Business, Personal Finance 

Paid Reviewing Site Review Me Launched

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ReviewMe is another one of those “pay to review something” sites that have begun popping up online recently with the huge popularity of blogging, buzz generation, and the desire by many bloggers to score a little extra dough. Well, I signed up for the mailing to find out when Review Me was going to go live and tonight I received an email.

I’m not entirely sure whether or not I’ll like ReviewMe or writing posts in which I was paid for writing it (though I will always keep my objectivity, if something sucks I’ll tell you it sucks, but I don’t really like badmouthing things) but the way I figure it, I’ll sign up, if something piques my interest then I’ll write about it. If nothing piques my interest, I’ll just let it go.

So far though the blogger administrative interface is pretty easy to navigate (not that many features), which is a huge plus. Within a few minutes I had my blog registered and I was given an offer to be paid to write about ReviewMe (this is a paid post). I honestly have no idea though how to read the system yet to understand how much I’m being paid for this but I figure introducing another stream of income to the community is helpful anyway. This may be an excellent way for younger bloggers, and young site owners in general, to monetize quickly and pay for hosting.

I’m not advocating that you go out and sign up for this as I’ve barely used it (it’s not going on my list of 25+ tips yet) but I think it’s worth at least a look.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Paid Reviewing Site Review Me Launched”

  1. I think it is fine if you let people know that the post you are making is a paid post, but not so sure if you conveniently leave it out. The hard part is that if you have a lot of posts that are paid and you tell people, then they will question your objectivity (and your blog in general) and if you don’t, then the readers don’t know which posts are real and which are paid for. I’m not saying that it is a bad concept, just one that can cause a lot of problems depending on what your blogging goals are…

  2. Mike says:

    I heard about this service on other blogs–there is a similar service that has a bit of a bad reputation because it doesn’t require the blogger to disclose that they are being paid for the post, and the purchaser can require that the blog post be positive.

    From what I understand, ReviewMe is different on those points. They cannot require the blogger to post a positive review, only that they must post at least 200 words. The blogger is also required to disclose somewhere in the post that they are being paid for the post.

    That doesn’t help with what I think is the core issue–turning blog content into pure advertising. It’s one thing to monetize your blog with ads, but quite another to monetize the *posts* as well. I wouldn’t watch much TV or listen to much radio if it was all commercials. Even if you only do it once in a while, I think it changes the reader’s perception of the blogger’s motivation–if they are willing to post for money, and probably putting ads next to the, well, ads, I think the reader will probably see the blogger as being in it for the money, rather than expressing themselves or trying to give the reader valuable content.

  3. Anonymous Man says:

    I totally agree with Mike. I despise PayPerPost so much that I removed several bloggers from my blogroll who wrote PPP reviews and didn’t disclose it in their posts.

    And even if ReviewMe doesn’t require positive reviews, I think some bloggers may be tempted to give better reviews of products than they really want to in order to keep the ReviewMe service going. I mean, if advertisers constantly keep getting bad reviews on ReviewMe, that thing’s going to fall apart pretty quickly. Thus it’s to the bloggers’ benefit to write positive reviews.

    That space between the sidebars, header, and footer is sacred. Mindless Google ads are one thing, but posting paid reviews (even if they’re 100% “honest”) is something that would quickly affect my perception of that blogger’s professionalism. I know many bloggers are in it for the money–and that’s okay–but the best ones are also in it for the blogging.

  4. jim says:

    I’ve never seen the area between the sidebars as “sacred” but you do bring up a good point. I’ll be honest, I’ve written posts because I thought that it would generate traffic (the 25 tips for a wildly successful personal finance blog) but also help people in general (which I hope it did). I think the difference is when people get paid to review products or sites that they otherwise wouldn’t have.

    I, and a few other blogs, were paid for an advertisement to the Nationwide RetirAbility and we also blogged about it. It was something I was going to likely review anyway considering it’s definitely relevant, so I see the money as helping pay expenses and the like.

    I think that if I started posting articles about random sites, then I’d be doing it for the money. I’m really really interested in hearing what everyone thinks about this… Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Mike says:

    I don’t think it’s bad to want traffic or even to make a fortune from your blog. To me, any successful business venture is one that puts the customers first, and their main aim is to provide value to those customers.

    In the context of a blog, the customers come for the content, even if the way the blogger is compensated is from their departure (clicking an ad, affiliate link, etc.). They want to be informed, entertained, enlightened, inspired, etc.

    Generally speaking the ads aren’t what provides that direct value (although hopefully with relevant targeted ads, they are getting value from the site they land on as well). At the very least, the reader didn’t come to your blog so that they could look at your ads.

    Affiliate links start to bleed into this paid content concept when the link is in your post. Most blogs I read disclose when links are affiliate links, but even so, many times they’ll state that the review is objective. They are aware that having a paid link in the post means that the review may be less than objective–if they are paid to send traffic down the link, a more positive review / effective “ad” they post, the more they get paid.

    Paying for posts is one more step down the slippery slope. Not only is a link paid, but it suggests that the whole post was bought and paid for. How do you assure your readers, your *customers*, that what they are reading is not just a blatant advertisement? If your readers already trust you, that may be your best defense, but to use a financial analogy, it is probably a “withdrawal” in your “credibility account”.

    The bottom line for me is again, put value to your readers first. If what you post is valuable to your readers, there are plenty of ways to monetize it, and in my opinion there are better ways than this.

  6. jim says:

    Mike, I agree with your overall idea, I think my own thoughts on the specifics differ. I use affiliate links in my content where I can because I feel that it doesn’t disturb the user experience. I don’t understand why knowing whether something is an affiliate link really matters in terms of credibility, whether I get paid because I use an Amazon link without my ID or an amazon link with my ID doesn’t seem to make a difference. In my posts about credit cards, I’m linking to cards that will give you $100 in gift cards if you sign up for one – those are all affiliate links where I make money if someone signs up. I had no qualms voicing my concerns over the value of the Citi mtvU card (I didn’t like it at first) even though I had affiliate links.

    Now, on the subject of paid posts – I do understand if the payment affects the behavior of the author to the point where you feel he’s (I’m speaking of your all’s thoughts on me, hence the he) no longer objective because of the money. I think that in the case of authority figures it is a concern but I see myself as a schmoe with no financial educational background (I have and never have claimed to have any licenses in financial advice) who is writing because he’s been lucky enough to have an audience. (I do feel that I am lucky, I assure you) Perhaps that is the difference? I would hope no one would take what I say as an authority but only as one data point in your research – I’ve been wrong and wrong often, part of the reason I blog is so that guys like CK can educate me when I’ve misunderstood something.

    Perhaps that’s why I think paid RELEVANT content is okay? Granted, this post was the first I’ve ever written for ReviewMe and this may very well be the last.

  7. I actually think affiliate links can be worse than paid reviews as long as the paid reviews are acknowledged. With ReviewMe, you can trash a product without worrying whether or not you’ll get paid. In the case of affiliate links, on the other hand, the way to get paid is to talk about the product/service in question. While there is a potential conflict of interest in both cases, I think there’s a greater chance for a slanted review when your earnings hinge on voicing a positive opinion.

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