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Get Paid to Review – Positive ROI for Advertisers and Publishers

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 7 years and 264 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

I’ve really liked the idea of “Review Me” since I first heard about it. It’s kind of like “hot or not” for smarter people. It will allow immediate feedback on a variety of new ideas by paying for the valuable asset of people’s time to think. The success of the idea will depend on the willingness of intelligent people to accept a new ad model, and keep the network quality high. If everybody writes positive reviews of CRAP – it’s a surefire way for the whole idea to suck. It’s not a surprise that people will accept money to write reviews or analysis – the big question will be HOW MUCH it costs for a review. Pay to blog is a great topic that will always be worthwhile – in the same way that questioning how a journalist is paid is. I didn’t follow much of the pay per post debate prior to this, but I’m sure it will get nice and interesting with a bigger fish in the pond. I hope it will make Doc Searls smile – when he realizes the people who got on the cluetrain can finally make good money while they review products and services like actual human beings without a “professional voice”. It’s cool to see the dialogue can still be PAID for – but not forced to be ROBOTIC.

Disclosure:
I was paid $125 for this article by ReviewMe.com – I probably would have written it for free since I consider the folks behind it friends – You can see that this nice little blog transaction definitely had a positive ROI for me personally. Honestly – I doubt that I’d review people I didn’t know personally for that price, since I value my credibility quite high most the time – though if I truly thought something was a good service, I’d gladly take a few hundred bucks to tell about how I thought it was worth while. Want to pay me $100 to tell people about something I think is cool? If I think others would like it – I would certainly consider it.

Since I know the people behind this project, and think they are a good group, I was willing to review their site for that amount. It reminds me a bit of the “ebay of online advertising”. I am able to sell “ad space” with very little friction – and I still maintain my editorial control. In the case of Reviewme – I’m looking forward to testing other GOOD ideas and/ or products for the right price. If the product SUCKS and I accepted it – I would probably write the bare minimum 200 words and not lambaste it too badly (no swears about it anyhow) – or I can choose not to do it altogether. I could also choose to just offer an analysis and feedback while giving my honest opinion.

My review of reviewme:
I felt kinda like I had mission impossible thing going on with having to blog within 48 hours (I was really hoping my site wouldn’t “self destruct”). I am kind of lazy and scatterbrained so writing an entry under a time constraint can sometimes be a challenge. Seems like good motivation from the advertisers side though. For this particular review – I was given 48 hours to write. It lit a fire under my butt – and I got it done at about 2:30 a.m. (I wonder if they’ll dock dollars for poor spelling?).

In the reviewme control panel – you can choose your sites and tags. This is a pretty handy feature for deciding the types of projects you will want to review. I initially added myself under the “business” tag – and I still might go that route – but the point is – that the choice for what to publish still remains my own. This should be very empowering to micro-publishers.

Will it scale?
Will traditional media be willing to have the transparency to disclose exactly WHO the hand that feeds them is? If anyone can reach the critical mass this idea needs, it’s the guys reviewme.

There are certainly going to be some discrepancies that arise when people start writing negative reviews that don’t get accepted. Fortunately, I think the dimwits that start these inevitable skirmishes will be ignored from the “conversations” ultimately.

Editorial integrity vs. disclosure
I myself am usually paid the form of consulting work from my clients – I will gladly write about clients for money if I believe in their product. I will gladly tell people who read my site about things I would like that are related to what I normally discuss. I’m nearly certain that ReviewMe will succeed because of the thinking that went into the issues of editorial integrity vs. disclosure. I would not sacrifice credibility to potential consulting clients just to make a quick buck on a blog post – blogging is far too much work.

There are times when I discuss products on my site from people that I have confidence in. Normally, I politely decline to post about things from people I don’t know – the same will probably hold true even if they offer to pay me – perhaps RM will just reveal what a person’s (or site’s) true price is.

David vs. Goliath
The really interesting thing here is that smaller bloggers will be behind this 110% because it’s a decent way to make some money – and you can still choose what you write about something. It will be even more interesting to see the defense that the increasing supporters will mount for such a fascinating and controversial new concept of revenue model monetization. I think this monetization strategy will only help to multiply the creation of useful micro content. I’ll be excited to see the first few big advertisers that are willing to put their brand up to the scrutiny of micropublishers and PAY for it – those that come out with good strong reviews (that they PAID for) will certainly achieve some greater levels of success.

Conclusion:A review can be a very valuable asset. Good reviews and feedback from people who use your product is a good thing if you have the determination to build a GREAT product or service. It will take BALLS for an advertiser to use this new model – and put good products and services out on the block for reviews from anyone willing to try it. For those companies with the BALLS to try it, it’s going to pay off well I’m sure.

There will definitely be haters to the paid review model – but I think this is going to be a pretty amazing opportunity for many advertisers and publishers. It will be interesting to watch the inventory gain traction – and see how willing publishers will be to accept this level of honesty to disclose in their advertising. It is definitely going to blend the “church and state” that we normally assign to advertising and content in a more creative way than normal contextual advertising (even with the “blend” technique).

I really can’t wait when bigger bloggers start to admit that we all, in fact, have a price for our time and opinions. Because I think this is a very cool product based on who uses it – I’ll post links to my favorite reviews of Reviewme.com

I enoyed werty’s fine Reviewme analysis:

Screenshot from the simple interface of Reviewme:
reviewme

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • http://www.werty.net/ werty

    Thank you for the link love Todd.

    I am jealous of both the new design and the fact that you make 4x what I do for each whored out post.

  • http://www.infohatter.com/blog/ Caydel

    Hi Todd. I have also joined ReviewMe, and it really does look like something special.

    I enjoy the fact that they will not ‘force’ a review to be positive a-la-PayPerPost – that was one of the major detractors for me. Without being free to voice your own opinion, you just end up selling your credibility for way lower than it is worth.

    I just hope that ReviewMe is accepted among advertisers; they are taking a risk, and really need to stand behind their product if they are willing to risk taking a set of bad reviews. Any company advertising this way would not be able to promote crap products; the negative reviews and publicity could kill them. And, for serious advertisers, negative reviews could be used as clues to help improve shortcomings of their product.

    Brian

  • http://www.contentquake.com Joe

    I feel the same way about Review Me, seems like a great idea, I was playing around last night myself and did a similar kind of review on our site. Hope it adds to the conversation.

  • http://engtech.wordpress.com engtech

    Hi Todd,

    I liked your take on it a lot. Much better than the “hey look at this, here’s a copy of the press review” review a lot of people wrote.

    Here’s my take on it:
    http://engtech.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/reviewmecom-reviewed-a-look-at-the-algorithm-from-a-bloggers-point-of-view/

  • Pingback: Reviewme.com Reviewed - A Look at the Algorithm from a Bloggers Point of View « //engtech

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  • reesh

    I’ve contacted bloggers many, many times with offers to write a review or make mention of one of my products in exchange for money or some other mutually-beneficial relationship. Those times when the blogger agreed, there was no disclosure from them about having taken money from me. ReviewMe.com simply strealmlines the process of connecting advertisers & bloggers, and it as has the added virtue of requiring full disclosure and full editorial control by the blogger. Being an advertiser who stands behind the quality of our products and services, I welcome this service.

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  • http://www.johnon.com John Andrews

    Nice review Todd. I would have thought $250 for a blog post with no constraints was high, but we will see what the market bears. As I said on my Review of ReviewMe (for a token $30 bonus), I suspect someone (reviewme or someone else) will create an aftermarket to review the reviewers soon enough. I don’t believe it can last as an open opportunity to blogblogblog your way to 200 words and get paid just like you did a thoughtful review, or that negative reviews (easy) will get paid as often as positive ones.

  • http://www.ordinaryEXTRAlife.blogspot.com Rebecca Hogg

    I tried to sign up for Reviewme.com but was rejected because I did not have the appropriate google rank or page views. I am just beginning in this blogging venture so it could be awhile until I get a fair amount of readers . I wanted to let others know who are just starting out blogging that it may not be so easy to get paid to blog at first, but you have to love to write and others will notice. Thanks and keep posting!

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