It’s regrettable that so many review websites aren’t very helpful. However, the affiliate review websites that are high quality help a lot of buyers make a buying decision. This should be your intention when you set out to build a review website, and that is to help people buy or not buy a product.
When you set out to genuinely help people buy the right product or service with your review, which you monetize with affiliate links, you’ll write a great review and your site can do well. If, on the other hand, you crank out a bunch of information that’s found on the sales page adding nothing a true user would add, the site isn’t very helpful and likely won’t work all that well in the long run. I know, because I’ve tested both types.
The FIRST Step for building profitable affiliate review websites
Get your hands on the product or use the service that you want to promote as an affiliate. Whether you buy it, rent it, check it out extensively in a retail store, you can’t possibly publish a great product review without trying the product. Your best reviews will be of products and services that you have not only tried, but have and use regularly.
If you already have a niche website, find products you use in your niche. If you’ve invested time in your niche site, you no doubt have purchased something relevant to your niche.
The Good News is …
You probably own more stuff in your home that will provide plenty of material for great review websites. Whether it’s software you use, furniture you own, appliances in your kitchen, clothing lines you wear, tools you’ve purchased … at the end of the day, if you don’t have money to go out and buy products to try, start with products you already own.
The fact of the matter is, most merchants have affiliate programs. If they don’t, it’s very likely your product is for sale on Amazon. The point is, I bet you own something that you love that you can earn commissions by promoting as an affiliate.
The SECOND step is building your website
This is if you don’t already have an established website. My preferred platform is WordPress. With WordPress, you must choose a theme. Any theme will do. There are product review themes available, but they certainly aren’t necessary. I own profitable review sites that don’t use review themes.
If you’re new to WordPress, be sure to get my Video Courses (see the box below) which steps you through building 2 types of review websites with WordPress (from server set up to WordPress installation to theme installation to publishing your review to formatting your site).
The THIRD step is writing your review
When you write your product review (or service review), put yourself in the shoes of a shopper who is researching a purchase. If you own the product, think back to what you wanted to know when considering buying the product.
I use a similar format for my reviews. I generally write 750 to 2,000 words per review. I like to explain the features, benefits (who should get the product), pros, cons, deals, charts, videos (when applicable), an FAQ section … basically as much information about the product as I can come up with as a user.
If you get my Video Course and Review Website Blueprint above, I provide you both my review format along with a link to one of my review sites that earns approximately $1,000 per month.
Other considerations when building review websites
I review products with big commissions ($50 plus) and small commissions. I care more about whether a product is good for my readers and whether it sells than the commission rate.
Physical Product vs. Software vs. Information vs. Services
Physical products convert well, but the commission is lower. You’ll also find in the post Google Penguin days that retailers such as Amazon tend to outrank affiliate sites.
Software is great to promote and it often pays high commissions. You can’t buy it anywhere but via the merchant so you don’t have large retailers to compete with; however, you do have other affiliates to compete with.
Services, especially at the local level, are great to promote. I don’t review local companies … I use a different model altogether. However, there are plenty of online services that you can use and review that pay very good commissions.
Single Product Website vs. Multi-Product Website vs. Niche Authority Website
I like single product focused websites and large niche blogs that contain reviews. I’m not a fan of creating a website that’s simply a huge batch of product reviews.
I like single product review sites because I can dedicate the entire site to one product I love. It’s not terribly hard to rank and attract traffic. Because it’s so focused, it tends to convert well. I make the home page the review. I add a few other relevant articles to the site as well.
I like niche websites because I like building large, informative websites, which happen to contain a few reviews of products I like and use that are relevant to the niche.
I don’t like multiple-product review sites because you can’t possible provide genuine reviews of dozens of products in a product line. Besides, they’re boring to write and they’re confusing to visitors. They can also be perceived as thin affiliate sites.
That said, if you actually have tried 15 products or more in a product line and can write genuine reviews on those products and you can rank them, by all means publish a multi-product review site. If the reviews are high-quality, it can be a great site.
I sometimes do a hybrid in that I try several products within a product line and feature the top 3 products on one site. This works well and I’m able to write really great articles of the products.
Review Website Traffic
The lion’s share of traffic for review websites comes from the search engines … so you’ll need to learn and so some SEO. However, if you’re a social media expert, that can work as well. Finally, if you’re building a large e-mail subscribership in a niche, that could be an excellent source of traffic to your reviews.
I focus on SEO, e-mail subscribers, guest posting and forums for traffic to my reviews.
Is it profitable to build review websites?
Yes. If you publish genuine and helpful reviews and get targeted traffic to those reviews, they can and will convert. Don’t expect a sale from 50% of your traffic. A realistic conversion rate is 1% (give or take a little, depending on traffic source).
Reviews and review websites form a small percentage of my published content, but do generate a sizable amount of my income. Of course, I use other content to attract e-mail subscribers so I can’t say my reviews do all the heavy lifting. That said, I do pretty well with SEO as well, which requires my published reviews to do the heavy lifting.
This is just the tip of the iceberg
Get my affiliate review website blueprint and video course (it’s free) by filling in the form below.