When people start looking into making money online, one of the options that really jumps out is doing product reviews. At face value, this sounds like a really fun way to make money, particularly if the products you are reviewing are things that you are actually interested in.
In practice, reviewing products for product review sites isn’t a good way of making money at all, but there is another way to make money off your product review skills.
Product Review Sites and Services
I’ll admit, I actually do a little bit of product reviewing on the side. I do some work for a site where I get paid to review books. Honestly, the money isn’t very good at all. Normally I get paid somewhere around $5 per book I review. Given it takes at least a couple of hours to read even a short book, it is a very low income level.
So, why do it?
For me, I do it because I want to be reading more and I want to discover new books. For me, it makes a lot of sense to get paid a little to do so and to get the books for free. However, it would be absolutely horrible way to make money.
These rates are pretty common for any sites that offer product reviewing. In general, if you are doing product reviews for someone else, you can expect less than $10 per review, often much less. Additionally, only some services give you the products for free, most of them don’t.
For example, some of the biggest review writing sites, like Ciao and Reviewstream pay between $0.25 and $0.40 per review, and then users get a small amount extra when people either view or like the review, depending on the site. This means that if you are lucky, you might get up to $2 or so per review, but most of the time you won’t.
In terms of making money, this is a pretty big waste of time. Personally, I don’t think writing reviews for sites is worth it at all, unless you find a site that gives you products you want to try then pays you to review them.
Even then, that’s only good for personal experience and a bit of fun. As a money maker, it is still an approach that sucks.
From Your Own Site
If you want to actually make money from reviewing products, you really have to be working for yourself. These big companies might make money from your reviews, but they certainly aren’t going to share much of that with you.
Despite this, product reviews are actually a really powerful tool, and this makes them really significant for making money. More than ever before, people are going online to find out about products long before they actually buy them. People want to know whether a product is any good, what its faults are and whether it will do what they want it to.
That simply isn’t information that they can find out from stores or catalogs. In fact, online product reviews provide people with information about what real people think about the product in question, including all of the quirks that individual people find. This means that there are a whole lot of people looking for these reviews.
The other really important thing about product reviews is that you are writing for an audience that is looking to buy something. This results in a field with a lot of income potential and a pretty much unlimited market size.
But how do you make money from it?
The main way is an approach called affiliate marketing. This technique lets you promote other people’s products and earn money from any sales. This means that you can potentially earn money many times over from a single product review, rather than just getting a small amount of money for each review.
One of the most common ways of doing this is to build up a website that provides a jumping point for your reviews and any other types of articles that you feel like doing. Some people choose only to host reviews on their site, while others end up writing other articles on the topic as well.
Personally, I love making money through product reviews in this way. Using a site lets you brand yourself and you can align yourself towards an audience that has similar interests to you. This makes it easier to promote products and to be honest in reviews.
For example, I have seen some sites by mothers with young children, who honestly talk about how effective a particular product was (or was not) and also write about products that they have found to meet specific needs. This becomes a very effective approach, because people gravitate towards the opinions of others that have similar needs and interests.
What To Do About It
While review sites are out, getting paid to write reviews through your own website is a very real and effective tool. The thing to remember is that when you are working off your own site, you aren’t actually getting paid for the reviews themselves, but instead for people buying things.
In the long term, this ends up being much more effective, particularly as a single review might even get you hundreds of sales, but it does take a little time to get started and become profitable.
Much like any online business, making money through reviews is really about taking the time to learn the field, to research your area and then build your site over time. Using an online business community for direction and information offers a fantastic advantage in this process, and that is actually the approach that I took myself.