I personally prefer to do it that way--you can create a more convincing review that's more likely to make sales. It's not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? ;-) In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it's usually best just to use the vendor's affiliate resources instead.
The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
Writing product reviews are an excellent way to enhance your credibility as an affiliate marketer. This is especially easy with information products like e-books which are relatively inexpensive. After establishing some steady income it may even be worth buying higher-end products, provided you get in touch with the product creator to work out a strategic marketing plan that takes you to the next level.
Mobile has transformed the way people browse the Web. Even Google has now made mobile #1 in its indexing. If your site still isn’t friendly to mobile users, odds are good your brand is quickly vanishing from the Web – at least where the Big G is concerned. It’s time to take a close look at your design and make sure your site renders beautifully when viewed on Android, iPhone, and the rest.
Tara Banda is a brand-builder, copywriter, and social media marketer in Dallas, TX. She has worked with businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 500 companies to local non-profits to startups — to define their voice, promote their brand online through digital marketing, and build lasting relationships with fans and advocates. Tara is a currently a Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. In her spare time, she is obsessed with learning recipes for international cuisines. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn or Twitter.