Honesty When Reviewing Products Works – And I Have Proof!

ethics-caliber1Whenever I read those tutorials about reviewing products the all have this basic format.

  1. Introduce the product by discussing a horrible situation where this product could be helpful. The typical one in online marketing goes along the lines of: “Another early morning and you head to your PayPay to check for any commissions. Your hand excitedly hovers over the login button. You close your eyes as the page loads. The page pops in and… nothing again.”
  2. Talk about how you know how they feel. “I was like you once.”
  3. Mention all of the wonderful things the product can do. “Not only will you make $1000 a day but it also brews fresh coffee on demand!”
  4. Find one small thing wrong and casually mention it. “It’s may or may not break the ToS of a certain site.”
  5. Make that small thing not matter. “But no one is getting in trouble for it so far, and if you do you can just sign up and keep making money!”

Now… you can do some of this stuff ethically. Steps one and two are actually a great way to build trust if you’re being HONEST. I mean, take a look at my most popular Squidoo lens about Blender Bottle protein shake recipes. I mention a very real problem I was having and how the product fixed it.

I’m just seeing a lot of reviews that are just so overwhelmingly positive it drives me nuts. Nothing is perfect. If you say something is 100% perfect I’m probably not going to believe you. In fact, there is a good chance I’ll click away and look for a more honest review.

I accidently got some proof of this when I wrote a blog post called “Don’t Fall for This ‘Instant Amazon Blog’ Nonsense“. I wrote this with the intention of saving you guys some money if you were thinking about buying it for auto-pilot Amazon commissions. I did buy the theme and saw some use for it though, so I signed up as an affiliate and added the link in there. I honestly wasn’t expecting to see a single sale. After all, even though I mentioned what I liked the post was overwhelmingly about the over the top and deceiving sales copy.

Well, apparently a lot of people appreciated that honesty because not only did I earn a handful of commissions but I got a few comments and a bunch of emails from readers. Some told me that I saved them money because they almost fell for it. Others saying that after I gave them more real expectations they decided to invest in the theme.

That’s how it’s supposed to work. The reviewer gives HONEST information and helps the buyer make the best decision FOR THEM. If you’re really trying to serve your audience, your goal is for them to find the right product for them, not the best product for your wallet.

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  1. Where did you find the opportunity to earn $1000 and fresh brewed coffee? Loved that.

    I really enjoyed your review from yesterday and appreciated the honest feedback you had of the theme.
    April recently posted..5 Blogging Challenges You Should Consider Joining To Boost Your BusinessMy Profile

  2. This is very true and it has held true from my side of town, too. I just made a sale for John Chow’s blogging course and another one for CommentLuv. Both reviews give the good, bad and the ugly.

    I’ve just started doing this affiliate thing, after 5 years of hiatus, but the commissions are adding up again and I have it all to thanks for the honest reviews I provide.
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..90 Day Product Creation Challenge, Day 21My Profile

    • There isn’t enough honesty out there on the internet and it’s the affiliates that dare to stand out and say when something sucks that get the attention nowadays! Consumers are smart and they deserve to be treated as such.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I am a lot more likely to buy a product from someone who is honest with me about the pros and cons than from someone who gives me the hard sell. saying the product will do everything but bathe the baby!
    Sheri Conaway recently posted..June 10, 2013 Things that make me go “Hmmmmmm”My Profile

  4. This is a great lesson, and I am not surprised you got a good response!
    Ruth recently posted..What is Vine and Should You Use It?My Profile

    • I was a little because I wasn’t really trying to make sales, I was just talking about over the top sales copy. It was only as an afterthought I even put the affiliate link in there. lol

  5. Great post! It is the very thing that I am challenged with in many marketing opportunities. Marketers sound fake and phoney and not anyone I would want to be work with or buy anything from. Thanks for putting it out there. Best Regards, Wendy
    Wendy Bottrell recently posted..Vitamin D and Gluten Issues!My Profile

  6. I think this is one of those areas which shows how annoyed people are getting about over the top promises, and it comes like a breath of fresh air when someone is honest. People feel more relaxed when they know all the pros and cons, it’s no more than they deserve really. Thanks for this.
    Ginny Carter recently posted..How to be yourselfMy Profile

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