Why do Most Product Review Sites Suck?

Updated on | By | Under the Category Affiliate Marketing

One of the easiest ways to make money online is to put up a product review site. It is so easy that it seems like everybody is putting up such a website, after all, it doesn’t take much effort. All you need to do is to open a hosting account, install WordPress which is completely free; oftentimes your host already has WordPress ready for installation, all you need to do is to click one button on your Control Panel and you have an instant WordPress blog.

It’s very easy to put up a product review site. You just buy a product review theme, and there are many of them in the market, and you’re in business. Unfortunately, if you are going to a look at a product review website from this perspective, you are basically wasting your time, why? Regardless of the niche or product range that you are targeting, if you are going to approach putting up a product review site in the same way as your competitors, you are basically wasting your time.

Why would people go to your website when there are tons of other websites that look just like yours? Here are the reasons why most product review sites fail: they fail to distinguish themselves, they fail to stand-out; as a result, most of them don’t make any money. If you know the truth about product review sites, it’s probably a good idea to not do the following things.

Use the Same Layout

Since there are many popular product review site WordPress themes out there, it’s too easy to put up a review site that looks just like your competitors’ websites. It seems that everybody is using the same layout, everybody is using the same strategy. If your reviews look and feel just like your competitions, you’re doing it wrong. You can’t use the same layout and expect people to be loyal to your blog, it just doesn’t work that way.

Same Presentation

In addition to the font, graphics images and page layout described above, many product review sites use the same presentation. This means that they use an overview of the product, and then the review considerations, ranking systems – usually a five-star or numerical ranking system, and a conclusion, pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, this is also pretty boring. If you’re going to use the same presentation as your competitors, your website would basically look just like theirs. This is an incentive for people looking for reviews to stay with your blog or even seek your blog out.

Obvious Conflict of Interest

One of the biggest and most common mistakes made by people who put up product review sites is an obvious conflict of interest. They review a product and they negatively review several products, but the main product that they really praise to the high heavens is, guess what, a product that has an affiliate link. This is obvious to anybody with more than one brain cell. This shows that you’re not really interested in helping your blog’s readers to make a truly informed decision. You are interested primarily in lining your own pockets, this is why you steer your readers to make a specific choice. When they make that choice, you make a commission.  This obvious conflict of interest turns a lot of people off. It makes people distrust your blog, and it gives most product review sites a black eye.

Too Focused on Selling and Not Informing

While it’s a good idea to hype up your reviews and get the reader excited, there is a thin line between getting people excited and basically just trying to sell to them. People who are going to go to your website to read reviews, are looking for real reviews. In other words, they are looking to get informed, they are looking to get content that will enable them to make the right decision, they’re looking for factors, they’re looking for considerations; they’re not looking to make you money, they’re not looking to buy just because you told them to buy.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to write a product review that is focused primarily on selling instead of informing. If you give in to this temptation, you are basically driving away your readers, why? Most people have a brain, they can see whether they are being pushed to buy something, or they are being given information so they can make an informed decision.

Ignores the Know-Like-Trust-Buy Process

If you want to sell to somebody online, you have to know the buying process. The buying process is fairly straightforward. For people to buy from you, they must first trust you, however, for them to build a level of trust from you so that they can buy from you, they have to first like you. To get people to like you, they have to know you. This is a long, intricate and methodical process, it doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t in a short period of time.

Unfortunately, most product review sites are totally clueless regarding the know-like-trust-buy process, they go straight to the buy. They don’t even put in any effort to get the reader to know the product. They don’t encourage their readers to like the product so that they can trust whatever is written in the review. It’s not a surprise then, that most product review sites simply fail to make money; at best, many of them don’t make as much money as they should be making.

Duplicate Content

Another key problem with most review sites is that they basically lift and copy and paste consumer reviews from websites like Amazon and other e-commerce websites. What’s wrong with this picture? First of all, your website is going to get penalized by Google because you published duplicate content. Second of all, this consumer reviews, especially if you just copy and paste highly-favorable or 100% positive consumer reviews, are not going to make your product reviews trustworthy, seriously. If everything is positive, then the reader gets this distinct feeling that you are pulling his or her leg. You’re basically just steering the reader to buy. Doing so doesn’t build trust and credibility for your website, you better knock it out.

If you are an owner of a product review site, and you’re not making any sales, you need to check if you are committing any of the errors above. If your website is just like most of the other product review sites out there, chances are, you are committing at least two or more of the bad practices listed above.

About the Author: Lewis Crutch

As the administrator of Marketing Bees, Lewis Crutch manages all of the free advice and tips available here on the Marketing Bees blog as well as spending time putting together in-depth marketing related courses covering a wide range of topics including email, content and social media marketing.

3 Responses to “Why do Most Product Review Sites Suck?”

  1. Annie Marie Peters

    Absolutely true. I think you especially hit the nail on the head when you mentioned ‘selling not informing’. When people are browsing the internet, I think blatant sales pitches are a big turn off. What we really want is to see the genuine article.

  2. Alex London

    As with a lot of endeavours on the internet, it’s all about the detail! It’s not what most people want to hear but the only way to build genuine trust is with genuine content and that takes time and effort. You need to give people something worthwhile if you want them on board. Identikit sites with little effort and poor content are completely transparent and most internet users are wise to them now.

  3. John Medley

    This is not always the situation and can be untrue but yeah, usually it is like this.
    People make duplicate content and get no traffic.


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