PayPerPost: Selling Your Audience?

Before I begin this post, I want to mention that I have sat down and broken bread with Ted Murphy of PayPerPost before. He is a great guy, and his simple idea, turned company, has had the blogging world in a fury more than once.

PayPerPost

What is PayPerPost?

The simple explanation is that it is exactly what it’s name implies. I pay money to advertise a product, service or site using PayPerPost’s system, and members write about it on their blog, and collect the money for doing so.

From PayPerPost’s website:

Get paid for blogging. 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 for your opinion on various topics. Search through a list of Opportunities, make a blog posting, get your content approved, and get paid. It’s that simple.

The Good

This system sounds great for a variety of reasons. Instead of getting pennies a day, or sometimes a month through systems like Google’s AdSense, or Yahoo Publisher’s Network, you can now make a fair bit of money by reviewing products, services and websites through PayPerPost.

We are just coming into the half way point of the month, and some bloggers have already earned over $900 so far this month from this one advertising system. The top earner since the beginning has earned nearly $16,000 from the PayPerPost system. So it is easy to see why this whole type of advertising has become a success.

There are many people in this and other niches that seem to make around twenty to a hundred dollars per post on their blog, and so assuming that you can secure just one review per month, you would be bringing in $20 to $100 using just PayPerPost Direct. In conjunction with other forms of advertising, this could mean the difference between buying coffee once a month, to buying a dinner at a fancy restaurant.

As the service has grown, many great opportunities are now on PayPerPost. I found it very lacking when it first began, many of the better opportunities to make money being created by PayPerPost itself, which worked very well as a means to create buzz about the service.

The Bad

What will your readers think? This is one thing that many bloggers are struggling with. As you build up your blog, you are also building up a profile as well as certain expectations. Some readers will see you as selling out if you take the PayPerPost route.

Are you willing to sell out your readership to make some money by pushing a product, service or website

Others will see you as being fake, since the posts you might have to write will require you to put a positive spin on whatever you are reviewing. It then becomes a game of dollars versus ethics. Are you willing to sell out your readership to make some money by pushing a product, service or website that you don’t have in depth knowledge about? Can you really give a non-bias opinion when money rides on your answer?

I have heard of bloggers losing readership from using the PayPerPost service, and while that is understandable, is it worth worrying about?

The Ugly

There is also a pretty big group of bloggers out there that are willing to slam the service, the idea of the service, and anyone using PayPerPost. They find the whole thing unethical and compare it to selling out, or selling one’s soul. While you are required to post that a PayPerPost post was a paid advertisement, does that really excuse the act of putting advertising in your content?

Conclusion

Before you join PayPerPost or any similar service, you have to weigh the pro’s and con’s. I think that PayPerPost, like any advertising service has it’s place, but if the draw to your blog is based on your opinions on any subject, you might want to take an extra pause, or at least only accept posts that allow you to write your true feelings, positive or negative, about a particular product, service or site.

Also, make sure you think to yourself, “would I read a blog that had a full post of advertising, even just once every month?”

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