How to Do Product Reviews & Make Money

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This post is for influencers, bloggers and brands, it’s about how to make money from product reviews and to write for long term success.  Figured I’d say that since the title sounds like it would be only to teach bloggers how to make money when doing product reviews.

The biggest mistake I see in product reviews is that the person or people reviewing the product only reviews the product or the brand.  The problem with this is that even with an engaged audience, you only get the one time boost in traffic or affiliate sales.  That helps nobody, for the most part, except the brand with the one time shot of traffic (assuming there is an engaged audience).

There is always the chance that you’ll rank for the brand’s trademarks and intercept some of their traffic, but guess what, all of the other sites that do the same reviews are competing with you and will eventually take your space.  So what can you do differently when reviewing products to aim for long term traffic, revenue and to add value? Simple, solve a problem while reviewing the product.

This post will walk you through multiple examples of how to do this with blog posts, YouTube videos and also help you turn a simple product review into a weeks worth of marketing campaigns and content.  If you don’t have time to read this now, bookmark it and come back.  You’ll not only learn to build your audience and bring in new advertisers, but you’ll also learn to monetize the reviews for passive and recurring income.

how to make money with product reviews

Blog Posts

The trick with blog posts is to do a quick and relevant intro (I could use that advice,,,see 400+/- words above) and then solve the problem.  Although I didn’t do reviews like the ones below, I have been given these types of products and asked to do reviews.  If I would follow through with them, here is how I would tackle them.


I was given a ton of fun cartoon themed bandages at a tradeshow for bloggers a few years back and they asked me to do a share on social media as well as a blog post on  I gave them back and said I can buy my own.  The reason is that you guys could care less about fun bandages, you’re here for marketing tips.  After I gave them back, they handed them to me again and said no worries, keep them anyways.  So if I was going to review them I would need to think about how could I do this in a way that would make sense for the audience.

Let’s use parenting blogs or travel bloggers as an example since I just got off a call with both types.

Note, many of these topics are medical advice so you HAVE TO HAVE or SHOULD HAVE a licensed medical professional involved before you publish anything medical related.  The sole purpose of this post is to get your mind going with content ideas, not to give medical advice which I am also not giving or licensed to give.  You need to handle the legal things on your own.  

Parenting bloggers:

As a parenting blogger you’re writing about being a mom or dad and raising kids while keeping your sanity.  Everyone knows and buys bandages already, so you need something original instead of saying they’re cute and they stay put.  Here are a couple of options to help get you thinking creatively and providing solutions instead of doing what everyone else is.

  • What types of bandages are for which types of scrapes?
  • How to know what bandaids to use for which types of summer activities?
    • Hiking – when you sweat a lot
    • Swimming – you need water proof (is there a difference for lakes, pools and saltwater?)
    • Camping – there could be days before you can get real help and you may need additional protection from dirt, unclean water, etc…
    • Lasts for a morning vs. a few days – based on when and where you’ll need it and what your child will be doing while wearing it.
  • What is the difference between anti biotic ointment bandages and non
    • When do you use which kind?
  • When should you use which type of bandaids
    • water proof
    • elastic
    • plastic
  • Limited edition styles to help make treating a scrape easy
    • Talk about matching the bandage to your child’s personality so they won’t be embarrassed when wearing them.  You may also want to talk about it being easier to get them treated if they like the bandage.  When you do this you can also potentially use affiliate links to the specific styles and possibly earn commissions (depending on your agreement with the advertiser).

Travel bloggers:

Travel bloggers have separate needs.  Whether they get scrapes or cuts while traveling in cities, or if they’re adventure travelers and need patches to hold them over until they can get to a medical professional (remote location travel), you have a ton of opportunities here.

  • Comparing the types of bandages
  • How to create a medical kit that fits into your pack and can help treat multiple wounds
  • If you’re blogging about specific regions
    • Include medicinal plants and images of them
    • Local treatment centers by the areas you’re talking about with location points
    • A pronunciation guide for allergies
    • Conversion guide for inches to cm and how to pronounce them for describing cuts or gashes

All of these topics are ways to provide solutions and add complementary content to the bandages.  Each of them can help to solve problems and engage a reader, and each of them provides you with ways to incorporate affiliate links, ad space and attract traffic so your advertisers see you’re constantly driving exposure and adding value.  But maybe bandages aren’t your thing.  Let’s do something more fun like sports jerseys.

Football Jerseys

I did a huge post about taking party photos from both the adults point of view and the kids here, read that if you want a unique way to make your images and content stand out.  But that is old content and instead of talking about parties, lets talk about something I know nothing about, but could write about, football jerseys.

Most people doing these reviews will talk about wearing them on game day and showing support, but that doesn’t always justify the expense of an authentic team jersey.  So what can you do to help justify the expensive version or limited edition vs. the cheaper knockoff?

If I was going to write about football jerseys, here are some of the options I might try.

  • They are a perfect boudoir prop and mentioning that high res. cameras will see the difference between low quality shirts and official jerseys could make a difference.  You want these shots to be keepsakes and not have flaws.
  • Family holiday photos with matching team gear adds an emotional attachment that someone can visualize while they read your post.
  • Team shirts can build a bond between step parents and kids (buying matching jerseys to wear to a game together).

There are a ton of ways to incorporate these into content that provides solutions.  I gave you three tie ins where you have year round searches like boudoir photo ideas, family holiday photo themes and bonding ideas for step parents and kids.  The trick here is to not only incorporate the football jersey as a solution, but provide some form of emotional attachment or value for the product to generate a click on your link and to shop for the product.

how to stand out with product reviews

YouTube Videos

YouTube is an incredibly interesting channel to think about with product reviews.  When YouTubers do them, they’re competing in one of largest search engines in the world, but not really thinking about what they can do to grow an audience, gain new exposure and build consistent traffic.  Above I talked about building value-adding content in text, so here we’ll go into more of a tactical approach to the content you’re creating.

YouTube, much like blogging, is about the mechanics of the content, the video and all of the tech aspects.  Here are some of the biggest things I see that potentially cause YouTubers to not make money or to limit their ability to earn, grow and attract new advertisers.

  • Video titles – Instead of calling it an unboxing, a haul or an XYZ brand review, label the video for the solution that uses the product being searched for.  There are free and paid keyword research tools you can use to find recommendations for YouTube.  i.e. call it “how to fix an water heater” if you’re reviewing the main tool used for fixing water heaters.
  • Demo the product, don’t just talk about it – When watching makeup shopping hauls, toy reviews or even electronics videos, the reviewers tend to forget one of the most important things, to demo the products.
    • Nail Polish – don’t just talk about the color, show how many applications it takes to get a solid coat and then compare it to another brand or color.  By doing this you can not only promote the brand, but also start to take some of the traffic from the nail art and tutorial videos.  The same goes for powders, lipsticks, eyeliners, hair colors, weave and everything else.
    • Toys & Electronics – One of the biggest things reviewers forget to do is play with the toys or demo the electronics.  Many will walk you through the features, how long they can last for, what makes them different, but they forget the most important thing, using them.If you’re reviewing a toy, play with it and show it in action.  If it’s a speaker, turn it on and show the sound quality and help the viewer experience the noise levels.  If it’s a mixer, plug it in and make a mix or scratch (DJ gear not kitchen).If it is kitchen equipment, use it.  i.e. a spiralizer (note to any readers who have my address,,,I’ve been banned from buying new kitchen gadgets so feel free to buy one for me if you want…hint hint…perfect birthday or thinking of you or thank you for awesome content gift) While you’re talking about the product, show that it is easy to use or that it is difficult.
  • Fill out all fields – If you’re trying to rank and build an audience, or provide value to your advertisers, don’t be lazy.  Treat this like a job, especially if you want to turn it into one.  YouTube asks you to fill out a ton of fields and forms for a reason, it helps them to classify and display your videos.  Fill them all out.
  • Name your videos properly – Don’t just shoot and upload, save the video and give it a proper name that matches the title and content.
  • Advertise the video – If you’ve been paid $500 to do a review and it is topically relevant to your regular audience, spend 10% of the money advertising your review on YouTube’s platform.  Not only will this help to build more of an audience for you, but it also helps to make sure you’re getting and delivering some views and hopefully visitors back to the advertiser.  Just having subscribers isn’t enough, build an ad budget into your review fee and really deliver for them.  They’ll hopefully be happy with the results and you can grow your audience at the same time.

The great thing about YouTube is you become a brand.  Your channel and videos are extremely visible and as new potential sponsors, advertisers and affiliate managers look at you, they’re able to see actual engagement, reach and frequency.  That is something social media influencers and many bloggers cannot provide.  The best part is that you don’t even need to respond with a media kit since they can see it without you sharing stats.

Turning a Product Review Into a Marketing Campaign

Now that you have a couple of new strategies to create product reviews, how can you get more out of a single review?  Simple, make it a weeks worth of content.  Not only can you optimize this for competitive phrases, but you can attract a lot of long tail traffic too.

Here are a few ways to do this.

First create a bullet list of the uses, options and other things you mention in the main review post.  Next begin creating content about each of the bullet points on your list.  They can be unique videos, blog posts or whatever medium you use.

  • Nail polish review – Do a video and blog post with a nail art style using that color and brand each day of the week.  Transcribe them and build a strong internal linking structure for them.
  • Fitness gear – Create a list of workouts and exercises you can do with the gear and then create either a daily workout routine or an exercise of the day post using the specific equipment.  My client ProSource is a great fitness affiliate program you can try this with.
  • Bandages and parties – Try creating a themed activity series including games, crafts, outings and events (picnics, play dates, parties, etc…) for each day of the day week.  Tie in the bandages that match the theme as a fun way to make scrapes and boo-boos more fun to treat in case an accident happens.

Now get your audience excited by sending out teasers on social media with the upcoming week’s theme.  Next line up the content to be delivered.  You can do this with social shares, newsletters or however else you help your audience know how to find your content.

Product reviews can work to build yourself into a brand as well as make money and attract advertisers, the trick is standing out and bringing consistent traffic in.  Think about how to provide solutions using the product that have year round or evergreen seasonal content.  Now demo and show how the products can benefit the end user and provide them with a way to shop or buy the product.  Next measure the results and continue to build on it.  If you do this, you may not only gain the chance to build your audience, but your advertisers may be happier and come back for more reviews since can potentially get a consistent flow of traffic and sales.

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5 thoughts on “How to Do Product Reviews & Make Money”

  1. I love the creativity here! Have you ever thought of teaching, Adam?! Do you do YouTube reviews? I’ve been following your blog ever since DWXPO in 2012! I unsubscribed from all my RSS feeds, but lucky for me, your newsletters are still lasting in my inbox. 🙂

    1. Hi Kellyann,

      Great to hear from you and thank you for continuing to subscribe! I’ve thought about YouTube and know I should be doing it, but at the same time it isn’t the right time for me. I’m busy on a bunch of other projects that are taking priority. There is a very good chance I’ll start in the fall depending on work loads.

      For now I have about 8 more speaking things I have to do this year, I’m prepping for the avon walk with some friends, my company is taking on new clients again, and I’m also trying to balance a personal life lol. Oddly enough right now I have a perfect balance with work and life and am going to enjoy the summer without learning video software, etc…

      I’ll be doing a post within the next few weeks about upcoming speaking engagements. Would be great to connect again!


  2. Hi Adam,

    I just found your site and appreciate all the great advice. My wife and I are thinking about getting into this whole digital marketing thing. I was wondering if you could do a quick critique of our business idea? I have of course provided my email. Thanks so much!

  3. Hi Adam,

    You have shared an amazing post here!
    Every blogger should have a page listing their sponsored post options and prices, and should direct brands who want coverage to that page. The key is to always be honest in your reviews, no matter what. If you can’t say something nice, then give a refund. Only write about products, hotels, etc. that you’ve actually experienced/tried for long enough to get a good feel for them.

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