How To
10 min read

How to Write a Good Product Review for Affiliate Marketing

William Ellis

August 9, 2022

Product reviews are content that could easily win the position of “unsung hero of internet content.” Product reviews are a vital service that helps consumers decide how to spend their hard-earned money.

Product reviews have become an industry unto themselves over the past couple of decades. A product reviewer can articulate the positives and negatives of a product and put that perspective into words.

If you are looking to make a living out of reviewing products, or if you have found a product that makes you feel passionate enough to stand up and say something about it then here are the steps and tools you need to create a top-notch product review.

What is an affiliate product review?

Product reviews are most commonly used in affiliate marketing, where bloggers and affiliate marketers write unbiased thoughts on a product. They share the unique features and selling points of the product to help the reader make a buying decision, as well as the pros and cons of the product. 

Ideally, the writer should have tested the product for an honest review. Still, some affiliate marketers will research online to get all the details, benefits, and issues of a product to write their affiliate product review.

What are the benefits of writing reviews for a product?

Most writers, bloggers, and affiliate marketers write product reviews because they can contain affiliate links to the product where the reader can purchase the product, which results in a commission that the writer receives. 

Another benefit of writing product reviews would be to gain traffic to your website for people searching about those products. Bloggers can display ads on their website, so the more readers they get searching for a certain product review, the more money they can make. 

When prospective customers search for a product review, they are likely ready to buy at the middle or bottom of the affiliate marketing funnel. This will make it easier as an affiliate marketer to make commissions since the reader is in the final stages of purchasing a product.

Besides making money, writing affiliate blog posts about product reviews can help bloggers and writers earn the trust of their audience, which will help them grow and increase their readers and followers. If the blogger tried a product with flaws, they could help their readers by telling them to stay away from the product and avoid buyer’s remorse. They could also suggest a better alternative product, most likely with an affiliate link or link to a review of that specific product on their website.

In short, the benefits of writing product reviews are to make money online and help people make buying decisions. 

Why do people want to read product reviews?

Product reviews help a potential customer search online to buy a certain product. Still, they don’t want to waste a ton of time diving into the specific advantages and disadvantages of the product. They want to be shown what the drawbacks and benefits of the product are so they can make a decision if it’s what they want.

If something is wrong with the product, people want to read about it first so they don’t make the mistake of buying it. They want to know if a certain product is the best of its kind, so it saves them time researching products online.

Some product reviews compare the product to similar products, which helps the reader decide if there is a better product out there or if the one they are considering is the best product for them.

Ultimately, people read product reviews to save time and money to make purchasing decisions easier.

How to write a product review

Getting started on writing a product review can be a daunting task if you have never done one before. However, finding your voice as a product reviewer does not have to be difficult. When writing product reviews, you must first focus on the simplest elements.

Did you find using the product to be a positive or negative experience? What about the product caused it to be a positive or negative experience? These are relatively basic concepts that you should be able to naturally flesh out the more you write.

Do your research first

Before you start to write your review, you should do some research first. Look up the history of the product, who created it, and any other possible products that may have come before the one you are reviewing.

You should also look up what the consensus about the product seems to be. Are people enthusiastic about it? Do they hate it? Is it a product that has managed to fly under the collective radar? Use this information to inform, but not sway, your review. 

You do not want your online review to merely echo what other people are saying about the product, but those other opinions can be mentioned in your review.

If you’re writing an affiliate review of a product, you can look at the ecommerce or Amazon listing’s product description features to find unique selling points. 

What are the specific features that stand out as a reason to buy? What is the product best for? It can be the highest quality, best budget price, longest lasting, best for the money, or other reasons that make that product the best for people searching online. 

Keyword research for product reviews

You’ll also want to conduct keyword research to find the keywords people are looking for that apply to your product. For example, there could be a lot of people doing a Google search for “product A vs product B” and you should create a subheading that compares each product's similarities and differences. 

Find all the related keywords with search volume for the particular product you are reviewing and ensure you include them naturally in your review. The product name is your main keyword and should be included in the title and throughout the article. 

Obtain the product

Before writing your review, you need to use it, which means getting your hands on it. If it is a product that you already own, then you simply need to relay your experience using it. You will need to get the product if you are writing for a blog or publication. If you are working for a publication, then your employer should be able to supply you with it. 

Reach out to the company

If you are not an established reviewer, then the next suggestion may not be possible for you, but reaching out to the company that creates the product may be one way to get your hands on it. In this scenario, you can reach out to them via email and let them know that you are interested in reviewing their product.

If you are a reviewer who has a sizable following, you may be able to use your follower count and online metrics to convince them to allow you to have a product for reviewing. Should you secure the product in this manner, be transparent in your review that you were supplied one as that provides a level of transparency.

Try the product and assess the quality

It goes without saying that if you are going to review a product, you should at least try it out. However, to give your review the utmost quality, you must be meticulous in your experience with the product. 

The first thing you need to do when you have the product you wish to review is to assess its overall quality. Three major factors go into covering the quality of the product.

Build quality

This means to assess whether or not it feels like the product is assembled to a standard at which it feels well crafted. The build quality is not a standard that applies to all products, particularly paper goods, but it should always be noted where appropriate.

Materials

This one is relatively easy to assess. Are the materials making the product feel decent, or are they cheap and flimsy? Can they be put to the durability test and last for a long time?

The feel

This one is a little more difficult to put into words, but how does the product “feel” when using it? If you were reviewing, for example, a spray bottle, would you say it felt like you had to use too much pressure to get it to spray? Would you say that the braking was easy with a car's brakes or that you had to try harder to brake? Those are the kind of things that people want to understand in your review.

Not all of these factors apply to every single product. You want to consider these factors within the proper context of the product you are reviewing. For example, build quality is not necessarily looked at when reviewing something like an app on a phone or tablet, at least not in the way it relates to physical products.

Put the product through its paces

The next thing to do is to start using the product. If the product comes with any instructions, you need to be sure to read them thoroughly. If you follow the instructions and find that the product does not perform as described, it is valuable information for the reader.

The most important thing to do is to simply use the product as it is intended. Use it in the conditions and circumstances in which it was designed. A mistake made in some product reviews is attempting to “stress test” a product by putting it through conditions it was not designed for. This can skew the reader's understanding of how the product is meant to be used and can put the product in an unfairly negative light.

Take notes

While you are using the product, be sure to take meticulous notes. Take note of anything about the product that you feel it does or does not do particularly well. Write down anything about the product that you feel stands out or separates it from other similar products.

How do you comment on a good product?

When you review a good product, it seems like it would be easy, but you have to go beyond saying that a product is simply “good.” You need to highlight the particular things that work well with the product. This is where the notes you took will come in.

When you comment on a good quality product, you want to highlight the things that obviously make it good quality. 

You also want to reference your note and point out the smaller things that make using the product a good experience. Often, the smaller factors are what are most memorable about a product.

When you comment on a good product, that does not mean you merely heap endless praise on the product and avoid any of the negative aspects. It is a serious mistake to only highlight the positives because it can make your review seem biased, particularly if the negatives the product does have are quite apparent.

Here’s how to handle specific negative yet minor issues. If you are generally happy with the product but have one or two small issues, you can show the reader the defect, disappointment, or design flaw, explaining how it was not that big of a deal and how you overcame the shortcomings.

How do you comment on a bad product?

When you encounter a product that deserves a bad or negative review, you need to exhibit the same even-handed tone in your writing that you would for a positive review. If a product is bad, you can highlight the problems that make it so, but you do not want your review to devolve into a rant.

Use social proof

Social proof helps persuade readers as they can see what others have said about the product besides yourself. You can do this in a few ways by using testimonial quotes about a product, sharing user reviews, showcasing what other influential bloggers or experts have said about the product, having a lot of social media social shares for your blog post, and allowing readers to comment on your post to give their input on the product.

However, you cannot use their customer reviews in your content if you are writing an Amazon product review. Doing so can get you banned on Amazon unless you are using the Amazon API, so keep this in mind.

Ethics of sponsored reviews

If you find yourself in a position where a company is willing to send you their product and pay you to review it, then that is an exciting opportunity. However, that opportunity also comes with responsibilities, both ethical and legal.

You must disclose when a review that you create is sponsored. It can damage your credibility if many people follow your reviews and you do not disclose that your review was sponsored. Readers expect a degree of impartiality when they read an honest product review. Not disclosing that your review was sponsored is a breach of ethics that will give your readers a negative opinion of your review and you as a reviewer.

Some reviewers shy away from doing sponsored reviews because of the potential ethical questions that can be raised. Some feel that sponsored reviews should be avoided to deliver truly impartial and fair reviews. However, other reviewers feel there is no genuine problem as long as they are transparent about the sponsorship and that the sponsorship does not come with the caveat of requiring a positive spin.

Giving your verdict

The final part of any review is giving your ultimate verdict on a product. There are two schools of thought regarding how to conduct a product review. You can deliver a review in which you give a score to the product, or you can choose to go without a numbered score. There are merits to both, but the format does matter.

Pros and cons of scored reviews

When you create a review with a numbered score at the end, you give the reader a quantifiable metric that represents the quality of the product. They are a neat and concise way to convey your opinion without requiring a lot of reading. If the reader is in a hurry and has to make a quick decision, this could be the perfect format for them.

However, the biggest problem they bring forth is that scored reviews can sometimes cause the full nuance of the review to be lost, particularly when the reader decides to skip reading the whole review to see the score instead. When the reader skips or skims to the end, there may be valuable information or caveats that they are missing.

Pros and cons of non-scored reviews

When you write a non-scored review, you are writing a piece that commands a little more attention from the reader. You do not have to worry about being overly simplistic in your writing because you can give your readers all the details they need to know whether or not they should buy the product.

The problem with a non-scored review is that there is always the chance that it puts off a particular type of reader who is looking for a simple “buy it” or “don't buy it” type of review. However, readers will enjoy that you choose to take a more nuanced look at the products you review.

If you are writing Amazon affiliate product reviews, it is against the Amazon Associate program’s rules to give star ratings. This can mislead readers into thinking that is the star rating on Amazon, and you could have biased reasons towards giving it a high star rating to earn more commissions on affiliate sales. You can only use Amazon’s API to use star ratings when writing Amazon affiliate product reviews. 

Make sure you know the Amazon Associate rules and mistakes you can make as an affiliate so you don’t get banned from the program.

Conclusion

Creating a good product review is about taking what you like or dislike about a product and finding ways to articulate those feelings to the general public. You provide a legitimately valuable service to your readers when you do it right. Taking the time to fully focus on what parts of a product are relevant to your readers and then presenting them in an easy-to-understand format can allow your readers to make informed decisions.

Bonus: Here at Copy.ai, we believe in teaching how to succeed by creating effective and helpful tutorials on the topic of affiliate marketing. Here are a few more tutorials to help get you started:

30 Affiliate Blog Post Examples

How To Write an Affiliate Blog Post

How To Build An Effective WordPress Affiliate Site

How to Choose the Best Niche for Affiliate Marketing

What WordPress Plugins and Themes are Best for Affiliate Marketing?

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