Wednesday, November 08, 2006

[paid blogging/ethics] Thoughts on PayPerPost?

Someone emailed me a few weeks ago about PayPerPost. I looked at it and came to the conclusion that the only way I would do it was to establish a totally separate blog where I wrote only PayPerPost posts, and I don't have the time or inclination to do that. I would just not feel comfortable writing PPP posts on my regular blogs, especially not on Just Hungry, where I do often recommend products and things but those I really like/use.

Has anyone tried PayPerPost? How are you using it? What do you think of it? As food bloggers I believe we are a ready target for things such as this.


This Post was written by maki from Just Hungry.

10 comments:

Foodie Universe said...

I think that posting reviews of PayPerPost products on your existing site is okay as long as you actually support these products and it makes sense to write about them on your site. If you want to be able to post about anything and everything just to earn money, regardless of what you really think of the product and regardless of whether it has anything to do with your current site, then I would start a separate site.

William I. Lengeman III said...

Their site says "advertisers are willing to pay you for your opinion on various topics," but I'd assume that they only want your opinions if they're the right ones.

I advertise on my site and have no problem with ads that are clearly identifiable as such, but I personally wouldn't care to take part in something like this.

kungfoodie kat said...

There are several pay per post brokers now and some of them do allow writers refusal of posting and/or to even post negative reviews.

Ethically it's best to always specify in a post if you've recieved compensation or free products in any way shape or form. Although hundreds of bloggers post about products and link to them via affiliate commission programs without actually stating that in every post. Affiliate deals seem to have become a standard.

Personally I'm a bit torn over the concept. I can recognize the value (on both the blogging side and the marketing/business side) but there's something about it that feels 'funny-wrong' to me, especially if I was to integrate it into my existing blog which I write for fun about cool stuff that excites me.

Regardless of my opinion tho, I think it's an individual decision on what works best for your blog and/or if this type of content and program would be seen as a negative by your readers.

Amy Sherman said...

Ok I'll say it. I think it is downright despicable. I looked into it and found it to be nothing short of paid placement and smacks of "payola". Any company that would pay to get a good review is climbing a slippery slope. I am saddened that bloggers who are respected for their independence would be so willing to sacrifice it for the almighty buck.

By the way I have no problem with review copies or samples because that's what they are--a chance to review or sample, not a bribe or a payoff.

Andrew said...

I'm with Amy on this one - I can only see conflict with these type of schemes.

Owen said...

There is a LOT of comment going on in the content world about these sites - the consensus is that they are absolutely payola and some are even worse than that. (Payola is where record companies used to pay radio DJs to play songs). In some cases here you are not only asked to write about the product but are REQUIRED to write positively.

There is NO WAY this is worth it. Just a fast way to lose readers.

kungfoodie kat said...

Okay...so I'll probably take some flack for this, but I don't think the concept itself is all that bad. I certainly don't think it's despicable. Is a gun evil? It really depends on what the person holding it does.

Advertising is advertising is advertising. Of course I don't think it's cool for people to post about stuff they've been compensated for without being upfront about it, but there's nothing wrong with trying to make a bit of money. There ARE brokers that allow you to post negative reviews.

The bottom line is that readers will have the final vote on this. If they feel it comes across as unethical or uninteresting they'll go somewhere else, and advertisers aren't going to pay for reviews on blogs with low traffic.

maki said...

One reason why I was turned off by PayPerPost is that no where on the site (that I could find) is it made clear whether it is possible to post negative reviews. Another reason why it turned me off is the forums...there is a sort of aura of desperation or so there...hard to describe.

On the other hand, just today I got an email about reviewme.com saying I was 'pre-approved'. It's from the people who run Text Link Ads, with whom I've never had anything but positive experiences. On the reviewme.com site they clearly state that advertisers cannot require a positive review. That changes the complextion of the whole thing I think. (Or, does it?)

Anyway I have signed up there (not sure if I am going to review anything yet) - and I've noticed some familiar names from here have already too.

I guess we shall see what happens....

maki said...

One more thing here - my profession is web developer/designer, and I'm also very interested in the inner workings of 'stuff on the web', including monetization. In a way my food blog is a lab for that, which is why I'm always interested in at least looking at various monitization schemes. It helps me on occasion when talking to clients too.

I posted some of my thoughts about this on my personal blog too.

kungfoodie kat said...

I also just got the Review Me invite. They do state writers can post negative reviews AND require writers to include a 'sponsors/ad' notice with every paid post. They've had some big name bloggers sign up so it should be interesting to see how things will evolve in this realm over the next year.