Top 3 Mistakes I See on Amazon (Affiliate) Review Websites

3 Common Amazon Affiliate Review SiteI love Amazon review websites. I enjoy writing product reviews and they’re just a fun type of website to create. I’ve also tend to see faster success promoting physical products than digital products.

I wouldn’t say I know everything about what makes an Amazon review website work. I don’t really do much SEO. I don’t follow all of the newest methods of getting things done quickly. I don’t bother with special plugins or anything. I still see results though.

A few days ago I posted in a Facebook group asking people to link to their Amazon affiliate websites because I was curious what other people were doing with their sites. I also asked them to let me know how they were doing traffic and sales wise if they didn’t mind.

As I looked over them I was thinking about my own sites and what these guys were doing better. There were also some common trends that separates successful sites from unsuccessful sites. I sent a few of them some feedback but I know a lot of you are working on affiliate sites so I wanted to share some insights with you as well.

Here are the top three mistakes I see on Amazon affiliate review websites.

1. Boring content with no personalization.

If they just wanted the features of a product they’d just go to Amazon. Take some time to personalize your content. Include some humor or stories. Make sure they know you understand what they’re looking for in a product.

For example, when I was writing about blender bottles I mentioned that I used to wake up and make my protein shakes in the blender but my family would get so mad at me making all that noise at 7AM. Rather than giving up my shakes we decided on a compromise. I’d use a blender bottle for my morning shake and I could use the blender for a smoothie in the afternoon when everyone was awake. From there I started finding all kinds of recipes I could make using just the blender bottle and I ended up using it more than my blender.

Storytelling sells. It also helps the reader understand you’re a person like them giving them a recommendation rather than just selling to them.

2. They only list features, not benefits.

When you’re writing a review you’re obviously going to have a list of features but that’s boring and isn’t always that helpful. Sure, they know how strong the engine of that blender is but do they know why that’s good or how that is going to help them? Is that strong enough to easily blend ice?

List your features but also explain why each one is a benefit. Do some research on why each feature is important.

On my blender site I was writing a review and the list of features mentioned the “drive” and I had no idea what that was. I looked it up and found out the drive is the part that connects the motor and blade. A strong drive is important because it’s the first thing to break on cheap blenders. I can pass that knowledge on to my readers so they know why a metal drive is better than a plastic drive.

3. All products reviewed are great and if they have a negative they barely mention it or try to turn it into a positive.

You hear this advice a lot. Always write a positive review and mention a negative somewhere to “build trust” and spin it as a positive for more sales.

Screw that!

While you do want to make sales from your Amazon site, your goal should be to leave a buyer feeling informed enough to make a decision. That means being honest. And honestly, some products suck.

I don’t seek out a product just to give it a bad review but if I’m reviewing something and it’s not that great I’m going to say that. If a product has a major flaw, I’m going to mention it.

When I mentioned this to someone they asked what the point was if no one was going to buy through a negative review. Isn’t it a waste of time if you’re not going to make money with it?

Here are a few reasons it’s worth writing less than positive reviews.

  • It shows your readers you’re honest. You’re not just selling them things.
  • Readers will trust your site more since you’re one of the few sites that lists negatives without trying to spin them.
  • You can recommend other products they should check out instead.

Back to the blender example, I was reviewing this blender that wasn’t a bad blender for casual use but there were a lot of customers mentioning that it was burning out within a few months if they used it everyday. It was really inexpensive so if you only make a smoothie once a week or something it could be a good option but otherwise I recommended they check out a more sturdy blender that was $20 more.

At the end of the day I care about my readers. My goal is to make honest recommendations and make sure they’re informed before they click over to Amazon to buy.

If you’re interested in more blog posts about the do’s and don’ts of Amazon affiliate review sites, let me know in the comments!

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  1. I’m working on my product reviews at the moment. I prefer to add something that I didn’t quite like in something because nothing is “perfect” and I want people to realise that I accept that. But just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it isn’t good or suitable for use.

    My reviews go on various sites, but I’m focusing on creating a blog purposely for the reviewing of products. Hopefully that will help me gain something from Amazon. At the moment, my results are very poor.

    • It’s true that if something isn’t perfect it can still be good. Of course there are some things that just aren’t all that great which is why the best thing you can do is be honest and recommend a different product instead.

      I think you’ll do well with a site dedicated to a type of product. It’s worked very well for me. I use mostly social media to promote my site and I tend to see at least a few sales after two weeks or so.

      If you want any tips on how to make your site more successful feel free to drop me a note via my contact form.

  2. Gotta say if I’m looking for a book on Amazon, say, I go straight to the reviews to look for negative ones. The rosy ones I ignore because I suspect the genuineness. I don’t do review sites but you’ve mastered them. Great stuff!

    • Ya, I don’t always trust all of the negative reviews either because some people just like dropping one star reviews or had a bad experience with Amazon rather than the product but I like the whole picture before I make a decision.

  3. I’m still learning, but am getting some sales mostly through Amazon affiliation. I just bought myself a birthday gift with some earnings from the last couple of months!

    When I do a full review of something I’ve actually tested, I usually do find something negative. Or, if I find something completely negative, then I try to find something that I do actually like about it!

    • Awesome! I remember the first time I was able to buy something with my commissions made me feel so great.

      I see a lot of sites that want to sugarcoat negatives and I think that’s a really big issue. It may not be a negative for everyone but for some people it could be a deal breaker.

      I usually go over why I think it’s such an issue and say something like:

      Depending on what you’re looking for this may not matter. I loved some of the other features but this one is a deal breaker for me so personally I prefer this other product.

  4. I hate it when you get review sites that don’t allow you to comment. What if I have a question you could answer and you don’t allow me to ask it?

    Am I expected to use the contact form? Really? A person is going to make a prospect jump through YET another hoop? Just silly, IMHO.

    • Ya, I agree there. As a blogger those questions help me refine my reviewing process. As a consumer I like to ask questions before I buy and sometimes it really helps to just post a comment.

      Facebook comments are also really great when doing Amazon reviews. I get so much traffic from Facebook because people leave comments and their friends read my review.

  5. This is a really great list. I love conversational reviews. I don’t do in-depth reviews a lot, but I do like to give ideas on how to use items or why they’re useful. I also lean toward storytelling, even if it’s just a sentence or two about me pulling my son in his wagon.

    • In my experience you only need in-depth reviews for things that are going to have a specific review and are higher priced.

      Like when I review blenders. For low end ones I just hit the hot points. For high end ones I go in-depth because those people are doing more comparison shopping.

      For toys it’s better to use storytelling and mention a few points about it. I can’t imagine writing a 750 word review of Legos or something or a parent who wants something like that, you know?

  6. I am with Mel – when buying something on Amazon, I always read the negative comments. You need to try and get a balance view.

    • I’m the same way. I read negative reviews before the positive ones! Most tend to be BS things like issues with Amazon but sometimes I see legit ones that I can consider before buying.

  7. I think one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not optimising your website for mobile devices, a huge percentage of people are now on their phones. I would hate to imagine the amount some people are losing if they had a Christmas blog that wasn’t mobile optimized YIKES!

    • That’s so true! I know a lot of people who do all of their shopping from their phone or iPad. My husband’s grandma just finished most of her Christmas shopping sitting on her iPad. I know for a fact she bought over $900 worth of stuff in one Amazon purchase. It would suck to lose out on something like that.

      Luckily so many themes are mobile ready now.

  8. Storytelling is the most important part. If you tell a story how you felt before and how it changed your life they will have a much easier time saying yes to you!

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    • Storytelling makes a huge difference in conversions as well as how many one time readers turn into repeat readers.

      • I hate reading reviews that sound like, ‘buy this because I need money!’ I look for honesty in reviews, and hopefully my reviews come across as honest and useful. I try to put myself in my readers’ shoes, especially on my toy website, because I can’t afford to buy toys that have been ‘spun’ to be really good value, only to find that they are absolute rubbish when my kids get them home.

        • Ya, exactly! People go to Amazon when they want to be sold to. When they’re looking for reviews on blogs they want to hear some honesty. You know those “pocket hose” things that are on TV? I’ve seen SO many sites talk about how great they are and how amazing they are and I’m like well now I can’t trust anything you say. They don’t wind back up to nearly the original size, they leak after a few uses, and are cheaply made.

          I get you with toys too. My family was always poor growing up so getting a toy that would break within a few days was the most heartbreaking thing because you know how long you’ll be waiting to afford a new one.

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