How do you choose products you buy? Do you simply accept as gospel truth all good things a merchant says about their own product? Or, do you ask your friends' opinions and look for independent product reviews before opening your wallet?
If you're a savvy consumer (which of course you are), then you put more stock in your friends' opinions and independent product reviews.
As affiliate marketers, we become much more successful when we approach our site visitors as friends and take attitude that they too are savvy consumers.
From that standpoint, an affiliate's real work is to pre-sell our merchant partners' products by writing fair and balanced reviews, also known as endorsement letters.
Sure, writing a review for each product takes a little time and effort, but it's an activity that sets super affiliates apart from their less-super counterparts in terms of rewards... read 'income'.
Product reviews can be either stand-alone or comparative. The first type focuses on a single product, while second is an evaluation of similar items that allows readers to choose which product best suits them.
Before you begin to write a product review, you'll need to evaluate product. (Nothing like stating obvious, eh?)
I prefer to endorse products that I've actually used. However, buying a product isn't always feasible. If that's case, affiliate managers will often grant 'proven' super-affiliates access to products for their review. That's especially true of information products and services that are delivered online, such as internet dating services.
But what if you're not yet a super affiliate, and can't fathom a basement full of treadmills to review for your exercise site?
Well, do what your customer would do if product reviews didn't exist on Internet - go to store and test those treadmills out!
And how do you review acne medications for your skin care site if you don't have acne? Surely, you have some friends with (previously) pimply-faced teenagers... ask them to tell you what worked for them.
If you can't find out that way, search Google for "consumer reviews" + "acne medications". Read as many as you can to come up with three to five effective products (that have affiliate programs).
Once you've collected information about product, it's time to start writing that product review.
The structure for a product review is simple, containing an introduction, overview and summary.
The introduction consists of a few sentences outlining problem and introduces a possible solution for reader, without going into detail. The overview describes product's promise, a description of how product is used, as well as its effectiveness and value. The summary is almost a repeat of introduction, and contains a strong recommendation for purchase based on your conclusions.
To simplify review-writing process, I ask myself following questions when writing product reviews for my own affiliate sites.
1. Who is my reader and what is their problem? 2. What does product promise? 3. How well does product solve problem? What does it do? How does it work? 4. Does product offer good value? (Would I buy this product?)
Let's look at each question in turn.
The first question asks, "Who is my reader and what is their problem?"
If acne is your reader's problem and your site visitors are adults, you probably want to avoid terminology like 'Zap those zits!' and use more age-appropriate language.
Remember too, that 'zits' aren't really problem. The real problem is how your reader feels about having pimples all over their face and how that affects their life.