The proliferation of blogs, and bloggers, has gotten a lot of attention, especially since the Covid 19 pandemic. Some blogs were started to help pass the time in quarantine. Others started to scratch a creative itch. But a whole lot more were started to make money, either as a side hustle or a full-time job. Blogs on fashion and travel are very popular. Another growing category of blogs has been product review blogs.
Before the internet, there was a magazine called Consumer Reports that had the review market cornered, and it was considered a must-read before making a purchase big or small. These days, you simply do a Google search on your phone.
Here are 5 easy steps to start your own product review blog.
Pick a niche that interests you.
Writing about things you have an interest in will keep you motivated to keep writing and reviewing. It’ll take a while for your blog to gain traction and make money. Until that happens, writing about things that interest you will make it seem more like a hobby that you enjoy than a chore you must check off your list.
Pick a niche that will draw interest from others.
There are lots of tech blogs because people love gadgets. They want to know what’s hot, what’s new, and what will make their life easier. Sure, you could do a blog about snow shovels, but snow shovels don’t inspire a lot of excitement.
Pick a niche that will make money.
Back to the previous example, tech gadgets are more expensive than snow shovels. So they’ll likely bring in more revenue as well.
Do some keyword research.
This will help you find products that people are already interested in. A mentor once referred to it as “finding a parade and getting in front of it!”
Keyword research allows you to find out what topics people are already looking for online.
It also allows you to see what sites are popular in specific niches. This helps you avoid picking products and niches typically dominated by bigger sites. You’ll have more luck getting noticed if you’re not taking on wirecutter.com for tech products, or nerdwallet.com for financial issues.
Create consistent content.
Come up with a frequent schedule for publishing and stick to it. The blogs that you create and post will build on each other and build interest with search engines. Consistency also builds confidence in readers and will make them more likely to come back to your site.
Optimize your site for search engines.
Along with being consistent with your posts, there are other ways to help search engines find you. Use eye-catching headlines, image alt texts, and meta descriptions. Use Google Analytics to find out what your top traffic sources are to help figure out what is driving the most traffic to your site.
Sign up for affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs are where businesses pay you to send traffic their way. It’s a natural fit for product review blogs and is the best way to get some income coming in.
How it works is that you get a distinct affiliate link, so that clicks can be tracked. Usually, this is with “cookies.” These track the user to see if they make a purchase. If they do, then you will earn a commission.
Every individual cookie has a length of time that it will work, a “cookie life”. This is how long the cookie tracks the user’s online activity. For instance, a cookie with a 30-day life means the person you referred from your site has to make a purchase within that 30-day period for you to get the commission. After 30 days, the lead will no longer be trackable.
In conclusion. In the beginning, you can start by doing reviews of products you already have, or even borrowing the products from friends and family. Once you’ve got a few blogs, and some traffic under your belt, you can reach out to companies about sending you the products for free.
As with any online endeavor, before you start spend some time looking around at other product review blogs. Take notes on what catches your eye and put those things into use.
Seeing what kinds of products others review provides some direction as well.