Information vs. Commercial Content – What You Haven’t Considered

Most people know the differences between informational and commercial content on your niche site. Broadly speaking, informational articles are generally easy to rank for but not as profitable. Commercial articles are harder to rank for but more profitable. While I’ll cover these differences in a bit, I want to cover some other aspects that you may not have considered that can help boost your rankings and profits.

Informational vs Commercial Articles

Information content refers to articles that are more educational in nature. Normally, they don’t have buyer intent. That is, people aren’t immediately looking to purchase a specific product.

Commercial content, on the other hand, does target readers who are looking to buy. These are the typical reviews, ‘top 10’, and ‘product x v y posts’. People are looking at these posts because they want to know which one to buy.

It makes sense that a good ranking commercial article promoting an expensive product will be very profitable. However, informational articles are also quite important, even if they aren’t linking to commercial articles and even if they aren’t monetized.

The Case for Information Articles

Most of the time, people think informational articles are for ads. And they are, but they also serve a lot of other purposes (more on that soon).

Ads Are Evergreen and Passive

When it comes to ads, there are many benefits:

  • Ads are automatic – no need to find create and add links. I’m currently using Ezoic. Check it out, it’s free and no contract.
  • Ads are evergreen – Ads will always be around, unlike affiliate programs or certain products that get discontinued.
  • Ads don’t go out of stock – Yep, sometimes a product goes out of stock on Amazon (use AMZ Watcher to find them).
  • Ads don’t have links that can break – Forgot an affiliate id or messed up your html? That can break your link.

Ads in general, are very passive and are even more passive when shown on evergreen content. You can have a piece of content that is relevant for 5 years. As long as that content is ranking, it will earn money.

And the good news is that ad spend for merchants increases every year:

Aside from ads, you can still have affiliate links in your articles. A killer informational article that solves a problem and recommends a genuine product can still be very profitable.

Topic Freedom and Low Competition

Another huge benefit that I find from informational posts is the topic freedom and enjoyment. There are many more topics to cover when going after info keywords. If you create a review site in a niche, it’s entirely possible to exhaust every product in that niche (I’ve practically done it).

Writing review after review can be draining. I find informational articles much more fun to write about, and they have lower competition.

Attracting Links

Most of the reviews that are written today don’t attract links? Why? To create a good review worth linking to, the product often needs to be purchased. This means actually using the product and taking good photos. Most commercial content that can be outsourced aren’t really anything special.

Informational content has a greater ability to attract links. If you create a really helpful resource for people, people are going to link to it. I often create resource pages with lookup tables specifically for this reason. Examples are interchangeable parts, errors codes, user manuals, sizing charts, etc… These are often easy to create since it’s mostly data.

As your site gains more authority, it’s going to attract more and more links. Some SEOs like to link to other blogs for SEO purposes, and it’s more likely people will link to an informational post rather than a commercial one.

Commercial articles can still attract links, but I think they require more effort as a lot of reviews nowadays are basically the same.

Commercial Articles – the Good and Bad

Commercial articles can be quite profitable if they promote high priced products. The problem is there is much more competition out there. Marketers often build review sites and pump them up with links to make them rank. Either you need superb content and time, or you need to take out your wallet.

You can still be successful though in 2 ways:

  1. Go after low competition keywords. Instead of “best basketball shoes” go for “nike basketball shoes for volleyball”. These are still high priced items that can be more easily targeted since it’s a more specific topic.
  2. Even if you don’t rank an article, you can link information articles to it. This is a great trick to divert your existing traffic to certain pages if you can’t do well on Google.

Writing Good Reviews

One of the best things you can do to beat the competition with reviews is to actually buy the product. Leon Angus shows us how he is earning $300 a month with a 6-page website. What did he do? He actually bought and reviewed a Clickbank product. This gave him information and resources that nobody else could get unless they actually purchased the product. This is a huge advantage.

Product X vs Y Posts

Another avenue that a lot of people miss is comparing specific products. These are good to write after you have written your reviews because you have already done the in-depth research required. Writing an X vs Y post afterward will be much easier. These are a little less competitive than single reviews.

When doing these posts, tables are especially important. I like to use the TablePress plugin. Ther might be better ones out there but that’s what I’m familiar with.

Optimizing Sales

One question that people ask is “which affiliate program should I sign up with?”. If you have a popular product in your niche, you want to promote merchants where your readers are already shopping.

What I like to do specifically is have a section like this on my site:

Where should I buy widget x?

It’s always best to shop around for the best price. Here are some places to shop at:

  • Merchant 1
  • Merchant 2
  • Marchant 3

What I’m doing here is adding different merchants with different affiliate links. This means where ever they shop, I still get a commission.

Mixing Both Types

I think a site should a mix of both types of articles. How much ratio of each? I think that all depends on the site you want to build and your skill level.

I’m moving more toward sites with the vast majority of informational posts. I think this is a much more holistic and long-term approach that’s more passive.

I think all sites should have at least some commercial content on them. It’s nice to be able to boost earnings even if they do require a little bit more maintenance.