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Cash for Comment Blogging

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of May 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

J.Ryan writes an interesting post at guerrilla news network on a strategy is using to promote clients using blogs. In short they are paying bloggers $5 to write nice things about their clients – even suggesting what such posts might include in them. Here’s a taster of a longer post:

‘While searching the online postings at CraigsList, I came across an interesting post, which read, “Get paid for blogging… We will pay you to post to your blog. We pay $5 via PayPal per blog posting. To start earning cash, email me with your name and blog URL. We are looking for people to pay today. If you don’t have a PayPal account, we can also send you a gift certificate for iTunes if you like.”

So I sent off an email requesting further information. The reply email came from Ed Shull ([email protected]) and read, “This is pretty simple. I will provide a subject, you write a short (50 word min.) post, we pay you $5. The first subject is a flower site. You should give a favorable review of the flower site, Dot Flowers.” The rest of the email went on to explain that in the review I must link to the Dot Flowers website using the anchor text “buy flowers online.” It also included a list of things I could write; such as “they have better pricing,” and that their site loads faster than the competitors sites. There was also info about the technical aspects of the site, such as the code used behind the pages and that it’s “error free.” After completing the post, the instructions were simple, “…please send me a URL to the post and your PayPal address. Also, let me know how often you wish to post for us, and we will send over more subjects. Thanks, Ed….”’

Read the rest of this article at Blogging for Dollars

In some ways there is nothing new in this – its been going on for years in all forms of media (there was a scandal here on Australian radio a year or so back on ‘cash for comment’ – what is interesting with this is that this is happening in a pretty public and organized way in blogging – a medium that this type of behavior has the potential to become rife in.

I’m interested in what others think – have your say in comments below.

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.
  • I like this idea that they give bloggers a choice of subjects to blog on. But I think they ought to pay on a different scale instead of a flat fee. Maybe pay by scale of traffic or page rank? Otherwise it wouldn’t attract the arguably more valuable high-profile bloggers. And there’s the issue of transparency. Perhaps the terms should include a banner on the blogger’s site that says “I’m part of a’s Bloggers-for-Dollars” (hey that rhymes!). That wouldn’t be a bad idea at all since it might attract even more bloggers to

  • As someone who tries to earn money from blogging, of course, I’ll be interested in possible different revenue sources. However, I do believe in Disclosure Statements. So, say I do post an affiliate or advertised post in one of my consumer-related blogs (not all my blogs are consumer-related/commercial, so such paid-per-post-blog won’t apply) – I would like to put a disclosure statement that I was hired to review such and such site and product per post — or a general text/logo showing such affiliations.

    I’m curious, though, why *you* didn’t mention your own views on this…

  • The moment they pay a blogger to say something nice about them then that blogger’s credibility hits the nearest ditch. Why would anyone visit a blog that is prostituting itself – that’s just a paid advertisement.

    There was talk of this a while ago but that instance didn’t matter if you said good or bad things which was sensible. Its better to be talked about than not talked about, after all.

    And five bucks is pretty pitiful to sell your soul for, I could add.

  • Yeh, there was an example of a company paying some pretty well known edu/techbloggers quite a bit to write about them over a period of a few months a bit back… They were offering good amounts to very well known bloggers (who mostly took them up)

    $5 is just for you to write some drivel on a random blogger blog… sounds like a good way to make a nice bit of cash if you’ve got the typing / banality skills :o)

  • Darren

    I didn’t post an opinion upon it partly because I was running out the door when I posted this but also partly because I was interested in others opinions and didnt want to cloud them with my own.

    My personal opinion is this:

    I’m not against the idea of ‘sponsored posts’ – if someone wants me to honestly write about their product and will pay me to do so then I’m willing to such an approach.

    However – if they want me to pay me to write a positive review for the money – a review where they give me a list of keywords to mention in my links and suggestions on how to phrase my positive comments – then I’m not interested at all.

    I would also insist that if I’m being paid for a blog post that I declare that up front with a disclosure statement (something that I don’t see happening in this case).

    So my view in this case is pretty low and I wouldn’t get in on it. In addition to being a sell out it wouldn’t do my blog’s (or my own) reputation any good at all be be a part of it.

  • Thanks for that, Darren. ‘Glad to read what you’ve got to say on this matter. We (or at least I do :)) come here to find out your personal thoughts on pro-blogging issues such as this. I don’t think you’d be clouding anyone’s views, if you share your thoughts. Well, if it did, then, maybe they (or that person) didn’t have that much of an opinion on the matter in the first place. What you’ve shared just now is good, because I think it will help your readers come up with their own views as well – whether they agree with you or not. So again, thanks.

  • It’d be interesting to search for backlinks to Dot Flowers and ‘out’ all those sellout bloggers!

  • That’s just not right at all. And doing it for $5 is almost pointless. If you do go with it hopefully you use a full disclosure and at least try out the service.

  • Ken

    Good stuff here. I agree that this would be selling out. The key word here is “positive”. I can’t for the life of me be paid for a positive review, if someone wants to pay me for a review, that’s one thing.

    But that’s the point of blogging, to get away from the STRICTLY controlled media machine. It’s like the adverts in magazines that purport to look like editorial content, last thing I need on a blog is that.

    Good for those who won’t do this. Blogs are here for that very reason to speak our minds and only our minds.

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  • I run three websites where I blog about various things, and have never been paid a penny for any of them. I’d love to get paid any amount for my effors in the blogging world. My interest in Computers, Technology, and Web Development and Design is so common on the Internet that I don’t think I have the creativity or the sources (its all in WHO you know) to get paid for blogging.

    I have applied at Weblogs Inc, but who knows if that would work out. If I was able to have sponsored posts on my site for some revenue, I probably would not turn it down as long as I was able to be upfront with my visitors letting them know I joined such a program, and could still write my other content as much as I like.

  • Ken

    We should make sure we differentiate between advertising and actually being paid specifically to review a product and required to give it a positive rating.

    I have no qualms with blogs or my blog for that matter to have advertising, what is a problem though is to be paid to give a positive review to a product I might not like.

    Independence matters so much in the blogosphere.

  • Considering Technorati tracks 10 million blogs it’ll take some effort to establish yourself above the masses. It seems to me that the best way to do that is through transparency, consistency, and providing good content. This offer from usweb is probably more fitting for folks who don’t need to develop a personal connection with their readership or who don’t have many consistent readers.

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  • Mike
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  • I think that the idea was brilliant. It was a good way to move up in the search engine rankings.

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