Why your product reviews miss the mark

Are you getting low affiliate sales from product reviews? Are you giving people information without solving their “what decision do I make” problem? Try making recommendations, or at least comparisons, among the products in the segment. Give your readers a roadmap on how to use your information to verify or trust your conclusion — and buy.


Example of the problem:

Here’s a comment I recently made on mac.appstorm.net. I like their reviews of products, but I recognized something in the middle of reading this one. Today, virtually no product or app lives in a vacuum. A list of features and descriptions of how to do things is not entirely pointless, but it is focused on entirely the wrong problem: people looking at software — offline blog editors, for example, are looking to solve a problem. Almost certainly, there is more than one option, and that means there’s a decision to be made.


Why this matters:

There’s no such thing as one alternative in the world of decisions. Every choice is between, at a minimum, doing something or doing nothing. And among the somethings, there’s usually more than one option. 

So product reviews may be easier to write when they are standalone descriptions of software or pens or cars or toys, but that doesn’t solve the consumer’s problem: which one do I get? Which one is right for me?

So, my suggestion to the author of that review was to maintain a mini-wrap-up as part of every post (or at least constantly linked to an updating version of the wrap-up comparing and contrasting these products in at least a summary way. Why? So I know which to buy and whether to switch.


How it works:

Understanding your customer is the way to make your product – which is the review itself – useful to your customer. Sell me that, and I’ll keep reading. Lists of features I can get from every vendor who cares only about telling me about their product; comparisons I get from you, the curator.