Fake Amazon Reviews Are An Opportunity For Affiliate Marketers

Last Update: April 14, 2020

I've been doing more online shopping than usual, and I discovered a new habit I have.

I trust Amazon reviews way less than before.

I'll read them, but with a grain of salt. If I find a product I like with good Amazon reviews, I'll still go read reveiws from bloggers anyway... if the product is expensive enough. If it's a $20 item it doesn't matter much because I can just send it back for a refund, but for bigger items, Amazon is not my "final stop" for research.

Some Amazon reviews are completely fake (Verge article on FTC Lawsuit), but even the ones that are real are often not very helpful.

Why Would People Read My Website?

A common question I get from newbies is that they want to know why anyone would read their website when they could just go to Amazon and search for reviews there.

There are a couple of really good reasons why!

  • Amazon reviews are short
  • Amazon reviews are extremely biased
  • Amazon reviews have no "proof" of accuracy
  • Amazon reviews do not contain images in context
  • Amazon reviews do not contain video
  • Amazon reviews rarely from experts
  • Amazon reviews are a low-quality user experirence

I could dig into each one of those and write a whole blog post, but the main thing to take away is that Amazon reviews are not very engaging for people.

They are small text, no images, no video, disorganized, and you have no idea who wrote them.

How often have you seen a review that says, "1 star. The package arrived damaged!" That's not the fault of the product. It's the fault of the seller or the package shipper.

Design A Great Review

With your WordPress blog, you have the opportunity to create an amazing user experience. You can cover a topic in-depth, with 1000-2000 words for a review.

You can add high quality product images from stock photo websites or creative commons, or you can even take your own photos. You can create small paragraphs with large text that's easy to read even on mobile devices.

You can link to more resources within your article so visitors are fully informed. You can add video to show how a product works. You can compare products with other similar ones to help people find the best product in its category.

Show Off Your Expertise

Who's writing Amazon reviews? Nobody knows. They are just a name. Even "top reviewers" on Amazon are just people who write a lot of reviews of Amazon products. They are not necessarily an expert like you are.

With your affiliate website, you can show off that you are an expert, and you are a trusted source of information on your topic. 1) You'll have a history of creating expert content in your blog roll, or in the menu of your website. 2) You'll have an author bio set up explaning how you're an expert.

If your webiste is about drone photography, and it's called "Mikes Drone Photography", and you have a photo of you controlling a drone + some cool photos you took, when someone lands on your site, they'll immediately think, "Damn, this guy really knows a lot about drone photography".

In Amazon, you're just Mike from Florida who bought a drone and liked it.

On your website, you have an opportunity to add a dimension of depth and substance to your reviews.

    Interact With Visitors, Build Trust

    On your webiste you also have a chance to "come alive". You can talk directly to people. While you won't be able to personally chat with every single visitor and convince them to buy a product, you can answer questions in the comment area.

    This adds to your expertise, but also provides you with a direct line to knowing what potential buyers are asking.

    That's more content ideas for your site, then more authority, and more rankings. Success tends to snowball!

    Just the fact that you are "available" means that people will see you as a real person, and are more likely to trust your content.

    Final Thoughts

    Though I focused on Amazon, these ideas are the same across all vendor websites with customer reviews. There are many reasons someone would read your website even though they can just go to the vendor and buy it there. Play into that!

    Make your webiste an ultimate resource for your topic that would be impossible for the vendor to recreate and you'll always have a position in the customer purchase lifesycle.

    Join the Discussion
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    Recent messages
    SophieKim Premium
    Hi Nathaniel,
    Reading your posts today as I have time to do it. Very good info you shared. I am in the process of updating my old posts. I don't have that many so I thought would be a great idea while I don't have much. One of my first posts, I used amazon reviews on the product. Now I will not do that anymore. I am so new to online blog. Learned so much from your posts. Thanks very much.
    Jude81 Premium
    Hi Nathaniell, do you use a plug in to write reviews and do you think it is more beneficial than a review without using one?
    I tried out a couple but I had many issues with the structured data within them so I took it out. Thanks for sharing your insight on reviews. Jude
    bestleads Premium
    One of the great problems with products and services is finding legitimate and honest companies with affiliate programs.

    Its time consuming researching the legitimate ones among the thousands of scams out there.

    I have been lately looking at Airygal, Etsy, Bangood, and Newchic.

    They seem good companies, but the reviews are 45% negatives. I consider that that's huge. Probably, products are low quality.

    And there is the problem of the affiliate paying structure. I have heard of programs tricking affiliates. They have good products and deliver, but not so with their affiliates.

    Even affiliate networks do nasty things to their publishers.

    Do you have any suggestions on affiliate programs reviews sites?
    Hackerist Premium
    Nathaniell’s blog is just one of the best blogs in the world that reviews affiliate programs no matter what the niche is.
    Brko Premium
    My reading reviews on Amazon best practice is to discard the lowest and greatest reviews and keep my eye only in the middle range. Why I do that. Because the lowest are usually written by the envy competition and highest are mostly written by the seller and his friends. That strategy works for me and I'm using it to read reviews also on Booking, Trip Advisor and similar pages.
    tommo1968 Premium
    Exactly true. I always search now for "best item I want" in google before seeing if it's even available on Amazon. These blogs have good lists of acceptable items and will link to good ecommerce platforms outside of Amazon. As you say they have gotten sloppy and don't always carry the items you need. Do a good review or best of list and traffic will come.
    nathaniell Premium
    Amazon is seeming a bit stale lately. They haven't changed their interface or system for many years now. Great opportunity for more companies to come in and do better!