Medium.com is a great blog platform that allows you to promote affiliate products and it seems to be very popular among new content marketers. SEO marketing itself is extremely competitive now and it seems almost impossible to drive a decent amount of organic traffic to a new website. Whereas a Medium blog can easily be ranked at the top of Google as long as your content is optimized for SEO - is authentic, uses the right keyword, has good volume and quality. No wonder new affiliates turn to Medium. Why bother building a website from scratch, dealing with the layout designs, image sizes and all while Medium allows you to have chances to make money without hassles, and for free?
Fake Product Reviews on Medium
An affiliate's job is to recommend products that they believe to help solve the problems that others may have. Inevitably, the best way for an affiliate marketer to drive organic traffic is to write product reviews from a user's perspective.
But how reliable are the product reviews on Medium from the users' point of view?
Well, the "reliability rate" is probably no different from any other site. It's not like there's a statistic to prove, so I can only speak from the impression that I get. Genuine user reviews are reasonably reliable, but the reviews written by affiliates that rated all-positive are not.
I have seen literally hundreds of reviews written on Medium.com but never seen one negative or semi-negative review myself...and this tells me something. Mind you, the majority of the product reviews I check are of online marketing tools or training programs, but as far as I'm concerned, they're all written purely to sell, not to help users. I often see "reviews" that contain a huge chunk of the exact copy of what's written on the sales page. Usually, a copied content is penalized by search engines but it actually works in favor of Medium because it's an authority site. Copied content on Medium can often outrank the original sales page on Google.
For such reasons, I assume all the online business product reviews on Medium.com are fake and just personally cannot trust any of them.
Write Genuine Product Reviews and Keep The Integrity
Of course, there must be some product reviews with a call-to-action that are genuinely written. If you absolutely love a product, no fault or whatsoever is found, and you'd like to write an all-positive review on Medium, nothing's wrong by doing that! But bearing in mind that some people like me never take reviews on Medium site seriously, if you keep writing only positive reviews one after another, you'll start losing your integrity, you see what I mean?
Write Negative Reviews on Medium
To summarize what I've said so far;
- You don't have to build your own website to write product reviews. You can do so on Medium.com and promote your affiliate products freely.
- But too many fake product reviews exist on Medium, written by affiliates for the pure intention to sell.
- So if you write all-positive product reviews, the risk is that yours may appear to be fake too.
The solution to that is simple - every time you write a user review, put your hand on your heart and ask yourself for the negative points! If you think a product is useless, just say so and give valid reasons. Helping others by being honest, telling them not to buy a product because it's rubbish, is much more important in terms of building your own reputation rather than being deceptive just to earn short-term quick bucks.
Write Negative (=Honest) Reviews
Let me be clear again - I'm not saying you should proactively find inferior products and write negative reviews on Medium just because others barely do. You don't criticize people's creations just for the sake of it, either. I'm just saying, be truthful. Don't lie on your blog.
The idea of content marketing is to help blog readers, so if you think a product is not good, first, explain why you don't think it's good, then second, recommend a substitute (i.e. your real affiliate product) instead. Place a call-to-action - link to your affiliate page - at the end of the blog post. Don't place a link to the reviewed product that you disapprove, because that would only confuse your readers.
The readers who are looking for that particular product review may arrive at your page hoping to see some good things said about it. But your opinion can change their mind and give them a chance to take a look at your alternative (recommended) product page. This way, if a reader makes a purchase, you will receive a commission for the product you truly support, from the seller that you actually support.
You are privileged to share your view using a full page on Medium.com for free. You can say anything you want as long as you stick to the terms of service and stay sensible. If they hate you for that, let them! Be truthful to yourself, that's all it matters to gain trust as an affiliate marketer.