Category: General Info

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

I can’t count how many times I get asked the question, is Affiliate Marketing Dead? The reason that I am writing this post was spurred on by a question I received through a forum that I contribute to. A member on Quora asked me if it was too late to start affiliate marketing? I am going to answer that question for you right now.

Let’s Start With What Affiliate Marketing Is

If you didn’t already know, Affiliate marketing is the promotion of online products or services for commissions. An affiliate marketer will enter into a contract to market an online merchants products or service for a pre determined commission.

Why You Would choose Affiliate Marketing

The benefit of being an affiliate marketer is, you don’t touch or carry any inventory. You don’t facilitate sales, you simply direct traffic to your affiliate products using an affiliate link that identifies you as the person responsible for bringing that customer to the merchants website.

Usually cookies (  your affiliate id) goes with your traffic from your content or promotion to the merchants offer. Cookies are good for 30 days in most cases, sometimes this can be longer depending on the merchants desire to sweeten the pot to get more affiliates. I have seen 90 day cookies which is pretty nice. If that potential customer lands on another affiliates site and uses their link, you lose out. The last affiliate link used recieves the commission if a sale is made.

You get no commission if a sale isn’t made. This is why there is usually a 30 day window for your affiliate cookie. If a customer takes time to think about their purchase, as long as that customer comes back within that 30 day window with your affiliate link intact, you will get credit for the commission if that sale goes through.

Contracts that you enter into with online merchants aren’t your usual contract.  Affiliate contracts are in place to ensure you are using ethical methods to drive traffic to the online merchants products or services for the most part.

An affiliate contract isn’t anything binding in the sense that you are locked into promoting a merchants product or services.  If an online merchant changes conditions on you, such as commission structure, payment methods that you don’t like, you simply move on. You have no commitment to the online merchant, other than to follow their guidelines for promoting their products or services.

Why Affiliate Marketers Are Important To Online Sales

There are literally thousands of online merchants and more coming every year as they start to see the opportunity that bringing their offer online presents.

Online retail sales continue to rise year over year. The US Commerce Department stats show that online shoppers spent $517.36 billion online from US online merchants in 2018, up 15.0%  from 2017. The trend for dollars spent through online shopping continue to increase at an insane rate and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

There are more and more people buying online with more and more merchants opening online storefronts. The problem for merchants is still the same as it was 10 years ago when online shopping was really starting to roll.

Online merchants are struggling to get exposure for their products or services online. Amazon for example accounts for roughly 40% of all online sales in the US, even with that exposure, Amazon still uses affiliates to promote products. Selling online is becoming even more competitive and online retailers are looking for every advantage they can get over their competition, using affiliates gives online retailers that advantage!

Using Affiliates Makes “Cents”

As I mentioned earlier, online retailers use affiliates to get their products and services maximum exposure, a presence in the niche that their product or service speaks to. An online retailer would need to expend considerable resources and energy to market their own products online using in house marketing or contacted out marketing services , with no guarantee of sales. Online retailers of all sizes use affiliates for this reason

Affiliate marketers get paid only if a sales transaction occurs, in other words, this offers a guaranteed sale for the online merchant. Affiliate marketers push hard knowing that they only get paid when the retailer gets paid. You can start to see why online merchants like using affiliate marketers and why affiliates are needed more than ever.

Online Retailers Have Limited Contact With Their Affiliates

One other reason online merchants love using affiliates is, they are completely hands off when it comes to dealing with affiliates. Many online retailers use affiliate market places to take care of  the promotion of their product/service.

Affiliate market places like ShareAsale, Commission Junction, Market Health, Rakuten, Amazon Affiliate Program, Clickbank, ImpactRadius, Partnerstack, Refersion Makretplace, Awin and Avangate offer online retailers a hassle free way of promoting their offers online.

There are lots of affiliate programs offered by online merchants that are run by affiliate managers or independent affiliate management contractors. Online merchants really have very little to do with affiliate management, all they do is sit back and count the money from their online sales. The biggest risk that online merchants have when dealing with affiliate marketers is the risk that an affiliate will tarnish their brand by using less than ethical marketing techniques, this is why they have contracts to ensure their brands are protected.

If Affiliates Are Needed, Why Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

We have gone through what purpose affiliates serve and how important they are to online retail sale for merchants. So why are people asking if affiliate marketing is dead?

There’s really a simple answer to this.

In the old days, yes, when I first started out, affiliate marketing, just like the internet, was a different animal all together. Affiliate marketing has gone thorough many changes as the internet and online shopping evolve. The people who are saying that affiliate marketing is dead are the affiliate marketers who wouldn’t or didn’t change. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, if you don’t believe in the old adage “the only thing certain in life is change,” then you will eventually be sitting on the outside looking in.

I can tell you from experience, affiliate marketers who think they can throw up crappy sales funnels, cheesy one page sites or offer completely bias product reviews and still make a killing like they used to, are just fooling themselves. Online shoppers are more informed and savvy than ever.

Over the years as the internet has grown so has the access to knowledge and information. Having access to all this new information has made online consumers more knowledgeable. The people who are providing this information to consumers are the people who have the best opportunity to facilitate a sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing As Profitable As It Used To Be?

Affiliate marketing for some is even more lucrative than it used to be, for others, it’s definitely less profitable. There are good reasons why some affiliates are still making great affiliate commissions and some are starving themselves out of the game.

For affiliates to find success moving forward they need to establish themselves as experts in their niche, they need to have the ability to persuade an educated buyer that their knowledge is superior and their opinion can offer value and be trusted. Affiliates that are struggling need to start putting the effort into learning all they can about their affiliate products and also learn how to leverage their new found knowledge.

 Invest In The Right Training!

If you want to stick around and play in the affiliate marketing sandbox, or get started in affiliate marketing, the you had better be prepared to get some decent affiliate marketing training. Not just any training, affiliate marketing training that will prepare you for what participating in affiliate marketing in this day and age requires.

  • An affiliate marketing training that teaches you how to create engaging, SEO friendly content, content that will rank high in search engines.
  • Training that sows you how to write informative and un-bias product reviews
  •  Training that will teach you how to use social platforms to leverage your content
  • A training platform that can teach you how to create ebooks for free giveaways to build your email list
  • Offers training that shows you how to build a blog that fosters visitor engagement, looks professional and has a good flow
  • Training that teaches you how to build a brand for your self
  • Training that re-enforces the need to build trust, be ethical and demonstrate expertise

 

There’s not enough time in this post to list all the training that you should look for in a good affiliate marketing training platform. Here’s some info I created to help people find the best affiliate marketing training platform.

If I could Tell You One Thing!

In my 10 or so years working as an affiliate marketer, I have seen quite a few changes to how affiliate marketing techniques have adapted so that one could keep generating income. What I have noticed is of late is, there is a big emphasis on putting as many high priced tools in your tool box so that you can get that edge over other affiliates. In my opinion you are missing the mark. The one tried and true method of achieving continuous affiliate commissions is by investing time where it should be invested, that is in providing your niche audience with engaging, thought provoking and informative content, it doesn’t take a big tool box to accomplish this!

I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to leave me your questions and comments below, have a good one Mike.

 

 

Tips That Will Increase Your Website Traffic For Free

Tips That Will Increase Your Website Traffic For Free

Generating healthy volumes of website traffic can be an elusive endeavour if you don’t know what you are doing. For businesses on a tight budget or website owners who aren’t comfortable or had a bad experience trying to generate website traffic using paid advertising methods, not to worry, there are solutions that can easily be implemented to get traffic from free sources that are very effective at increasing website traffic.

Using paid sources to increase your website traffic is undoubtably the easiest method as far as time invested is concerned, but it can be a costly method that doesn’t always guarantee results.

In this post I am going to lay out for you at least 10 proven ways to increase website traffic that are absolutely free. I hope you enjoy this post. Please leave any comments or questions you may have at the bottom of this page and I will get right back to you,  cheers Mike.

1) It All Starts With engaging Content

There is no substitute for writing engaging content. If you think that you are going to get by writing short Un-informative content for your website you might as well quit right now. Informative and authoritative content is what you will repeatedly leverage to increase free traffic to your website, so you had better have some. You will see as we move on to other traffic generation techniques, content is a big part of implementing these free traffic generation techniques.

2) Become A Social contributor

OK, you have gone through the tedious task of creating  engaging content for your website,  it’s now time to share your content on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Sharing your content can be as easy as installing a social sharing plugin on your website that will share links to your content on social platforms that you choose to participate on. Social sharing plugins are usually free but do offer premium paid options. I have personally have never paid for a premium social sharing plugin, free does the trick for me! You can also share your content manually by copy and pasting links to your content on social platforms.

3) Participating In Forums Is A Must!

Forums like Quora and Medium are increasing in popularity year after year. Diversifying your traffic source away from relying totally on search engine traffic is always a good strategy.  Taking the time to answer questions or participate in conversations in forums such as Quora offer a great opportunity to drop a link to your website or relevant content with little time or effort needed.

Lately a new advantage to participating in forums has emerged, high visibility in search engine results. I know I have talked about diversifying away from search engine traffic but why not take it while the free traffic is there. I have noticed of late that questions and answers from Quora and Medium are frequently reaching the first page of search results. Reaching the first page of search engine results is like having the winning lottery ticket. Only 7% of all search engine traffic search past the first page  when searching.

4) Make Your Content Title Enticing

If you want your content to garner the traffic it deserves, then you need to make people want to read it. Don’t make the mistake that Many bloggers make by using generic titles that are designed for ranking in search engines. You always want to keep in mind that the goal of the content is to create conversation and engage your readers. This all starts with an intriguing title and snippet, if your post is going to be indexed. I like to create my own snippets for my website posts. This can easily be done close to the bottom of the page while you are in the edit mode. Here is the snippet I wrote for this post which should show up with my title in search engine results.

5) Use A Keyword Tool When Writing Your Content

One thing I have learned over the years when training new affiliate marketers is, don’t take anything for granted. I would never write a piece of content for my website without checking for keywords and the commotion and traffic they will attract. A good example of this is this post on” Increasing your website traffic for free”. First thing I did when I came up with the idea to write this post I turned to my keyword tool to find high traffic, low completion keyword phrases I could use in this post. Below is a search that I did to prepare for this post.

You can see I used in my title “increase your website traffic for free” which looks pretty good as far as the keyword tool shows. Traffic is good and better yet, the competition for this keyword phrase was very low. Using a keyword tool is critical to getting your post ranked higher in search engine results which will drive more traffic to your website.

6) Don’t Rely Solely On Your Websites SEO

Unfortunately when people start out in affiliate marketing or Blogging they think that just because they have installed some type of SEO plugin like “all in one SEO” or “Yoast” that presto, any content they create is ready for the internet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to take the time to brush up on the basics of SEO to best optimize your content and your site for search engines such as Google. Organic traffic (search engine traffic) can vary depending on how good you are at other sources of traffic generation,  but the average website has roughly 50% of its traffic generated from search engines. When you look at the opportunity that SEO offers for traffic generation you have to make this a priority.

7) Create A Content Marketing Strategy ASAP!

It took me a few years to realize the importance of sticking to a realistic content marketing strategy. A content marketing strategy includes all aspects of promoting your content including setting a writing schedule and much more. A good content marketing strategy includes everything I have mentioned here so far and much more. You can look at my content marketing strategy here, modify it to meet your time constraints and needs.

8) Page Loading Speed Means Everything These Days

Search engines such as Google have made page loading speeds a priority. A page loading speed is simply how fast your page loads so that internet users can view it. Google has really dialled down on this metric when they look at ranking your site and its contents. There are lots of tools out there including Google Analytics that will tell you what your loading speed is for any given page.

9) Get Visual

As much as I have resisted it, getting in front of the camera is looking like the smart thing to do. The Traction that Youtube is getting with Google has made creating your own Youtube channel worth the investment in time as long as you have the quality content on your site to back up your videos. Youtube is getting some preferential treatment from Google as far as exposure on the search engine goes. I guess this is understandable seeing Google owns Youtube. The power of that face to face connection that Youtube offers a great opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

I hope you found this post of value, please leave me your comments or questions below and I will get right back to you, cheers Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

How A Blog Can Help Your Business Grow

How A Blog Can Help Your Business Grow

If you don’t have a blog/website for your offline business you are missing the boat. You don’t need to own a big corporation or company to benefit from a blog for your business, actually, the people that benefit the most form a website are hobbyists that want to promote their craft and make a few bucks.

I would compare not having a blog/website for your business in this day and age to only allowing people with an “A” in their names to buy something from you, really that’s how much business you are leaving on the table when you don’t have a blog for your business.

For the non-techie people out there, a blog is another name for website, there is no difference between the two. I know, it messed with my head when I first started working online.

Even If You Just Think Local business, A Blog Is A Must!

Even the smallest detail makes all the difference to your businesses growth.  In the modern era everyone owns and uses a smart phone, it’s very rare that someone looks for a phone book when they need access to a product or a service. Recent data confirms the fact that you need the ability to be found by mobile devices, 85% of all consumers find local businesses via the internet.

Potential customers can get everything they need from a businesses website.

  • Business phone number
  • Business Address
  • Business hours
  • What the business offers for services and products
  • Consumer testimonials in some cases
  • Weekly or daily specials
  • Promotions

Can you find this info in a phone book?

If Done Right, A Blog Can Improve Your Businesses Image

A businesses blog, if it looks professional, can give your business a big image boost. You don’t need to go out and hire a professional to build a website for you, it is actually quite easy and can be built in hours with the right training!

If you create a website that is easy to navigate and highlights your businesses services, products, hours and attributes, this will give people who see your businesses blog a sense that you offer a superior product or service.  A quality business blog, not only adds a sense of credibility for your business, but can set you apart from your competitors who don’t have a business blog.

Boost Your Businesses Exposure With The Help Of A Blog

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of people look to the internet to find a local business. Your blog provides that exposure that your business wouldn’t get without it. The amount of information you can provide to customers on your businesses website is endless. Without a blog your business literally doesn’t exist online.

Not only can you give your customers more information about your business with a blog you also can offer a platform for customers questions and engagement. You can answer questions pertaining to…

  • quality concerns
  • guarantees/warranties
  • pricing details
  • quotes
  • scheduling estimates
  • Business history and mission statement
  • Hiring enquiries
  • Take orders

Basically any type of customer engagement can be facilitated through your businesses blog. Making contact in any way with a potential customer is a big win, having a blog gives you the opportunity to reach potential customers and start a dialogue, something you would have without a website.

Attract Interest By Offering Free Merchandise, Services Or Draws

With a blog you can quickly build a data base of potential customers by offering something free in return for your website visitors email address. Once you have these emails you can engage in what affiliate marketers refer to as email marketing. You can use these captured emails to send out special offers to prospective buyers. A few things you can offer for free on your site is limited only by your imagination.

  • Free product or services related to seasonal needs. Eg, if you have a heating business you could offer a free inspection at the end of summer, beginning of fall.
  • Free ebook relative to your business
  • Free guide
  • Free service or product
  • Free draw
  • Free quote
  • Free product that complements another product if purchased
  • Free newsletter
  • Free membership
  • Free gift certificate

These are just a few ideas, but like I said, your imagination is your only limit to what you can offer in exchange for an email. Getting an email from a website visitor turns these visitors into future customers.

The Importance Of A Contact Me Page On your Blog

Having a contact me page on your blog is critical to making that one on one contact that converts website visitors into customers better than anything else you can put on your site, it’s your chance to correspond one on one with your website visitors. For a website visitor to reach out and want to talk one on one it takes a lot of confidence in what you are offering.

Your Time Is Money

You have probably heard the old adage, “Time is money”.  Having a business blog will show you exactly how true this old adage is. Every time you meet a customer in person it is eating up valuable time you could be allocating in other areas of your business. A website does the talking for you. A website will explain your product, pricing, guarantees, product or service expertise, literally anything you can do a website can do more efficiently. Your website has the unique ability to have multiple conversations at the same time with multiple customers. Can you do that?

A Website Is Your Businesses Full Time Champion

A business website is your online billboard that never takes a day off. Your site will spread your message at anytime on the world clock, highlighting your expertise, providing the vast online audience with information on why they would want to use your business. You are in control of what information goes on your website. This information will promotelour businesses attributes and how your business will help the viewing public.

Your website can use convincing tools like customer testimonials, product reviews, current and upcoming promotions that may give you the advantage over similar businesses with a click of your mouse.

You’re Not In Kansas Anymore Gerry!

Gerry didn’t want his photo used so I picked one that made me think of him LOL!

Building a blog for your business literally opens you up to the world. Signage, billboards, storefront displays can now be shared with the world, not just with local traffic. You take all that time to make a beautiful display in your store why not get the most exposure you can, share it with the world.

A really good example of  selling your business short is a good friend of mine. Gerry  builds the most unusual and creative bird houses that I have ever seen, he’s an artist. I have bugged Gerry for years to think outside the box and market his bird houses online where I know he would get premium dollars and be run off his feet if he would only give his birdhouses the stage they deserve.

Gerry sells his birdhouses to local boutiques and garden centres, which offers such a limited market. Not only is this a limited market, but gerry relies on these merchants promotional skills to market his creations. I routinely see Gerry’s birdhouses unceremoniously stuck in a corner surrounded by unflattering products .

All it would take for Gerry to market his birdhouses to the world would be to take photo’s of his bird houses, a story on how the birdhouse was created, material used and their source. Gerry could reach all regions of the world increasing his overall price, sales and profit.  I feel Gerry drastically discounts the price of his creations because of the limited market. I am confident that Gerry would be seen as the true artist that he is, if he brought his art to the world instead of waiting for people to by chance see his work.

Gerry’s work shop is filling up with inventory, not because it isn’t good, but because our market is so limited. Gerry’s solution is to cut back production until his inventory goes down, wrong Gerry!!!! What Gerry needs to do is take a leap and market his product globally. I am sending this post to Gerry by the way lol.

What’s holding Gerry back? Gerry is freaked out with he technological abilities to build a blog for his business. Building a website for your business is literally as easy as 1,2,3, it’s not the complicated process it used to be. I like using WordPress to build websites. The WordPress website building platform offers expandability as your business grows. WordPress is extremely easy to use with very little training required to build professional looking websites that offers the ability to rank high in search engines.

This is just a small portion of Gerry’s birdhouse inventory. Gerry builds custom birdhouses on request. Gerry has built birdhouses for my wife and I that are recreations of homes we have owned over the years.

Create Content To Promote Areas Within Your Business

Having a blog for your business opens so many doors that you can market your business through, creating content to support your products or services is one way to reach an audience you never thought possible.

Say you have a hobby/business like Gerry, you could create content that would rank in search engines such as Google that would be relative to your businesses services or products. This could take the form of content that supported skin care if you sold skin care products. Bird related info if you sold birdhouses for example. How to info on irrigation if you sold irrigation supplies.

I will be honest, most business owners don’t have time to create content for their business and still operate their business at the same time, but you don’t have to. There are many content writers that can whip up a relevant article on any topic you want for a small investment, writing services can be outsourced for less than $50 for a 1000 word post, research included.

These post has the ability to reach thousands of internet users and bring them to your businesses blog. Not only does content attract prospective customers, quality content also demonstrates your businesses expertise.

Not Convinced You Need A Blog For Your Business?

There are so many reasons why you need a blog for your business so let’s recap to see some of the more obvious reasons why you need a blog for your business.

  1. A blog for your business will increase your businesses exposure
  2. A blog for your business works promoting your business while you are sleeping or on holidays
  3. A blog for your business demonstrates your expertise
  4. A blog for your business takes your business global
  5. A blog for your business gives you global advertising and promotional opportunities
  6. A blog for your business offers an opportunity to engage with potential customers that wouldn’t know you exist
  7. A blog for your business offers people visiting your area a glimpse of why they want to make your business a destination
  8. A blog for your business would bring your brand global

Do you have a hobby/business like Gerry?

Could you envision the endless possibilities that your product or service would have on the world stage?

I hope I gave you a few reasons why you should seriously consider a blog for your business. I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave me your thoughts and questions at the bottom of this post and I will get right back to you. Good luck with your business and have a great day Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Write A Good Product Review – Isle Jura Whisky

How To Write A Good Product Review – Isle Jura Whisky

I recently had dinner with a few friends, both of which are experts on whisky tasting. This couple run blog on the art of whisky tasting. We shared a great dinner and afterwards had a few dram’s of Whisky, didn’t get to sample any of the Isle Jura Whisky, one of the whisky’s I have been dying to try. We did have a few really nice substitutes supplied by another friend. After the fog cleared the next day my interest in whisky was renewed once again.

I am no expert on whisky tasting, but I sure enjoy a few drams of the finest Whisky now and again. I decided to check out a couple of whisky authority websites to see what experts had to say about the whisky that I had I have been dying to sink my teeth into, Isle Jura 12 year old whisky.

To be honest I was totally surprised by what I found.  I never came across a single authority whisky blog that knew how to write a good product review. Most of the reviews I read, I couldn’t find in search engine results. The only way I found the whisky reviews was by accident, I was stumbling around their websites and found 600 word reviews or less.

There were very few reviews on Isle Jura whisky, the whisky I was interested in learning about. When you write a good product review, its purpose should be to inform your current website faithfuls as well as have the ability to attract new visitors, it needs to rank high in search engine results, if not, why would you write the review in the first place, for a handful of current followers?

When writing a good product review your goal should be to attract new website visitors as well as inform existing followers. What I found as I scrolled through whisky related blogs were lots of missed opportunities. Product reviews that were written with zero emphasis on ranking in search engines such as Google. Most of the whisky related blogs were passing up tons of traffic and potential income revenue by doing so.

If the whisky sites I visited continue to write product reviews that have no focus on ranking in search engines they offer no chance of bringing in new visitors to their website, they will surely die a slow death. You always need to be looking for new blood. The only blogs that thrive are the ones that search for new followers. One sure way to do this is to write good product reviews that appeal to your existing website base, while optimized for search engines. Your goal as a website owner should always be to write informative content that ranks, this will go a long way to ensuring your blogs future as an authority website.

The importance Of Writing Product reviews?

If you want to build your brand as an authority website you need to get fresh traffic to your site, to do this you should be able to write a good product review will garner internet exposure for your website. Product reviews are usually what people look at before they make their purchase. Affiliate marketers call this targeting at the right stage in the buying cycle. A positive or negative review will in most cases be the deciding factor on whether a person will make a purchase or not. They have done their legwork and have decided on what route they want to go, now they just need that little bit of information that will help them make that final decision. A good product review will convert website visitors into customers.

Product Reviews Will Help You Become An Authority In Your Niche

Unbiased and thorough product reviews will establish your site as the place to go for product info in your niche, not only with website users but search engines also.

The benefits that will come from establishing yourself as an authority website are numerous, not to mention the revenue earning opportunities that running an authority blog offers. An authority blog that generates traffic can attract paid advertising from online and offline brick and mortar businesses. If you have the traffic you can set your own price when it comes to merchants wanting to buy space on your site. An authority blog can also generate affiliate commissions by promoting affiliate offers on their site. In the case of whisky related sites, you could tie in drams, cigar cutters, personalized bar towels, whisky, the list goes on and on. Commissions vary, one of the whisky affiliate programs I visited offered 6-10% commissions on a sales. These commissions can add up fast when consumers are purchasing high end whisky.

If you are thinking about creating an authority blog on your passion or own one now, I would definitely look at monetizing your blog right out of the starting gates, don’t wait, it will only make life more difficult for you when you decide that you want to start making money from your blog.

I would also look at investing in  a little training.  Training is very inexpensive and you will find that you can implement new techniques into your blogs development as you progress in your training. Affiliate marketers call it earn while you learn!

My approach to this article is to show you what I would look for in a good product review on a item like Isle Jura Whisky. You can substitute any product for the whisky. I hope this article helps you follow your passion and at the same time helps you create authoritative content that not only engages your current audience, but also brings in new website visitors. Please leave me any comments or questions at the bottom of this post, I look forward to chatting with you, cheers Mike.

Expertise In Your Niche Doesn’t Guarantee A Good Product Review

One thing I see quite often when I work with new bloggers is they feel they can just jot down their thoughts in a blog post and all will be good. For many a blog is an after thought. They have experience in a niche and then decide to blog about it. I know that most new bloggers have the best intentions in mind when they sit down to share their experiences with their website visitors. The problem with expertise on a topic is, it doesn’t make you an expert at blogging or affiliate marketing, unless of course, your niche is affiliate marketing.

Most experts in their niche have zero formal training when it comes to blogging/affiliate marketing. There really is no point writing material for your site if it won’t be seen. This is why it’s critical to have the basics down before you start writing a product review or post for your website.

This is not to say that you need to be an expert in your niche,  you “don’t!” A Bloggers knowledge in their niche grows as their blog evolves. As you research new topics for your site, your experience level expands. Every time you write a new post you learn even more on your topic or niche.

Before I jump right into this post, I want to throw a little plug in for a friend who puts on quite a few whisky tasting events. Greg who is well known for his world class Whiskey tasting events has an upcoming event scheduled for  shelter point distillery, on Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada. This guy knows his shit, I mean whisky!

Lets get started!

Establish Who You Are Writing A Product Review for?

First thing you need to do, decide on is who your audience is. What audience do you want to reach with your product review? When I look at a product like Isle Jura Whisky I would write a review under the assumption that my audience knew very little about Jura whisky. You may get the odd whisky connoisseur, but for the most part your target audience will be the whisky novice. This goes for any product, assume your audience knows zilch about the product you are reviewing. Your post needs to be educational, informative, complete!

Know A Little SEO Before You Write An Affiliate Product Review!

Knowing a little SEO (search engine optimization) before you write a product review will go a long way to getting your post in front as many internet surfing eyes as possible.

The first thing you need to do before you write any product review or post for your website is, use a keyword tool. This will help you find the proper keywords to use in your post and title. Keywords are very important when trying to get your post to rank high in search engine results. I am not going to go into too much detail on this topic, only to say that keywords are important and should be the building blocks for your product review or post.  Here is a keyword search that I did before I started this post. I used a keyword tool called jaaxy. You can get 30 free searches if you want to try it out here!

This is where I got my tile, look at the traffic and low QSR score

What this screen shot shows is that, “How to write a good product review” is a great keyword phrase to have in your title and in the body of your product review. On average there are 104 monthly searches and a very low QSR score of 58 ( QSR is the competition for these keywords). When your blog is new you want to choose titles for your posts or product reviews that have low competition, this competition comes from other relative searches. You can see if you go too broad with your title “How to write a good review” the competition goes through the roof with a QSR of 172. I used “How to write a good product review” in my tile as well as “Isle Jury Whisky”. I did this with the hope that I might also rank for someone searching for a product review on this particular whisky. As your blogs authority grows with search engines and you start to see your posts rank higher you can start to choose higher traffic and higher QSR competition keywords.

In the event that I were to write a product review on Jura whisky I would start with a keyword search for the tile of my review or post. I wouldn’t just assume that Jura – 12 year whisky would be my title. Below is the search I would have done before I sat down to write a product review on Jura 12 year old whisky. See I even spelled whisky wrong in my search, lol. This is actually a strategy that affiliate marketers use, wasn’t the case here, I just screwed up!

Here is a screen shot of  my keyword search for “Jura  whisky”

In the case of Jura – 12 year old whisky, it didn’t have any traffic, it actually didn’t even come up on my search, obviously this won’t make for a good keyword phrase or title, people don’t search this phrase. What my post should use for keywords is something with “Isle Jura Whisky” in the title and through out the body of the post. I would write a product review that used the words that the keyword tool stats showed were preferable. Isle Jura Whisky had 135 searches per month with a low QSR score of 47, this is an insanely low for a QSR, makes me drool, lol. A title I would consider for my product review on Jura – 12 year old whisky would be something like” Isle Jura Whisky – How does this 12 year old whisky compare?”.

What you want as the main part of your posts title is your main keyword phrase, which is Isle Jura Whisky. You then want to  follow this with something that is descriptive, makes a person want to click on your snippet in the search engine results to find out more. Only 7% of internet users search past the first page, that’s why it’s so important to use the proper keywords in your title and body of your post to achieve that first page ranking. You also want your search to look enticing, that’s why you add the descriptive part to your title. Don’t get too crazy with the descriptive part of your title, in some cases search engines will use that part to rank you in some obscure search in their indexing, a place where your post or review will never get seen.

Use Internal and External Links

You will also see I have used quite a few internal and external links in this post. Internal links are used to link to other product reviews with in your site. For example, I might make reference to another whisky that has the same characteristics as the Isle Jura – 12 year old whisky. This would be considered an internal link. An example of an external link would be when you link to the Isle Jura distillery. Linking to an authority website elsewhere, just like I linked Isle Jura to wikipedia. where you could find some information on Isle Jura is always a good SEO strategy. Linking externally to authority sites or information to support your post or review is welcomed by google and other search engines, they love this stuff and reward you for it with higher rankings.

If you want to learn more on SEO I recommend Wealthy Affiliate for some FREE SEO training. Another good resource to get the basics of SEO is Neil Patel’s site where he goes over the basics of SEO.

You’re The Expert, Inform Your Visitors

Don’t make the mistake that lots of experts in their niche’s make, teach, don’t assume your website visitors know squat about your product or service. Make sue your product review demonstrates your knowledge. A good product review should be at least a 1000 words, even at that, it may be hard to get your point across in an authoritative manner. Google wants athorative content, words matter! Answer questions that you feel your visitors may want to know. Here are some questions I would ask if I was interested in Isle Jura Whisky…

  • Where was Jura whisky made, region, process. Who makes it, nuns, child labour?
  • Some history on Isle Jura distillery
  • What are some comparisons (link to more product reviews)
  • Discuss how the price correlates to value
  • Where can you buy Isle Jura whisky
  • What are the attributes of Isle Jura whisky, smoky, Petey, expand on this!
  • Is this a good, bad or ugly 12 year old whisky? How does this stack up, give it a rating?
  • Use your keyword phrase Isle Jura whisky, but don’t over use it. Over use is keyword stuffing, pisses Google off!
  • What’s the best way to try Isle Jura whisky, dram on ice, add a little water, naked by a fire, tasting while on the back of a goat, ok, that was a stretch even for me.

I am definitely not an  authority on whisky, but these are some of the questions I would have liked to have answers to, I am sure my readers would also. What I like to do is scratch all these questions down when I am doing a product review and simply input the answers, at the end I have the bulk of a goof product review done.

To Summarize What A Good Product Review Entails

Here are few key elements of a good product review…

  • Always assume your audience knows nothing about your product or service, it’s your job to inform them.
  • Lay your product review out in a cohesive manner, title, topic headers, answer the questions
  • Add images that help tell your story, maybe not like the goat one above lol, couldn’t help myself.
  • Show your audience you are the authority in your niche, they need not go anywhere else
  • Link internally and externally to other relative topics that pertain to your product review, support your product review with relative content.
  • Teach, teach, teach!
  • Always ask for comments or questions, google sees comments as content and your visitors will also see that your blog is fresh by the comments and questions that you get. Answering questions is also a good way to interact with your visitors and demonstrate your knowledge. Visitors love to give their opinion, let them!
  • Don’t get too technical, talk to your audience in a manner that they can relate to. Use a little “slang in your thang” if you know what I mean!
  • Use an image optimizer like Kraken. Having images that are too big on your site will slow down your site speed, something Google will penalize you for. Kraken is a free plugin for WordPress sites. WordPress is a website building platform I  highly recommend using if you are looking at starting a blog.

Isle Jura whisky is a good example of a product review that could be a winner for any authoritative whisky site.

I really just scratched the surface with this post. One thing I hope you do take away from what we have discussed here is, get some training, it’s not expensive and it will pay off big time as your blog develops.

Just a note, this post was over to 2700 words which I wrote on a day where I went grocery shopping, made a big pot of spaghetti sauce, did the recycling, went to the gym and watched a debate for prime minister of my country Canada (boring). Don’t want a pat on the back, just a few credits from my wife lol.

Na, just letting you know it doesn’t take that long to put together a post that is somewhat informative and has the potential to rank high in search engine results.