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ReviewMe – get paid to blog

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday November 11, 2006 )

A few marketplaces have emerged in the blogging for bucks segment recently; but ReviewMe is a little different – in a good way.

A couple of the points I really like about the ReviewMe.com service is that bloggers are required to disclose that their post is being paid for and to write what they truly think.

This should go some way to soothing some ruffled feathers in the blogosphere who have been opposed to what have been termed “Flog Blogging” marketplaces; i.e. being paid to blog about a company in a positive light without stating that you are recieving a payment for doing so.

After setting up my account on ReviewMe, which only takes a minute to do, there was an invitation to review ReviewMe, and to be paid for it. So here was my first opportunity to work through the process and yes, this is a sponsored review.

I am not required by ReviewMe to post a positive review about their service. The amount I’m paid is not dependent upon what I write, but on my blog’s rating prior to writing. The same goes for any advertiser who requests I review their products or services via the ReviewMe service – they cannot demand a positive review and the price they offer is the price they will pay regardless.

Participating blogs in the ReviewMe network are star rated – from 1 to 5, with 5 star bloggers being awarded the highest payments. Star ratings are calculated on Alexa and Technorati rankings, combined with an estimated number of RSS feed views.

I was pretty happy with the current star rating of this blog and felt it accurately represented my blog at this point. Given that the guidelines state that posts can be as little as 200 words, compensation can be fairly good – especially if you are a 3, 4 or 5 star blogger. Star rankings are reviewed on the first day of each month.

Why would advertisers use ReviewMe?

Blogs are an excellent way of getting the word out about new products and services, but it can be hard to attract a blogger’s attention. ReviewMe provides a connection between advertisers and bloggers. The beauty of the blogger not having to post positive reviews allows the blogger to maintain integrity. Even if the review isn’t glowing, the advertiser still benefits by getting valuable feedback from the blogger and blog commenters.

It’s certainly a cheap advertising option for companies and helps to provide a few extra bucks for bloggers without too much brain strain – after all, we don’t have to sell the advertiser’s product, just provide a public review based on our opinion.

How much are bloggers paid?

As mentioned, much depends on the star rating of the blog, but from what I’ve been able to ascertain from various sources, it ranges from $20 to $200 per post.

How many advertisers are participating?

Hard to tell at this stage and bear in mind ReviewMe only launched on November 10; but given their “cards on the table” approach, I do think the service will take off. Honesty in marketing – I love it.

In my opinion, bloggers should view this as an added, bonus source of income rather than potentially a primary source – even if you are bombarded with requests from advertisers. My reasoning is that bloggers need to maintain a level of impartiality with their readers. If every blog post you make is a “sponsored” post or is hawking something, there’s the risk of damaging your credibility with your readership.

Another way to look at it – the more readers you have, the higher your ranking, the higher your ReviewMe star ranking, the more you’ll get paid for reviews. It’s a quality vs. quantity approach, so I still suggest making the bulk of your posts “unsponsored”; sprinkling paid posts among them.

A further point to bear in mind – stay on topic. If I suddenly start posting reviews about kitchen tables, somebody please slap me :). Off topic posts are fine in a blog from time to time, but a totally off topic sponsored post might really send your readers scarpering for the back button.

How does it all work?

It’s fairly simple:

– Sign up at ReviewMe.com with some details about your blog

– Your ranking is calculated on signup and your blog is accepted or rejected (you can add extra blogs after signup)

– Your blog is assigned a star ranking

– You will receive notification from advertisers who would like for you to post a review about their products and services. A price will be quoted; of which 50% goes to ReviewMe and 50% goes to you.

– If you accept the review request, you will have X time to complete the review.

– Once you’ve posted the review on your blog, you notify the advertiser via your ReviewMe account interface; including the URL of your blog post.

– Payments are made to bloggers on the 1st of each month.

So there you have it. My review is done, I’ve made some decent change for half an hour’s work without compromising my own ethics, I have the opportunity to make more from the service by publishing reviews for other companies; the “advertiser” (ReviewMe) has a post on my blog all about them and I’ve shared a way for other bloggers to generate revenue as well. Everyone wins :)!

Learn more about ReviewMe.com

Read more about the controversy surrounding flog blogging

Update November 22 2006 – How do search engines view flog blogging and paid links generally? This post may hold some answers.



 

 
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