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PayPerPost – Paying Bloggers to Post – First Impressions

Picture 1-12A number of readers have emailed me about a new opportunity for bloggers to make money in a system called PayPerPost (the first to let me know was Brem).

The short of it is that they sign up advertisers who want bloggers to write about their product, service or company and then pay bloggers to do that.

This is how they pitch it:

To Advertisers:

“PayPerPost is an automated system that allows you to promote your Web site, product, service or company through the PayPerPost network of bloggers. Advertise on blogs to create buzz, build traffic, gain link backs for search engine ranking, syndicate content and much more. You provide the topic, our network of bloggers create the stories and post them on their individual blogs.”

To Bloggers:

Get Paid to Blog. You’ve been writing about Web sites, products, services and companies you love for years and you have yet to benefit from all the sales and traffic you have helped generate. That’s about to change. With PayPerPost™ advertisers are willing to pay you to post on topics. Search through a list of topics, make a blog posting, get your content approved, and get paid. It’s that simple.”

When I was sent links to this site by readers warning bells started to go off for me for a number of reasons:

1. while in their ‘get started page’ they do say that you shouldn’t accept opportunities to advertise if you don’t own the product or if you can’t be honest about it – I can see this system being open to abuse and shallow or dodgy reviews being made of products simply to fulfill the requirements to be paid.

2. I don’t see any mention of needing to write a disclaimer that you’re being ‘paid to post’ (something I think needs to be disclosed when you’re accepting payment to write about a product). Where’s the transparency that the blogosphere was built upon?

3. there doesn’t seem to be any quality control – ie PayPerPost say just to post what you want to say and then let them know about it so that they can access the post to see if it fits requirements set out by advertisers.

4. They seem to be pimping an article written in Business Week to legitimize themselves. Unfortunately the article in question didn’t paint them in a positive light.

Ok – I should say that I don’t mind the idea of sponsored posts or being paid to write things about a company – but I’d want to ensure that that type of post was transparent and that the post added some value to the reader’s experience.

While I don’t know anything apart from what is on their site, PayPerPost leaves me feeling a little uneasy and I’d recommend caution to bloggers.

Update – it looks like I’m not alone with my concerns – TechCrunch shares them and has an interesting discussion in their comments section on the topic.

Other posts on PayPerPost include:

Update II – hyku blog has an interesting post pointing out that PayPerPost looks like it’s just the new name for a previous product – the BlogStar Network which has rebranded/relaunched. BlogStar was announced back in 2005 as a project of MindComet and always seemed a little like it was going down the ‘pay per post’ type direction. Here’s a quote from their announcement press release:

“Unlike blog ad networks or search programs, BlogStar focuses specifically on integrating content directly into blogs. BlogStar Network allows marketers to go beyond simple advertising and leverage the network’s relationship with bloggers themselves. The network creates opportunities for product reviews, testimonials and focus group testing.”

Also check out this post that Duncan (then at Blog Herald) wrote about BlogStar approaching him to write a post mentioning a site in return for $10.

Interestingly I’ve written previously about BlogStar and wasn’t too impressed with their approach after a bit of digging last time either.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. sanimoyo says:

    sounds like a good service but I am not sure I am comfortable with the ethical issues involved, I am a blogger right, but I also rely on reviews when I am purchasing stuff, and for things like webhosting etc, and I do want them to be true honest reviews.

  2. aktenium.net says:

    Payperpost seems to be good only for bloggers. There have been many complaints from advertisers latery. As far as I know ReviewMe and Smorty are better.

  3. Nikki says:

    I post for payperpost and I only take opps that I can be honest about. There have been several I have skipped over because I refuse to lie just to make a little money. I don’t see anything wrong with payperpost as long as you are honest about what you write.

  4. PayPerPost is way sweet. It’s made me almost 1000 dollars. The higher the page rank you have, the more money you make.

    I truly feel bad for the advertisers though. They’re paying all this money for these high page rank backlinks… Problem is, these once high page ranks are now dieing out when gGoogle does their PR Update every 3 months.

    So yeah. PayPerPost isn’t that great for the advertisers. And it does cause the publishers to lose Page rank. But I still use it because it’s a great source of income.

    If you really want 2 make money oonline legitimately try Social Spark. It’s like PPP but w/ nofollow links

    PS: Sorry this is a sloppy comment. I’m laying in bed about to go to sleep

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Update I missed coverage by Darren Rowse of Problogger on PayPerPost: Ok – I should say that I don’t mind the idea of sponsored posts or being paid to write things about a company – but I’d want to ensure that that type of post was transparent and that the post added some value to the reader’s experience. [...]

  2. [...] Marshall at TechCrunch compares using PayPerPost to selling your soul.  Jeremiah says it makes mercenaries out of bloggers.  Postbubble doesn’t think it’s all that bad, but figures it’s doomed to fail.  Darren at Problogger turned in a more level-headed review while still mentioning that it could spell disaster for some bloggers if complete transparency isn’t used. [...]

  3. [...] For instance Darren Rowse says that he’s left feeling uneasy about this concept while Jason Calacanis bluntly calls it stupid and evil. Business Week, Techcrunch, Naked Conversations, Post Bubble, Publishing 2.0, Inkblots and more blogs are clearly not making life easier for PayPerPost.com whose chances for growth seem slim to none thanks to the bad rap. [...]

  4. [...] But try it out. ProBlogger (Darren) has a post about this as well. [...]

  5. [...] The confusion is in the details. The discussion that is ramping up about payperpost.com is being made by a bunch of blogs I enjoy, and are inspired by, are taking a morale high ground of being paid for posting. [...]

  6. [...] The confusion is in the details. The discussion that is ramping up about payperpost.com is being made by a bunch of blogs I enjoy, and are inspired by, are taking a morale high ground of being paid for posting. [...]

  7. [...] Darren Rowse se pregunta de dónde que da la transparencia sobre la que se supone está construida la blogosfera, además de analizar otros aspectos. [...]

  8. [...] Problogger Darren Rowse mentions a new service were bloggers can get paid to write about certain products. It seems like the blogger doesn’t have to mention at all that the article is sponsored. This certainly raises my concerns. [...]

  9. [...] So while you’re all waiting, take a look at what Darren Rowse has to say in his post: PayPerPost – Paying Bloggers to Post – First Impressions. Oh, one last thing – I heard on FOX News last week that it now costs 20% more to produce one penny than a penny is actually worth. That’s my two cents worth on shilling. [...]

  10. [...] This one has caused a bit of discussion on the boards. Most notably Problogger.net [...]

  11. ultra surf says:

    Pay Per Post…

    Bloggers and Pay Per Post We all want to look for ways to make money. And, it’s not a surprise when entrepreneurs start to look at web logs as commercial ventures. However, one commercialization of blogging has recently created some controversy in the…

  12. [...] ProBlogger (aka Darren Rowse) gives his first impressions of PayPerPost on his blog, which I cant read the beginning of at all because there is a Google Adsense ad hovering over the text for some reason. Scrolling down a bit I read more about Darren’s warning bells, feeling uneasy and recommending caution. His only major complaint though is about the lack of disclosure: Ok – I should say that I don’t mind the idea of sponsored posts or being paid to write things about a company – but I’d want to ensure that that type of post was transparent and that the post added some value to the reader’s experience. [...]

  13. [...] This was followed shortly with multiple discussions concerning the paying of bloggers to be nothing more than advertising hacks by companies like PayPerPost.com (here and here) and newcomer reviewME.com; which set to go live within a month – and is owned by Text-Link-Ads.com – Disclaimer: I am currently trying to use their ad service but I will never use this new offering from them. [...]

  14. [...] P.S. Problogger weighs in on the issue in this post and you can read what WordPress guru Matt thinks about it here. Share this post:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  15. [...] Pierwsze wrażenie opisane na problogger.net [...]

  16. [...] The controversy A few months ago, a lot of well known bloggers like Darren Rose, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and many others didn’t seem to like this program. Even BusinessWeek.com had a very negative opinion about it and stated that it was “Polluting the blogosphere“. The main reason why these people were against it was that bloggers might have been tempted to go over the ethics and promote a bad product and the worst part is that their readers would not be aware that it was a payed post since disclosure WAS optional. And to be honest, I tended to agree with this aspect (up to a point) and I strongly felt that every “postie” (as payperpost.com like to call their bloggers) should provide a text info at the end of their post to let everybody know that it was an ad. However, payperpost.com did not say that disclosure was forbidden, so it was the blogger’s decision to post a disclosure or not. Therefore, I don’t believe that payperpost.com was all that bad, and I can not understand why a blogger would take the risk of destroying his credibility by not letting his readers know that he was payed to write that post; keep in mind that payed posts are not related in any way with the action that readers will take (the payment does not depend on a number of clicks or sales generated by that post). Patrizia Broghammer had a very interesting comment on Problogger; it started with: “When a marketing guy is paid to make a commercial for a company not necessarily needs to like the product or use it.It does it because they pay him”. [...]

  17. [...] There’s no shortage of opinion on the topic of bloggers getting paid to post reviews. I won’t add another view on whether or not the system breaches some kind of blogging code of ethics. ‘Cause I really don’t care. [...]

  18. [...] Per Post, on the other hand, pays existing bloggers for making posts and has been villified for its less than transparent practices involving payments to bloggers for advertorial posts that are not identified as [...]