How To Write Review Blog Posts That Make Money

This is a guest post from Robb Sutton, a Blog Mastermind graduate student who blogs at Mountain Biking by 198, which has brought in over $70,000 in review product in its first year. Robb’s just released a new report called Ramped Reviews, which will teach you how to get thousands of dollars worth of free review products thanks to your blog.

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If you build a good blog eventually you will enjoy the opportunity to review products and services that can generate revenue through direct sales or affiliate promotions. The trick to make this profitable without scaring away your readers, is to write a comprehensive, honest review that still converts casual readers into consumers, who take an action that returns revenue for you.

Advertising vs. Reviews

Before we jump into how to write a review that sells, I believe it is important to spell out the difference between conventional advertising and a review. Both of these mediums are forms of media exposure that have the goal of convincing a person to perform an action, but at their core… they are very different.

  • Conventional Advertising – Advertising is often just a quick pitch that keeps that specific brand name in your mind long enough for you to perform an action (typically a purchase). The advertisement is prepared by a marketing firm or the company producing the product and it features only the aspects the company wants to portray. Advertisements are often thrown through multiple sessions of market research and are heavily geared towards the psychology of the target audience.
  • Reviews – When done correctly, reviews are a comprehensive look at the good and bad of a product or service as it relates to its target audience. A reviewer is not connected to the host company to prevent bias in the reviewing process.

How To Write a Review That Sells

The ultimate challenge for a blog review writer is producing a review that is honest, but still converts. When done correctly, you can maintain your credibility as a review writer and still generate revenue on your blog.

Here are some tips to help you draft up your next successful product review.

Comprehensive Reviews Answer Questions

A well written, successful product review, should answer questions for your readers:

  • What does this product or service do?
  • What does this product do differently than the competition?
  • What does this product do that is great?
  • What does this product do that is bad?
  • Who is the ideal person for this product?
  • Where can you buy this product?

As you can see by these example questions, you are trying to answer all of the questions that a potential reader would ask.

When a search engine visitor or regular reader of your blog reads this review, they are going to ask themselves whether it is a good idea to purchase the product in question for their needs. If you do not answer this relevant question, they will not take action. Your goal should be to answer as many questions as you can in the pursuit of providing a complete product review for your readers.

A review that sells leaves no rock unturned in the search for the truth. As the reviewer, you need to give your readers insight into the product or service that they could not find anywhere else. By using as many examples, pictures and video, you are able to bring the reader closer to the product than any ad spot.

Nothing Is Perfect

In your search to provide the most comprehensive review possible for your readers, you need to remember one very important trait of every product and service on the market…NOTHING IS PERFECT.

Everything you review has both good and bad points that need to be addressed during the review process. A common mistake I see among bloggers is the temptation to write glorified advertisements as reviews in an attempt to butter up other companies into giving them free product for review purposes.

This trap is easier to get in than many would imagine. Remember…you should be blogging on a subject that you are passionate about, so it is natural to get excited about receiving product that you used to pay top dollar for. Your credibility is everything as a review blogger, so it is more important to portray the truth. Your readers will see right past your excitement if they know you are skipping over negative aspects of products in an attempt to get more free stuff.

Negative reviews (and you will have some that are very negative over time) should be fact based so you leave little argument to your conclusions. You will have readers that disagree, but they will at least respect your opinion.

Remember Your Readers

When you are drafting your reviews to publish on your blog, you need to always keep in mind your typical blog reader. If you have been blogging for any length of time, you have a pretty good understanding of how your readers react to certain language.

On one of my blogs, Mountain Biking by 198, we often receive emails and comments about how we should have gotten more technical with our reviews. While there are a small number of readers that would like to talk about suspension curves and shock dampers, the majority of the readers are either not interested or wouldn’t understand the terminology. The majority of the readers want to have the question “will this bike fit my needs?” answered, and that is what we provide.

Try to take all constructive criticism to heart but at the same time remember who your common reader is while you write your reviews. After all, you want your writing to appeal to your core audience.

If your audience is a bunch of web coders, it is a smart idea to get technical. If your blog readers are looking for ways to shed the pounds but still eat food that tastes good, it is not a good idea to go into the extreme details on how food is processed. Get the idea?

Summarizing Features

Like it or not, there are two different kinds of readers that are going to read your reviews.

  • The reader that soaks up every word of your content with the utmost intensity.
  • The scanner that just looks for the main points and hits the road.

When you draft up a successful product review, you need to make the review work for both types of blog readers. The easiest way to get the scanner to pay attention is by using attention grabbing headlines throughout the review and summarizing your points at the end of the article. If you open any car magazine, you can quickly scan a review article and get quick points and a basic yes or no on the car.

At the end of your product and service reviews, provide a quick summary paragraph and a list of the good and bad points of the product. This summarizes the article for the word for word reader and gives a quick focus point for the scanner.

Affiliate Links in Reviews

If you wrote a successful product review, the reader will have determined if they need to take action or not by the facts you presented. At the end of your review, insert your affiliate link with a bold header that clearly explains that the link is for purchasing the product reviewed. Hopefully, all of your hard work paid off and your readers that need a product like that take action.

One Last Word

Your credibility as a review writer is everything. The more your readers take your advice and have a positive experience with the interaction, the more success you will see with your blog and your review writing. Under no circumstances should you ever risk that credibility for something free. Once that trust is broken with your readers, it is very hard to gain back.

Robb Sutton

If you want more advice from Robb on how to get free stuff to review on your blog, grab a copy of his new report called Ramped Reviews

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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76 Comments

  • That’s a pretty informative article Robb Sutton. It’s true that good reviews will rake in money. Although I don’t like the idea of paid reviews.

    • Thanks Abdul. I see paid reviews as ok if they are still open and honest reviews. If the reviewer is just trying to attract more income by writing glorified advertisements…I see that as a conflict of interest personally.

    • Why not?

  • Robb, I swear I’m not following you around, but this was another informative post. The ebook was great and it’s really helping me take my coffee related reviews to the next level.

    • Thanks Mike! I am always glad to help! Now quit stalking me!!!! J/K…

  • Robb,

    Excellent article! I really liked how you broke down the review process while still keeping focused on two things: being honest to your readers (to build trust) and yet write in a way that can turn them into buying customers.

    Thanks!
    -David

    • Thanks David.

      Honesty is everything. Once you blow that credibility…it is extremely hard to gain it back.

    • Trust is the only thing that keeps growing in your business..

      • @Robb and @Ben Pei,

        I made the mistake once of “overhyping” a product on one of my review sites. The reaction was almost immediate: complaint e-mails and a mass exodus of unsubscribes from my newsletter. It was a hard lesson — but one I needed to learn.

        Now, I am much more careful about writing honest reviews that include both pros and cons of the products. Robb’s post is going to help me even more!

        • It’s a hard lesson to learn…but at least you learned it and applied that knowledge to future reviews! You would be surprised how many bloggers make that mistake over and over again.

  • I agree that too many reviews do not include negatives. It is too often all about the positives. This is unrealistic and leaves the reader suspicious. By mentioning some cons, your readers will trust you a lot more.

  • Really helpful guest post. I strongly agree that credibility is vital in writing review blog posts.
    I have to pay attention and keep in touch with a blogger who can help me.
    So the key for success is helping your reader. And expect that these readers will bring you money.

  • Yeah, once you blow your credibility it’s really hard to regain it. Being honest, without being overly harsh(or rude) is important, unless the product truly sucks lol.

  • Great tips Rob. I’m very much with you on the honesty thing. When I start posting reviews (which will be soon), my plan is to continue the honesty and openness I have already built with my readership. I also plan to inform them in a humorous way that I will be making a cut of any sale. I think letting people know that you’re making a commission is another way you can maintain, and possibly even build, credibility.

    Very helpful post. Thanks!

  • Oops, sorry for the incorrect spelling of your name Robb. Feel free to call me Sammy!

    • Will do! Thanks for the feedback.

      As long as you stick with open and honest…everything will roll beautifully.

  • paid reviews on blogs, like the soon to be “paid to tweet” tweets may be the downfall of a blogger / twitterer. be careful, and always remain true to what you and your blog stand for.

  • Great post – I often write reviews for other companies and they do like to have at least one negative on each product,that is quickly backed up by something more positive so people still want to buy it.

    “You cannot succeed by yourself. It’s hard to find a rich hermit.”

  • ‘remember your readers’ … and i will add : don’t sell them anything , ever .

    you should never sell anything to your readers .

    you provide good advice here … for a salesman .

    but shouldn’t a blog be about interaction … !? a sort of … virtual , cold , but yet comforting friendship ?

    would you sell a book to your friend ? or would you recommend it knowing that he might find it useful ?

    there are 2 ways to go about this … either make sure you know your readers and provide them with actually useful things . and make some money while you’re at it .

    or treat them as potential clients and sell them things they might need .

    @kimberly … actually that’s just like that thing publishers sometimes do when they have product a for sale and product b… product a costs $50 while product a+b cost $80 . product b actually is worthless … but hey … they gotta make some money ? so what do they do to get you to pay more for , practically , the same product a ? they add product b with a price tag of about $50 so that you think to yourself : ‘hey … i don’t need b … but damn , that’s a bargain for the both of them’ .

  • I’ve written a lot of reviews, and make decent money from them. This is good advice. The worst thing you can do with reviews is to have them read like glorified advertisements. The respect and trust of your readers is far more important than the handful of extra sales you might get IN THE SHORT TERM by writing “puff pieces” for the products you’re reviewing.

    • Very true!

      I began Internet marketing by looking at the sales-copy of successful websites. I figured if I wrote like that then I could make sales. That was a major “Oops!” Sales -copy is meant to make sales, but a review site is meant to weed through the sales hype and give honest opinions about the product(s).

  • I never tried to write a review, I think I will try now/ Thanks for good advice

  • everyone can write but not all people can write well enough for others to understand and so there are people who makes money through writing and there are people who don’t. writing blogs are not easy but in the end, it serves its purpose: to share, to add knowledge and at the same time to be a medium of advertising and money maker.

    check out this site to know more about a person who made it in the business because of blogging.

  • I have read a review of your ebook on johnchow.com and was realy
    interested in picking it up. But after this post, I realy have no idea
    what else can you be holding back, you just spilled the beans! Thanks Rob!

    Igor

    • Lol I am sure there are many more secrets inside?

      • Tons more! 44 pages worth! And not 44 pages of pictures and separator pages…100% content.

  • If you get the right writing style for your niche it can work much better but if you get it wrong it ends up like a pretty poor sales pitch.

  • I like the presence of integrity in your statements about not writing reviews just to sell… You’re writing reviews to sell and to inform..

  • Great post there Robb. Just what i needed to be honest since my PR4 blog is heading in a one way direction but you have just opened another highway of opportunity. Many thanks. TechCombo

  • I am all for paid reviews and where possible go after them. I am slowly building up a roster of clients who like my work. This is good advise.

  • Great article Robb. I am going to buy your report now. You are one of the successful BMM graduate!

    • Thanks Deepak! When you get done reading it…shoot me over an email and let me know what you think.

      There is an affiliate program too if you are up for a little promotion for cash!

  • Thanks to Robb and Yaro. Its a great post. I learned a lot. I’ll try to incorporate all these tips whenever I do product reviews again.

  • Hi Robb, You mentioned, “Nothings Perfect,” and that’s certainly true. What I see some “Reviewers” making a small and insignificant point the focus of the ‘negative’ part of the review. People just are not that stupid. Example, “This is a wonderful article and points out the many ways a person can write a factual review and make money. One problem I had with it is that on line 267 you misspelled the word ‘their’ it should have been ‘there.” That type of thing is meant to show credibility by pointing out a negative but it’s just goofy. Like when you’re asked in an interview, “What’s one of your weak attibutes?” “I work too hard, I come in too early and stay too late, I’m totally dedicated to my job.” Yeah, right that will convince them…not. IF there is something that’s a negative, Be Honest and point it out. Then you’ll gain real credibility with your readers.
    Robb, this comment was not meant as a criticism of you or your article, you have a great deal of credibility because you are honest in your reviews. Just want to make that clear.
    Thanks,
    Tony

    • Yeah, I’d have to agree with you there, Tony. You can’t “force” negative comments; it’s a wrongheaded way to go about gaining credibility. If a product really does tick all the boxes, just say so. Without making it sound like it’s YOUR product.

      Really, what it boils down to is: “be honest”. And there are ways of telling the truth without completely alienating your audience.

  • I find the key to a good review is to give comparisons. If you put two products side-by-side one will have some advantages, say cost and the other likely others, say durability. That way you can give some real context about the product.

  • What do you do in case of unfavorable review of a product? If somebody pays you for writing a review, do you give this person/company a right of refusal? By that I mean, do you let them read it first and decide if they still want to go ahead and have you publish it, or do you go ahead and post it anyways?

    • Most times…you post it. The company is fully aware that they take the risk of an unfavorable review when they submit their product. If you keep it fact based and not “I just don’t like it!” then everything should be fine.

      • I’d be tempted to let them pre-empt it. I’m not going to give a false review and I’m not going to refund the money, but I might let them just forget about me posting it.

  • First of all, great guest post by Robb Sutton! I’d say pretty close to the level of posts that Yaro makes, Rob, You are right about credibility, it is so hard to gain it, but it is so easy to lose it, the same thing applies for respect and alot of things in life!

    Till then,

    Jean

  • i am not quite agree in what Rob is saying i cant see a company selling through posts in blogs, i would think is a very long term thing…..however if there is anyone in reading this blog who want to help my company increasing their sales i would be veri happy to have a chat
    regards

    • For one manufacturer, I actually sent the stats of the review. We were able to directly track over 3 dozen sales that were directly referred by the review article.

      You have to remember that it is a very targeted audience who is already consuming some form of what you are offering. Even if they are a search engine visitor, they are searching out unbiased information to make purchasing decisions.

      It’s basic affiliate and viral marketing of your product.

  • That was a great post, I like it very much.

    A question for is that, do you add in additional bonuses when your readers purchase the products?

    As I was talking of adding it to the review.

    Some bloggers used this approach, well others do not. What do you think?

    • I do not add additional bonuses for clicking affiliate links on my reviews. If the reader is in the market for that product (or a competitor) and feels that the product in the review fits their needs…they click and buy.

      I do have loyal readers who click affiliate links when they need to purchase products to support the site…but that is the farthest it goes.

  • Hi Robb thank you for the great articles. Many people get confused when they think of how to write a review, since many make the mistake of writing only the outline of the story, it is important to write the technical aspects.

  • Well if this Article don’t tell you how to write a review it tells you how to write articles to get comments.Great post I will remember it when i am thinking, “what to write on my Blog” i only done one review and i found it’s easier because I had something to focus on it was not a paid review but still i could build on it

  • Hmmmm…..excellent insights into getting stuff to review….and to keep for FREE. An unbiased review is definitely a better sales pitch than a hard sell to me, and people will always try to obtain somebody else’s opinion when making a purchase. Pity motor vehicle manufacturers aren’t as generous, otherwise I’d have a car review blog optimised to the teeth!

  • I like to write reviews, and I always get at least a sale or two from my affiliate link, not such a big thing to talk about, but I believe I always write my review in extreme details, now reading your post seems to put more ideals on what I had miss out from my writing of reviews for product, thanks for the ideals and information you share …

  • Nice post Rob. I for one get tired of seeing the sugar coated advertisements posing as reviews, or even more so the paid reviews posing as a legitimate review. Being honest, unbiased and truthful is the best way to go (in my opinion)

  • Reviews actually made quite a big part of my blog income.. Be it affiliate or sponsored.. Good to have such skills!

  • I think it’s also refreshing to see reviews that stray from the standard stuff you always see, like “(product name) scam”, or “Don’t buy (product name).”

  • This is just what I needed. As a new blogger, I aim to grow my blog by providing comprehensive and honest reviews. It’s tough, but I think it’s like anything that will pay off, it’s a lot of hard work. Nothing that is worth having comes easy. This post was really helpful to me and I wanted to say “Thank-you”.

    • You are 100% right.

      “Nothing worth having comes easy”

      Great phrase to keep in mind as you move forward. Remember…there was a time when every pro blogger out there wrote their first post. It takes time to grow your empire!

  • Great post, Rob. I’ve wrote some review posts in the past not really knowing how to properly do them.

    Now that I’ve read your post (which I printed for easy reference), I will not the same mistakes again! Many thanks!

    Wesley
    The Geek Entrepreneur

  • Great Article, regarding review writing and traditional advertising. While I think traditional advertising has been the mainstay in Society, review writing I believe will become a great contender in the longrun. Who doesn’t want to know the positive and negative attributes of a product or service. I think most people feel good when they make a decision while knowing exactly what to expect. I call that real satisfaction. thanks. for the article.

  • Thank Robb, short but informative.

  • Solid advice, particularly about maintaining your integrity and honesty and remembering that it’s so so very easy to lose the trust of your readers.

    I’ve done a few reviews for LG and HP in the past, along with loads of CD reviews for Australian and International bands, so I kind of have a fairly good idea of how to write the review…..but still some times you get a little stuck and can easily fall into regurgitating the press release.

    Cheers
    Mat

  • […] How to Review Blog Posts that Make Money – Entrepreneurs-Journey.com […]

  • Great post Robb!

    I’ve noticed the biggest distinction between good reviews and bad ones is the topic of what can be improved about the product. This is a key factor in building trust and loyalty with your readers. As you said, no product is perfect. There should always be something you can add to your review regarding improvement.

    If the product is truly perfect in your eyes, perhaps touch upon other peoples’ recommendations for what could be improved. Your readers are more likely to buy through your link when they feel they were INFORMED by you – not SOLD by you.

  • Great post. I’ve enjoyed reading through this. You are right when you imply nothing comes good easily. Reading reviews always shed further light on the thing which you might want to buy, whether be it a service or a mobile phone…That said, one needs to have the required skills to write sticky reviews….

  • Hi Yaro, I like the statement about “A well written, successful product review, should answer questions for your readers”, that’s a really strong good points.
    I found most reviewers always write about a good thing on products, they don’t give their own honest opinion, let’s say you already used a product, yes it’s a good one but that product don’t fit you needs or just not what exactly you’re looking for, so why we have to lie to our readers?
    Are you with me? Yeah, maybe I’m not pretty good in grammar, but I’m trying hard to describe on what was my feeling, opinion about some reviewers

  • One more thing, how to get involve in product review anyway?
    I never know to get in there, most of them only available on several countries Yaro.
    Please let me know if you find one that accept reviewer from my country Indonesia, much appreciate it, and thanks again for share your thoughts.

  • I’m just getting into the review game and your post helped a lot. Thanks. My problem is my good guy approach. I hate writing “bad” stuff and it results in a review that’s not honest. No more “love”..just the truth.

  • I like to write reviews, and I always get at least a sale or two from my affiliate link, not such a big thing to talk about

  • good tips. love the simple 101 posts, allows viewers to double check their work and improve their postings

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  • Informative post Thanks Yaro!

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  • Thanks for sharing this, great post! One thing that I won’t do for blog reviews- I don’t copy and paste that of those that were written by the users who want to promote their own products, if you know what I mean.

  • Your Message

    Robb

    Great post. I have been trying to find a good explanation for a review post and this was it. Now I can go write it.

    Thanks!
    Kirby

  • if you do a review and its not a positive one can you choose not to post it?

    • Even if a review is bad it can still be good for your site. You don’t have to have everything sugar coated. If it doesn’t sell the product that it links to it will still get visitors to you site which means they might just stay to look around at the other reviews that you have. With no traffic you are not going to be able to sell anything.

  • Thank you for this article. I’m struggling with this right now. 🙂

  • This is an excellent article as it explains in a simple way how you can monetize product reviews.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Regards,
    Evan

  • Thank you Yaro, for sharing this with us. Really helpful post.

  • Great article Yaro, I have just passed this to a number of affiliates I work closely with, nice to see such an in-depth article, most just scratch the surface.

  • Nice. I been looking for something like this. Very informative for a beginner to start a review on a blog. Also, how to add a ratings & reviews on a blog at the bottom page for visitors to join in the review for a product? Pls help! Thank you.

  • Great Post,

    I see a lot of reviews on the net without added value. They all should read this post!

    Cheers,

    Rahul

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