When we first started our business online 15+ years ago, the first thing we did was promote other people’s products. Without a product of our own, it made sense to promote products that we liked and used in exchange for a commission.
Over the years, affiliate marketing has been a huge part of our blogging success.
By simply promoting other people’s products over the years, we have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions.
Even after graduating into creating our own products, affiliate marketing is still a good part of the income we bring in each and every single month online. In fact, some of the products we promoted years ago still make us a monthly recurring commission each and every month – that in itself is extremely powerful.
If you are new to blogging, and learning how to use your blog to make sales, just starting to build your email list, then affiliate marketing should be part of your income-making strategy.
Now before we get into how to write a great affiliate marketing review, I want you to know that there are many places to find good quality affiliate marketing opportunities.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
Since this article is mainly dedicated to writing a good review, I will simply name a few affiliate marketing networks, like Commission Junction and ShareASale where you can look at the various different niches and products that might appeal to your audience.
Things to look for in a good affiliate program are:
- Commission Rates
- Countries Accepted
- Join Link (use 2nd tier if possible)
- Description of product brief
- Performance Bonus (yes/no)
Now with that, here are 12 powerful tips to make writing an affiliate marketing review easy, simple but most importantly builds trust, has a high perceived value, and makes you money.
The idea behind affiliate marketing is simple: You promote other people’s products and for every sale you make, you get a commission.
For bloggers, the best way to promote affiliates is to write a blog post reviewing their product or service.
To get started, find products and services to promote that are related to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. To brainstorm, look around at the products and services you are currently using, that you enjoy and that you can speak about with experience and confidence.
This could be anything from an app that you are using, to a particular course in a certain niche, to a simple ebook.
Once you’ve identified a few affiliate products (let’s say 3 or 4 you’d like to promote) the next step is to write a blog post which reviews the product or service and sprinkle your affiliate link throughout. When a reader clicks through to the affiliate's website using your link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission.
Below are the 13 things I cover in every review that I write. Use the steps below as a checklist when writing your own review.
#1 – Product Intro
Introduce the product to your readers by explaining what it is and what it’s useful for. To get the relevant info, look at the company’s sales page and summarize the product description in your own words.
If there is a section from the product creator, be sure to include “what” the creator says about the product, why they created it, its key features, and what and who it was designed for.
# 2 – Add Images
If you have access to images of the product you are promoting, by all means, use them!
Visuals are a key piece to any review and people are more likely to buy if they can see what they’ll be getting. If it’s a physical product be sure to include a few different views, images of people using the product.
If it’s a digital product, be sure to use screenshots to show people about the product. For example, if it’s software, use a few screenshots of the back office to show them what they’d be getting. Show them the dashboard. When doing screenshots of digital products we use the desktop product Snagit.
# 3 – Explain Who The Product Is for
Once you’ve introduced the product to your reader, you need explain what type of person would benefit from using this product.
You need to make sure that you are painting a clear picture – say exactly what you mean. Sometimes people make the mistake of writing a review and “implying” versus stating so as not to be so direct – don’t make that mistake. By identifying your target audience, they will see themselves.
By explaining exactly who the product is for, makes the right person sit up and pay attention. By identifying the right people, you will make your reader feel like you are talking directly to them.
#4 – Stories Sell
You’ve heard that stories sell, right? Well now is the time to tell the readers your story.
Share your experience with the product.
Explain how you found it, why you decided to buy it, and how it’s helped you personally. Be specific with your examples.
By sharing your story, you are making a very powerful endorsement for your reader to buy it themselves.
#5 – Use the “Before and After” Concept
Have you noticed that the concept of “Before and After” is so powerful in marketing?
This concept is used in every industry from weight loss, to decor, you name it, all industries use it for marketing purposes. The bottom line is, people are moved by before and afters. Use this concept in your reviews.
Since you’ve just shared your experience with the product, now is the time to explain explicitly what life was like “before” the product and what it’s like “after” using it.
By painting a before and after picture, you create a clear demarcation line of how your life has improved since you started using the product.
This helps people envision themselves using the product and gaining the benefit from using it.
Again be specific when you explain the before and after difference.
Did you save time?
Were you more efficient?
Did you lose weight?
Did your relationships benefit?
List each and every single way the product improved or changed your life.
#6 : Make A Pros and Cons List
Every honest review includes something you didn’t like.
A perfect review is unbelievable.
Be sure that your review includes a section on the pros and cons of the product.
Talk about the positives and negatives. And just a note about the negatives – it doesn’t have to be a “terrible” negative – it can just be something small that you didn’t like – maybe something small that could be improved.
For example, you might be reviewing a great video editing software and for the most part you love it except that you don’t like where they’ve placed the button for “detaching audio from a video clip.”
If you go on to explain that you find it hard to find and a little un-intuitive (you would rather have them placed it somewhere more prominent) this goes a long way in lending credibility to your review.
#7 – Recommendation for The Right and The Wrong User
Make a recommendation for who should and shouldn’t use the product and who would gain the most benefit from it. This is similar to identifying who this product is made for in #2. But this is a little more detailed.
If this were a weight loss product – you could say this is for people trying to lose weight but was made specifically for the metabolic changes experienced by pre-menopausal women. Explain why this is and explain how this relates to you in your own life. Again, this part of the affiliate review is about making someone see themselves as the end user for this product.
#8 – Summarize The Review
Summarize your review by listing the most important points you make throughout the review. Here expound on what is included when you buy the product, key features, costs, refund policies, how quickly they should get result, how hard it is for beginners etc.
This section is good for readers who just want the key points and don’t bother reading the entire review.
#9: Your Affiliate Link Strategically Placed Throughout The Review
When writing a blog review, you need to give your reader ample opportunity to click on your link to buy.
Many people make the mistake of only putting an affiliate link at the beginning and at the end of a review.
You need to give the reader several chances to click through to the product while they’re reading. Having your affiliate link throughout the blog post allows the reader to click through whenever they feel inspired to take the next step.
#10: Use A Link Tracker To Track Your Links
Using a link tracker does a number of helpful things.
First, it measures how many people click through to your affiliate promotion through that particular review. By knowing these numbers it provides you with the data with which you can use to improve your metrics. For all of our link tracking we use Linkalytics
The other bonus is that it makes your LONG affiliate link, look less like an affiliate link and gives it a more professional appearance.
#11: Bonus For Buying
This is one of the first things I ever learned as an online marketer – always offer people an irresistible bonus for buying through your link.
Bonus can be anything from a free coaching session, to a free training or even a simple ebook or printable.
By offering a bonus you give your buyer added value and it sets you apart from others who may be promoting the same thing.
# 12: Use an Affiliate Disclaimer.
With all of your reviews, it is good practice to use an affiliate disclaimer. Here is the one that I use: You can change it to reflect your own purposes but here is a template for you to make your own!
This post contains affiliate links to products. We receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons.
We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself. The views expressed here are my own and my true feelings about this awesome product.
So now that you have my tried and true steps for writing an affiliate review on your blog, go out and write one!
If you want more specific coaching and guidance to get your blog business to the next level, be sure to check out my “Blog Coaching Coffee Zooms” It’s a real joy to work one on one with many of our Blog Lab students and watch their blog businesses take off!
And again, if you have any questions, be sure to reach out!