If you are thinking of selling stuff online, one of the most powerful formats you can use is a product review. There is some sort of psychological weakness people have regarding product review sites. The reason for this is very simple – people are lazy. A product review site is very powerful, because, at least from an appearance point of view, it seeks to gather the information that you need regarding a particular product so you can weigh the proper considerations, and decide whether to buy or to ditch the product. Fairly straightforward.
The product review format is set up in such a way that it is easy for your mind to go on out of pilot and just process one block of information at a time until you make a decision. Do you know that a well-written product review site is actually steering to a specific decision? What decision is this? Of course, the product review is steering you to buy. When you buy, the person who wrote the product review, or built the product review site makes money, that’s how product review sites work. Unfortunately, people got on the bandwagon regarding the effectiveness of product review sites, and they basically abuse the format. They think that you only need to publish a product review site that is obviously self-serving, and you will make money, nothing could be further from the truth.
The sad reality is that, the vast majority of product review blogs and websites out there, fail to make money. At best, they don’t make the amount of money they should be making, they fail to live up to their fullest potential. If you want to make a product review site that truly shines out and makes money, keep the following in mind. This is not Rocket Science folks, it’s all about adding value. If you take care of the needs of the readers of your blog or website, chances are high that they will take care of you by buying from you, it really is that simple. However, you have to follow the following product review site best practices, otherwise, you are basically just wasting your time.
Layout Must be Focused on Informing
When you’re picking a layout for your product review site, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you get down to business. What’s the business of a product review site? Inform your visitors, — that’s it, that’s all there is to it, it really can’t get any more straightforward than that. Unfortunately, too many people who try to put up product review sites loose sight of this. They build a website that is all about their own self interest, it’s all about putting money in their pockets. If your layout obviously communicates in obvious terms that you are just trying to sell, your product reviews are not going to get read; at best, they’re going to be read with a high degree of skepticism and suspicion. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure that your layout is focused on informing your readers. At the very least, your layout should be easy to read, should emphasize the different features of the product, and most importantly, emphasize on the benefits that the product brings to the table. The layout must be clear as to the amount of value it brings to the lives of your blog’s readers.
Focus on Product Demonstrations and Video
Your product review must demonstrate the product; in other words, it must take apart the product in terms of benefits it brings to the table. This is crucial, why? People don’t really care about the features until they are clear regarding how they will benefit from the product that you are reviewing. Make this clear to them. Demonstrate the product based on their needs. It should be a fairly straightforward one-two-three type of layout. There should be a problem and then a solution, problem—solution; or put in another way, lay out the product review in terms of visitor interest benefit. Whatever specific layout or presentation you choose, focus on demonstrating how the product solves the real problems of the people reading your reviews. One of the best ways to do this, is of course through the power of video. If pictures are worth a thousand words, how many words do you think one video packs? Sure, putting up demonstration videos on your product review site might cost you quite a bit of money, however, this is money well spent. If you are just going to be focusing on text demonstrations or text product reviews, you are basically stuck along with the other 98% of other product review sites out there – they are mostly text or graphics. If you use a video, you stand out from the crowd.
Tell Stories and Scenarios Regarding the Product
People navigate the world in terms of stories. Stories are very powerful selling devices because they draw the reader in, they put the reader on center stage, and they put the readers need for solutions in the center of the discussion. When you tell stories, you appeal to emotional hot buttons that the reader has. The good news with introducing stories to your product reviews, is that you can use them to paint scenarios or settings. This enables them to quickly identify the problems that they have and how the product benefits them based on those problems.
Don’t be Afraid to Show the Product’s Blemishes
All the visitors to your website know that there is no such thing as a perfect product. If you are going to pretend that there is such a thing, your product review site is going to fail, why? All your product reviews look too perfect, all your product reviews look stellar. It seems that you can’t review a site that has problems. Well, the reality is that all products are not created equal, some products are shabbier than others. Oftentimes, there are many products on the market that are positioned to the wrong audiences. You need to be very clear as to your ability to see the downsides or disadvantages of the particular product that you are reviewing. By communicating this clearly to your readers, you gain their trust, you become more credible to them; you don’t look just like another person that is out to sell them stuff that they don’t really need.
Build an Auto-Responder for Every Product Category
This is one of the most important steps you need to follow for you to make money off your product review site, you need to build a list early on. By setting up an email collection form, you can then offer your visitors some sort of value-added information training system, why? When people are looking for a specific product, they’re really looking for a buyer’s guide, they’re looking for a way to make an informed decision regarding a product category. However, there is just so much information on the internet that it’s easy for visitors of your product review site to get confused by all this information.
When you set up a mailing list and you offer a buyer’s guide for every product category you cover, you start a relationship with your visitors. You send them periodic emails that give them the information they need to make a truly informed decision. By stepping them through a process where they get bits and pieces of information, you walk them through the buying process. The buying process can be broken down into the following parts: know-like-trust-buy. By giving your list members either an e-book or an email by email series, you can get them to know your website, like your presentations, trust the information you offer, and then ultimately buy from you.
Focus on Information Not Found Elsewhere
One of the biggest problems with product review sites is that they tend to repeat the same information again and again. If you want to truly stand out from your competition, you have to focus on information that cannot be found elsewhere. This means that you have to roll up your sleeves and actually do work to drill deeper into your product category and know information that your visitors would want to know. This takes a lot of work, this often takes a lot of attention to detail; however, considering the fact that your website will stand apart from its competition, this is well worth it. The more distinct and distinguished your product review blog is, the higher the chance you will make real money with your website.
It’s too easy to get caught up in the hype of product review sites, after all, the product review is one of the most powerful online selling formats. However, if you want your product review site to truly shine out and stand out, follow the tips above. These tips are based on hard-won experience. Use these tips to help you take your product review site to a higher and more profitable level.