Should I sign up for PayPerPost.com?
I've just started blogging and am fascinated by the recent announcement of PayPerPost.com, a site that appears to offer me money to write favorably about products from specific advertisers. Even without any traffic to my weblog at all, I can now make at least a few bucks to pay for hosting and perhaps even a nice dinner once a month with my g/f. What's your take on the service, Dave, and are you going to sign up?
Actually, the blogosphere has been quite abuzz with debate on this subject, almost all abject criticism. For example: Pete Blackshaw writes "We're on the cusp of a tragedy of the marketing commons" and the astute Jon Fine of BusinessWeek describes the service as "polluting the blogosphere". The always-colorful TechCrunch says "PayPerPost offers to sell your soul." Oh, and Jeremiah Owyang expresses his concerns about PayPerPost thusly: " I always knew that Marketers would figure out how to get involved, the risk however is corrupting the purity."
At the risk of sounding like a bit of a contrarian, I think that everyone's concerns are more than just a bit overblown. Not just bloggers, but people in general have always had the opportunity to shill or promote products or services with hidden and vested personal interests.
For example, if I quote someone and position them as an expert, is it because I really do feel they're an expert, or because they're a friend or colleague, or because perhaps I owe them a favor or two? Do you really think that everyone discloses everything in our modern advertising and marketing world? When you see a particular brand of soda on a TV show, do you expect a credit at the end "Thanks to our sponsor Pepsi-Cola"?
Anyway, I can't criticize the folks who have launched PayPerPost.com because I feel like it's pushing the envelope with online advertising, nothing more, nothing less. And that's good in my book.
Further, what all the critical bloggers seem to have forgotten is that in addition to the crude and blatant advertising opportunities that require you to write favorably about a given advertiser to get payment, there are also opportunities to get paid to review a given product or service, regardless of whether you write something favorable or not.
That's a bit different, isn't it? Now it's just paying for visibility, and there's a massive world of online advertising in this category, even (arguably, at least) Google AdWords.
The PayPerPost blog explains it this way: "We recommend that advertisers don't require positive or negative reviews, they will get the best posts with a neutral review (even if they are bad)."
Let's consider their current advertising opportunities, and you'll see that Ghetto Queen Rocks It Out, for example, will pay $5.01 for each blogger who mentions her album and links to her site. You can like it or not, that's acceptable. Ditto Send Your Blog Into Space ($10 per link), Free Tax Software ($10 per link), and more. Heck, even our critical friends at Tech Crunch apparently have sold their souls, as they're offering $2.50 for each blogger who mentions their posting (and no, I won't be getting paid because I haven't signed up for the program).
So should you check it out? Yes. I think that if there's an opportunity on the site that's consistent with what you're already blogging about I do encourage you to consider joining. I also encourage you to have a bit of fine print somewhere in the posting that highlights the commercial nature of the blog, but that's up to you.
Having said that, I discourage you from accepting the "say something nice or don't say anything at all" opportunities, even if you love the product, because it really can destroy your credibility. Unless, of course, you explicitly state that you're blogging about the product or service because of your PayPerPost relationship, and then it's possible that your audience will prove understanding.
Finally, am I going to sign up? I don't think so, as I already have a variety of different means to monetize my traffic. But I can't rule it out. I'll certainly keep an eye on the service and if there's an intersection, I will definitely give it careful consideration.
More Useful Blogs and Blogging Articles:
✔ Get my shopping cart plugin to work with WordPress?
We've put in a shopping cart for a client that's not working, and we need some help! The cart is currently using the...✔ Embed an audio player on a blog or web page?
I have some mp3 audio files I've recorded and would like to have people who visit my site be able to listen to...✔ Can I write a guest review for AskDaveTaylor.com?
Hi Dave. I'm a big fan of your site and love that you're doing so many reviews now. I've noticed, however, that there...✔ Change author on WordPress blog post?
I have two accounts set up for my WordPress blog and I'd like to be able to have all my posts from a...✔ How do I restructure my Wordpress blog without losing SEO?
I have a wordpress blog that was using categories in the url structure like this: /category_name/post_name/ Then I had read somewhere that if...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+