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Let Your Readers Do the Selling For You

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of May 2007 Affiliate Programs 0 Comments

Sometimes it’s best to let the readers of your blog recommend affiliate products instead of doing it yourself.

As much as I often talk about blogs being a great way to build credibility and trust with your readers and how that credibility and trust can lead to nice returns when you recommend affiliate products – sometimes a stranger’s recommendation can carry a lot of weight.

Let me explain with a short story.

Since starting Digital Photography School I’ve recommended one digital photography book more than any other (The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby – aff). I’ve talked about this book on a number of occasions in different posts and in different ways and as a result have seen a reasonable number affiliate sales for it at Amazon.

However this week I published a reader review of the same book. The review was originally posted in the DPS forums and I simply republished it on the blog where it would get a little more attention.

The review was written by a junior member of the forum (‘ny156uk’ – they’ve posted 28 times) and not from someone with any real profile or credibility (I don’t even know if they’re male or female).

However despite their anonymity their review sold triple the number of copies of the book that I’ve managed to sell over a 12 month period.

While I topped and tailed the review with my own very brief recommendation – it was the relatively anonymous review of a reader (as well as some positive supportive comments from other readers in the comments section) that seems to have struck a chord and generated some nice result.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Thanks for the tip. I will start incorporating comments from my readers into what I am recommending. It will also be fun for the commentators to see their words being quoted and should generate more activity, not to mention affiliate sales.

  • Wow thats a stunning story, Never thought our readers can do that. Thanks for sharing the story

  • Gary

    In your particular case, you had the fortunate advantage of having an already existing and active forum. It seems to me as though it may be more difficult for most people to garner reader reviews, because if you made a post requesting for reviews, I’m sure that not a large percentage of people who read that particular blog post have actually read the book that you are requesting reviews for. Just a thought.

  • Hi Darren:
    I just wanted to say a personal word of thanks for your very kind comments about my book (they really made my da), and for helping spread the word about the book.

    I appreciate it more than you know. :-)

    All my best,

    -Scott Kelby

  • Pingback: Monday Linking- May 21 2007 » NeonScent()

  • Interesting Post.. Never think about that before! Maybe I can’t do that now, but I think it will be useful in the future, thx Darren

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  • Nice. Presumably this is in large part because people want to know that a book will work for a person like themselves, not just for ‘experts’ in the field.

    Did ny156uk get a cut of the profits that his review brought in, by the way?

  • Dazza, I’m going to visit your site more often! Yay for noobie reviewers :)

  • you’re welcome Scott – keep up the great writing!

  • It’s amazing what authentic reviews written by “regular” peeople can do, that is a great story. It shows that testimonials and users review are good ingredients to any business.


  • Ali

    Good tip, with more readers you get the more amount of publicity you can generate for your own self.

  • Great tips for monetizing with Affiliate marketing. I am thinking deeply about the tips and trying to find some better ideas to boost my affiliate earnings.
    Thanking you for Your Nice Blog.

    Warm Regards

  • Pingback: Let Your Readers Do the Selling For You | Talk Utopia()

  • I have recently started blogging and have had some affiliate programs running from the past and had never thought of that. I will try this and see if it would work for me as well.

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  • It makes sense and is something I will look into. Sounds like a way of comabating the inbuilt cynicism and suspicion most web savvy people suffer from these days – I certainly do, and would respect an anonymous reviewer probably more than a professional one.

  • Cool – just come across this after I rather randomly searched my username in google – (sad I know!).

    Glad to see I helped shift some copies – it really is a very good book. I won it in a competition on DPS Blog and felt it was best to give a bit back as lots of people entered the competition. For the poster who asked (many many months ago) no I didn’t receive any benefit for recommending the book, nor do I wish to. I’m just glad my review has been considered useful.