Online giants Amazon have an incredibly successful affiliate scheme by which partners can provide links to Amazon products on their own sites, and receive referral fees if customers click through the link and end up making a purchase. Many companies offer affiliate marketing opportunities, of course, but the sheer size and bread of product offered by Amazon makes the company’s scheme one of the most popular to join on the entire web.
Along with the link provided, most affiliates choose to provide Amazon product reviews which gives users a unique opinion of a particular product that they are considering purchasing. Product reviews are a fantastic way for users to gain relevant information before making a choice, and many website owners have recognized the benefit of providing an Amazon affiliate review service.
Amazon themselves prefer to call it an associate service, and it is not necessarily the best-paid scheme out there (you may receive better commissions writing review articles for other sites), but it is worth remembering that there is no other ecommerce site which has a reputation as trusted, or a reach as broad as that of Amazon. No one would think twice about making a purchase from Amazon in terms of recognizing it as a safe, secure and reliable site which will deliver upon expectations.
For these very reasons, Amazon is the perfect partner in terms of an affiliate service. The commission scale begins at 4%, but over time you can work yourself up to as high as 8%. Those numbers are worth remembering in terms of the types of products you choose to review, as you may wish to choose higher-priced products to make the commission fee a little more worthwhile (and a review of an expensive product should take no longer to produce in any case).
For your reviews to be taken seriously and become a trusted source for those considering potential purchases (and therefore establishing a successful side income from the review service that you provide), there are a number of boxes that you must tick, as well as a host of pitfalls to avoid.
Without further ado, here is how to write a great Amazon affiliate review article that will become a trusted source of information for users:
The first tip is obvious, but for your articles to become trusted sources where people will actually visit and respect your thoughts, you need to perform your fair share of research.
Now, obviously the best place to be is where you have actively used the product at hand, and in many cases you may get a free trial of a product which you can then utilize to examine first hand how the product works, how it looks and feel, and how well it performs its function (or not).
In realty, you will not always be able to do this. In that case, you will need to rely on other product reviews in order to produce yours, and in that case you yourself need to visit trusted review sites which give enough detail for you to get a sense of the product and then rewrite your thoughts. At the very least, as long as it is a product by which you have some experience and know what you are talking about to some extent, then repackaging another review with your own words (never plagiarize) and thoughts will work well for a review article.
Your job is absolutely not to sell the product yourself, of course, because this is exactly what Amazon does so expertly. Your role then is to pre-sell the product. But what does that mean? The user who comes to your site to read your review will already likely have made the decision to buy the product, but now needs advice with regards which one. This is where you step in.
Think carefully about what you would want to read as a user who has probably already made up their mind that they do want to buy the relevant product, but now need help establishing which one is best in terms of all the relevant factors: price, quality, reliability, reputation and so on. Once again, think about what you would want to find out.
So, you are not selling, which means not producing a review which sounds overly like a marketing piece for the company. If your review is an unashamed plug regarding how magnificent a product is, without any sense of comparison or relevant caveats which cover elements of the product which are not 5/5 quality, then it is likely that the user will see your review as just a weak attempt to sell to them which they will reject in favor of an affiliate review which attempts to be objective.
Once again, think about the relevant information you would require when reading reviews yourself, and don’t try to sell the product: Amazon can do this more than well enough on their own, and you are adding no value.
Popular to contrary believe, you do not need to be a search engine optimization (SEO) expert in order to produce Amazon affiliate reviews, but having some degree of knowledge regarding how SEO works will certainly assist in framing more effective articles.
It would be worth reading up on some of the finer points of SEO, but ignore any of the too technical advice for now because first and foremost you must concentrate on producing quality, readable content that does not attempt to stuff key words into every sentence. Long gone are the days when search engines based their rankings solely on how many times you mentioned the word ‘camera’ for example in your content. The bots can now make informed decisions based on relevance and the quality of the content rather than any deliberate ‘cheats’ that you could employ, and the more people begin to visit your reviews organically, the better it will be.
Stick to the rest of the advice herein, make sure you mention the key words of the product name and perhaps the word ‘review’ liberally, but not too often, and you will satisfy most of the SEO considerations that you need for now.
Understand not everything is ‘great’
This is an obvious point, but if you are awarding every product the perfect rating of 5/5, then the veracity of your review will soon be questioned. That’s not to say that some products do not deserve perfect scores, but if you build a reputation for producing reviews that simply wax lyrical about the incredible quality of the product, with amazing features and awesome appearance, then people will get turned off your product reviews and see them as just lazy attempts to market to you. That’s not what people are looking for, and you have failed to consider one of the most basic principles of doing this: think about what you would need from a review.
Honesty is the best policy, so if you don’t like a product, don’t be afraid to say it. If you are writing reviews based on other reviews, then consider some of the negative comments that have been given about the product, and try to include mentions of these in your review. On the point of writing reviews based on other reviews, you will certainly need to base your ne review on more than one review that you have seen in order to get a better balance within your review. Everyone is different, and it’s impossible to please everyone, so if is always a good idea to mention some of the other comments that people have made about the product, and how often those types of comments are cropping up.
One final point here is to be cautious of using too many overly-used superlatives that people see as being simple ‘sales talk.’ So instead of saying that the appearance is wonderful, say exactly what it is about the appearance that makes it so, and use another word o describe it that is more unique and less ‘salesy’. In fact, balance your language in general, so less ‘awesomes’ and less ‘terribles’ at the other end of the scale (it’s within your interests for the user to actually end up buying something, so you don’t want to put them off entirely). And remember to rank the products that you are reviewing and keep the scores more balanced than awarding everything 5/5.
One of the strangest elements you can add to your review is to make comparisons between products. In fact, this is probably exactly what the user is looking for, as they have already made the decision to buy, now it’s just a case of which one on the market ticks all the boxes.
One note here: not everyone is looking for the same thing from their product. So, while appearance may be the be all and end all for some people, others will be more concerned with particular features, while others till will only be concerned with performance to cost. Your reviews must appeal to all of these elements by sticking faithfully to the facts and not embellishing with pointless adjectives which provide no insight.
Making obvious comparisons between the products, and then even revealing the best (in your eyes) according to all the different criteria is a tried-and-tested approach that works for the most successful reviewers.
Structure your reviews
There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say, but when it comes to product reviews, best practice has become well accepted in terms of what your review should include, but not necessarily how you should structure it, or what your ‘voice’ should be. While some reviewers prefer to stick to the facts in a slightly removed tone, others prefer to speak directly to the user in terms of what benefits the product brings. A combination of both of these approaches is probably the best approach. Here, then, is how you should structure your review:
- Title, which means the product name and the word ‘review’ for SEO purposes. Include the name of the manufacturer and of course the relevant recommended retail price as it is on Amazon.
- Introduction to the product, meaning what the product is and what it is designed for. The voice that you use here should be totally your own, but it is your decision whether you want to go for an impersonal, factual style, or something more conversational and warmer in manner. Try to develop a consistent voice over the course of your reviews so your users become familiar and comfortable with your approach
- Link to the Amazon product page.
- First sub-heading based on a main feature of the product that stands out. This can be the headline-feature of the product, or something that you feel elevates the product above the competition. Keep that voice consistent, and make sure that you include comparisons to other similar products on the market here. Directly refence the benefits or disadvantages in comparison.
- Second sub-heading (depending on the length and detail of your review), as per the previous paragraph and the number of distinctive key features that the product actually has. Remember to include the comparisons here again too.
- List of all the key design features of the product, and stylistic characteristics. Include these as bullet points to make it easier for the user to read and digest.
- Provide a second link to the product on Amazon.
- Create a new heading which alludes to here you are going to include other customer reviews, summarizing the main points that these other reviewers are making. This can be split into two sections – positives and negatives.
- Summary section in which in one or two concise sentences, you sum up your overall opinion of the product.
- Third link to the product on Amazon
Writing a review for the purpose of Amazon affiliate marketing is a proven means of earning extra income, and some people do very well from it. The key consideration here is to try to make the reviews as objective as possible so that you are providing users with a service rather than just a weak marketing attempt. Develop consistency in your approach, structure the review accordingly, and over time you should develop a not-insignificant following who will start to earn you a decent amount from your activities.
Angela J. Bryant is an established writer and editor at Gum Essays. Social media, business and the job marker are her particular areas of expertise, and her sage advice has already helped countless people develop and further their careers.