Writing product reviews is the ‘bread and butter’ for most niche websites regardless of the chosen niche.
A well-researched and well-written product review for one product or multiple products in a buying guide, for instance, can earn you thousands of dollars in passive income for many years to come.
But how can you write product reviews without actually owning or buying the product? Is it ethical to write product reviews if you don’t have the product? What are the do’s and don’ts when writing a product review?
Let’s get started and find the answers.
Why You Should Write Product Reviews
When I started with affiliate marketing over two years ago, I had never written a product review in my life let alone did I know they existed.
Now, two years down the track, after building several websites with the support of Wealthy Affiliate, I know how critical and essential product reviews are to generate passive income for years to come.
Let’s face it; most niche websites don’t own the products they are reviewing. It is just not possible and viable to buy hundreds of products to discuss them.
Consumers nowadays are facing a myriad of products for anything and everything. Just look at products like water bottles, travel pillows, travel luggage, kitchen appliances and so on.
People are feeling overwhelmed by these millions of options and searching the internet to find out about products and ultimately want to make a buying decision.
Your niche site should provide the best and most detailed information about a particular product so your reader can decide whether to buy or not.
Ideally, your review is part of the last chain in the buying cycle when your reader is ready to buy.
In an ideal world, your reader researches the product (review), finds your product review, getss all the info he/she is looking for, clicks on your affiliate link, makes a purchase, and you earn a commission.
Congratulations, you’ve done a great job! 🙂
How To Start
It all starts with keyword research to find out if people are looking for a particular product. Phrases like ‘Best product’ or ‘Top product reviews’ are the so-called buying keywords which means when people are searching for these keywords, they are usually ready to purchase them.
If they get good search results, then you are ready to do your research.
The goal is to provide as much valuable information to your readers as possible. Break it down into simple and easy to understand steps.
Doing proper research about a product or product range is the key to a great product review.
- What are the features you would like to see in a product?
- Does the brand offer a warranty on their products?
- Maybe friends or family own some of the products so that you could ask for their feedback?
- Put yourself in the ‘customer’s shoes’ so to speak
An excellent resource for research are Amazon customer reviews, different forums on the internet like Facebook, YouTube videos, and most valuable (I have found) are questions people are asking online.
Here is an example from Google for the search term ‘best blender for smoothies’
There are a few options how you could leverage these questions for your product review.
- You could narrow down your product review and write only about the Ninja blenders for smoothies.
- You could write a buying guide, and one of the sections is dedicated to best blenders for smoothies including three to five blenders you would recommend.
- Or, you could include an FAQ’s section elaborating on the question “Can you use a blender to make a smoothie?”.
Another fantastic resource for doing your research is Amazon and their section where people can ask questions about the product they are interested in buying. This part gives you valuable insight into what people want to know about a product.
It is essential to include the information in your product review, so your reader doesn’t go elsewhere to seek what they are looking for.
The Purpose Of Your Product Review
It is imperative that you know what the purpose of your review is and who you are writing for, in other words, who is your audience.
Is it the mom who runs a busy household and is looking for a kitchen appliance. Or is it for the handyman who is looking for the next cool tool for his garden shed?
Your goal is to provide valuable information that is beneficial to your reader. Your product review is helping them to make a buying decision and also to give them different options.
Make it clear why you are recommending a product based on the facts you have gathered. You could say things like “this product is one of the most popular ones on Amazon because…” or “The majority of customers on Amazon have found that…”
Would you recommend a certain product to friends and family? If yes, then you can recommend it to your readers.
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The Do’s And Don’ts When Writing A Product Review
- Don’t pretend you have used the product if you haven’t. Instead, tell your reader how you gathered your information. A great place to do this would be the “About me” page. You could say something like ‘I have done a ton of research, so you don’t have to …’ etc. Also, make sure to let your reader know that you have included affiliate links and will earn a small commission.
In my opinion, it is essential to be transparent and honest so your readers can build a trustworthy relationship with you.
- Don’t try to sell and avoid phrases like ‘this is the best product ever or something similar.’ Every product has pros and cons, and they should be included in your review. Ultimately, leave it up to your readers to make a decision.
But: you do need to include a CALL TO ACTION. Examples are “Buy This Product On …”, “Check The Price On …”, “View This Product On …”. Your call to action includes your affiliate link that takes your reader to the product page where they may make a purchase.
- Use a template for your product review that will make it easier for you to write but also makes sense for your readers.
- Include a link to one of your resources, e.g., to Wikipedia or other trustworthy websites.
- Include internal links to other posts on your site, e.g., to a “How to guide…” or related posts. By the way, this is also essential for proper SEO.
- Don’t copy and paste someone else’s product review. You can use the general structure as a guideline, but you do need to write your own findings and conclusions.
A Blueprint For Writing Product Reviews
The overall structure of my product reviews, regardless if it is a single product review or a top five list of products, is mostly the same.
It may be a bit different if I review physical products and digital products.
My product reviews usually include
- Introduction – includes my first call-to-action
- Essential features a product range should have and why.
- Multiple Products: includes a comparison chart; single product review: includes a star rating (different plugins are available for this)
- The actual product review including technical details, features, as well as pros and cons.
- A ‘Call To Action’
- FAQ’s (if appropriate)
- Sometimes I embed a YouTube video.
Here are some examples of product reviews I have written in the past.
- A digital product (review) which I actually use: My Honest Wealthy Affiliate Review.
- A review of a direct selling company; even though I haven’t been a consultant for this particular company I could relate to it because I used to be a consultant for another direct selling company: Perfectly Posh Review
- A product review for a physical product, a top seven list on my travel blog FunTravelingWithKids
- Last but not least, here is an example of a sponsored post. It is vital to be transparent and to tell your readers that you received a product for free so you can review it: Little Passports review
I do hope these examples have given you a good idea and guideline on how to write product reviews.
It is possible and ethical to write product reviews without owning the product as long as you are being honest, transparent, and don’t pretend you own the product.
Don’t be afraid to write product reviews even if don’t own the product. Become knowledgeable (and also an expert) by researching about the product, reading customer reviews, and finding out what questions people are asking.
Your product review should help people to find out more about a specific product, the features as well as the pros and cons.
Your goal is to help people to make an informed buying decision by breaking down information in simple, easy to understand words.
Don’t sell instead show them the benefits and why you would recommend a product. Leave the buying decision up to them but always (!) add a call-to-action.
To finish off this post, here is my Call To Action:
Want to learn how to build your own niche site and make money online? Do you want to become an expert in affiliate marketing?
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