One of the most popular ways of integrating affiliate marketing into your overall business plan is by creating a review website. With the amount of money made by individuals and corporations via affiliate marketing, one would want to incorporate it into his/her business model. However, knowing how to start and set up a review site with WordPress is one of the many roadblocks encountered by a lot of aspiring affiliate marketers.
Setting up a proper review site with WordPress can be a bit tricky, especially for first-time affiliate marketers. Therefore, this post aims to describe what a review site is and show you how to make a brilliant one with WordPress.
What is a Review Site?
A review site is a website where consumers go to find out existing information about the different products or services they are thinking of purchasing. A typical review site contains listings of various products, customer reviews, and ratings.
Review sites are definitely in high demand by consumers as they like to stay adequately informed about products so they can make safe, wise purchases. This is just one of the reasons why review sites like TripAdvisor are worth over $10 billion.
What to Consider Before Creating a Review Site with WordPress?
One of the major factors to consider before creating a review site with WordPress is to decide on the niche you want to concentrate. It is advised that you don’t choose a highly competitive niche as you may not be able to rise above the existing competition. The best niche would be one with low competition which you are also passionate about.
Creating a Review Site with WordPress
All you need to create a WordPress review site is a good WordPress theme and a plugin. The need for a good plugin cannot be overstressed as it carries the entire review system for your site. Plugins also offer rich snippets which will appear on search engines and thus boost traffic to your website.
Picking a Good Review Theme
Once your WordPress site has been successfully set up, the next step is to choose an appropriate review theme. Most people get sucked into online articles offering suggestions about the best themes to use; however, with review sites, the best option is to use a review plugin on WordPress.
These plugins are flexible enough to let you work with your desired design or theme and also enables you to change them whenever you want with ease. This is the easiest step as all you have to do is pick the theme that looks best to you and is in sync with your brand.
Picking the Best WordPress Review Plugin
WP Product Review is the best plugin option as it is very easy to use, flexible and makes your brand outstanding on search engines with schema markup. It has all the features you need to make an outstanding review site with WordPress.
WP Product Review also has a pro version which includes additional functionality, such as:
- Amazon Integration
- Product Comparison Table
- Custom Icons
- …and more.
But you get most of the features you need for a review site in the free version as well, such as Pros and Cons list, user reviews, affiliate buttons, schema markup, latest and top review widgets, and more. Even if you decide to change your theme in future, your reviews stay on your site with the plugin.
If you want additional features then you can consider getting WP Product Review Pro Addon, which costs around $71.
Creating a Review Site with WordPress
You can easily install this plugin by navigating to Plugins > Add New, in your WordPress Dashboard. From there you can search for WP Product Review in the search bar. Once found, you can install and activate it.
On activation, you will see a Product Review option in the dashboard menu. Click on it, and you will be directed to plugin’s settings page. This is where you customize and input how you want your review to look. This settings page has different kinds of settings ranging from the general review settings to the typography settings.
We will explain each setting concisely, so you have a good understanding of what they entail.
The first option in the General settings page has to do with how you want your review to appear, whether before or after your content. You can also add your review manually with the use of shortcodes if you are using WP Product Review Pro Addon.
The next option in this setting has to do with whether or not you want the comments from your users to appear as reviews. Here, if you select yes, then you would have to determine and select the level of influence their comments will have on the actual review.
The Number of options/pros/cons option lets you choose how many options including the pros and cons of the product that you want to be displayed. The default setting of this plugin shows five options, but that can easily be adjusted to meet your specifications.
The other options present in this setting include content width which lets you determine the width of your review box. The Disable Lightbox images option which enables users to disable lightbox on images to increase loading speed; and the Enable Rich Snippets option which lets users enable snippets on the product page. There is also an option to Disable Font Awesome for the sites which are already including it. If your theme or some another plugin already load Font Awesome icons, then you can disable this setting.
The next option page under Rating Colors tab lets you choose the specific colors that you want to be associated with different levels or kinds of ratings.
The settings are pretty straightforward. You can use the color scheme to keep in sync with the overall theme of your website.
In the Typography Settings tab, users can select their default text and color scheme for the pros and cons section. Here you can choose your desired default color and text for the pros and cons options. This is how they will appear in your review.
In the Buy Button tab, you can select your desired color and background for the buy button. This is where your audience will click to purchase a particular product or service; hence, it is advised that you use a color that will encourage clicks. Also, the buy button will carry your affiliate link, so the more attractive it looks, the more clicks you get!
That was easy, right? Remember to save all the changes before moving to the next step. Done with settings? Let’s add reviews!
Adding Review to Posts
Since the WP Product Review Plugin is very easy to use, you will have no trouble while adding reviews to your WordPress site.
All you have to do is create a post as you usually do by clicking on Posts > Add New in your dashboard menu. Enter a title (name of the product or service) and write your review.
On the post edit screen, you will find Product review extra settings meta box at the end of the page. Click on Yes next to the option Is this a review post?.
This tab will open additional settings for your review. Here you need to provide the necessary information like product name product image, link, and price.
After this step is complete, you will have to edit your product option settings. Here, you will include the different aspects or qualities of the product or service and the ratings or grades you give to each quality. The rating is done on a 0-100 basis with 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. Also, this is where you will edit your Pros and Cons list by adding the different qualities you liked as pros and those you weren’t a fan of as cons.
That is it! After publishing your post, you can visit the post to view your review in action. Your review will look just like the image below.
Displaying Reviews in Sidebar
WP Product Review also allows you to show your latest and top product in your theme’s sidebar using widgets. To do this, simply go to Appearance > Widgets, in your WordPress Dashboard. From there you can add Top Products Widget and Latest Products Widget to your sidebar. Once added, you can configure its options accordingly.
Once your configurations have been saved, you can visit your website to see the widgets in action.
And that is it! You have successfully created a review site with WordPress.
Tips for a Successful Review Site
Now that you have successfully set up your review site with WordPress, here are some tips that will ensure you earn well.
Be Passionate about Your Niche: Whichever niche of products or services you choose to review, ensure you have a healthy level of passion for it. This will be evident in your content and reviews and will definitely garner trust from your audience and encourage clicks.
Add Value: Let’s face it, there are a lot of review websites out there and you will definitely be faced with competition regardless of your niche. Therefore you need to be different. Adding value to your site by creating helpful content like “how-to” posts, tutorials to go with your reviews will increase your credibility and increase the trust your audience has in your reviews.
Don’t Leave out International Customers: If you want to earn commissions from affiliate schemes like that of Amazon, then you have to consider an international audience. All you have to do is include a link for international clients at the end of each review. This will bring a significant increase in the earning potential of your reviews.
Conclusively, a review site is a great way to boost traffic to your website while earning commissions as well. If you followed all the steps then you should be able to set up your review site with ease. Also, if you take your review site seriously with the needed amount of dedication and commitment, you will be earning a steady flow of affiliate commissions in no time.