Sunday, January 24, 2010

What not to do on your affiliate review site

A number of people wonder why after they have spent time writing and creating their affiliate landing page, their leads don’t covert. If you’re getting the traffic, why aren’t you making any sales?
One of the biggest problems is the way people present their site. Often, I see affiliate review sites looking like carbon copies of the merchant site. The affiliate basically does a copy-paste job, where they basically list the features the merchant placed for the product and write a blurb about how great the product is, which in some cases no more than what the merchant wrote.
This is an absolute no, no. It doesn’t work to generate sales and here’s why.
1. You ruin your credibility. If all you have is a list of features without a genuine review pointing out your pros and cons, the prospect is going to wonder if they can trust you. If they don’t trust your review, they won’t click to see the merchant site. Now, suppose they do visit the merchant and see a similar landing page with the same list of features and benefits, they are even more wary.  It makes it seem as if you didn’t try the product. And if you haven’t used it, how can anyone trust what you have to say about it.
2. It’s impersonal. Reviews are a chance for you to share your opinion about something. Simply listing off the product features and benefits isn’t a review. Reviews that sell products are personal and have personality. The writers behind them have something tangible to say about the products and services they use. This allows readers to feel like they’re connecting not just with the writer but are gaining a better awareness of the product. The more connected people are, the easier it is to sell them.
I read a great review on (fashion site) the writer wrote how the shoes defined her personality exactly. Now, if my personality is anything like hers guess what…I’m buying the shoes too. I now have something to connect to. It’s the whole “I’ll have what he’s having…because we seem like the same type.”
3. Doesn’t give readers a chance to learn more about the product. Even if you’ve listed every feature, consumers will still wonder what they’re buying. Personal reviews give users a chance to learn that extra something from another consumer’s point of view. You can point how the product smells to you; if it’s an ebook, was it long read or did you finish it in a night. Things like that, help consumers move closer to what they’re buying. When you’re selling online this is key, since we can only shop with a few of our senses. The closer the prospect gets to the product, the harder it is for them to walk away.
4. They just look fake. Consumers are smarter and are not buying into hype so easily these days. This is why having a list of benefits makes your review look fake. It brings to the consumer’s mind, “what’s wrong with it?” Even if you loved the product, nothing is perfect. Mention just one thing you would change about the product. Perhaps it’s expensive but worth it. Or maybe it doesn’t come in enough colors. It doesn’t have to be a major flaw, but even the littlest thing, can add more credibility to your review.
If your affiliate review site looks like a copy-paste job of your merchant’s it’s time to rewrite it.
Think about what prompted you to by in the first place. Did it do its job? What you like about it and one thing you would change about it. 

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