality. Why the latter? Unless your whole niche is seasonal, it’s best to avoid products that are popular for just a few months every year as this won’t provide you with a stable income.
Of course, your choice will depend on your business model. Once you have made a choice, ask for a review copy or buy it. Even better, if you have been using this product for some time already. This will save you a lot of time, which you can spend on planning and writing the review.
Make Sure That You Are Prepared – Plan Your Work
Even if you plan every step of your work, writing a top-notch review might take you a few hours. But, having a concise step-by-step blueprint will speed up your work and help you come up with a high-quality piece.
Keep in mind that in the long-run, for every 0.1% of your conversion rate you might be losing (or gaining) hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue every month. Because of that, I bet you’ll agree it’s worth spending some extra time polishing the details.
How long should a good review be?
In the past, if you slapped together a few paragraphs and made them into a 500-word article, you could both rank and convert your visitors into buyers. Nowadays, neither of those would happen. Why? Both readers and Google have become a lot more demanding.
With all the competitors around the corner, Google won’t ever rank your short article on the spot that would generate any traffic. And people who’d see the review would not trust it, as 500 words are not enough to cover all essential aspects of any product.
In fact, the only way you could sell something using such an “old school” affiliate review is if you came across someone who was already sold on the product, even before they clicked your link.
Today, a good review should be at least 1500 – 2500+ words long. 1500 is a bare minimum that allows you to cover potential questions that may pop up in the head of a prospective buyer. While a longer review is not always better, sometimes going over 2500 words allows you to target a lot more longtail keywords, what can provide you with extra website visitors (and revenue).
Start with a goal in mind – take the reader to the sales page
Every text that you write should have a goal. The goal of a squeeze page is to convert the visitor into a subscriber. The goal of a sales letter? Selling a product. And what is the goal of an affiliate review?
The first thing that comes to mind is providing your readers with answers to their questions. People who look for online reviews want to learn more about a product that they are about to buy. But, while providing them with quality information is essential, this is not your main objective.
The primary goal of your review is to take your visitors from your site to the product’s sales page. If anyone tells you otherwise, they most likely have no idea what they are doing and don’t monetize their websites properly.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to help your readers. In fact, the more you help them, the higher CTR and CR you can achieve. A good review is designed to attract readers to the site, warm them up, make them desire the product and lead them towards the checkout.
If your reviews can do all that, you should see a stable flow of affiliate commissions – assuming that the product you reviewed is really that good.
Writing the Review: Putting Your Plan into Action
Let’s recap the 4 necessary things that your review should achieve:
1). Attract the visitor to the site
2). Warm them up
3). Make them dream about the reviewed product or service
4). Take the reader to the sales page
#1 is all about one thing – traffic. Assuming you want to attract organic traffic, you’ll need to do a decent keyword research and then build backlinks to your website (and a few other things). This is not something I’ll discuss with you in this guide, but here’s an excellent article on keyword research from someone who knows the ins and outs of SEO.
If you’re using paid traffic or social media, then some of the things we’ll talk about here can help you – such as the quality of content. If your review is really good, others can share it and attract new visitors to it.
You can achieve #2, #3 and #4 by polishing every section of your review. And that’s what we’re going to take care of now.
Begin by Introducing the Problem
Show them the problem that the product can solve for them and they’ll give you their money. Customers are looking for solutions – if you kick your review off by introducing the problem the product can solve, you’ll grab the attention of your readers instantly.
How to do that? Use statistics, real-life examples or questions. Spark their imagination by asking “have you ever wondered what it would be like to get rid of…?” or “what would your life/business/X be like if you managed to…?” before you introduce the name of the product.
Such an intro serves as an excellent hook that entices the visitor to keep reading.
And then move on to the product
Now that the problem is clear, it’s time for a solution. Usually, the name of the product is already in the name of the article. But the real secret is whether the product can solve a problem. Don’t reveal that just yet. Instead, use the review to find it out – even if you already know the answer.
Why should you do that? Your readers want to know why you liked or disliked the product. Prove them that you took the time to test the product. Establish a relationship with them and build trust. Those are the key things you need to achieve decent conversion rates.
Use this section to focus on all the features. State the facts, not opinions. A few examples could include the following (note – not all of the below will be applicable to all types of products):
- What comes with the product (basic features)
- Size, weight, shape, choice of different styles, shipping (for physical products)
- Pricing plans (if applicable)
- Customer service
- The community around the product
- Features that make it distinct
- Money-back guarantee
Of course, to make your review more personal, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions from time to time. But leave the most important observations for the summary.
Tell the reader if he should consider purchasing the product
The above point might sound controversial. In the end, you want to make as many sales as possible. But not all people who come to your website looking to solve a problem should follow through and make a purchase. Why?
Sometimes, the product might not be suitable for beginners. Other times, it will be targeted at newcomers, making it a waste of money for people who already know a bit about the niche.
Trying to sell a product that’s not a good choice for the reader is like asking for a refund – don’t do that. By being honest, you build trust in those who should buy the product, what makes it a lot easier to convert them
List Product’s Pros and Cons
Most people want read the whole review. Majority of them will scroll down to pros and cons and the product’s score. Make the list easy to skim. Focus on short, punchy sentences.
If you believe the product is good, always show more advantages than drawbacks. Naturally, I’m not asking you to hide anything – but make sure the ratio clearly shows whether the product is a good choice or not.
Summarize Your Review
This is where your opinion truly matters. Sometimes, the section and the above one (pros and cons) get merged into one.
Because this section is usually the most popular one of all (many people open reviews and scroll right to the summary) should focus on everything that can encourage your site visitors to make a purchase.
Be bold. Again, use short sentences that are easy to comprehend when someone’s just skimming this section. Name the product’s biggest advantages and follow them with a strong call to action.
If you can’t recommend the product, offer alternatives (preferably – link to an article of yours reviewing one of them).
You can also include a 1-2 sentence summary next to the product score – that should appear below this section.
Making Your Review Believable
Everyone can follow the above guidelines and write a decent article. I’m 100% confident that in 9/10 times, no matter what product you choose, you will always be competing with someone who is already promoting his review.
That’s why you need to one step ahead of your competitors.
Luckily, you can increase the critical metrics – CTR and CR – by adding a few extra things that will make your review more trustworthy.
Prove That You Used the Product
What’s the number one problem people have with affiliate marketing?
The majority of them knows that most of the reviews are written by people who have never even seen or tried the product. Unfortunately, a mere assumption that you have never used the product can position your review as untrustworthy.
That’s why, it’s best to share a proof that you own the product or have used it in the past. There are two ways you can do about it.
Share photos (or screenshots) throughout the review
This is best for physical products. Even if you managed to get just one real and unique photo of the product, it could skyrocket your credibility.
And what about digital products and services? The best way to prove that you know the product in and out is to turn your review into a step-by-step guide. Remember to accompany each step with relevant screenshots
Record a short video
The second thing you could add to your review is a short but highly relevant video. In it, you can present the product, talk about its most important pros and cons and give a short summary.
But don’t make it too long – otherwise, people might miss the critical parts.
Share your qualifications
Why are you the right person to review that product or service?
Add a short section about everything that makes you qualified to review the product. You can do that in a form of a separate paragraph or a few sentences here and there, close to the beginning of the review.
Writing about a hosting company? Tell people about your experience with online websites and businesses. There are way too many reviews written by people with too little experience in a particular field.
Readers value read the opinions of experts – especially when their money is at stake.
Make the Review Personal
I have already mentioned this – make sure that you speak to the reader. Add some personality to the text to help the reader connect with it. Reviews that are written in a personal way are a lot more believable.
People like reading review articles that are written in a personal tone because they believe they are not focused exclusively on pushing the product and making affiliate sales.
Some people say that marketing is all about lying, and the biggest liar wins. While there are people who base their success on lies, your reviews should always be 100% honest. The little increase in size is not worth potential losses.
Sooner or later people who trusted your words will realize that you are a fraud. When this happens, you will lose their trust, audience and, quite probably, also commission, as many of them will refund the product – and no advertiser likes to pay for refunds.
Use the Language of Your Audience
Remember – stay-at-home moms usually don’t understand Wall Street jargon.
Think about potential readers of your review. Who are they? Go to Amazon, and read reviews. Visit blogs in your niche and read the articles. Go to YouTube, watch related videos and read the comments section. Your readers are everywhere.
By following them, you can learn how this big, what are they are values and problems they would love to solve. And all this information can the country boost your ROI.
Final Stretch – Polishing Your Converting Product Review
It’s time for all the tiny steps that are sometimes overlooked and which might have a very strong impact on different aspects of your affiliate sales funnel
Add Strong Call to Actions
How often do you encourage your readers to leave your review and go straight to the product sales page? If you do that just ones – at the very end – that’s not enough!
People are lazy and impatient. Most of them won’t even read your whole review. Some of them will scroll to the very bottom right away to see the results and then might start scrolling up but give up in the middle.
Others will read the first few paragraphs and then become bored. All of those people have one thing in common – they want to leave your site. By giving them multiple opportunities to do that, and wearing them the way to the checkout, you highly increase the chance that they will make that purchase.
What kind of call to action should you add? Both contextual ones – in the middle of the text, as well as buttons once every few paragraphs. That way you can grab the attention of both those who read and those who merely scroll the review.
Don’t Forget Your Keywords
Perform the final SEO check. Have you added all of the keywords? Are they in the right positions, formatted the way you wanted? Do they sound natural? If you answered with yes to all those questions, it’s time for the final review of your article.
Reread Your Review. Check Grammar and Spelling!
This tool is a must. While it’s not 100% accurate (no such tool is), it’s the best in the market and will speed up your proofreading work a lot. Plus, it’s premium version offers an excellent suggestion feature, that will help you avoid using the same words over and over again.
What all sales texts have in common? They are easy to read. This tool checks your text following five readability formulas, including Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.
An excellent text editor that instantly points all sentences that could be problematic, as well as counts the use of adverbs and passive voice. Additionally, it gives you a readability score, just like Grade – copy, paste, improve!
Optionally, you can check the readability score in Yoast. But if you wrote your review in a natural way with the user in mind and from other it properly, you shouldn’t have to worry about it
Encourage People to Engage in the Conversation and Share Your Review
But even the best text worth nothing if nobody is going to read it. I’m going to give you any marketing tips in this article. There are hundreds of methods which you can use to drive traffic to it. But make sure that you encourage those who managed to find your article to leave a comment and share it.
Free shares equal free traffic. And comments will help you build credibility, increasing your click-through and conversion rates. At no cost to you!
Some say that everything has already been reviewed online. At least all products that offer affiliate commissions. But even if there are five, 10 or 50 athletes use out there, who said yours can’t beat them? Naturally, as long as you put in the work. So let’s get to it! But before you start, please read a common with a suggestion – what are your secrets to writing a converting affiliate review?
 Bendall, F., (September 2, 2015), New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews. moz.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2016.