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6 Easy Steps to Building Money-Making Product Review Sites!

If you have not gotten bored by any of my boring articles yet, this one will surely bore you to sleep! :D

Why write product reviews? Well, there are basically two advantages of writing product reviews. First of all, you don’t have to spend hours on keyword research; after all, the "keyword" you would use in your review would be the name of the product itself!

Secondly, a product review generally attracts the "buyers". People are not likely to search for reviews on a product unless they are genuinely interested buying it. Rather than wasting your bandwidth on freeloaders and looky-loos, you get targeted visitors who are very "desperate" to buy the product. Of course there is no guarantee that they would buy it from YOU – unless your review has a huge positive impression on them at the first instance! :D

Now, before I get down to the boring details of "how to write reviews" stuff, let me tell you that I sell several Product Review PLR Packs. The biggest advantage of these plr packs is that they can save you from writing the reviews from scratch; the only thing you would want to do is to rewrite the reviews, which I believe is easier anyway:

Amazon Weight Loss Product Review PLR Pack-1
Clickbank Weight Loss Product Review PLR Pack-1
Clickbank Dating Product Review PLR Pack-1
Christmas Product Review PLR Pack-1
Halloween Product Review PLR Pack-1

1. Writing Reviews

-Sourcing Materials: Of course, assuming that you have already selected the product you want review, the first thing you need to do is to gather materials for the review (unless of course you are the proud owner of the product in question). Basically you need to find out what customers are saying about the product. If you are promoting an Amazon.com product this is fairly easy since most of the feedback you need is already there on the same page as the product itself (of course there are also many products in the Amazon™ marketplace which have no customer reviews at all but usually I don’t review them anyway).

In Amazon, when you search for products within a specific category, such as say, books, you can sort the search results by "Customer Reviews". The disadvantage of this method is that unless your keyword is broad and famous enough (such as say, dating), you are likely to get a lot of unrelated products in the search results if you sort them this way. The other alternative is to pick and choose the product with at least 2 or more customer reviews, and skip the rest!

If you choose Clickbank™ products then you are really at a disadvantage. Why? It is very difficult to get honest reviews on a Clickbank product (of course you can go to a forum related to the niche and ask for feedback regarding the product, but sometimes it maybe frowned upon by some forum admins as a "promotional tactic"). When you search for a Clickbank product in Google you are likely to get pages and pages of crappy reviews before you actually find what you are looking for. I generally use the following keyword combinations to find product feedback:

PRODUCTNAME+reviews (you are likely to get a lot of crap reviews with this, but you may also get a few good ones, so worth a try)

PRODUCTNAME+forums
PRODUCTNAME+message boards
PRODUCTNAME+complaints
PRODUCTNAME+customer complaints
PRODUCTNAME+feedback
PRODUCTNAME+customer feedback
PRODUCTNAME+yahoo answers

 

"PRODUCTNAME"+reviews (you are likely to get a lot of crap reviews with this, but you may also get a few good ones, so worth a try)

"PRODUCTNAME"+forums
"PRODUCTNAME"+message boards
"PRODUCTNAME"+complaints
"PRODUCTNAME"+customer complaints
"PRODUCTNAME"+feedback
"PRODUCTNAME"+customer feedback
"PRODUCTNAME"+yahoo answers

 

"PRODUCTNAME reviews" (you are likely to get a lot of crap reviews with this, but you may also get a few good ones, so worth a try)

"PRODUCTNAME forums"
"PRODUCTNAME message boards"
"PRODUCTNAME complaints"
"PRODUCTNAME customer complaints"
"PRODUCTNAME feedback"
"PRODUCTNAME customer feedback"
"PRODUCTNAME yahoo answers"

 

PRODUCTNAME reviews (you are likely to get a lot of crap reviews with this, but you may also get a few good ones, so worth a try)

PRODUCTNAME forums
PRODUCTNAME message boards
PRODUCTNAME complaints
PRODUCTNAME customer complaints
PRODUCTNAME feedback
PRODUCTNAME customer feedback
PRODUCTNAME yahoo answers

And yes, you can always outsource the product review writing to a qualified ghostwriter. Whoever said that you have to write all reviews yourself is taking you for a ride. :P If you provide your ghostwriter with ample materials and instructions, s/he can easily fork out reviews on any product the way YOU want!

-Structuring the Review: Once you have gathered the needed materials, it is time to construct a house…err, a review, that is! :P

I prefer to insert the product image at the very start of the review; I believe in the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words"! You can sue the following code for this (you should change all the bolded parts):

<a href="PRODUCT-AFFLINK"  target="_blank"><img src="PRODUCT-IMAGE-URL" alt="PRODUCT-IMAGE-ALT-TEXT" width="IMAGE-WIDTH" height="IMAGE-HEIGHT" border="0" class="aligncenter" title="PRODUCT-IMAGE-ALT-TITLE" /></a>

After the image, you can offer a brief overview of the product like this:

Product name:
Product author:
Product salespage: (this should of course point to your affiliate link)

The above is entirely optional but I prefer to do this in case of Clickbank products, as I believe that the loooooong Clickbank product salespages would provide the buyer with far more details (not to mention the "testimonials") on the product than my review ever could!

The next paragraph of your review should be sued to attract the reader’s attention in a way that he becomes willing to read more. If you cannot attract the reader’s attention within the first couple of lines, you are unlikely to be able to convert the reader into buyer. Now here is a lame example:

"Are you tired of spending sleepless nights? Then you would certainly want to give Arindam Chakraborty’s boring blog a try. Here are the key benefits offered by this blog:" :P

Of course that is a lame example, but you get the idea! ;)

Next of course you would want to list the product benefits. You can write it either in the form of a short paragraph summarizing the product benefits, or  a list of the product benefits in bulleted/numbered format! Whatever you do, keep it short and sweet. Avoid jargon and length sentences as they are likely to confuse your reader and show him the red signal! :D

Immediately after this you would like to insert a "Buy Now" link which can be either a plain text link or an image button link. This link would be your affiliate link. You can insert something like:

Click Here for More Details About this Product!

In the ensuing paragraphs, you would want to give out more details about the product, interchanging between short paragraphs and bulleted lists. Just remember to insert a "Buy Now" link after every couple of paragraphs/lists! A lot of people skip/skim text so the more frequently they see the "Buy Now" link the higher would be your conversion rate. Of course, at the same time you should not be irritating them with too many "Buy Now" links. Stuff like this is more likely to disgust a visitor than convert him into buyer:

Example 1-Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now

Example 2 -What? Still Reading This? Buy Now

Example 3: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
Buy Now

-Length Does Not Matter: If you have not gotten bored even after reading almost five pages of this long boring article, chances are that a lot of your readers would be fine with long product reviews as well! :P Jokes apart, if you write your review the way I instructed, the length of your review should not affect your conversions at all!

Once you are done writing the initial draft of your review, spell check and proofread it. Next, let the review "sit in your head" for a few days – meaning that, keep the review in the backburner for now. It is possible that after a  couple of days you may have some new ideas to add to it; it is equally possible that you may want to delete something you had written earlier from the review article!

After you are done with this second "revision" step you can publish your review on the web! :D

-Adding Your Affiliate Links within the Body of the Review: Apart from inserting "Buy Now" links every now and then within the body of the product review, I also like to insert my affiliate links contextually. For example, in case of Amazon Product Reviews, immediately after I list the positive reviews of the product, I would insert a link like:

Click here to read more customer reviews on this product!

Same thing after listing the negative reviews as well!

So here is a plain and simple product review template for you. As nothing is set in stone, you can reformat/rearrange/ignore this template the way you like:

 

 

===============================================

Page Title: Name of the Product

Product Image

Product name:
Product author:
Product salespage: (this would of course point to your affiliate link)

Brief teaser about the product, in no more than a couple of paragraphs!

List of Product benefits.

Click Here for More Details About this Product!

"Buy Now" link/image button

Give out more details about the product.

"Buy Now" link/image button

List of customer reviews-Positive reviews

-Review 1
-Review 2
-Review 3

Click here to read more customer reviews on this product!

"Buy Now" link/image button

List of customer reviews-Negative reviews

-Review 1
-Review 2
-Review 3

Click here to read more customer reviews on this product!

"Buy Now" link/image button

Conclusion:

[Anything after this point is strictly optional; also note that it is easier to get information about the product manufacturers and sellers of a Amazon.com product than a Clickbank product]

-Product FAQ

-Contact Information: For enquiries regarding the product, please contact xxx@yyy.com

About the product manufacturer:

About the product seller:

===============================================

 

What? Still tenaciously sticking to this article? Don’t worry; you WILL get bored very soon! ;)

2. Building the Review Site:

-Choosing and Customizing the WordPress Theme: Before WordPress 3.0 came, I used to build most of my sites in plain html. After the arrival of Wp 3.0, I started focusing on building sites (including review sites) in WordPress. The great advantage of the new WordPress is that you don’t have to install one separate blog for each of your domain; you can add all your domains in just a single WordPress install! I discuss the process here.

As for customizing your blog/theme, you can read the following boring articles and get bored further:

10 Steps to Turning WordPress Into a Static HTML Site
Optimizing Your WordPress Blog

3. Choosing the Plugins: Before you install any new plugin on your blog, you will want to read this article.

Now, as a matter of fact, I like to keep plugins to a bare minimum, because the more plugins you use, the messier/slower your site would be, and since these are my "money sites" it is important to make sure that my site loads within just a few seconds! If it were my boring blog then of course I won’t give a damn! (kidding) :P

You can test your site’s speed with this tool.

- List of Plugins to Use – I have tested all the following plugins with up to WordPress 3.0.4:

Akismet
Autolink URI
Bad Behavior
CryptX (read here on how to customize it)
Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
DB Cache Reloaded (read about how to customize it here)
Domain Mapping for WordPress (this is a paid plugin which I discuss here; there is also a free alternative as I discussed here but it is harder to setup as well as does not mask the URLs of the originating blog completely, and hence not recommended)
Exec-PHP
FeedBurner FeedSmith
Frame Buster
JS & CSS Script Optimizer (setting up this plugin on a multisite blog is a headache of sorts; read why here; the alternative is to use WP Minify, which is not as good but simpler to setup)
My Brand Login (optional)
No Curly Quotes
Official StatCounter Plugin (optional)
Pretty Link (version 1.4.52)
Redirection (Version 2.1.29; read here on how to customize it)
SEO Ultimate (read here on how to customize it)
Target Blank In Posts And Comments (read the warning here before using it)
TweetMeme Retweet Button (optional)
WP-PostViews
WP-ShortStat (optional)
WP Facebook Like (optional)
WPMS Mobile Edition (optional)
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (version 3.1.9)

As for contact forms, I usually code my forms in Dreamweaver™, use allforms as the form processor, add the form code as an "ad" in the Advertising Manager plugin, and then embed the form on a page by pasting the respective ad shortcode in it. I do it this way as the existing WordPress contact form plugins usually either get spammed to death (only natural, as millions and millions of WordPress users use these forms and the more well-known a code is, the more chances of its getting hacked someday) or have problems sending the email!

The only other alternative that I would recommend is the Dragon Design Form Plugin. I have successfully tested the plugin with up to WordPress 2.9. I have never got around to testing it with the latest WordPress version! :(

Now, if you are a pluginaholic then here are some long boring articles of mine that you can read; even if you learn nothing, at least you will get bored, so you have nothing to lose :P :

Huge List of Cool WordPress Plugins-Part 1
Huge List of Cool WordPress Plugins-Part 2
Huge List of Cool WordPress Plugins-Part 3
Huge List of Cool WordPress Plugins-Part 4

4. Adding a Disclosure is a Good Thing: Here is why. I also discuss how to get pre-written disclosures here.

5. Optional Stuff You Can Do (but I have NOT done):

-Recommending a Product: I honestly cannot recommend a single product as the "best product" because "no one size fits all". Exception to this rule would be software review sites where all the softwares you review fall under the same category, such as anti-virus softwares, anti-spam softwares, registry cleaners, etc. However, if you are say, reviewing cameras or computers, it is very difficult to recommend a single product as the "best" one because each product is unique in its own way (in contrast, most registry cleaners are just clones of each other, with just a different name attached to each).

Now, for your recommendation to stand out, you must put your ad at the very top of your blog/website. If you use Advertising manager plugin then you can easily put ads in any position of your blog by means of widgets/shortcodes. For plain html sites, here is a free cgi script you can use! Personally this is the same script I still use on my old html review site!

For the ad to be FTC compliant, it is a good idea to link to your disclosure statement at the end of the ad!

-Building a List: Again this is something I have not done. This is another reason why I like to build product review sites and target desperate buyers. Not only list building is time-consuming, but also I would need to email my lists quite frequently to keep them "active", or else they would become "dead" lists; since I don’t post reviews too often, building a list does not really make much sense; and as you might know, it is very difficult to recommend any ONE product as the best of the lot.

But you can certainly give this a try! Whatever you do, just be sure to keep an eye on your conversions :D

6. Getting Traffic: This is something I have discussed here, but I understand this may not be enough. Hence, here are some articles on how to get free backlinks (as you might know, good content+backlinks=traffic)

Ultimate Secret to Getting Tons of Backlinks at NO Cost-Part 1
Ultimate Secret to Getting Tons of Backlinks at NO Cost-Part 2
Ultimate Secret to Getting Tons of Backlinks at NO Cost-Part 3
Ultimate Secret to Getting Tons of Backlinks at NO Cost-Part 4

Further Reading:

The "Shaving Conspiracy" – and Why This is the Single Biggest Reason Most Affiliates are Going to Fail: There is hardly a post of Chris Rempel that I don’t like; this post obviously falls in my "favorite posts of all time" category. In fact I learned about writing product reviews from his ebook only! Along with that, his conduit report is equally good, if not better!

Do you sell intentionally or accidentally? (Access available to Earn1Kaday members only): I would say this is one of the best posts I have ever read; even though I know most of what Michael Gunn says in his post (due to my spinning wheels in the IM niche for 5+ years), I would say that it helps – even if subconsciously – when someone reiterates these things to you again and again!

This may not be the most useful article you have ever read, but at least you got bored okay? :P Now will you please click here to post a nice comment, thanks. :D

Disclosure: ArindamChakraborty.com is affiliated to the Professional Domain Mapping Plugin, Lazy Super Affiliate report and the Conduit report!

10 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention 6 Easy Steps to Building Money-Making Product Review Sites! -- Topsy.com

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  2. Alan

    As usual another boring post. Everytime I click and read, you impress me more and more. If you don’t rank for multiple keywords related to “product reviews”, then I quit. Well thought out, great deep information, worth bookmarking for the next time I write a review. Thanks

  3. Paul Schlegel

    Amazing and HELPFUL content as usual. Just added you to my trusted resources page which I send quite a few people to on a regular basis. You’re awesome. :-)

    1. Arindam

      Thanks Paul and Alan ;)

  4. Stephen Wharton

    Arandim, I DON’T think you are boring …. but a little bit ??? Giving all this great content away in one blog post.
    Your knowledge and generosity is much appreciated and your obviously “fun” personality shines through. As per above …… YOUR AWESOME !!

  5. Emma

    Hey Arindam,

    Thanks for giving me lots to think about again. I can incorporate some of your ideas into my existing websites, rather than setting up a completely new site which I like the idea of :)

    Emma

  6. Orjin

    The article is very good telling how to make a review site. Infact, it is an awesome sample showing us how to write successfully an article promoting affiliate products.

  7. Ron - Sales Copywriting | Blogging | SEO

    One awesome blog! I really like your posts, been following you for some time.

    Keep your great work.

  8. Bruce

    “I would say that it helps – even if subconsciously – when someone reiterates these things to you again and again!”
    Exactly!
    I have just re-read your boring post for the third time, and I’m now working on implementing some of your advice on a very unsuccessful review site.
    The quality of your boredom is excellent. Hope you keep on boring us for a long time.

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    [...] Building product review sites is one of the best and easiest ways to make money as an [...]