When it comes to shopping online, Amazon is the giant of the industry. With millions of dollars being spent every day without buyers being able to hold or test the products themselves, reviews and recommendations can go a long way toward making or breaking a sale.
In addition to the reviews on the product’s page itself, there are also various posts online where you can not only get feedback on a product but can have it directly compared against a competitor to help you make the right decision.
Just try Googling “best (product type here) of (year)” to see what I mean – they’re all over.
Amazon review sites, also known as affiliate sites or niche sites, are websites or blogs where you can often find various informational articles about a specific category of product (home and garden, pets, babies, etc.).
These sites will compare, contrast, and provide buyer’s guides on their chosen products and will recommend products as part of their articles, with links to products on Amazon that have their referral code included. This allows them to take advantage of the Amazon Affiliates system to earn some extra money – without any difference towards you. Sounds like a win-win, right?
How Amazon Affiliates Works
With Amazon Affiliates, these sites will generate a referral link for different products that they’re reviewing or comparing and will place it on a button or link on their articles. Once you click this button, they receive a specific percentage of anything you buy within 24 hours – even if it’s not what you originally clicked on. This comes at 0 cost to you – and you wouldn’t even know if we (or they) didn’t tell you.
As you can guess, this can lead to some serious commissions when you are able to gather a lot of readers. That’s why it’s important to create an effective review site to maximize traffic, conversions, and income.
What Makes a Great Amazon Review Site?
If you want a piece of the Amazon Affiliates pie, you can easily setup a decent site and try your hand at writing content. However, in order to be truly successful, you will need to be more than decent – you’ll need to separate yourself from the masses.
Outside of SEO optimization for your website, there’s much more that you can do to make your site the best it can be. Below are some important traits of some of the best Amazon review sites that you can emulate in your own way:
Easy to Navigate Articles
While many times you will be receiving traffic from a specific link or search term, people interested in your niche are likely to navigate to other articles if they’re easy to find. Consider placing a section for headlines and similar pieces somewhere that is easily visible without intruding.
Informational Pieces Over Sales Pieces
When you’re writing your pieces, take an approach of teaching rather than selling. While the final goal is to earn a commission, valuable information (leading to a more confident & informed buyer) is more likely to lead to a sale than constantly placing an offer in there.
Articles Written by An Expert
People value expertise over a jack of all trades, so don’t go too wide with your niche. If you aren’t already familiar with the niche you’re in, do everything you can to become an expert (or hire one to write for you). This way the information and opinions you provide hold more weight to readers than the average user’s review.
One of the best ways to instantly provide credibility to your reviews and guides is to provide firsthand experience. If you can afford to buy some or all of the products you review, it will go a long way towards providing a unique perspective on an item that other sites may not be able to offer. In a competitive market, any kind of advantage is important.
Offers a Mailing List
A lot of your traffic will be one-time Google searches or direct links from elsewhere, but you’ll also have some visitors who are interested in your niche. In order to keep them up to date, you can set up a mailing list for them to sign up for updates, new postings, and more. This way you can get some return traffic or run a promotion with a sponsor only for your subscribers as incentive (or for more commission.)
Some of the Best Examples
Now that you know what makes an Amazon review site great, it’s time to go over 2 of the most popular sites for different niches to see how they stack up to our criteria.
Wirecutter is one of the world’s largest review sites, owned and operated by the New York Times Company. They offer a variety of deals through their website as well as tons of guides on various subjects.
Easy to Navigate
When browsing the website, you can see just how successful a simple site can be. With various topics on the header menu and popular articles spread on the sidebar, it’s very easy to move between articles.
Information Over Selling
Wirecutter not only focuses on the information aspect of their articles, but they barely try to sell the products. They simply provide links for additional information – a good way to earn easy clicks – and then provide their opinions and reviews.
Written with Expertise
Despite being a multi-niche website, Wirecutter is still expert-powered. They have various writers on staff that have expertise in their specific niche that they write for, giving them credibility regardless of the topic they’re writing about.
Many of the review pieces on the website include testing results, pictures of use, and other proof of firsthand experience. This lets them give a unique perspective on their pros and cons of items – something you wouldn’t be able to tell from an online listing.
While it primarily is for sharing exclusive deals with their subscribers, there is a newsletter that you can subscribe to very easily.
Wirecutter.com meets all of our criteria nearly perfectly, and it’s no wonder they’ve been so successful.
LuciesList is the very definition of a niche site. Marketing themselves as “a survival guide for moms,” they focus entirely on pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, and of course the products that come with each step.
Easy to Navigate
LuciesList’s website is very well laid out, with a sidebar providing links to new articles and a very easy to use navigation to direct you to articles based on what you’re looking for.
Information Over Selling
A great part of LuciesList is that they provide about as many informational pieces as they do sales pitches rather than sprinkling referral links in every piece. For topics that are a bit more serious, they totally turn off the sales pitch and instead connect with the reader – mother to mother.
Written with Expertise
Meg, the founder of the website is a mother of 2 and is writing many of her pieces and reviews from her personal experience. If you’re looking for parental advice, a parent is about as expert as it gets.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of articles and pieces on the website, not every review or guide has firsthand experience (probably because her children aren’t babies anymore). However, as her children age they seem to have more firsthand reviews for each age range.
At 420,000+ subscribers, it’s safe to say their mailing list is in full swing.
LuciesList.com is a little bit more than an Amazon review site, with their combination of informational pieces and product guides offering a solid educational and commercial balance. With the overwhelming number of articles on the site, it’s no surprise they rake in the page visits.
Amazon Affiliates is an effective way for those with content writing or niche experience to earn passive income and help influence buyers. By ensuring that your website meets the 5 criteria we listed above, you can start yourself on the right track to becoming a successful Amazon review site like Wirecutter or LuciesList – and rake in the cash.