When I started marketing online, I remember that one of the biggest hurdles my mind had to jump over was how to write reviews of so many products, when there was no way that I could own everything I wrote about. I simply couldn't get on Amazon, spend $10,000 on toys, and then give my opinion on each of them.
It just didn't make sense! How could I sell stuff when I didn't own or really know anything about it?
Part of the issue is choosing a proper niche and finding something to write about that you DO know about. But not all niches can be effectively monetized, so many times as professional niche marketers we need to branch into areas we're unfamiliar with.
Here are three styles of reviews I use on my sites. The first one of course depends on you actually using the product or very similar ones. The other two you can do simply by being an expert in an area or utilizing proper research techniques.
Product Review Style 1
Voice: I Tried It. Here's My Review
Who doesn't want to read an honest review of a product or service they are thinking about buying? If you have tried anything at all, you can either write a review or do a video review about it and start making income very quickly. Think about how fast you can put a YouTube video up!
Product reviews from people who have tried things and are an expert in the industry are one of the most effective ways to earn money with affiliate links. As a knowledgable person, your opinion matters. If you own 20 drones, it's likely you really understand which one is gets a buyer the most value, or what the best starter drone is. However, you don't have to be an expert! Even a beginner can give some really good insight into products.
Many “newbies” will be trying this product for the first time, so presenting your opinion as a newbie could help you relate to them. For example (shown below), another beer expert could read my review and decide that it's the best club for him to join. However, what about a newbies perspective? Maybe the beers are too weird to enjoy, and that type of opinion is important.
- Here is an example of a review of service that I tried: Rare Beer Club Review
Product Review Style 2
Voice: I'm An Expert. Here's My Review
Another route is to talk about something related to a field you know a lot about. For example, I've been brewing my own beer for a few months now. I have a system that works for me. I know quite a bit about the process and how it works.
I also spend my time reading about it in books, blogs, and talking to other people with similar interests. Though I'm not a master brewer, I think I know quite a bit more than a beginner. I have an educated opinion, and that counts for something!
This means that I don't have to buy or use everything I review.
For example, if I want to negatively review a smartphone I've never tried, I could list the specs and talk about why each feature is lacking compared to a similar model. I can explain that I have tried other products similar to this one, and they disappointed me. I can also link to forums, create screenshots, and use research to back up my claims.
- Here is an example of a product review of something I haven't tried, but it's in a field I know a lot about: Best Real Ale Pubs in the UK
Product Review Style 3
Voice: I'm an Unbiased Researcher. Here's My Review
Yet another style of product review could be the unbiased researcher approach. For this style of review, you do not have to mention that you have or haven't tried a product. That's irrelevant. There's tons of other people that have tried it, and if you do your research properly, you can give an objective view of what a potential buyer can expect.
Do not just copy and paste what other people say. This is plagiarism, and can get you into serious trouble. But you can take a screenshot of parts of reviews to demonstrate points. Even without exact quotes, you can still reference information, such as “7/10 forums I visited had an overall majority of negative comments”, or “83% of reviewers gave this product 4+ stars on Amazon”
You can also dig into related products, previous releases, compare features with other products in the same niche, or simply feature the specs. You should always have VALUE in mind when doing this.
This should NOT just be a copy/paste marathon where you take information from a bunch of resources in an effort to piggy-back traffic and make sales. You should always be thinking about what a visitor can gain from reading your review. You should basically be a “curator” of information.
Did you consolidate a lot of scattered information? Did you create an awesome graphic that demonstrates a written point from somewhere else? Did you take some technical jargon and explain it more simply? Did you break down the main differences between two similar products to make comparing them easier? YouTube is also a great way to include information from a person that actually owns the product AND you can embed any video on YT in your blog post! These are all great ways to use research as a means to write a product review of something you don't own.
- Here's a review of something I haven't tried, but was able to review with proper research: Empower Network Review
Product reviews can be a great way to get traffic to your blog, but if you're like me, doing review after review after review will get a bit boring and monotonous. But don't worry. There are tons of other ways to get targeted traffic to your website. Part of this is learning how to do proper keyword research and knowing what people in your niche are looking for.
Since publishing this post, I've also written a ton more content about writing product reviews and making money from them: