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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    September 10th, 2013
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    3
    How to write about products without spending money!
    Hello everybody,

    I have the project of launching my affiliate website but some things need to be clarified.

    I'm not sure of my niche yet but I have several ideas and I'm working on it.

    One of my major concern is about creating content. I think I will divide my website into several categories such as news about my niche (events, exhibitions, challenges...), advices and product reviews.

    The basic idea is to use the news and advice articles to
    1. Create interest and get trafic to the website
    2. Be consistent and write everyday (it's quicker to write an article about an event than a product review)
    3. Gain authority in my niche


    The reviews will aim to convert and make money.

    However, if I want to write about a product I need to get if first. My problem is that I don't have money to spend in all the products I want to write about...

    I thought of two solutions, first I could buy the produts on Internet and then ship them back. The second solution would be to write mostly about news and advices and then when I will have an audience ask directly to the brands to test the products.

    Do you think my strategy for my future website is relevant? How did you do at the begining?

    What do you think about my strategy to test the products without spending money? Do you have any advices?

    Thank you for your help,

    Alex

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager chris9771's Avatar
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    February 27th, 2012
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    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    43
    Hi, It sounds like you have an ambitious goal of writing everyday! I hope you can keep up that momentum - it can be a challenge to keep the idea faucet running every day, lol.

    Setting up a review site can be a pretty tough business to get into. The main thing is getting people to trust who you are and why they should take your advice. Once people see that you will be compensated for any products you promote, (which you have to disclose, according to the FTC), people may get suspicious if you are really promoting a product that you believe in or are simply writing what you can to get them to buy it, which makes you more money.

    I cant see you spending time to write about a product you didnt like, since you wouldn't recommend it - and if you are not recommending people to get it, you wont make any money. so there is no need to even consider negative product reviews.

    I think you should figure out how to overcome the trust factor (or lack thereof) for the users to your site. Once you figure out how to get the users to trust your reviews, then you may have something to start building on.

    sorry that doesnt answer your question about how to get products without spending money, but I think you may be putting the cart before the horse, to use an old expression.

    -Chris
    Chris Cooper
    -MGECOM
    [email]socialize@mgecom.com[/email]

  3. #3
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 28th, 2007
    Posts
    341
    Hi Alex, Nice to "meet" you. These are interesting questions you're asking.

    You said, "My problem is that I don't have money to spend in all the products I want to write about..."

    You've piqued my curiosity here, and I'll be interested to see what other affiliates have to say about this (if they answer you.) Is it viable to write about products you don't have the money to buy?

    Why wouldn't you start out by writing about products you already use, know about, and are excited about? Or products that you're curious enough about and interested in enough to spend some of your own cash on testing them out? That's how I started, and it's still pretty much what I do. (Of course, I got started with affiliate marketing because I was using it to help subsidize my crafting habit, so perhaps my approach is different than most?)

    Some other ideas:

    Pay for content from people who know more than you do about whatever it is you want to promote. I've found that it's often cheaper and quicker to buy a product review than it is to buy a product, figure out how to use it, and write a review of it. I've paid for content on several of my affiliate sites and it's been well worth doing. It only works well if you find the right people, which can be hit or miss. I've had more hits than misses and it's worked out really well for me overall.

    (Yes, this involves spending money. But, this is a business. It's a low-cost, low-barriers-to-entry business, but is it realistic to think that you can start any business without spending money?)

    Network with, and get to know, publicists in your niche. Introduce yourself and your site to them. Develop relationships with these people -- I'm not suggesting that you spam anybody. At times when you see a good mutual fit between your readership and a product your readers might want to buy, ask the publicists you know if the company they work for makes review samples / review copies available. Do this only for specific products you think your readers would be interested in.

    Actually, if you develop a quality resource in a niche you're passionate about, you're likely to find that publicists and merchants will seek you out with offers of "free" products to review. (If you take them up on the offer, do disclose that in your reviews, of course.)

    If any mom and pop businesses are left standing in your niche, replace "publicist" with "mom and pop" in the above.

    Review things that can be borrowed from the local library...as a last resort.

    I still buy the majority of the products that I review for my own personal websites. (I say "my own personal websites" because I also write content for high-profile websites, which are a different deal and not what I'm discussing here. Even so, come to think of it, I still buy a good deal of the products I review for the high-profile sites too.)

    I wouldn't buy products, use them, review them and then return them. Too many credibility issues, too many upfront costs, too much potential bad will, too much liability, too much money spent on postage, too much wasted time.

    I hope these ideas will be useful to you, and I wish you all the best with your site(s)!
    Last edited by Amy_S; September 18th, 2013 at 01:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Full Member Amy_S's Avatar
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    November 28th, 2007
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    In the post above, Chris said,

    I think you should figure out how to overcome the trust factor (or lack thereof) for the users to your site. Once you figure out how to get the users to trust your reviews, then you may have something to start building on.
    I agree! trust is crucial.

    Chris also said,
    I cant see you spending time to write about a product you didnt like, since you wouldn't recommend it - and if you are not recommending people to get it, you wont make any money. so there is no need to even consider negative product reviews.
    I have to disagree. I think this logic is short-sighted, and it also ties into the "trust" issues that Chris posted about.

    First of all, I think it's a good idea to strive for balanced product reviews. Just about every product has it's pros and cons; very few products are completely 100% bad or completely 100% great. I think that credible product reviews have to include both the good and the bad, and allow the user decide what's their most important criteria. Not everyone has the same objectives when making a purchase...

    Even for a product you hate, I'm sure you can think of a couple of selling points. And even a product you love has something that's less than ideal about it.

    Also, a negative product review is a perfect opportunity to recommend a better option.

  5. #5
    Member robbinsinteractive's Avatar
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    April 2nd, 2009
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    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    120
    I love the idea of writing about products you already have. Also consider non product review content to support your regular posts and develop a site that is unique and has depth. A product review site can be challenging due to competition. However a solid niche content site that has product reviews can be very powerful.

    Merchants will provide free product for review. Of course there is a little chicken and the egg thing going on because you need traffic to qualify. Start off with smaller niche merchants and you will have better luck. Also try lower price points.

    Good luck!
    Stephanie Robbins
    Robbins interactive

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