Product Reviews – Do People Read Them? Does it Matter?

Product Reviews Have Many Benefits

product reviewsI write a lot of product reviews here on my site.  It’s not all I do, but there are tens of thousands of products in the make money online niche and people are interested in knowing if they’re any good before they spend their money on them.  I don’t blame them; most of the products in this niche are scams of some sort, or they’re selling rehashed information that might have worked ten years ago but won’t help you make money now.

I go to a lot of trouble to make sure that my product reviews are accurate, and I rarely review a product for which I don’t have access to it.  I want to see what it’s about before I tell my readers what they might be getting into.  My traffic stats show that it’s the reviews that bring most of the visitors to my site.  Funny thing though – my email suggests that a lot of these people aren’t reading the reviews at all.

Does It Matter if Your Product Reviews Get Read?

I assume that if you’re going to go to the trouble of searching for product reviews and then click on the link to see them, that you’ll take the time to read.  That doesn’t seem to be the case.  In fact, a lot of the email I get about any given review is usually written by someone who assumes that I am the owner or creator of the product.

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That seems pretty strange, because if you read any of the product reviews on my site, it’s pretty clear that I’m reviewing products from other people.  I usually even provide links to take you to the site so that you can see what the product is about yourself.  I’ll admit that I do occasionally promote products as an affiliate and earn a small commission if you buy, but I always make it clear that the products aren’t mine, that they’re the work of other people (whom I usually name) and that they’re available at some site other than this one.

Yet I receive email all the time from people who:

  • Demand refunds – Yes, I get angry email from people who bought some product in the make money online niche, found out that it didn’t work (or cost more than they thought it would) and they’re unhappy with it.  They ask me to give them their money back.  Of course, I can’t give them their money back, as I never sold them anything in the first place!
  • Demand that I cancel their membership – This one is similar to the one above.  I got a message just yesterday with a subject that said, “CANCEL MY MEMBERSHIP IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!”  I have no idea what membership they might have been talking about, and when I ask them, they almost never reply.  I don’t offer any memberships here.
  • Complain that they haven’t been paid – I’ve run into this one a lot with the product reviews I’ve done for sites that claim to pay you to read news, or to take surveys online.  Most of these sites are related and have common ownership, and promise to pay you hundreds of dollars per day to watch 30 second commercials or to read “news articles” that are only one or two sentences long.  The email messages demand that I pay them promptly.
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Do people read?

What’s amusing about these messages, including those in the last category, is that they always involve product reviews that were negative.  I’ve reviewed 30 or 40 of those fake news sites, and in every one of those product reviews, I said that the product was terrible, that you shouldn’t get involved in it, and that you were not going to get paid.

Yet people search for my reviews, find my site, and contact me to complain about not being paid without even reading my review.

This might all seem to be rather odd, and it is.  On the other hand, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that people aren’t reading my product reviews.  While I try to write well and I strive to write content that’s worth reading, having it read is not the only reason to write it.  If I’m promoting a product as an affiliate, I’d certainly like for you to read the product reviews (and buy the product, of course), but there are other benefits to writing product reviews even if people don’t read them.

The biggest benefit, of course, is traffic.  I’d like my site visitors to do certain things when they visit.  I’d like them to sign up for my mailing list.  I’d like for them to click on an affiliate link and buy something.  I’d like for them to sign up for a free membership at Wealthy Affiliate.  I’d like all of these things.

Of course, none of those things will happen if I can’t get someone to visit my site in the first place.  For that, I need some reason for someone to visit, and as it happens, the primary reason people visit my site is read or look at product reviews.  Of course, once they’ve clicked on the link in Google or Bing, they’re here, and after that, they might do one of the things I’d like them to do, such as sign up for something or buy something.  They might also read one of my many product reviews, but I don’t need them to actually read them to benefit from their visit.

I just need them to visit the site, and any reason for visiting is a good one.

Product Reviews Summary

Most people write product reviews to either tell people that they liked something, to recommend it, or to tell them that the product is a scam and that they should stay away.  Those are certainly the primary reasons for writing them, and my main motivation is to make sure that people learn how to make money online without getting ripped off by some scammer.  For that reason, I primarily write product reviews of products that I don’t like.  But in the end, the main purpose of the reviews I post here seems to be traffic generation, and that’s OK, too.

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