Once a review post for an affiliate product becomes popular, it keeps on earning commissions. How do you write a popular review post? It’s all down to the quality of the review post writing (as well as the traffic to the post, of course).
Most review posts aren’t successful. Why? Because they have a desperate, sleazy, “salesy” feeling about them – they simply don’t cover the product in enough depth. The blog post writer is just too desperate to make money.
Let’s stop that from happening to your review posts. Here are 10 tested review post writing tips to help you write effective review posts that sell without sounding sleazy.
1. Be honest
The most important quality of a review post is honesty. So that readers can tell when a review is genuine.
All biased reviews are alike – they accentuate the positives and downplay the negatives. When review posts are biased they are basically endorsements and not reviews.
By giving honest and well-rounded opinions, you can convince your readers about your credibility. Your readers will know that your posts are helping them and are not written for earning commissions.
For inspiration, check out Kevin Muldoon’s review posts. He’s always honest and unbiased in his reviews.
2. Give each post a how-to twist
Compare these titles:
- Why Bloom is the best tool to build email lists
- How to use Bloom to build a humongous email list (plus review)
Can you see the difference?
The first title makes a bold, borderline-salesy claim. Now contrast it with the second title. The second title promises to show bloggers how to build email lists using Bloom. If you had just one minute, on which of the two titles would you click? My best bet is that you’d click on the second one.
Why? Because the second title has an educational feel to it. Review posts that are written as how-to posts tend to be received well.
If you read WPBeginner (the top resource for WordPress beginners), you’ll know that it gives all its posts a how-to spin. So while most of WPBeginner’s posts contain affiliate links, they don’t sound like promotional posts.
3. Answer each of these questions
After honesty, the second most important quality that I look for in a review post is usefulness. By usefulness, I mean the quality of the review post to help a reader decide if they should buy the product or not.
ProBlogger says that people looking for review posts mostly look for answers to the following questions:
- to learn the pros and cons of a given product
- to find out if the product is meant for them (qualifies prospects)
- to find out if the product is of high quality and easy to use
- to find out about alternative solutions
- to find out about other users’ experiences with the product
- to ultimately learn if the product is worth buying
Now take a minute and try to recollect the last review post you read that was indeed “useful” and ticked all the above boxes. Perhaps you’ll find this hard to do because most blogs simply don’t put in the effort.Most people can't be bothered. If you make an effort with blogging, your readers will trust you. Click To Tweet
But if you make the effort, your readers will notice. Before publishing, check how many of these questions your review post answered.
4. Write an introduction that pulls readers in
A post’s opening is the most important element after the headline. You’ve probably heard the advice: “Don’t bury the lede.”
But still a lot of bloggers just focus on the title and lose their readers with a lame opening. To write effective review posts, write an opening that hooks your readers.
One of the best ways to begin a review post is to start with the problem that the product solves. And then work your way to how the product being reviewed is the solution to the problem.
5. Add backend screenshots and video
It amazes me how so many blogs use screenshots from a website’s pricing and features pages and paste them on to their review posts. That’s it. They don’t include any backend screenshots or, even better, a video to show that they’ve actually taken the product for a spin.
If you do this, you tell your readers that:
- You haven’t used the product you reviewed
- You didn’t even seek a review copy
- You perhaps don’t know the product any better than the readers
By using real screenshots and video, your readers will know that you really explored the product before writing the review.
6. Offer value
Another trait that most sleazy review posts share is that 80% of their content is available on the product site. Such review posts only share a rehashed version of the information that’s on the product copy. The problem with such posts is that they offer very little value. They don’t answer most of the questions that a good review post should answer.
A good review post doesn’t just share the product specs but also shares what makes it worth buying, how the product does in comparison with its competitors, where the possible flaws are, etc.
Such content can’t be taken from the vendor’s website. It has to be researched or written from personal experience with the product. And so it’s hard to write. Which is why most blogs don’t even try.
A good starting point for writing quality affiliate content is to check out Google’s content guidelines for affiliates.
7. Start with the summary
Lots of times, readers already know what product they want to buy. Still they look for its review. Such readers don’t want to read through 1000-word review posts. Instead, they just want to quickly validate their choice.
A review summary is the best way to appeal to such readers. Since they’re already motivated to buy, your sum up of the review could be just enough for them to make the buying decision.
AuthorityHacker does this really well. For every review post, it publishes a detailed summary that scores the reviewed product’s top performance metrics.
When you summarize, choose metrics that appeal to the broad audience.
8. Make a review sticky with a pros/cons section
If you had to make a choice between two equally-great options (with identical pricing schemes), how would you finally decide?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll stack the pros and cons of each product against the other and pick the winner! That’s the reason I can’t imagine a review post without a detailed pros/cons section. Your online readers too might be interested in the pros/cons section of your review posts because what you include in them helps them compare the product with its competitors.
Write the pros/cons section of your review post in a way that it helps your readers decide. I see lots of blogs paste the feature list in the pros section. That’s not right. The pros section should ideally list the various competitive advantages of a product.
Same goes with the cons, if the product isn’t a match with a competitor on a particular metric, include that in the cons. If a product lacks a major integration, list that.
9. Write a clear CTA
My biggest pet peev with some blogs is that their review posts end with CTAs that say “Download,” hinting to the reader that hitting the download link will begin the download. Of course, the link only takes the readers to the product website.
This is just plain annoying. Please don’t write misleading CTAs.Always write a clear CTA. But DON'T make it misleading!! Click To Tweet
10. The affiliate marketing super tip: Product comparisons!!!
Product comparisons are a slightly advanced form of review posts. In a product comparison review post, a blogger generally picks the top 2-3 products in a category and then … compares them. The idea is to establish the best option from the included products.
A showdown-style review post works great when all the products are already popular, and the choice is really hard to make. To choose the products for a showdown post, list the product you want to review first.
For example, if I had to write a showdown post of WordPress list building plugins, and if OptinMonster were my favorite tool, I’d just Google OptinMonster vs., and then let Google autosuggest suggest a few options.
As you can see in the Google autosuggest options, I can choose any of these top searches to include in my showdown post.
Review post writing – You can do it!
Some bloggers write a review post in under 60 minutes. And there are ones who take hours. Needless to say, the readers can tell the difference. While it’s true that writing helpful review posts takes time, the returns are also high. Once people start benefiting from your recommendations, they’ll start trusting you, and you’ll end up becoming their go-to person every time they need advice to buy a product.
Have you ever read a sleazy marketers “salesy” review post? How do you offer value when you write reviews? Do share in the comments!