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ReviewMe Launches

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Yet another service has launched today that enables bloggers to write sponsored posts in return for a payment from advertisers. This one is called ReviewMe and has been talked about for a couple of weeks now in the wake of much of the controversy around PayPerPost.

Reviews cost advertisers a minimum of $40 but the cost is actually different for each blog’s statistics (ie Alexa ranking, Technorati ranking etc). The ReviewMe site says that bloggers will earn between $20 and $200 per post.

Bloggers are required to disclose that the reviews that they write are sponsored posts and they are not required to write positive reviews of advertisers products or services.

Review me is owned by Andy Hagans – a blogger who will be familiar to many ProBlogger readers.

While I’m still not a massive fan of sponsored posts (I can see a place for them when the products being reviewed are relevant to the topic of the blog – but many sponsored posts that I’ve seen bloggers posting using PPP are totally out of context of their blog’s topic) I think reviewMe seems like a better concept than the alternatives at this point.

PS: no this is not a paid review of ReviewMe – even though they’re offering some nice coin for reviews of their service.

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. brem says:

    As I said in my paid review, I’m not convinced that we are really free to give an honest opinion about the product or service to review. I mean you can’t bite the hands that feeds you.

    Now, if there was some kind of a pool of bloggers to choose from and only a sample of them would write about the topic, and if that the advertiser didn’t get to choose who could get the job, then maybe I could see some kind of transparency in the process, ReviewMe thus acting like the middle-man.

    Nevertheless, I believe the ReviewMe approach is much more suited to the blogging “philosphy” than PayPerPost is.

    Let the runners run, eh?

  2. Dan Zarrella says:

    Why is Patrick Gavin’s involvement in this project being downplayed?
    And why has the whois for reviewme.com been changed to private?

  3. Ken Cheung says:

    In my review, I said the same thing as Brem about not having to write a favorable review. I think it’s interesting that Darren had to put in a disclaimer that he is not being paid for the review. The paid for post idea is going to mess up the blogshere to some degree.

  4. engtech says:

    I wrote some tips for bloggers who are interested in reviewme.com

  5. A.B. Dada says:

    I just did my review for them (sponsored) and I think they’re actually doing a good thing by requiring a “Sponsored Post” header of some type.

    We’ll see how advertisers like it, but I can tell you that viral marketing within the blogosphere is probably the best idea ever — especially when an advertiser can pay $1 million for TV ads or quite a bit less for 10,000 blog ads.

  6. Hatem says:

    I reviewed Reviewme, but not paid review too ! I’ll be interested also to see how advertisers will like paid reviews, it will be certainly the buzz for the next days.

  7. Elle Brown says:

    Hi Darren,

    I have just completed my first sponsored review for an advertiser using ReviewMe.com

    To be honest I was surprised to find a wedding product company wanting a review from my site on day one. I had only just finished writing the review about ReviewMe.com itself!

    Well I will just carry on running my blog as normal and see what firstly the reaction is and secondly whether any more advertisers want to appear on the site.

    Best

    Elle

  8. Joe says:

    I agree with most of the above, I wrote a non sponsored review, but it was after I took the thing for a full test drive on a different blog.

  9. Paul Jacob says:

    I strongly believe that sponsored posts are a waste of time.Bloggers could profit much more by establishing their own blog rather than work for other companies such as these.

  10. John Hood says:

    I’ve written a “Sponsored Post” review too and this has been approved!

  11. Elle, what I like about your sponsored review is that you took the care to write a full article, rather than just the minimum 200 words required by ReviewMe. This not only serves the advertiser, but your loyal readers as well.

  12. You got to hand it to them though .. this $25,000 (btw – is that gross $50,000 before payouts or net $12,500 after payouts?) is a great viral thing (again) that they’re doing – you can’t deny that.

    Unfortunately for the rest of the world we will be flooded with reviews about ReviewMe.com for the next while anyway.That means this system will probably be around for a while.

  13. brem says:

    Hart: but you will have the choice to read or not, provided the disclaimer is clearly visible.

    I think this is a good idea, if it is not used abusively.

  14. brem .. that is agreed .. I just read Elle’s two reviews, and had to read the entire article and see that disclaimer at the bottom .. I personally didn’t like that actually.

    // By the way – I signed up 3 blogs today, thought that the first two was priced too low – and then it rejected my third blog that I thought I would actually try it out .. I guess it’s kind of irritating to my ego .. or something .. and deleted my blogs from the list and do not plan to use them. //

    I had fun browsing the sites though .. does anybody else think it’s kind of amusing that the highest paid blogs are usually the bloggers that you’d think would be the last one to have sponsored posts on their blog? I’m not going to name any here though but I guess this is intriguing to everybody.

  15. Adriene says:

    Yes Darren I agree. I believe there is a disingenuous bias when posting a ‘paid’ review. I suppose this is beneficial to ReviewMe and the blogger writing the post, but that’s about it. Not too democratic that way I see it.

  16. Gdog says:

    I just wrote my Sponsored Post…thanks ReviewMe!

  17. The Geek says:

    Seems that the only difference between the reviewme model and what has been going on forever is that the reviewer is required to disclose that they got paid.

    Top reviewers have always gotten paid… they get free gadgets to review. Seems like a free PS3 is worth a heck of a lot more than a little $30 check.

  18. Elle Brown says:

    If for example I received a request to write another review today, I would have to decline even if I wanted to write about the service or product.

    Quite simply the window to accept or decline is too short. I believe I have to provide more content before I can in another sponsored post. It comes down to volume of content vs. ads and what readers are willing to put up with.

    Also you have to think would you have written about the product or service without payment – even if it is in your niche. Everytime I get an advertiser contact me I will carefully study what I can say about their product before accepting or declining. I wish there was an option to send feedback to the advertiser stating that why you may have declined them – especially if it is just because the 48hr window is too short.

    The smart thing for me is to write extensive articles about the product or service, that combine with good content.

  19. Richard says:

    I’ve heard that you are free to write a bad review. I guess any publicity is good publicity?

  20. Thom Singer says:

    I signed up. I will give it a shot. Not sure how many reviews I will get asked to write, as there seems to be lots and lots of blogs already on board. But who knows, maybe it will be a worthwhile stream of reviews. Worth a try.

  21. Bob Caswell says:

    What I don’t get is the all or nothing / black and white approach to this new idea. For example, one big complaint is that if most of your reviews are negative, then advertisers will no longer be interested in your site. This could be true but is assuming too much.

    First of all, are advertisers going to read through your entire archives to figure out what is positive and what is negative? And it’s as if everyone who signs up with ReviewMe will stop what they were previously doing and only write reviews for ReviewMe. For my part, I post something nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day. If a paid review with full disclosure is here or there, how would an advertiser know where to look without reading half my blog?

    I don’t know if the business plan will work out, but I don’t think it’s fundamentally flawed. I think blogger and advertiser behavior is hard to define. The results will tell us how it works, not our over-simplified hypotheticals.

    I’ve reviewed ReviewMe here and think it’s worth a shot:

    http://www.computers.net/2006/11/paid_blogging_r.html

  22. Gene Kavner says:

    Darren, there are 4 significant and critical reasons why ReviewMe will not succeed which I detailed in depth on my post:


    ReviewMe.com, a Business Model With Nowhere to Go
    :

    1. What advertiser is willing to pay for a product whose quality they cannot review ahead of time?
    2. Forcing bloggers to disclose they are being compensated automatically creates perception of bias, even on the most credible of bloggers offering unbiased perspective.
    3. Pressure to produce positive reviews will continue since bloggers will not want to jeapardize future earnings from potential advertisers who will have an opportunity to see the blogger’s review history and shy away from bloggers with a significant negative review history.
    4. By eliminating smaller blogs ReviewMe effectively sacrifices the entire “tail” play of smaller blogs who in aggregate have an opportunity to produce significant earnings for the company.

    Gene Kavner

  23. Yaro says:

    I earned my $125 for reviewing ReviewMe, however I used the idea for inspiration for an article that wasn’t entirely focused on ReviewMe. Yes I did review the site and earned my money, however I think the additional commentary I included all the whole issue of being paid for reviews makes for an interesting topic.

    You can see my post here – Should Bloggers Accept Money For Reviews?

    The comments coming in on my blog make me think the model can work, if the blogger is very careful with how they construct their reviews. It’s a touchy issue but really only one thing matters to me – do I risk damaging my credibility and reducing my readership by doing paid reviews?

    Yaro

  24. dawn says:

    I think ReviewMe.com is going to knock our little (home-based, blogger-based) company out of the water but hope that there’s room for a smaller niche company that does NOT pay for reviews.

    Our service, Get Them Blogging, is a database of bloggers willing to write up reviews. PR and marketing people are already using blogads to find bloggers to pitch and we decided to make things easier after fielding yet another poorly targeted pitche on my own personal blog.

    Now we’ll have to see if we can drum up enough blogger interest since we won’t pay for reviews. (For one, we have no venture capitalist funding and for two, we’re about editorial not advertorial.)

  25. Tony says:

    With all due respect to Gene, here is the reason why it will take off — at least in the short term:

    Advertisers will be using ReviewMe irrespective of what the reviews say because ReviewMe is really, to quote Scott Karp, a marketplace for purchasing influence.

    All adveritsers are really doing is taking advtage of purchasing some quality inbound links from potentially very high page rank sites.

    Bottom line? Its all google juice gold — and all available at a great price.
    Much easier than doing your own SEo and in a blink of an eye as well.

    My own pithy words on the topic:
    http://www.deepjiveinterests.com/2006/11/11/how-advertisers-really-benefit-from-the-reviewme-revolution/

    And others:
    http://www.yardley.ca/blog/index.php/archives/2006/11/11/optimizing-your-reviewme-purchase/
    http://publishing2.com/2006/11/11/reviewme-creates-a-currency-and-marketplace-for-buying-influence/

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  26. I think there’s 2 reasons that can either make ReviewMe.com work – or not.

    1) Writers must say that it was a paid review. I think this is extremely important and should be told.

    2) Writers DON’T have to write positive reviews. For example, in my own review I told people that it would be impossible for me to recommend ReviewMe by saying “it’s good way to earn money” – because frankly, that was my first review. Anyone else recommending it or saying that it’s good way to earn money doesn’t really know that – we all have to wait until next month to see whether we actually get our money or not.

    That being said – I took a critical view on ReviewMe and I personally don’t mind if somebody gets paid to make reviews – and clearly states that. I don’t actually understand what harm could it done for ProBlogger to accept the money – you made the (non-paid) review anyway, and you are recommending Adsense/TLA/other affiliate programs and you get paid (when people sign-up) for those programs. I don’t see much difference on this. I understand that i people don’t like doing sponsored posts, then I suppose that’s okay attitude – but telling people that one is using Chitika or other systems is not much different.

    I must also point out that I don’t want to bash Darren in any way – I’m grateful for the tips I’ve received and appreciate his way to deal with issues. I simply would like to hear more reasons about why he did not take the money – yet made the review?

    Regards

  27. Lawrance says:

    I agree with Juuso, i smell lie.

  28. @Lawrance: I don’t smell lie. :) Just wondering….

  29. Eliza says:

    I must agree, I’m happy at the fact that we are finally able to say it is a paid review. Yes, sometimes at the top or the bottom, however if you put Review in the title at least others have a clue, especially if they’ve been reading your blog for a while. However, I’m expecting a few more rules to come into play on how the blogs are written but we’ll see if that happens in the next month or two.

    I think it’ll be a round for a while though, look at what everyone thought of PPP (payperpost) and it is still around and going strong from my understandings.

  30. wow gold says:

    say it is a paid review. Yes, sometimes at the top or the bottom, however if you put Review in the title at least others have a clue, especially if they’ve been reading your blog for a while. However, I’m expecting a few more rules to come into play on how the blogs are written but we’ll see if that happens in the next month or two.

    I think it’ll be a round for a while though, look at what everyone thought of PPP (payperpost) and it is still around and going strong from my understandings.

  31. hhy says:

    say it is a paid review. Yes, sometimes at the top or the bottom, however if you put Review in the title at least others have a clue, especially if they’ve been reading your blog for a while. However, I’m expecting a few more rules to come into play on how the blogs are written but we’ll see if that happens in the next month or two.

    I think it’ll be a round for a while though, look at what everyone thought of PPP (payperpost) and it is still around and going strong from my understandings.

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