Dreaming of ways to make money blogging? You're not alone! Your blog can be a significant revenue-generating asset if you allow it to be, and you don’t have to create your own products to make that possible. (Although, having a product or service-based business is a great way to earn money online).
In this post, we’ll look at three types of articles that allow you to make money blogging by recommending products and services you believe in. In addition to the four article types, I’m also going to show you a lot of examples, so you can reverse engineer them for your own blog.
Excited? Let’s dive in.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase using one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here for more info.
1. Product Reviews
The most popular type of article to make money blogging is a simple product review. A product review is great at converting browsers into buyers.
Think of it this way, if someone is searching “ProWritingAid” review in Google, they:
- Know that they need some editing help
- Know that you can buy premium editing software
- Know ProWritingAid exists
- Are curious enough about the product to search for a review
Basically, that means whoever reads a product review is close to buying. So a well-written article can potentially make you a lot of sales commissions.
Review Article Template
There’s no right or wrong way to structure a product review. However, here’s a review template you can use.
- Product Review Summary: Give a summary of the review at the top. This is great for those who don’t want to read the entire article.
- Product Background: Include a brief recap of the product. Like we spoke about before, the reader will already know about the product.
- Who is the Product For? Explain the ideal customer for this product. Who will benefit from buying this? Also, here you should explain who isn’t this product suitable for.
- What’s Included? Check out the product and see what comes with it. What added extras do you get when you buy? You can create a cool unboxing video here too.
- Features: What are the specific specs? What is it missing?
- Tutorial/How To: Find (or create) a short video that shows how to use the product. Here you can show off how cool the product is to use. If a video isn’t suitable, include photos or screenshots.
- Alternatives: We said the product isn’t for everyone. What alternatives are there? How do they compare? For starters, if your product is for experienced users, talk about an alternative for beginners.
- Pros and Cons: A quick summary of the pros and cons of the product.
- Verdict: Wrap it up. Give your final verdict on the product.
Pro Tip: To increase conversions, if you have a discount code through your affiliate offer, it’s a great idea to make that very clear in your article. For example, in my ProWritingAid review, I include a box that highlights the 20% discount.
Should You Review Items You Don’t Use?
There’s a lot of debate on if you should write reviews on products you haven’t used. Some marketers won’t have a problem writing reviews on products they’ve never used before. Others are completely against it and believe it’s not genuine. Personally, I think you should only tout items that you have used and enjoyed using.
What Keyword Research Should You Do?
When you’re looking for keywords or topics, start with the products you already use. Sure, down the line you can look at other items to try and review. But first, look at the software, tools, and products that you are already using every day because you’ll be able to write better articles about these products.
2. ‘Best of’ Articles
Another popular type of article to make money blogging is a ‘best of’ article:
- Best writing software for authors
- Best laptop for writers
- Best social media planner for marketers
These articles help readers who are looking for solutions to their problems but aren’t sure what products to consider yet.
It isn’t just digital products that you can compare. These articles are also outstanding for comparing Amazon products. For example, this article on buying a fan for a garage gym is clearly an Amazon affiliate article and uses a product review table at the top to increase conversions.
There’s a bunch of great plugins that take product titles, prices, and whatnot straight from Amazon for you to make it easier too. I won’t give specific examples, but I’m sure if you Google “best plugins for Amazon affiliates” you’ll get a great article — see what I did there? 😉
Best of Article Template
When writing a ‘best of’ or best ‘x for y’ article, you can try the following templates.
- Article Summary: Again, summarize your article. Here’s a great place to include a product comparison table and even mention your best overall winner.
- List all products one-by-one: Next, you need to talk about every reviewed product. Give a mini-review for each, where you discuss the pros and cons. This article about the best romantic mystery books is a good example of how to highlight the differences in similar products.
- Buyers’ Guide: If you want to beef up the article, give a guide where you talk about what potential shoppers should look for when making buying decisions. You can also answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.
- Final Wrap Up: Finally, give your verdict and wrap up the article.
What Keyword Research Do I Need to Do?
Keyword research can help you think of finer points your article should cover. When completing keyword research for this type of article, you can use a free tool like Keyword Sheeter to help. Keyword Sheeter takes your suggestions and crawls all of Google’s “related searches” and “people also searched for” results.
All you need to do is type in your seed keywords and press the button and the tool will do the rest. Try directed, but open-ended seed keywords like:
- Best editing tool for
- Best writing software for
- Best grammar checker for
Note: if you include an asterisk (*) in your search query in many keyword tools, it’ll be used as a wild. In other words, it’ll be replaced with any word that’ll fit. So, if you use “best * for writers” it will replace the star with any relevant word.
I let the tool run for about a minute and it already came back with over 500 results! Not every result will be a home run, but you’ll find a lot of great keywords this way.
It’s important to know that this tool just gives you suggestions, and not search data. However, you can find that with other free or cheap tools.
3. Comparison Articles
Our last article type for converting affiliate sales is the comparison article or the “vs” article. This article compares two similar products. These are written for shoppers who are close to buying something, they just need to know the right thing.
The biggest thing you should do with your “vs” article is to start with a strong comparison. Most readers who look at comparison articles already have a decent idea of what product they want to buy and have narrowed it down to two options. They just need a quick nudge in the right direction. In my article that compares Thinkific and Teachable, I have a comparison table right at the start that tells the reader exactly what they need to know.
With this, you’ll be able to generate some sales from people who don’t even read past your introduction. How’s that for efficiency?
Comparison Article Template
This template will be a lot easier to understand with an example. When writing a comparison article, I like to choose some common functions or features and see which option comes out on top, giving an ultimate overall winner with the option that wins the most categories.
So, let’s just say you’re comparing Grammarly and ProWritingAid. You may use the following structure:
- Summary: Again, start with an article summary that covers the main points of the article. Also, include any tables.
- Product Breakdowns: It is probably beneficial to give a small intro to the product. Nothing fancy, just a paragraph or so on each option.
- Best For Spell Checks: Compare the shared feature and select a winner. You can do this with one extensive section, or two smaller ones, one on each option.
- Best For Grammar: As above
- Best For Usability: As above
- Best For Integrations and Bonus Features: As above
- Best For Price: As above
- Final Verdict: Give your final verdict. Which product won the most rounds? Who is the overall winner?
What Keyword Research Do I Need to Do?
Again, using a tool like Keyword Sheeter, you can find plenty of keyword suggestions by typing in phrases similar to the following:
- Grammarly vs
- ProWritingAid vs
- Vs Grammarly
- Vs ProWritingAid
By typing in phrases like this, your keyword tool will do all the heavy lifting and give suggestions you’ve never even thought of.
I’ve tried to give you examples on a wide range of topics, but if I didn’t cover your niche or industry, know that there are almost definitely still opportunities there.
Do you enjoy writing about food or healthy eating? Here’s an article comparing Sun Basket and Green Chef — two organic meal delivery services.
You really can write affiliate articles about pretty much any topic that interests you and potentially make more money from your blog as a result!
Just be sure to check if the product you want to write about has an open affiliate program — not all of them do. And try to keep a balanced blog and continue writing about other topics that interest you.
Dave Chesson is the creator of Kindlepreneur.com, a website devoted to teaching advanced book Marketing which even Amazon KDP acknowledge as one of the best by telling users to “Gain insight from Kindlepreneur on how you can optimize marketing for your books.” Having worked with such authors as Orson Scott Card, Ted Dekker and more, his tactics help both Fiction and Nonfiction authors of all levels get their books discovered by the right readers.
Katie Jenison is a freelance writer offering copywriting, blogging, and ghostwriting services. She works closely with home builders, remodelers, interior designers, real estate and property management professionals to help them create content marketing strategies, improve their digital presence, generate leads, and engage with their target audience. Katie also helps freelance writers and creative entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of working from home by providing tips and advice, business strategies, and writing tips on her blog, The Quiet Type. Download her free workbook, A Freelancer’s Guide to Setting Rates, here.