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PayPerPost – Paying Bloggers to Post – First Impressions

Posted By Darren Rowse 1st of July 2006 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. So when are they going to start paying you to bash another company? For $25 get paid to talk negatively about another company so that their sales decrease.

    This really isn’t much different than the rest of the internet. Have you read the reviews at Amazon.com? Many are by individuals that simply give every book a 5 star rating. I know one book which is terrible but it has three 5 star reviews and one 1 star review. The five star reviews are ALL by paid reviewers. It should be obvious that the book is terrible, but most people aren’t paying attention to notice and they buy the book. I don’t know who pays these reviewers or how the system is organized, but it’s clearly a deceptive marketing ploy. The bad part is that it works in certain circumstances.

    Everyone knows that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Over time the trusted sources build a solid reputation for their integrity and their opinion will count for more.

  2. Isn’t this formalising a long running system where “independent bloggers’ blogged about subjects and finished off with affiliate links? While problogger is very transparent about noting material as affiliate links, many other blogs certainly are not.

    Take product review sites as an a example — many don’t make it clear that in writing the “review” the blogger is lining themselves up for a payment — the only difference to my mind with payperpost is that you’re getting paid regardless of if a purchase is made.

    Techcrunch get’s high and mighty with their “sell your soul” line…. oh pleeeassseee.

  3. Does you pay suck, use adsense to make money. I make $19,156.00 and you can too, buy Michael Cheney stupid adsense book. I’ll tell you its an affiliate link, so its ok, even though it is a spammy thing to be selling. Don’t worry I take the high and mighty road and then help kill a business.

    Damn straight I am being snarky, I honestly have had enough of this website. It is utter nonesense now-a-days, since this site uses nofollow you are not going to get the link love, but it will gladly take the link love back. No darren I don’t want to talk about it. I am not mad about anything, I am just sick of the hypocrisy.

  4. […] 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. […]

  5. […] 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. […]

  6. As much as we don’t like it, it’s not a new concept – look at blogitive.com, which has been around since at least March 2006 (when I heard about them). From what I understand, they give you a link, you do a write-up on whatever the topic is, and they pay you. Is it something pro-bloggers want to see? Probably not. But, if nothing else, it’s an interesting way to manufacture word-of-mouth…

  7. It may not be nice, but it’s not going to go away…

    I’m thinking there’s an oppurtunity for some creative programmers to come up with a new browser plug-in that highlights aff links and paid posts.

    If askimet can figure out spam… then patterns in paid posting may emerge.

    Additional thoughts here…

    Marlin Creek – Idea Seeds

  8. There is a tracker image in all the posts so basically a script can search through an HTML page to get that image url and then you can block that post. I’m sure lots of ad filtering software will do that.

    I believe that if you ALREADY endorse the product then you should get paid for it by writing about it. However, nothing is as valuble as your integrity so don’t throw everything that they tell you to write on your blog for $5.

  9. Going along with the whole integrity issue, maybe the service will be easily corrupted by many “professional” bloggers,but then again there could be a valuable resource that can come from it. I believe it will go back to the whole content issue with blogging. People know good and valuable content as they read it, and if all they read is some guy raving about this or that product all the time then nobody will care to visit them and eventually the pay-per-posts service will realize this guy is posting alot without any good turnover and then find a way to knock the guy off their system….

  10. Just a few more thoughts.

    Graydon: There is a specific image of about 1 px that is required to be placed in the blog post. This image is used for tracking purposes. The domain is always the same. I’m sure a plug in could be made to change the DIV or table around it to turn red if that image is detected.

    Payperpost would be a great service if bloggers were told to try a service and then honestly review it for a fee. Unfortunately, Pay Per Post actually has a TONE requirement meaning that a blogger must adhere to rules of tone of voice. Basically, they are telling you to praise or badmouth products. Lots of them are set to “neutral” right now.

    This service could be great for consumers if it was “pay per review” or “pay per honest transparent comments”. Ofcourse, that’s not what companies want :D

  11. haha sorry. Final comment:

    This could be great for bloggers who could boast to their visitors that their policy is “Payperpost-FREE” meaning that they never post ads unlike their competitors.

    This could be a good strategy. After all blogging is all about honestly and reader-trust. If your competitor is using Pay-Per-Post then they risk hurting themselves.

  12. Metafilter also has a good conversation on PayPerCost, might want to add it.

    PayPerCost sucks because of the obvious incentive it’s offering for bloggers to be disingenuous. Adsense, in some ways, has had a similar effect, but at least the service isn’t *built* on further polluting the blogging world.

    I don’t think PayPerCost is going to make many honest bloggers into shills, but I’m fairly certain it will attract additional sleazes into our happy family. Bleh.

  13. Anyone ever heard of click bank? how about commission junction?

    The “pay per post” thing is hardly new. For that matter, a blog with decent readership doesn’t even NEED payperpost.com. They’d make a bunch more money using the sites above. Seriously, because of that I just don’t see this thing actually working all that well.

  14. CB and CJ are Pay-Per-Action. PayPerCost, as I understand it, pays people merely for posting. Huge difference. Massive.

  15. I was going to sign up for this, but during the sign up it asks for a Social Security #. I didnt feel comfortable giving it to them, I’m sure it for tax purposes, but still..

    What are everyone elses thoughts on this?

  16. PayPerPost clearly states that “as an advertiser you also have the ability to require a dynamic tracking link for determining traffic or a regular link that will help you build search engine ranking.” What’s being sold is the link, not just the opinion and the traffic. Many advertisers will use it to build their own PageRank. But since Google frowns on link selling, bloggers that participate may be risking their Google rankings.

  17. My first impression was: Damn, it’s only for americans, I can’t try it.

    i guess it is already possible to promote stuff on our blogs. I me, an even you Darren, you promote your websites, b5 media, six figures. People like me, we promote new movies, gadgets, other bloggers :)

    Does getting paid for it is a conflict of interest?

    I guess so, but aren’t we all guilty to a certain degree of doing it?

    If bloggers are not interesting, people won’t read them. If their blogs are merely advertisement for crap, we won’t read them.

    So again, I’m not FOR or AGAINST the idea.

    I’m still making up my mind.

  18. Pretty tempting, but with all the loopholes in it, I think it’s a big no-no at this point in time. Plus, bloggers might get the bad impression of being corporate lackeys and kiss-ups once they start abusing the system.

    It’s the danger of over-commercializing the blogosphere.

  19. […] 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. […]

  20. Shane – I’ve written about MC’s video’s and given my recommendation of them in a number of places (example here).

    I don’t agree that it’s a spammy thing to sell – it’s good basic information and over half of my readers are just a few months into blogging (or so my last poll told me) I thought it was a worthwhile product to recommend.

    I’m sorry if you’ve had enough of this website but you’re always welcome to do a number of things:

    1. suggest how I could improve it so that it’s more useful to you
    2. stop reading and find another source of information

    I’d prefer you did the first one personally.

    In terms of no-follow links. To be honest I don’t like them but as someone who gets 2000+ comment spams on this one blog alone every day (today it’s closer to 3000) I’ve decided to use no-follow because I know some do slip through and the thought of inadvertently pushing up the rankings of the crud that a lot of it promotes is something I can’t live with.

    In terms of link love – I think I go out of my way to give it to my readers. Every week or two I invite people to participate in projects that give them the chance to have their links in my content where there are no no-follow tags. By my estimates I’ve linked to 300 or so blogs in the last few weeks in these projects.

    Now maybe that’s not as good as the impact that letting comments carry Google juice but it’s a lot better than many blogs do.

    Does it make my a Hypocrite? Maybe, but it’s the decision I’ve taken in order to combat an issue I face and while it might not suit everyone you’re the first person in a year to complain about it (that I can remember).

    Sorry you feel that way – if you’ve got some constructive suggestions on how I can overcome the problem you’re more than welcome to suggest them.

  21. There is nothing wrong in payperpost concept as long as a reader knows that you have written it for money. The good thing is that I know soon many copy cars will rise and naturally quality bloggers will not go for this industry. Most probably, it will become another outsourcing thing.

  22. Hi there, I’ve been reading your blog for just a few weeks and it’s been a great inspiration to me. Thank you.

    That said, PayPerPost definitely sounds shady to me, mostly because unethical bloggers will take advantage and start pushing products that are unworthy so they can cash in. Of course, they’ll eventually lose credibility when their readers catch on, so in the long run in might weed out a few unsavory bloggers…

    But on the flip side, bloggers do often promote items, just because they like them, and don’t get any kind of compensation for doing so. So it would be interested to see a program that rewarded bloggers for promoting a product without giving them a list to choose from first. In other words, if I write a post in favor of Product Z, their corp. office would say, hey thanks, and send me a check. What can I say? I’m a dreamer.

    As of now, I’m finding it difficult to get a “thank you” from a fellow blogger when I’ve promoted them. Well I guess I’m still in the rookie phase…

    Girl Trip

  23. Awesome analysis as always…it sure is nice to get dose of reality in your post… there are too many people out there trying to tell you what you want to hear rather than the truth in the hopes they will get a commission er sumthin’… keep up the awesome blogging!

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

  25. Doesn’t seem all that different than a text link ad to me.

    Those are promoted here and I use them, too.

    I think we’ve created a so-called high road and think we can pick and choose between what we think is ethically across some imaginary line.

    I’m not FOR or AGAINST getting paid to write a post, as I am well paid to write for a company in my industry. I don’t bash them, their products, nor their suppliers, nor would that be all that different, in the final analysis, that being paid to basically create a text link, which is what PayPerPost is asking you to do.

    I’m not going to participate, but I’m thinking in the end, that it’s not that different than selling a text link ad.

    Is it ?

  26. Well, I sure wouldn’t give out my SSN on the internet to a company like that. Aside from that, I hate the idea, I hate the thought that I might not be able to find an unbiased, honest review of a product, the money is not worth my integrity IMO.

  27. As a seasoned expert wittin this Industry, I also srtrongly suggest exercising GREAT caution regarding this particular subject.

    Both transparency AND quality control seem to be lacking greatly here, though that’s not all that’s lacking.

    Personally, I’d avoid it at all costs… well, at least until there are more third-party verifications supporting the purported outcome”

    Until then, it’s really all just advertising fluff, and nothing more.

    ~Aaron Cook

  28. I just tried PayPerPost as an advertiser (signed up last night and posted a 10 post job) and it is just about worthless! None of the blogs made a post on their front page – the “posts” are generally uncategorized stories that are not even linked in. Without the direct link to the post, I cannot seem to get to any of the so called “posts”. Well, seems to be a big waste of time for advertisers – at least that is my experience…

  29. […] 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. […]

  30. […] 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. […]

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

  32. I thought I would give it a try. I’ve written articles for a local web site producer before, things she would put up to generate traffic, and I thought I could do a decent job.

    Unfortunately, the topic I chose said I had to include a link and an image – and the image link didn’t work. So, pretty much a waste of my time.

  33. […] 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. […]

  34. […] 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. […]

  35. I just wanted to tell you about ziden.s5.com. It has the highest paying system just read

    their page and sign-up you can make up to $500.00, just for a bunch of free stuff. They

    will even give you extra money for just signing up.

    go to: ziden.s5.com

  36. I agree it can lead to dodgy posts, but what about movies selling spots in their films for products? Like having the protagonist drive your car?

    Seems not so different from many endorsement type things seen elsewhere on the web.

  37. I’m cutting out the middle man, and going directly to anyone who wants me to post something, I’ve launched: PayMeToBlog.com

    I don’t promise a positive post or glowing review, I just promise a post that somehow mentions the subject you request. People seem to like it.. :)

  38. just imagine when you can’t trust anything that written on internet anymore.

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

  40. 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…

  41. […] 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. […]

  42. […] 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. […]

  43. I see posts on Engadget.com (among many other sites) that are featuring new products which are also advertised in banner ads throughout the site. To me Engadget.com is getting paid to place banner ads and to post simultaneously. Now take PayPerPost in comparison, it is just a cheaper version of this without the banner ads. This in turn allows companies to create a blog buzz without paying the larger sum for a banner ad. This allows bloggers who do not have enough reach to sell banner ads, to generate revenue. Both banner ads and paid posts generate buzz for the product while paying bloggers. So in the end bloggers can be paid by either method and in the end bloggers may or may not write biased reviews.

    If I am wrong please tell me explain……..

  44. […] 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. […]

  45. I personally believe that Pay Per Post is a grt revolutionary idea l but if done the following:

    Don’t promote a bad (run of the mill product) for any Damn price.

    Promote product or service which you yourself truly agree / like or will use.

    Its like if I personally like Diptyque candles and I each time I try it I fall in love with authentic fragrance then why not share it with friends / close network and os on

    same applies to gizmos, spas, mobile content and all of it, most Imp thing here is Be Honest, Promote Good stuff and you will never lose face or audience.

    Make Your Cell Phone Sexy @ http://wap.mozomo.com

  46. 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.
    And people are intelligent enough not to believe that a perfume can make all women mad for you.
    The problem is exactly that: that people are too skeptical to drink anymore what they commercialize and THEY have to find another way.
    The commercial of the future won’t be a commercial anymore.
    Because we wouldn’t even see it.
    Our eyes and ears are so used to the usual stuff that we are blind and death to it.
    But Marketing won’t die just for that reason.
    Commercials just have to be funnier or more serious or more technically prepared or just written in a different way.
    And if you read a few reviews on a few blogs you will realize exactly that.
    Every blogger has a different approach to a subject, his personal one.
    And that makes any advertisement different from the other.
    It’s like what they call a long, long tail.
    Every probable customer has his own commercial, depending on the style of the bloggers’ he likes.
    And in the end paying 7$ to 1000000 people is the same as paying 7000000 $ to one marketing firm, but you have how many chances more to be liked?

    At least it makes 7000000 happy people instead of one, and 7000000 happy people can change the future of a product, ot don’t they?

  47. Looks like you aren’t the only one having problems with them.


  48. […] Pierwsze wrażenie opisane na problogger.net […]

  49. […] 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”. […]

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