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Paid Reviews – Have You Written Them on your Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of November 2007 Reader Questions 0 Comments

This week’s Reader Poll is sure to cause some interesting discussion as there’s lots of debate about paid reviews with some bloggers dead against them and others who see them as a great way to make money from their blogs.

So lets see what the community thinks. Have you written paid reviews on any of your blogs?


I’d love to not only see the result of your vote – but to hear some of your reasoning why you responded the way that you did in comments below.

  • Do you think Paid Reviews are a good thing?
  • Have you done them? Do you still do them?
  • If you stopped – why?
  • If you do them – why?

Looking forward to seeing the conversation that this one generates.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. I voted yes, since I was mailed a book to review prior to its publishing date. I also told the publisher if I didn’t like it, I would say so. Which was agreeable to them. I did like it, so did write a good review about it.

    I see no problem in doing a “paid” review as long as you’re actually honest and upfront about whether you liked the product or not. And of course state in your post that it is a paid review.

  2. I voted yes too. I do paid reviews on my personal blog. In fact I made $35 from them this week, which was nice.

    I would write about products and services anyway so I’m happy to get paid for them. I’ve never done one yet that I wasn’t allowed to disclose as a paid review though. That sounds underhand to me.

  3. If I read a review that was openly “paid,” I doubt I’d trust it. If I found out a review was secretly paid, I doubt I’d ever return to that blog.

  4. My blog is a learning experience for me, and part of that is finding out what’s out there, and how to generate revenue. Yes I’ve done PPP. I know it’s not for some, and I’m not sure if it’s for me. But it’s easy and I’ve made more, than I have with AdSense. I try to keep the post somewhat relevant. And I would never post about something I disagree with like weight loss surgery or pay day loans. If I had a blog strictly promoting my business I probably wouldn’t muck it up advertising other peoples products.

  5. I did order paid reviews(11) and I also done 2 paid reviews. I don’t do them for lack of time because I’m starting my own paid review service(I’m in the recruiting phase now).

    Doing paid reviews let the advertiser to get great feedbacks when it’s done well. I’m however against negative reviews and I prefer to read constructive reviews which is better.

    When I did do them, it was not for the money because it was for $5 each :D It was to practice my English and show the quality of a review being “burned” by poor quality ones.

  6. Nop and I don’t think I will.

  7. I checked no because I have never done one. However I do have one coming up. I was able to sell my first 200×200 ad on my blog for $25 a month for 6 months – Woo Hoo. Anyway, I guess I will have a paid review coming up as that was part of the agreement. I told them that I would write a review of their product with proper anchor text if they committed to 6 months. They agreeed and so I will write the article. The question is why? I guess I enjoy blogging and heck, if I can make some money at it – Bonus! And YES I will be disclosing the relationship in full in the post.

  8. Do you think Paid Reviews are a good thing?
    It depends who is doing the review in my opinion. You will have some bloggers that will only write what the sponsor wants them to write and that’s completely worthless to the readers. Then, you will have those other bloggers that will
    not only tell you the good points but will also highlight the bad points.

    Have you done them? Do you still do them?
    Yes and Yes.

    If you stopped – why?

    If you do them – why?
    I make a significant amount of money doing paid reviews. It also helps me brush on my writing skills. I want my review to be accepted well among my readers, as well as, the sponsor. This has made my writing skills progress in a positive direction. My reputation for honest reviews is starting to take off too. All this equals respect, which is why I started doing reviews in the first place.

  9. Paid Reviews are a good thing, so long as I’m allowed to be honest in my review. I have done them. I would still do them. I have stopped because none have been offered to me recently (I use ReviewMe).

  10. They allow me, as a mother of three, to work from home – and have more control over my working life. So I would say that – yes, I love them!

  11. I haven’t, and maybe that’s simply because I didn’t advertise for it, and nobody was asking me for it. And the last reason is probably because my blog is still growing.

  12. I haven’t done any reviews on my main site. I have considered it but the fact is my blog is just too new and I dont want to act like a knuckle-head like my site is pimped out and you should get a review on it. I will consider it in the future though.

  13. Hey “About Blogging” is that a spam blog you got there? can’t hardly load with all the ads… it sucks!

    I think paid reviews are biased, bloggers just write to please the who is paying, and hardly touch the truth on things. but heck; if you can please the shepherd, why would you care about the sheeps right?

    my vote was NO.. don’t people know when their blog sucks? do I need to charge someone to them that? “About blogging” give me a 100 buck!!

  14. * Do you think Paid Reviews are a good thing? Yes, if I can tell exactly what I think, good or bad.
    * Have you done them? No, because there are also no paid reviews for Spanish bloggers.

  15. I voted yes and think they are a good thing, especially when google only pays once every $100. Sometimes there are some of us that need emergency cash for diapers or bills. But now I must really think about it as Google Hit me hard recently and I must figure out how to recover from the blow.

  16. I did, once. In Poland there’s only one web site that gathers offers for paid reviews. Soon after launching it they offered paid reviews of their site and the idea of monetizing articles in general. So I wrote about that on my blog about earning money by blogging. I would write about this idea even if I weren’t offered money, but why do something for free if you could get some cash for it? ;)

  17. Darren,

    I did wrote couple of reviews on different companies and blogs but I don’t think it’s good. Take text link ads for example, you write a review for them they give you $70 for review and then few months down the road people come back to you saying ” You are the one who introduced to text link ads, now my page rank is 2 grades lower thanks to you and TLA” again this is an example!

    As well as if you write about other blogs, same thing can happen just reverse , “I paid you $70 and your review sux” even tho you wrote exactly what they wanted you to do.

    Most people that go though PPP(Pay Per Post) write irrelevant reviews, visitors notice that and if you are running google adsense you get one of those “hurricane free ads”.

    If you really want to make money from reviews, write in art that you really like the service or product they provide, but give your visitors impression like you are wanting them to join or buy from your review.

    Taking you Darren for example, you had some awesome reviews but as well some irrelevant reviews especially paid posts which is fine for “problogger”.

    Bloggers like you can afford having one or two bad posts, but middle class bloggers can’t, because

    a. they are going to lose traffic
    b. they represent their blog as advertising tool only
    c. they don’t get paid as much as you do.

    ~ Bontb ~

  18. I think in the grand scheme of things, there is uncertainty about a blogger being paid to review items. Really, the uncertainty comes from the unscrupulous few that write anything to make the product presenter happy, rather than writing honest reviews, though sometimes the payment is based upon the writing writing what the prodcut present wishes them to write.

    Honestly, I have never done this – and if I were to do it, it would be on a blog specifically made for this form of writing, rather than one of my existing blogs.

    Do I devalue the blogs that currently practice this? Not necessarily, but I do take their writing with a grain of salt, a pinch of reality and the understanding that they are not much different than many other “paid” writers.

  19. Have I ever? No.

    Will I ever? Yes.

    Tomorrow will be my first ever paid post. I said paid, I’m not technically getting paid, just getting a free copy of a video game which I’m reviewing.

    But that’s the thing, I’m reviewing things which my readers will be interesting, rather than insurance companies and what have you.

  20. I don’t see any reason why paid reviews should harm any blog, blogger, or its reader.
    It’s like an ad on TV, those who want to watch it will see, the others they’ll skip to another channel, but that doesn’t mean (and shouldn’t) that they won’t come back to the blog later to read genuine posts…

    However, I notice on some sponsored review posts, that the advertisers ask that the blogger doesn’t mention that this is a paid for post… am strctly against such requests, and believe any paid post should be made public..

    It also depneds on the regularity of these paid posts, if a bloggers adds these posts almost daily, then the readers begin to lose trust in a mnner that they think the blogger is just after money…

    othe than these twor easons, I don’t think paid reviews are bad…and somethign to be stayed away from..

    interestingly, today I got approved by payperpost ..talk about coincidences…

  21. I voted No but that’s because I haven’t done any yet. I recently got an offer for one and I’m considering doing it.

    I think they can be a good thing. If you monetize your blog why not do a paid review so long as it’s not against the principles of your blog. You should also disclose that you do paid reviews. Aren’t we already endorsing any ad that we put on our site by the nature of it showing up?

  22. Bill: Most services don’t want blogs being just about paid reviews. So, your ideal of using a blog for that would not work.
    Like maneesh wrote, people would not like having only that anyway. I guest it depends on the ratio of post versus paid reviews.

    I see it has a consulting job but the result are public ;)

  23. This is very timely for me, as I just questioned on my own blog WHY people do this (I think it’s obvious what side I’m on)

  24. I do not do paid reveiws. I worry that if I started doing them, it would taint the perceived credibility of my other posts. Even though I would not write falsely positive review, and even with full disclosure, I think that credibilty questions remains for many readers. So I just avoid the issue by turning down paid review requests. Instead I offer to sell standard advertising or will accept PR products for consideration with no promises of a good review or of any review at all. If I do not care for the product, I will either not review it at all, or will write an honest review that will include the negative aspects.

  25. Interesting. I put product reviews inserted between news so it all flows and looks alike. These reviews are done by me searching for interesting products or services that would be of interest to my readers, including a link back to their website.

    I wondered “should I contact the company and let them know I am reviewing their product or service and ask for a fee?”

    I have already “approved” the product or service with research so paid or not, I’m still going to review it.

    But being a new site (going on 2 months) obviously the traffic is not the greatest yet so do I even have the right to charge a company with such low readership at this time?

  26. I voted “no”, but reading some of the other responses, maybe I should have voted “yes”. I say that because while I’ve never been specifically paid to do a review, I do occasionally get review copies of books.

    To me, a paid review means I get some cash, good, or service in exchange for a review. With the books I’ve gotten so far, there is no promise or expectation of a review at all. Certainly, the publisher hopes for publicity and a good review, but there has been no condition put on me in that way so far.

    So, while I do get a free book, it doesn’t help pay the rent (or even get me a lunch).

    That said, did I vote incorrectly?

  27. John Chow earned $3000 this month with his paid reviews..

    Yep, that’s a lot of money.. At $400 a piece, I would probably be interested in doing a few too , but I don’t right now.

  28. I’ve signed up a couple of places, but never done a paid review because I’ve just never run across anything I cared to write about. I have written reviews of products I actually used and included affiliate links.

  29. Kiltak: I did not noticed that he did 15 reviews(it’s $200 each time in is pocket 50-50) because he had more than 75+ posts in October.

  30. I answered no. My blog isn’t popular enough yet for anyone to really care, and I’m guessing that payout is based (at least in part) on page-views/hits.

  31. It’s my job…to write blog reviews. Is that wrong?

  32. ‘Hey “About Blogging” is that a spam blog you got there? can’t hardly load with all the ads… it sucks!’

    Hey Nelson,
    It’s not a spam blog, but thanks for asking. There are just the average amount of ads that you would get on an average blog about blogging. Sometimes widgets cause a delay in loading. Maybe that’s what your problem is?

  33. I don’t like doing paid reviews. I only review something if I truly find it worthy of telling other people about.

  34. I have written one on a site Google already hates. Why not make a little money from it since Google won’t send any traffic.

  35. nothing is wrong with doing paid reviews as long as you say that it is just that and you are free to give you true thoughts of the product or service whether you like it or not

  36. I think paid reviews are fine. I’ve never done one because no one has ever asked but I definitely would not be opposed to them. I think it’s really important that the blogger who does the review has respect from his readers. If a blogger has no credibility with me, I’m probably not going to take his review too seriously…

  37. Just a hypothetical question:

    Would you want to eat at a restaurant where the reviewer/recommender was paid by said restaurant?

    Not saying I wouldn’t do them, just…

  38. I voted no, since I’ve never written a paid review.

    I am willing to do so, since I think paid reviews are just a way to promote the item that is reviewed. It up to the people who want it reviewed, what they pay for it! :)

  39. I won’t even read a blog run by somebody that does paid reviews.

  40. I’ve never received money from a review, but have done reviews where they send me the item to check out.

  41. Hey Nelson, the About Blogging blog loaded just fine for me. Maybe you better check your internet connection. As to her ads, they are no more intrusive than your Google ads in the middle of your posts!

  42. No, I haven’t. But I will do, if there’s opportunity to do paid review

  43. Haven’t received any offers to do any yet and never thought about it until posted this, to be honest.

    If I ever did one, I’d make sure it was known up front that I was paid or received the product for free for doing the review. I’d never do a positive review for something I hated though.

  44. I voted yes.

    However I will not post paid reviews on my new PR4 blogs and would probably concentrate on other modes of income for these new blogs.

    I will continue paid posts on my lower rank PR3 blogs. As a PPP posties I think there are many more new bloggers with PR getting into the market place. Google’s penalisation has little effect on these people.

    Another thing is that since the next page rank is expected in 3 or 4 months time. Some are willing to sacrifice their new PRs for more cash within this period of time.

  45. BONTB – I should clarify that I’ve never written a paid review. I do write reviews that have affiliate links in them from time to time but never paid reviews.

  46. I am with the How-To Geek on this one. Paid reviews are lame and not worth my time. I do subscribe to a few blogs that publish such nonsense, but only because it makes me feel better about myself. ;)

  47. I’ve never written a paid review, although I’ve thought about it. As long as the author discloses the paid nature of the review, I don’t have a problem with it.

  48. I haven’t ever written a paid review, but it hasn’t been a conscious choice. I blog in an incredibly narrow niche (hunter pets in the World of Warcraft) and there just isn’t that much to review, nor anyone to pay me! Philosophocally I don’t find paid reviews very different from hyping affiliate links, so in the right situation (and with the right audience) I might be willing to try it.

  49. I do, for a number of (what I believe are) legitimate reasons. I’m a college student, I’m broke and these reviews are what keeps me fed. The less time I spend working a real job, the more time I can devote to my schoolwork. I also am an English major looking to get into any field where I write – so not only am I getting experience writing my own articles, but I’m also becoming experienced writing for others. I blog not only for my readers but also for those who may look to hire me in the future.

  50. @ Windyridge. Thanks for backing me up here. I would have thought that here of all places I’d be safe from people attacking me for trying to monetize a blog!

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