Earlier this week, I wrote about bloggers being great salespeople. Today, I’ll be talking about using reviews to sell more products.
Reviews are one of the best blogging methods to sell products. In my previous post, I wrote that established bloggers can sell well because they’re trusted by their readership. With reviews, you leverage that trust by recommending a quality product that meets the needs of your readership. This product could be an affiliate product or a product you created.
Here a couple things to consider when writing reviews.
If you’re reviewing an affiliate product, try the product out. This will help you write a quality, honest review. Honesty counts in the blogosphere.
Review products you actually like. It’s easier to sell stuff you like.
Review products your readership will find useful.
Write more words. Write an in-depth review. Too many reviews don’t say much. I think reviews should be at least 500 words. It doesn’t make sense to write a 250 word review for a 100+ page ebook yet I see those short reviews all the time. Know your product well and then write as much as you need to inform your readers of the product. I think most readers would rather have more information than less. The more information, the more likely they will buy. Check out some of Yaro’s reviews (1, 2, 3, 4). He makes a couple thousand a month on affiliate products. His reviews are longer than most blog posts.
Depending on your posting frequency, don’t post too many reviews or your blog will be too commercial. One review every 4-5 posts should be fine.
Have banner ads that link to your review. Many bloggers already put banner ads that link to a product. Take it a step further. Write a quality review and then have the banner ad link to the review instead of the product. This is a great way to actively recommend the product instead of just passively leaving a banner ad on your site. “Pre-selling”, or recommending, a product before sending the visitor to the sales page is a proven way to increase your sales conversion rate. Also, studies have shown that content-based text links (those in reviews) convert much better than banner ad links.
Don’t forget pay per click (PPC). Well-written, insightful reviews are perfect landing pages for PPC marketing. Do some keyword research and send some PPC traffic to your review.
Take out AdSense. Your review should have one goal: get the visitor to click on the product link with a buying frame of mind. If you have AdSense on the review, your visitors will get confused and distracted. This will cause your conversion rate to go down.
If you are going to do PPC marketing, publish your review on pages rather than posts. You don’t want to send PPC traffic to posts because posts get old. Pages, on the other hand, are timeless because they don’t have timestamps. Also, you can link to your review page from a post so that you regular readership, or RSS subscribers, will still get to see your review.
Don’t review to sell then.
If you stick to reviewing products you use personally and have benefited from, recommending them will feel natural and not a sales pitch.
For example – anywhere I see a discussion on webhosting, I pimp TigerTech – these guys rescued me from VPS hell and have given such excellent technical support (for a wp-based site that gets 10-30k pageviews per day) that you’d be surprised to know that they only offer shared web hosting. I’m not selling and I don’t put down an affiliate link either – these guys are just that good, so I recommend them every time.
it’s when you start faking it that you start feeling uncomfortable with yourself.
Yeah, that is true. It can be difficult to write reviews when your motivation is to sell. I like to think of reviews more as recommendations from a friend to a friend. This helps me come off more genuine rather than being like a used car salesman
Some great tips. The key is: Review products you actually like.
However, please note, that reviewing isn’t for everyone…including me. My soul just can’t write a genuine review when the primary motivation is “to sell stuff”