Back to top

Paid blogging - Review of ReviewMe, PayPerPost, Blogsvertise (not sponsored)

There are several new companies coming out of the woodwork to help smaller publishers make money from their blog or blogs. I see this as just another step on the path from traditional media to distributed citizen media. It's also a great development in terms of enabling individuals to take control of their financial destiny.

History and Progress

Newspapers, radio shows, and other traditional media have always written favorable articles about advertisers. That is, after all, a big part of the motivation for Consumer Reports - to provide unbiased reviews of products. There are also several watchdog agencies that are pointing out the commercial bias in traditional media as Andy Hagans points out in the ReviewMe Blog. So, this is just a further step in an existing trend. And, as a further step, it's not surprising that a lot of the same contentious issues play out.

If you send a free gadget to a reviewer is that a "pay per review" situation? Martin Varsavsky debates this point but in his case he's lucky to just have a $5 product! But, when jounalists given over $500 worth of multimedia/cell phone kit, can you really expect them to be totally unbiased in writing about Nokia? Some people are bashing this new wave of "paid blogging" as biasing the blogosphere, but it's not as cut/clear of an issue as some

At the same time we've all heard the statistics about people ignoring advertising more and more - so marketers are a bit concerned about how to keep getting their ideas passed along in meme sex.

Review of the Companies

So, all that history and opinion behind us, there have been several product or beta launches in paid blogging recently that bear review. The major three that I've seen are ReviewMe, PayPerPost, and Blogsvertise. I list them in that order based upon my initial impression of them. It's a bit hard to compare them because they are in different stages at this point, but here is an initial review of each company:

ReviewMe

In a category that can easily be scummy and cheap, ReviewMe is so far my favorite concept. They require disclosure of the fact that it's a paid post, they don't require you to be positive about the company - it's a review so you say what you want, and they're going to pay you to do it. So, you say what you already wanted to say, someone else comes up with the topic, you disclose the sponsorship, you get some money. The biggest question to me is how much money - and the potential for negative reviews seems like it might reduce the potential advertiser pool reducing the payment. Advertisers will have to really embrace the "cluetrain manifesto" to be willing to put themselves out like this. As the ReviewMe folks have pointed out - the blog is a conversation and if it's negative then the company can respond in comments and address concerns. Positive and negative reviews can be helpful if handled the right way.

A blurb from the ReviewMe Roy says it all:

how can I provide both valuable feedback and buzz to advertisers in the blogosphere, simultaneously allowing bloggers to increase their revenue while mainting their editorial integrity and true voice?

PayPerPost

This company has raised a lot of comments - good and bad - and they actually raised a lot of venture capital funding as well. So, they get some credit just for being an existing project that is pretty much exploding. Their control panel is slick if not overly busy, it has a community feeling with avatars and user profiles, and it has one amazing feature: "Top Earners". The Top Earners section is where you see that people have made thousands of dollars with the service. They have an affiliate system based on submitting someone's email address (blech - it should be link based!) but at least they have one. They currently have about 100 "opportunities" ranging from $35 to $2.50. They provide a sorting method and advertisers choose whether the post should be positive or neutral, has to have a certain number of words, has to include a certain kind of link and link text, has to include an image or not, etc. This allows the marketplace to decide the appropriate way to advertise, but it also allows the system to invite the lowest common denominator. In the end ReviewMe will probably be a "cleaner" environment, but may not have as many opportunities.

Blogsvertise

Basically, this is something that I can't even describe. The sign up process was weak, there are misspellings all over the place, the interface feels very old, and they require three links to the advertiser (as opposed to one from PayPerPost and zero from ReviewMe). I can't really put my finder on it, but if I had to pick one company most likely to get people to do work and then accidentally forget to pay them, it would be Blogsvertise.

So, that's it. I'm not a participant in any of these programs, just an innocent bystander. It will definitely be interesting to see how these services pan out. It's also possible there will be more companies joining the field.

People Involved: 

Comments

It's Ironic...

...that people watch TV shows filled with undisclosed product placement, listen to music with product placement (like hiphop) but bash bloggers who want to capitalize in a similar fashion. If it's so wrong why aren't they confronting all the other companies doing?

I am signed up for ReviewMe but I'm not sure if I will be doing any paid reviews. I don't want to lose readers just because I'm making some money.

You're right when you say it's not a clear cut issue. If you sell text links or banner ads it's really no different. Great article!

The Ironic Part is the Author

He clearly admits he has had no prior experience with any of these blog sites. He basis all of his information off of mere observation or as he says his first impression. Which is based on aesthetics. This is a new wave of marketing which I think levels the playing field.

FTC new laws

In a recent article I posted to my blog, the FTC is thinking about requiring companies to tell others if their posts are done by a representative of the company. This might fall in line for places like blogvertise and payperpost. I'm all for disclosing if you're reviewing or working for the company.

Please come by and check it out and let me know your opinion. It's in the Homepage below for the articles on 12/14/06.

I've used both Blogsvertise and ReviewMe

Your prediction that Blogsvertise is the iffiest is right on. ReviewMe, paid me almost immediately after I did my posting, with a $30 check. Blogsvertise takes its sweet time to pay out (and very, very little at that), and they make you claim your earnings through PayPal, which I find less convenient than just getting a check.

The only issue with ReviewMe is that I don't get many (read: any) requests for postings, while Blogsvertise sends me new assignments every week.

indeed - blogsvertise still hasn't accepted me

Blogsvertise still hasn't accepted me as a user, so I can't even give feedback on them. I thought maybe the email got lost so I tried signing up with another email address but had no success again. Email is unreliable, but to have it happen twice...iffy.

Yes, Blogsvertise is a scam,

Yes, Blogsvertise is a scam, I have used the service as an advertiser and I can tell you that the blogs that the reviews written on about your product are all on bogus blogs. No one comes to these blogs. It’s almost like the users who take the money to write about your products are using some kind of automated writing system that makes no sense. It was a waste of money. Stick with Google Adwords and Adsense

The blog posts you are buying

The blog posts you are buying aren't about getting traffic from the blogs, it's all about SEO to the people buying the links. Do PPC or buy traffic if you want traffic, not blog posts.

Link Building

As an advertiser you should be aware that this idea is about link building. Which directly correlates with you PageRank. Look into it and see what its all about. It is actually quite interesting.

Blogsvertise vs. ReviewMe

I did a review of Blogsvertise vs. ReviewMe a while back. What I really don't like about Blogsvertise is that they take a month to pay you, very little at that, and they make you claim your pittance via a PayPal account. Which I don't find nearly as convenient as ReviewMe, which sent me my $30 check immediately after I did my post.

See:
http://www.all-about-content.com/2006/11/my-unpaid-paid-posting-for-blogsvertise.html

From an advertiser's perspective

Blogsvertise is even worse from an advertiser's perspective. They sent me an email to remind me that I hadn't used my advertiser account and could I please contact them if I had any queries or problems using the system. So I did. No reply. I sent a reminder. No reply. I phoned and left a message. No reply. So I filled in the contact form on their site. No reply. I persisted in phoning,

At last I get an email from Cheryl who very kindly says, "If you have any other questions please let me know and I will be happy to do all I can to ensure you are having a positive experience with us." Ah, some service at last. So I send Cheryl two questions about campaigns I've got running (I had paid them a few hundred dollars). That was on the 12th. I sent her a reminder on the 14th. Today is the 16th and I'm still waiting for a reply.

If that's how they treat advertisers then I feel sorry for you guys.

Payperview: Where do I begin? They couldn't take a credit card so I had to pay by Paypal. Easy enough? It took about 5 hours of time (spread over two days) and several emails. Then when I did log in I discovered that they have different logins for advertisers and publishers - so I couldn't tailor my ads using other ads as a guide. But those problems were just the beginning. After exhanging a few emails with Ted (head honcho) he agreed that the service wasn't ready for advertisers in other countries with any half decent budget. So he promised to get back when it was. He didn't. But I did get an email months later from Karen who says they've improved their service and she's given me a free $100 into my account, can I please come back. And can I please contact her if I have any questions? So I contact her. And send a reminder. And another. It turns out she went away on holiday a few minutes after she sent that mail. WHAT?!

But I'm now behind on my advertising spend so I decide to be patient. Improvement: Advertisers can now see other advertisers ads (except that Veronique at PpP doesn't know it yet and needs a training update). But, that's it. Hardly any other improvements. And email reply is dismal, dismal, dismal.

Thanks for the tip on reviewme. I'll try them and get back to you if they are any good.

wow

Well, that's a bummer about your experience. Hopefully it isn't typical, but I fear it might be.

There have been a couple other companies like this cropping up recently such as Loud Launch. Loud Launch seems like they are swamped with requests and can't handle the volume which is OK but at some point you have to say "enough, let's stop and slow down and get the infrastructure/business module right before accepting more people." Otherwise you die from success.

Pingback

[...] SponsoredReviews, BloggerWave — The same ideas as PayPerPost and ReviewMe. A review of all these pay-to-blog providers can be found here. You can also see a more comprehensive list of pay-to-blog sites here. I might give Blogsvertise a [...]

Paid to Blog

I have been with Blogsvertise for more than a year now. It's true they make payments a month after the entry has been posted. Lately though, it seems that they are having problems and even suspected that my blog of fraudulent Page Ranking tactics. It has always been that I have to request payments on hold to be paid.
As for ReviewMe, I signed up with them recently but both blog sites I submitted were rejected. They put preference on blogs with high page rankings.
About a month ago, I activated my account with PayPerPost. It looked good because, outright, a task was assigned immediately. After that, it was difficult to find or get a task. You will need to be logged in to the site most of the time to watch for task updates to grab. They have a good customer support for bloggers.
Another pay to blog is Smorty where I signed up two months back. There were immediately about 6 tasks assigned and they paid a week after approving the entries posted. After that there were no more tasks assigned. They have a very poor support service. After posting my entries, I had a four (4) star rating with them out the best of 5. They were not able to explain why my star rating went down to two (2) stars after two weeks. I had canceled my account after that.

Blogsvertise - First

Blogsvertise - First blogging program that I joined... You get paid after a month most of the time you get paid late. I made some few bucks in my pocket but recently Blogsvertise are turning into BITCHES!!! They will terminate your account without telling any reasons and all pending payment will be canceled.

ReviewMe - It's pretty hard to join here coz they only consider a blog with atleast PR3, has link popularity, has solid readers. But once you're approved in their marketplace expect unlimited task. Payment is also monthly and they pay on time.

Payperpot - My all time favorite! I made big bucks here but recently, they started to remove fake bloggers to make way for solid(true) bloggers and give their advertisers good service.

blogsvertise sucks

i dont know if this blogsvertise is actually a scam. i was supposed to be paid last mth and i have not receive the payment altho they keep telling me they have paid me either from blogsvertise or langtech. i checked my paypal account many times and i even wrote to paypal but no such payment. and to make matter worst they do not answer my question and the onnly thing they said was they make payment to my paypal! but where is the $

Blogsvertise does not honor commitments

About a year ago they were kinda okay, but lately they are faltering -- gave me assignments, and after I complete them, they say, "Sorry, that assignment was meant for PR3 blogs. Since yours is Pagerank 2, you may please delete the post." WTF!

And last week I got one, a simple job though, and I submitted the post within the stipulated 5 days, and I get an email immdtly, saying, "Your post has been rejected." , followed by yet another email "The task given to you has been fulfilled by another blogger. Sorry."

STAY away from Blogsvertise!!!

Thank for reviews

Wow, its so completely reviews for users about paid review..

Is blogvertise is scam? I just want to accomplish the task they given to me....I need think twice to join any paid review again.

Page Rank and Advertising

My wife and I have been advertising with all of these services. We have used Pay Per Post, Social Sparks, Review Me and Blogvertise. We have averaged $500-$700 a month. However, our income from these services have been dropping because of our page ranks. My wife switch to a new domain name from blogspot thinking she would get more advertisement. When she did that, she lost her page rank (which was 2) and started over. After a few months she noticed that her blogspot address went to a 3 while her new domain name was still zero. She switched back to her blogspot address and got some good advertisement at a page rank of 3. After a week or so, she lost her pagerank and it went back to zero. This is insane. I don't get how some of these advertisers are basing their advertisement on this idiotic page rank when people can and will lose their page rank when they start using these advertising services. How is it that some people manage to keep their google page rank when doing paid posts, and other people will lose it so quickly?

Page Rank

Using services like Blogsvertise will eventually make Google take your page rank away...it happened to me. Read the google webmaster guidelines to understand why. Basically, it has to do with pulling people to your site with link keywords that have no more value than simply to advertise.

I like Blogsvertise, but....

I really like Blogsvertise. I've written three blog posts for them so far and the amount of money the companies are willing to pay is good.

Two problems however -

I was supposed to get paid yesterday and still have not gotten paid yet.

I've only done three assignments because that's all they've given me. If they will actually pay me - I'd love to do more.

I am worried about getting paid over at Blogsvertise. I don't think it's professional to pay "whenever you want."

Blogsvertise

I have had much success with Blogsvertise. They always pay within a few days of what they specified in the introduction (30 days). They don't pay on weekends, or on holidays. The more you blog the more tasks they give. Yes, I have had a few rejected, but they have usually emailed me with the specific reason and let me fix the problems. This is not my main source of income, but have found that it provides me with a little extra cash, for not much work.

Pagerank also has increased my tasks. I am currently a page rank 3 and I would say that usually at least once a week I get a task that pays between 7 and 10 dollars.
I like their service, not saying that it is flawless, but as far as making some money for just a little typing, I will take it.

Blogsvertise

I used to get 2-3 assignments every single week with blogsvertise on my PR 3 blogspot blog. Strangely though, it has been 12 days and no assignments have come in. Sigh. I guess it was just too good to be true.

Blogvertise

I've done 5 assignments for them. Supposedly 6 tasks but 1 task cancelled(too bad because I've already finished writing the blog. When I was accepting the task, the advertiser cancelled!). I also rejected 3 tasks since they're not my forte. I haven't gotten any payment yet, I have to wait 30 days for that. I guess reviewme.com is better since they pay every 1st of the month which is pretty convenient since I don't have to wait 30 days for my payment. I just hope blogvertise will pay me. I'll keep you guys posted if I do get paid by blogvertise. We can't really assume it's a scam since we didn't really pay anything when we signed up. I guess our only loss is our time spent blogging for them. sighs Positive thoughts! Must have positive thoughts!

Blogvertise questionable

blogvertise was OK the first month; but like you said they demand three links and the pay only $20; average, is relatively low. I had declined an offer to appear on on TV to or be interviewed in behalf of their company. Even if I hadn't been busy a lousy $40 a week does not warrant driving 30 miles out of my way to speak on behalf of this company.

Ever since I declined that wonderful invitation I am no longer getting offers. I also read a horror story of someone who had an assignment completed and approved on their site for a month and then the advertiser changed their mind so blogvertise decided to reject the post and not pay. So basically the advertiser got free advertisement for a month. They really should have a stricter policy to prevent advertisers dropping out at the last minute.

Blogsvertise vs socail spark(payperpost)

I have had a pretty good experience with blogsvertise with all my blogs there, they are cool with beginners, but keep in mind they send assignments that rate with your blog. Yea it sucks that they pay out every thirty days but I think it has to do with the advertisers not them.
In just two months time they now pay me 20 buck just to write a few sentences about an advertiser how ever I want, so I can meld in the paid blog to not look like a total sponsored article. Some are just to post a guest post for 10 bucks, so it less than 2 minutes I earned 10 bucks.
Social spark or payperpost for me is another story, they keep rejecting my blogs for this or that, the last one was for too many sponsored blogs? It is about food, I am thinking of giving up there.
Thanks for the review on these.
Jen

Add new comment