I thought it would be interesting to look at the two leading sponsored post services – PayPerPost and ReviewMe – and see what the differences are and which one, if any, you should join. On the surface, both PayPerPost and ReviewMe do the same thing – sell sponsored posts on your blog. However, the way they go about doing this is unique to each company.
Of the two networks, PayPerPost is the easier one to join. They don’t seem to have any minimum traffic requirement other than requiring your blog be at least 90 days old and have a minimum of 20 posts created. PayPerPost only accepts English language blogs
ReviewMe has much higher entrance requirements than PayPerPost. The nice thing about their setup is you can find out instantly whether your blog meets the requirements or not. Once you set up an account, you just enter your blog URL and their system will give you an instant yes or no answer. ReviewMe uses your blog’s Alexa ranking, Technorati ranking, and estimated number of RSS subscribers to accept/reject your blogs and set review pricing. ReviewMe will accept non-English blogs.
Getting Sponsored Posts
With PayPerPost, publishers choose the advertisers. Advertisers place their post opportunities in the PayPerPost marketplace. They list their requirements and how much they’re willing to pay for a post. Publishers meeting those requirements will then write the paid post and submit the URL to PayPerPost for approval, which can take up to 72 hours.
Your post must remain live on your blog for 30 days. After 30 days (and also at random) PayPerPost will check to see if the blog post is still live and still meets the opportunity requirements. If so, you have satisfied your agreement and you will get paid for the post via PayPal.
With ReviewMe, the advertiser chooses the publisher. Every ReviewMe publisher has their own page that features their blog (this is mine). Advertisers wishing to buy a review will send a review request to the blog they want the paid post from. In most cases, the blog owner will have 48 hours to accept or reject the request. If the blogger accepts the request, he/she will then have 48 hours to turn over the review for approval. Once the review is approved, the blogger will be paid by PayPal at the start of the next month.
Because bloggers gets to choose the advertisers, there are more review opportunities with PayPerPost than ReviewMe. With ReviewMe, you have to wait for the advertisers to call on you instead of you choosing from the 100’s of review opportunities in the PayPerPost marketplace.
Both PayPerPost and ReviewMe require bloggers to disclose if they’re being paid for writing a post. ReviewMe requires the blogger to state so in the post itself. With PayPerPost, you have a choice – you can disclose on a per post basis or have a link to a clearly visible disclosure policy.
ReviewMe has no tone requirement for reviews. Publishers can be positive or negative about the product or service written about. PayPerPost allows the advertisers to set the tone to positive, negative or neutral. A neutral tone allows the blogger to be positive or negative. Most advertisers using PayPerPost have neutral tones, but there are some advertisers demanding positive only reviews. It’s up to the blogger to decide whether or not to accept them.
ReviewMe charges a lot more for a review than PayPerPost. Their high pricing has allowed them to attract higher traffic blogs. ReviewMe reviews start at $40.00 and goes up $500.00 depending on the ranking of the blog. PayPerPost reviews start at $4.00 and goes to $20.00, and those higher priced reviews generally have a positive tone requirement.
On the surface, it looks like you can make way more money with ReviewMe but in practice it may not be the case. It’s basic supply and demand. By setting my review price at $100.00, I won’t get as many review opportunities as I would if the price was $50.00. With ReviewMe, publishers cannot set their own pricing.
For the month of December, I have done four ReviewMe reviews (here, here, here and here). I do not know if this is good, bad or average among ReviewMe publishers. PayPerPost publishers can do a lot than four reviews per month because there are endless opportunities in the marketplace. This can create problems however. If your blog is full of nothing by paid posts, then your readership is sure to question your reasons for blogging. The key is to find a balance between normal and sponsored posts.
PayPerPost tacks on 25% to the post price as their fee. If a post is listed in the marketplace as $10.00, the actual cost to the advertiser is $12.50 ($10.00 to the blogger, $2.50 to PayPerPost). ReviewMe takes 50% of the review price listed in the blog info page. A review on my blog cost $100.00. ReviewMe takes $50.00 and I get the remaining $50.00. I think taking 50% is extremely high.
Which One Should You Join?
Despite the grumblings in the industry, sponsored posts are here to stay and I predict they will become mainstream in 2007 as more companies enter the sponsored post market. For a low traffic blog, PayPerPost represents the most profitable advertising network. When PayPerPost first launched, I blasted them for their non-disclosure policy. However, since they have changed their disclosure requirements, I no longer have a problem with them.
For the new blog, PayPerPost is the obvious choice since you won’t have enough ranking to join ReviewMe. What PayPerPost loses in pricing, it makes up for in quantity – there are blogs with less than 100 page views per day making over $500 a month from PayPerPost because of the number of posting opportunities available. I would recommend you don’t go crazy with the paid plugs however – I say 1 paid post for every 10 normal posts would be acceptable.
Once your blog has a high enough ranking then consider joining ReviewMe. You won’t get as many review opportunities, but the reviews you do get will pay a lot more. There is also less of a rush to do a review because you’re not competing with other bloggers for the opportunity. A reader of this blog has commented that one of the reasons the review for linkback reviews of my blog were better than the PayPerPost reviews was due to the pressure of getting a review in before the 14 opportunities were taken up.
If you’re a PayPerPost or ReviewMe publisher, I would love to hear your experience with it. Please do so in the comments.