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How to Promote Affiliate Products: Review or Tutorial?

Success with affiliate marketing is a result of many moving parts coming together to form the ultimate income-producing machine. Those moving parts consist of making sure you are promoting products that are appropriately aligned with what your audience actually wants to buy, combined with promoting them on the appropriate channels, and lastly properly creating your content to sell the products.
Anyone that is selling products through affiliate links should be exploring all options as to how each product will be help the consumer feel most comfortable clicking the affiliate link and making a purchase.
So let's walk through all three steps, working through the question, "should I be creating a review or a tutorial for my specific affiliate product?"


What Are The Best Products to Sell As An Affiliate?

Times are a changing, and if a product has been made, it's likely been sold by affiliates already. But after a couple weird years behind us, what's in store for the future of affiliate products that actually sell?
According to Cloudways.com, the best affiliate products to sell this year consist of:
  1. Virtual Reality
  2. Drones
  3. 3D Printers
  4. Phone Accessories
  5. Wireless Chargers
  6. Home Automation
  7. Security & Surveillance Systems
  8. Car Vacuum Cleaners
  9. Wearable Devices
  10. Managed Cloud Hosting
  11. Gym Equipment
  12. Travel and tourism
  13. Shapewear
  14. Safety Apparel
  15. Jewelry
  16. Gaming
  17. Pet-grooming
  18. Subscription Boxes
  19. Food Delivery Services/Coupons
  20. Baby Care
  21. Digital Courses and Learning Material
  22. Office Accessories
  23. Gardening Equipment
  24. Kitchen Apparel and Equipment
  25. Lighting Products
  26. Computer Accessories
  27. Insurance
  28. Car Accessories
  29. Bicycle Add-ons
  30. Bottles and Protein Shakers
  31. Backpacks
Consumers have begun putting more focus on their hobbies, which is great for us affiliate marketers. We can promote almost anything because people aren't only leaning into the necessary purchases in their lives. We can actually create some fun within our work, by picking and choosing products that relate to our own pleasure seeking activities.
Some of these that, in my opinion, will be long-lasting, worthwhile time investments for you would be:
  • Managed cloud hosting (anything web-related will always be hot)
  • Pet-grooming (people love to spoil their pets, there's not changing that)
  • Baby care (babies are born every single day)
  • Digital courses and learning material (online education is the future)
  • Gardening equipment (another booming hobby that isn't' going anywhere)
  • Bicycle add-ons (I don't know about you, but all of the cyclists I know are pretty hardcore about souping up their wheels)

How to Find The Best Affiliate Products to Sell

So now you have some categories, which actual brands should you begin promoting? Easy answer: ones that you love.
A little more complicated answer: dive into what you love, combined with what your community wants to purchase as well as what programs are competitive.
Check out the blog 5 Lessons Before Finding Your Next Affiliate Partner to further explore the idea of doing your due-diligence before signing the dotted line with your next affiliate partner.

Where to Sell Affiliate Products

This is always a popular, albeit loaded, question. Can I promote affiliate links on Instagram? How about YouTube? What about to my email list?
And my general answer is "yes... BUT, you need to read your terms and conditions set by the affiliate merchant."
Nobody really likes hearing that, because that means more work for you! But the way that I want you to be forming affiliate relationships, is with the intention to be in it for the long haul--as long as it continues serves you.
It's a lot of time and energy to set up affiliate partners that will make you recurring income over time, and I'd love for you to be thoughtful and intentional about where you're promoting these.
So when you are signing a contract with an affiliate merchant, actually read their contract. Look over the methods in which they will allow you to promote your links.
Amazon Associates is a good example of a "stickler" of an affiliate program. They don't allow you to promote their links on Pinterest and in private facebook groups, among other, ever-changing rules.
But most programs will allow you to sell on social media public channels, Pinterest, to your email list, on YouTube, on LinkedIn, on your podcast show and of course on your blog.
In my opinion, this gives us more than enough opportunities to nurture and sell.

Affiliate Marketing Laws

And of course when it comes to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we want to be sure that we are abiding by and listening to their regulations. It's not likely that they'll take serious action if your unlawful act was done unintentionally, but they will call you out and require that you adjust your methods moving forward.
In summary, the FTC states that you must properly disclose that you are getting paid to promote the affiliate product that you are posting links for, and it must be done in a manner that doesn't make the consumer feel obligated to purchase. This must also be done before any links are listed--which is where most affiliate marketers miss the mark.

What is The Best Way to Market Affiliate Products?

So you're wondering how exactly can you promote affiliate marketing products yourself? I have so many unique, favorite methods on how to exactly promote affiliate products, and they all boil down to one method: create valuable content for your community.
By doing this, you are providing some background information on what exactly the product is, who it's for, how long you've been a fan, what kind of successes you've seen with it, why you love it, and much more context for the reader. This helps develop that know/like/trust factor, making them more comfortable actually purchasing the product.
And yes, even thought it's only a $5.99 kitchen tool that you're promoting, they still indeed do need to trust that this is the tool for them in order to click that "buy" button.
Within that "create valuable content for your community" umbrella, I break that down into different ways of actually displaying or creating this content within my [6-week program, The Flourishing Affiliate.] And two of my absolute favorite ways are product reviews and product tutorials. But they do serve different purposes. So let's break it down:
A product review is great for:
  • A product that has many unique features, different from its competition
  • A product that is polarizing (has both lovers and haters)
  • A product that you've actually been using for awhile
A product tutorial is great for:
  • A product that requires the use of technology
  • A product that requires many steps to operate
  • A product that creates an end product (think: baking and cooking)
  • A product that most people wouldn't pick up and immediately know how to use (but you know how to use)
At first glance, people may think that these are "one-in-the-same", but I hope this gives you an idea for how to differentiate which one you should put your energy into. Whether you prefer your review or tutorial to be in the form of a written blog, a podcast episode, or a video, I recommend putting all of your energy into the ONE method that fits best with what your community needs the most, and best fits the type of product you are offering them.
So let's conclude by matching up my 6 favorite, popular products for this year, and which method you should use to promote each one:
  • Managed cloud hosting: tutorial
  • Pet-grooming: tutorial
  • Baby care: tutorial
  • Digital courses and learning material: review
  • Gardening equipment: tutorial
  • Bicycle add-ons: review
Tell me, what's your next affiliate product in the pipeline and how will you be promoting it in order to sell?

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