What To Review On Your Blog – 7 Ways to Find the Right Products & Services

September 10, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

Yesterday, I listed out 10 reasons why you should write product reviews on your blog. If you haven’t read that post yet, be sure to go over it before you continue on with this one. Understanding WHY you are doing something will help you to better execute the WHAT and the HOW.

With that said, today I want to go over various methods in which you can find products and services to review on your blog. Now that you know the benefits of writing reviews, it’s time to take action and do it the right way.

Below are 7 methods you can use to potentially find products and services to review in your niche. You definitely want to make sure that what you review is related to your blog and is of high-quality (for your reputation’s sake). There are hundreds of companies out there that would love to be featured on your blog – it’s just a matter of finding them and getting in touch.

7 Ways to Find Products and Services to Review On Your Blog

1. Offer private paid reviews
Private advertising through reviews is most effective for established blogs that already have a large following. Since these top blogs receive a lot of traffic and exposure, most advertisers already know about their prominence in the industry. Publicly offering private paid reviews significantly increases review opportunities for the blogger as many related companies jump on the chance for exposure.

If you’re interested in offering paid reviews on your blog (big or small), be sure to include the price and a detailed description on your advertising page. This will give interested companies a general sense of what to expect and filter out people who don’t meet the requirements or don’t have the cash. Another benefit of displaying this page is that your email correspondence and maintenance time will be minimized since most people will be able to get all the information they need without asking you. Also, if you’re using a WordPress blog, I highly recommend you purchase the OIOPublisher plugin to further automate the process. For an example of everything I just mentioned, see my advertising page. As for pricing, look at what other blogs in your niche are doing and use a similar price as your starting point. You can then adjust according to the demand.

Also note that you want to nofollow links in your paid reviews. Google looks down on sites that sell PageRank for higher search engine rankings and many webmasters have been penalized for this reason in the past. Adding the nofollow attribute to your links will keep your reviews kosher and your site safe from the wrath of Google.

2. Sign up as a publisher for blog review networks
After reading about private paid reviews, you may be asking the question, “why go through blog review networks when I can earn more money by doing private deals?” Well, the fact of the matter is that while private reviews make sense for established blogs with large followings, many smaller blogs struggle to find any advertisers at all. Blog review networks connect advertisers with smaller bloggers and offer a great compromise because the transactions would not have happened otherwise. The networks take a cut of the deal (usually around 50%) and everyone wins in the end.

The most popular blog review networks are ReviewMe, PayPerPost, and Sponsored Reviews. If you’re interested in getting a higher volume of paid reviews, it’s a good idea to list your blog in each of these 3 networks.

Again, if Google search rankings are important to you, be sure to use the nofollow attribute on links in your reviews.

3. Pursue companies with reviews on similar blogs
Here’s a neat trick I use to get more reviews. I scan related blogs (usually with a larger audience), find any recent paid reviews of quality products, and contact the company with an email like this.

Hey [name],
This is Gyutae Park from WinningtheWeb.com, a blog for Internet marketing strategies. I saw reviews of [product or site name] on similar blogs like [blog1] and [blog2] and thought you’d be interested in a review on Winning the Web as well. We have a growing audience of about 1,500 RSS subscribers and average monthly unique visitors around 16,000. I think our readers would be extremely interested in what you have to offer. You can see rates for reviews here: http://www.winningtheweb.com/advertise/.

You have a great product with a lot of potential and I’d love to review it and learn more. I particularly like how [insert feature you like here]. I’m sure a review on Winning the Web will help you attain many new leads and exposure. Let me know if you’re interested.

Thanks,
Gyutae
www.winningtheweb.com

This strategy has worked well for me in the past. Advertisers like the fact that you are reaching out to them and are more likely to do business with you. By introducing yourself, selling your blog as a worthy advertising opportunity, listing the benefits, and expressing your interest in the product or service, the advertisers will consider you more seriously in including you in their campaigns.

I frequently engage in this practice on related Internet marketing blogs like TylerCruz.com and JohnChow.com. While it doesn’t work 100% of the time, it’s still a good tactic to pitch your blog and at least gain some new exposure. My advice is to find similar blogs that offer paid reviews and email their sponsors that have products you’d be willing to review.

4. Find related products in affiliate networks
A blog review doesn’t have to be paid for in order for it to make you money. How so? You can engage in affiliate marketing by writing reviews on interesting products that you recommend and get paid for each sale you refer.

There are various affiliate networks that list out products with affiliate programs. The payouts depend on the industry but usually range anywhere between 2% and 50%. There are affiliate programs for almost every niche imaginable. In fact, most of the products you use now probably have some sort of affiliate program. Sign up for the following affiliate networks and see if they include any products that you’d like to review.

Recommended affiliate networks:

  • Commission Junction – probably the biggest network with name brand companies. This one is more focused on cost-per-sales (i.e. affiliates earn after they refer sales to the merchant).
  • Neverblue Ads – a great lead generation network with a ton of offers in various industries (i.e. affiliates earn after their users perform some sort of action like signups, downloads, etc).
  • Pepperjam Network – another great lead-gen affiliate network
  • Market Leverage – another great lead-gen affiliate network
  • ClickBank – offers a collection of affiliate programs for digital products (ebook, downloads, etc). A lot of the products here are low quality and aren’t worth promoting, but there are a few gems in there that you might enjoy reviewing.

5. Do a quick Google search
Another strategy that I like to use for finding new review candidates is to do a quick search on Google for related products. For example, if you own a blog about stress relief, a search for “stress relief products” will yield a lot of interesting results. Generally speaking, top rankings in Google imply authority and trustworthiness. Reviewing products from companies with high SEO rankings isn’t a bad strategy. Additionally, take a look at the sponsored links in the search results. If a company is paying to advertise in the search results, chances are that they would be willing to pay for a blog review – either up-front or through affiliate commissions. Perform a bunch of creative related searches and see what you can come up with.

6. Keep up to date on the latest buzz
Every industry has news, buzz, and hype whether it be basket weaving, SEO, or celebrity gossip. Keep up to date on the latest news and products in your niche and you won’t have a problem reviewing the latest fads and big product launches. Not only is this a great strategy for increasing traffic, but it will also enable you to capitalize on the interests of your readers. Subscribe to all of the leading blogs in your niche and use Google Trends to look for popular products and companies you can review.

7. Review what you already use
The best types of reviews are for products and services you actually use often. Many of the above tips are useful when you run out of ideas, but when all is said and done, you want to review things that you think will be beneficial to your readers. Not only will you make more in referral sales, but you’ll have an easier time coming up with genuine content that helps your readers, your advertisers, and your blog (and your pocketbook).

What about you? How do you come up with products and services to review on your blog? Which of the 7 strategies listed above is most effective in your blogging? Be sure to leave a comment below with your thoughts and feedback.

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Comments

14 Responses to “What To Review On Your Blog – 7 Ways to Find the Right Products & Services”

Frank C on September 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

On #4 you left out an important affiliate opportunity, eBay. They really do have every niche imaginable.

Gyutae Park on September 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Hey Frank, I would have to agree with you here. eBay is a great affiliate opportunity that offers pretty much any product imaginable – same goes for Amazon.

eBay has a lot of potential because it’s already so popular and trusted by everyday users. Even with its sheer size, there are thousands of new members signing up everyday. If you’re interested in eBay affiliate offers, you should also check out ShoppingAds – which displays relevant eBay auctions in an Adsense-like banner.

 
 
Paula from Affiliate Blog Online on September 11th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I love tip number 3. That’s one I haven’t thought of before. Might have to wait a bit until I start getting a bit more traffic but I am going to keep it in mind.

Gyutae Park on September 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Thanks, Paula. I’m glad you find the tip to be useful. It’s definitely more effective if you have a larger audience so it’s not a bad idea to build your traffic before using it. Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

 
 
Lucas on September 11th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Great tips. I like the idea of reviewing what you actually use because you can write a really thorough (and honest) review. 🙂

Gyutae Park on September 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Thanks Lucas. That’s exactly what a review should be – an honest opinion of a relevant product or service coming from direct personal experience. Incentives have muddled that original purpose, but the most effective reviews still hold true to it.

 
 
Angel Cuala on September 12th, 2008

Just like Paula above, I think I am very much far from trying # 3.

By the way, I as wondering why you limit your recommended paid-to-write sites to three? Why not 4 or 5? Are these 3 very much far away from the others?

Thanks for the follow up post. I am really learning.

 
Gyutae Park on September 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Hey Angel, thanks for dropping by. You might think that you’re far away from implementing these strategies, but with hard work in building traffic you’ll be there in no time.

I limited the paid-to-write sites to 3 because these are the ones that are the most popular and most effective from my own experiences (that’s an honest review, right? 😉 ) There may be others as well, but I don’t really know of any that immediately pop up in my mind. Hope that helps!

 
Dan Grossman on September 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I know something you should review! 😉

Gyutae Park on September 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Haha, thanks for the reminder Dan. I actually have a pretty big backlog of reviews to do, but I’ll get to WP Review Site soon enough! A great product btw… 🙂

 
 
charles on September 16th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

It is good to review what you already use because it gives you a broader scope on what to write.

Gyutae Park on September 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Yep, that’s definitely the ideal. Your passion and your know-how show in reviews and the more you actually like a product, the better the review will be.

 
 
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