Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:35 pm
Years ago, well before product reviews were big, let alone entire product review sites, and wayyyy before the final stage hit (sites full of reviews whose sole purpose was to maximize income)...
I wrote a TNT HQ article on how to write product-focused content pages. I've totally revamped and expanded that page...
Those who use affiliate programs to monetize should find it to be more valuable than its predecessor.
A bit of history before you leave to read it...
The original page only talked briefly how you could use the concept to create product review sites. We never gave it a lot of emphasis because the abuse potential was too high (abuse can easily be accidental - or it can be dishonestly intentional).
By the time we were immediately pre-Panda and Penguin, quite a few SBI! review sites existed. The problem with them was that quite a few did indeed drift into using reviews to sell, rather than treating them as the PREselling content that they should be.
It's so easy to do, even for the most honest of people. You KNOW that if the reader hits that link, you could earn a commission. The problem with that? We talk about it in the article.
A few did it right and sailed through Panda and Penguin. But others not only drifted in terms of the true purpose of the content, they also abused links, etc. The outcome was not pretty for many review sites.
Here's a typical, more recent, example of the problem. Wealthy Affiliate did a Webinar on writing product reviews. Here's the title...
Writing Convincing Product Reviews
Can you spot the problem?
It's NOT a message that any company should be teaching.
Got it yet?...
If you can spot it without reading further, you will almost surely avoid THE biggest danger of writing reviews...
Spotted it? Here it is...
Reviews should NOT be "convincing." They can/should be...
- complete, honest, balanced
- without agenda
- based on user experience
- authoritative, with your knowledge clearly shining through
- OF TRUE AND HONEST VALUE TO THE READER TO HELP MAKE THE BEST DECISION POSSIBLE.
But the one thing that a REAL review should NOT be is "convincing." Your goal is not to convince them to purchase.
While we know the whole story about WA and all the fake reviews written by its affiliates, the article is not about reviews that intentionally mislead and that have agendas. We touch upon that, but I don't think there's an SBIer who would take the route.
The article focuses on the accidental drift...
Like I said, Even HONEST folks can drift. It's so darn easy to forget the point when you know you can earn something from a click.
Based on all that's happened, and now that we have a solid take on the current "state of online reviews," NOW was the right time to show you how to write "WINNING" reviews...
- reviews that readers will LOVE
- reviews that won't ever get hit by Google
- reviews that actually EARN YOU MORE, in the long run.
I've just finished a major re-write and upgrading of that original TNT HQ article. It's at the same old URL...
... but 95% new material (I kept the kernel, which was evergreen and built around that).
Great reviews can still generate sales WITHOUT selling. The article talks about that, as well as the difference between "Review Sites" and "Sites with Reviews" (I recommend the latter for most people). Finally, it includes some legit strategies that "get the click" WITHOUT trying to sell.
Bottom line: Product-Focused Content Pages (reviews or other types of articles) can be valuable content, especially for those who use the affiliate monetization model. Here's how to do them right...
Written like this, you should STAND OUT from competitor reviews, while attracting folks who are close-to-the purchase.
Fire away with any questions.
All the best,
Carol as moderator: Edited to correct a minor typo.