Pay per post is a sweet poison for bloggers

There is a new market coming up for bloggers (a web 2.0 generated Job). Not exactly a new market but still a young one. Yes, I am talking about “earning through blog posts”. We all are aware of Payperpost.com (what a good domain to have!) and www.blogsvertise.com. Reviewme is the new born baby in this market but certainly with a web 2.0 growth rate.
pay per post for bloggers

Why is Pay per post a sweet poison for bloggers
You can expect more and more players entering the market. Is it good for blogosphere? In my opinion this is just a sweet poison for the bloggers (and blogosphere in general). Sweet as it can pay you as high as $250 per post (according to reviewme.com), poison as this can change the perception towards bloggers. I will cover two aspects of it :-

  1. A pain for matt cutts and his team: Search engine consider each link to be a recommendation (a vote) and may value a Blog over other sites due to some factors (Some say that Blog === “Better listing in Google” :)). If you are paid to write then it is more or less like buying links which according to Google is not a good practice without a no-follow tag (Google rule book ref Articles 6a and 9b). You can add a nofollow but I am not sure whether this is in accord with their policy. It is a pain as Matt also knows that it won’t be an easy task to catch the paid ones. I am less worried about Google and Matt as they work on a “smoke and mirror” policies. Google will have a problem in catching you if you are selective about the posts (also try and keep paid vs genuine post ratio low).
  2. “Maven” badge for sale: People perceive a blogger as a maven and want them to write as independently as possible. Money business will influence some leading to influential positive posts (You can’t deny it, I agree that only some will write it).
    one bad apple
    (One apple spoils the bunch)

    The word will soon spread like a fire that bloggers can’t be trusted as they can be paid to write reviews. So every post can be suspected. Will you be happy to hear that all news by cnn is genuine except few which are paid? Even if some are paid ones it is not visible at the surface. CNN is still not perceived as a maven but as a business. Mavens (Bloggers) have more responsibility towards the society and should not destroy the trust factor.

What is the way out?
On the other hand as a blogger I am attracted towards it as it can help me earn extra. If my blog is getting traffic due to its value (Value of blog = value of blog x quality time spent in research for the post) then I should be able to earn through it (something better than adsense). There is a way out by letting the visitor distinguish the paid ones. Existing way of advertisements are Banner ads or text ads. This can be revamped for the new Web 2.0 supported blogosphere, “advertising through blog post”. Advertisement posts or paid posts can be marked with some additional colors to help visitors distinguish. It can be done in simpler ways:-

  1. Use color markers
  2. ICON markers
  3. Simplest and the best -> Different category label: Simplest way is to label all the post as “paid reviews” (Let Google, Yahoo and MSN come together to suggest a category label). This can be done for any blog (wordpress or others).

4 Replies to “Pay per post is a sweet poison for bloggers”

  1. You are wrong about the easiest way, because based on the FTC opinion being talked about for the last few days, any word of mouth promotion should be disclosed, which includes things like affiliate links.

    PPP is relatively minor in the overall scheme of internet word of mouth promotion, it is a billion dollar industry.

    The easiest way is to use my Disclosure Policy Plugin

  2. Andy, I liked the disclosure policy. That is a good step but on an ethical level I think I should also let my visitors know that this is a review for which I am paid. There is nothing wrong in being a little commercial but we should not wear a non-commercial tag while doing commercial activity.

    If I ever write a pay per post then I might write a useful one and I am sure that my visitors will also like it. As a friend I will surely let them know that this post is a paid one.

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