Selling Your Own Reviews & Text Links with OIOpublisher

Trying To Cut Out The Middleman

It’s not a big secret that ReviewMe reviews like this one and text links from Text Link Ads are two of this blog’s biggest money maker. The main gripe most web publishers have with these services is they take a pretty big commission for getting you a sale. A few enterprising webmasters have tried to bypass the middleman by creating plugins that allow you sell your own ads.

Simon Emery’s OIOpublisher Direct isn’t the first to offer a WordPress Plugin that allows you to sell your own reviews or text links. I’ve profiled two such plugins already; WordPress BankRoll and WP Text Ads. However, OIOpublisher is far superior to the other plugins and best of all, it’s free. That’s right, the plugin that can make you money doesn’t cost you money.

What Is OIOpublisher Direct?


OIOpublisher Direct is more than just a WordPress plugin. It’s a total advertising solution. At least that’s what it’s trying to be. Whether or not they’ll make it depends greatly on how fast they can penetrate the market. Unlike the WordPress BankRoll plugin which only does reviews, or the WP Text Ads which only does text links, the OIOpublisher Direct plugin offers the ability to directly sell reviews and text links (including contextual text links) on your blog. The free plugin pretty much puts the $127 WP Text Ads out of business.

The plugin is the most complete I have ever seen as far as advertising plugin goes. Once uploaded and activated, the plugin adds a Business tab to your WordPress control panel. This tab allows you access to all the OIOpublisher Direct features. From editing the plugin settings to entering your PayPal email, it’s all here. There’s even a Biz Tip tab to give you optimization tips. To keep you friendly with Google, OIOpublisher Direct gives you the option to do text links with or without a nofollow tag.

The plugin works with self hosted WordPress blogs only. OIOpublisher Direct does offer a hosted solution for bloggers without WordPress. The hosted solution offers all the features that the stand-alone version possesses, with the exception of a few options.

OIOpublisher Marketplace

While the idea of selling your own reviews and text links and keeping all the money for yourself sounds great, in real life it doesn’t work this way. Most blogs can’t sell their own ads because they don’t have the traffic level it takes to do that. ReviewMe and Text Link Ads are successful because they provide a marketplace for their publishers and advertisers to get together.

The OIOpublisher Marketplace is currently the weakest part of OIOpublisher since the service is brand new and there isn’t many publishers listed. Simon’s success with this project is pretty much tied to the success of the marketplace. He needs to get a lot of publishers signed up in order to attract the advertisers.

OIOpublisher makes no commission from sales resulting from the marketplace. Advertisers buying from the marketplace buys direct from the publisher via the WordPress plugin. So how does the service make money? OIOpublisher charges a fee of $19.95 per month to get a feature listing in the marketplace. All publishers signing up to the marketplace get the first month listing for free. If you write a review of OIOpublisher, Simon will give you an additional three months of free listing. That should be enough for you to test out the service.

You do not need to be listed in the marketplace in order to use the plugin. However, since the listing is free for the first few months and no commission is taken from sales resulting from a marketplace listing, I don’t see any reason not to list your blog. At the very least, you get a free backlink.

Best Review Gets $200

Not only will you get three more months of listing when you write a review about OIOpublisher, but your review will be entered into their promo contest. The prizes range from a free listing for a year to $200 in cash. It’s a pretty good method to increase exposure and sign ups to the service.

Make Money Online with OIOpublisher

OIOpublisher has an affiliate program that pays you 20% of any marketplace listing purchase. This is not a one time commission either. Every time your referrals makes a purchase at the Marketplace, or renews a purchase, you get 20% of that purchase. That could result in some nice passive income potential. To sign up for the affiliate program, all you have to do is sign up for a free OIOpublisher account. You will need to get an account in order to download the plugin.

Marketing Partners Wanted

OIOpublisher is looking for a marketing partner to help spread the word about the many benefits of the system. If you think you have what it takes to effectively market a site like this, get in contact with them.

The role will include everything from on site optimization to increase usability and brand awareness, to making sure that as many bloggers as possible know about the the site. Anyone accepted for the role will get a (negotiable) fixed share of profits generated from marketplace listings. You will need to present strong evidence of past success, which you can email to them via the contact form.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with what Simon Emery has been able to produced. Not only is his plugin the best I’ve seen to date, but he has a very good understanding of marketing. I expect the marketplace to have hundreds of blogs in the next few days. Who knows, OIOpublisher may actually give ReviewMe a run for their money.

Sign up for OIOpublisher Direct

*Update – Any publisher signing up in the first 30 day will get a free feature listing for life. After the 30 day promotion period, a listing will cost $10 for six months.

86 thoughts on “Selling Your Own Reviews & Text Links with OIOpublisher”

  1. Steven says:

    Wow, awesome plug

    1. Agreed, this was definitely MUCH needed!

    2. Awesome plug indeed!

      I love taking away the power of middlemen. Then again, middlemen screams opportunity to get rid of them.

      1. mason says:

        i don’t think middlemen will ever disappear. just gotta find a new way to get around this.

        1. That’s true. Where there is sellers and byers there will always exist middlemen.

    3. mahdi yusuf says:

      true that! i will wait to it becomes popular to join up!

  2. Thats a great news. Sounds promising, will give a look. Thanks John.

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      Did you try it out?

      If so how did you find it…

  3. Maridia says:

    Ooooh, very nice! I had heard a lot about the other two but nothing until now about OIO.

  4. DealQueen says:

    Hopefully they will make me some much needed extra shopping cash! 😮

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      Feel free to spread it around if it happens 😉

  5. shman says:

    Great plugin 🙂

  6. Simon says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for doing the review, and for such a positive one. Money well spent from my point of view. 🙂

    To anyone who does signup and check it out, since it is new, I’m very keen to get any and all feedback I can, so please don’t hold back from letting me know what you think. If anything is lacking (ie. other sales options) or not working as it should be, I want to be able to address the issues quickly and keep on top of them.

    1. One question I have is whether we’d be breaking Text Link Ads’ terms of service by using this plugin in conjunction with theirs? I thought I remembered seeing something about competing services or something?

      Very nice looking plugin either way and I will definitely participate in the review part of it.

      1. Steven says:

        I am curious on this part too but I think a plugin versus using another service should be considered two different things. Afterall you’re selling direct with the plugin and not using a competitor’s service so I find it hard for TLA to argue that you are violating some kind of TOS.

        1. You would be competing for advertisers that TLA would view as competition because you are now in the same business that TLA is in and you’re in it 100% on the take thus TLA might just go MAFIA on your ass.

          1. Steven says:

            LOL… I love how you said “MAFIA on your ass”… Classic!

    2. Perfume Dude says:

      Nice work Simon! Love the plug in.

      Power to the people…stick it to the man…and so on:)

  7. Nick says:

    Johns right… it pays to try out more than one payout method.. I relied only on Adsense, what a mistake… signing up for text link ads will only had more cash flow to your site

    1. Unless somebody snitches on you and you end up getting a slap from Google for selling links and lose some rankings and traffic.

  8. Leroy Brown says:

    A review like that from JC is guaranteed to get OIO off to an amazing start. I’ve seen some ugly JC reviews, but this is probably the best yet. I’ve already signed up and downloaded the plugin.

    1. Perfume Dude says:

      Agreed Leroy. I’d imagine the OIO team are going to see a very nice return of investment by using JC’s services.

  9. KingJacob says:

    Very Nice, why pay 127 when you can pay 0? Plus a 20% affiliate program is alot better for everyone than WP text ads non existant affiliate program. 😉

    1. Geedos says:

      Yeah suddenly some of the other options look very expensive! 😯

  10. The efficiency of the internet ensures that a 50% revenue share would never last. I expect that if OIO doesn’t give ReviewMe a run, some other service will come along that can.

    1. Yeah, SponsoredReviews only takes 35%. I’d suspect a startup company could do quite well entering the market with a 20% fee or something like that. The key would be to get the critical number of advertisers behind you.

  11. WOW that is a crazy sick program!

  12. Alex Shalman says:

    I’ve already signed up and setting up the plugin. Can’t wait to give this a shot.

  13. Wow, great plug-in John. Good find.

    1. It wasn’t a find there, genius, it was a ReviewMe Review. RTFP 🙄

  14. dcr says:

    I am definitely checking this one out later tonight (after dinner). Food comes first! 😉

  15. I wish someone would make a plugin so we could put ads on our blogs like does… only we would get 100% of the commission.

    If anyone out there makes a plugin like that, let me know.. I’d pay for it!

  16. Another thing I’d like to add – if someone did make a competitor/wordpress plugin, perhaps they could make revenue by having a centralized site where you can list publishers looking for advertisers and vice versa.

    I have this on my “to do” list but don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it.

  17. I was actually talking with ‘John Cow’ about this and mentioned that with Review Me’s high rates, it opens the door for someone to come in and do it much cheaper and better. I didn’t expect it to be that you keep 100% of the commission.

    Great Plugin, I will test it out soon

  18. Thomas says:

    Hey I don’t need plugins I need advertisers 😛

  19. I have set it up on my blog. If anyone wants to see the plugin you can see it on the sidebar under the ReviewMe image.

    The problem is, you cant edit the Widget text! I think that if this doesnt become an option I will most likely uninstall the widget and just use my own style instead (link to the contact form)

    Reason being: A) Straight linkback to the site, without my affiliate link or even giving me the option not to and B) boring text that very few would bother to click 😯

    1. Geedos says:

      I have to admit it doesn’t look particularly pretty.

      Simon seems open to suggestions and feedback though so this may be something he considers for the future.

  20. Simon,
    Can I suggest that you allow the Widgets content on the sideBar to be edited so we can make it more ‘appealing’ and have our personal touch to the text on the right?

  21. Diiego says:

    hi john!
    could you please help me a bit and tell me what plugin is this:

    1 (5 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)


  22. Geedos says:

    There’s definitely a gap in the market for this so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes – feedback on this blog so far seems to be very positive.

    John’s review gave it a resounding thumbs up.

  23. flexy says:

    sounds like an awesome plug in.I am definately gonna implement it. See wierdly enough, the way my blog is set up its hard for me to do reviews, you have to see to understand. check it out. i can implement text ads though. unfortunate for me this will short cut my future earnings. great review John for a great plug in.

  24. Eric says:

    I have worked with Simon for about two years – he is an incredible individual – highly motivated – smart – creative. I am glad John sees the value in Simon’s offering – hopefully this review will get OIOpublisher the attention is deserves. Great job Simon!

    1. Glen Allsopp says:

      I would have to agree although I don’t know the guy. Seems like a lot of time, thought and effort have gone into this 🙂

  25. If you’re standing 20 feet above on the diving platform you’re only there on that diving board for only one reason: to take the plunge.

    Yep doing the OIO thingy is a better decision to take based strictly on financial grounds. You can definitely lure lower PR ranked website owners to buy text links from you at 75% the cost of a TLA text link effectively marginalising the market for TLA and others.

    In respect of acquisition rate and the time and expense it would take to set and promote your own text link and review service for the forseeable future sticking with the old guard would alleviate the extra work of getting customers for the time being on your own as the marketplace over at OIO is not yet buzzing with advertisers activity.

    However, in the medium term where in the event the advertisers come to the marketers in their numbers the most effective strategy would have to be setting up a premium account in the OIO directory as it makes no sense you cry out pick me! pick me! from a FFA directory and that will set you back $19.95 per month or $0.60 dollars less $240.00 for running a year’s listing.

    The other option of $127.00 WP Text Ad service (which i’ve reliably has flipped over, belly up somewhere in the “Deas Seas”)is six (6)months equivalent of the OIO oppportunity and the decision here would be $127.00 now or $120.00 over six months – I’ve given you the management accounting perspective the decision is now yours.

    Conclusion: If OIO Publushers continue to acquire exposure to the market a la “John Chow dot Com” review (Hey John I’m gonna request a review from you under the condition that you review my blog as the first review for the new year 2008 and I will offer to pay you $1200.00 through the OIO interface – have a think and get back to me)… Oh, back to my conclusion, more exposure will give the needed momentum to make the OIO option work and I believe these guys got it in the bag already.

    Heck! I’m only a financial wizard. 😈 😆 ❗

    1. Softsled says:

      I have no idea what the hell you just said, but you can put some words together 😀 .

  26. Thiru says:

    Oh gosh, is these plug-ins only for WP? Bugger, I should start a blog or transfer mine to WP soon. 😳

    1. John Chow says:

      If you don’t have WordPress, you can use the hosted solution.

      1. Softsled says:

        When you use the plugin do the links automatically appear or is there a manual insertion.? (I just said manual insertion 💡 .) Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

        Also, is there an option to deny an advertiser if you don’t approve of their ad?

        Heck! I’m only a financial wizard. ❓

        1. Softsled says:

          I am of course referring to text link type ads.

        2. John Chow says:

          The Plugin allows for total control on which links to run and which to reject.

      2. WordPress always the best blog sofware

  27. mason says:

    yet again another great service. If only I had a big enough blog to advertise with lol.

  28. Great tool! Must check it out…

  29. SeoVibe says:

    2 things.

    #1-if you opt to accept links strongly consider adding nofollow, Matt Cutts has talked about removing the PR giving ability from blogs that cross lines with selling links. (Seeing PR but not knowing if the PR can flow through ANY link from the site is sneaky google).

    #2-Buying posts and links is getting out of hand, how long before blogs in general get knocked down a few notches in serps? Regular websites seem to behave more than blogs do right now.

    1. April says:

      Well I used to be scared of that too but I see so many bloggers promoting selling links I’ve decided that “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

      This is a good article about buying links…


  30. crapola says:

    John Do you know that your Readers who read your articles and post comments here have Rel=”NoFollow” on all their links.
    Where is the decency in that? Your readers participation in your blog and posting comments with there link don’t mean jack!

    1. John Chow says:

      Comments has always been rel=”NoFollow”. The top commentator list has nofollow removed.

  31. Glen Allsopp says:

    Anyone else tried this out?

  32. Simon says:

    I know the whole pricing issue is still a little uncertain, so I’d like to remedy that. I’ve put a post up on the site blog that I’d like some feedback on.

    It basically sets out 3 options for pricing in the future. It’s important simply because I may not have been clear enough on the issue initially, and the option chosen will affect how the site is structured.

    I also noticed the above comment about the finances of the whole thing, and the other potential costs involved when compared to other services. The one area I agree most with (having built everything) is the FFA marketplace situation. I am thinking of ways to better match publishers and advertisers, so that people won’t have to buy a featured listing just to get any exposure.

  33. April says:

    Just installed it on one of my blogs. This is what I think so far.

    Would like more flexibility in terms of “Link Purchase Duration”. At the moment you can only add in one figure. I would like to offer people price breaks eg

    1 month – $10
    3 months – $20
    6 months – $35

    Some links (for instance incontext) I would like to be permanent, whereas blogroll links would be per month.

    Other than that, I think it’s a really good start.

    1. Simon says:

      I’ll keep that in mind for the next version.

  34. sandossu says:

    Great plugin, i should try it.

  35. RobMalon says:

    If OIOpublisher aims to get this off the ground, they might want to support versions of wordpress from as far back as 1.5. Right now its only 2.1 and up. I like the idea. One of my projects right now is a script that does this sort of thing for my own websites (not my blog) and minus the marketplace. However it could be implimented into the blog later via an includes in the sidebar rather then a typical plugin.

    1. Simon says:

      Possible, but it would depend on requests. The minimum version is 2.1 because of the cron feature for link expiries. It will run on 2.0+ but won’t automatically expire links without use of wp-cron.

  36. Alex Choo says:

    Thanks John, for the heads up:)

    As the developer of WP Text Ads, I’d like to point out that your description of WP Text Ads is misleading. WP Text Ads can be used for free. The $127 one-time license fee is paid to remove the limitations on links. If a blogger does not earn enough, then he can use the free version for as long as he likes 🙂

    Simon, John mentioned that the regular listing for the OIOpublisher Marketplace is free. But I checked the FAQ, and this is all I found:

    “Submissions to our marketplace (not required) will cost you a small monthly or yearly fee.”

    Can you point out the source of the free regular listings?

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Simon says:

      Hi Alex,

      I’ve got a blog post up about that (see the site, or a few comments up), with some user feedback coming in. The system was set up to allow for 30 days free trial (the period we are in now) and then listings would require a small monthly fee. That’s what it says on the FAQ pages, the promo page, and the about page.

      What I failed to do was put that on the submit page, which seems to have caused a lack of clarity. My fault for not thinking to put it there (developer’s cyndrome!), but the blog post actually looks at all the possible options as a way forward.

      Over the next few days I’ll be bringing out some draft proposals to address the whole situation, but sufficed to say, anyone who submits anything within the first 30 days will get access to everything for free, and marketplace listings won’t become a primary source of revenue (at most a small yearly fee for those who signup after the trial period).

      The issue has actually got me thinking about other ways to generate revenue, whilst still keeping regular listings free.

  37. Morton Gambit says:

    Is this a paid review? If so, shouldn’t there be a real disclaimer – not a “quickie” hidden line in the first paragraph that the average reader probably won’t even understand?

    1. John Chow says:

      We don’t get average readers here. If you understood it, then believe me, everyone else did too.

    2. um… what part of “ReviewMe reviews like this one” did you find difficult to understand? When you combine that with the fact that it’s placed in the ReveiwMe Review category, I think most intelligent people could figure it out. 🙄

    3. “Is this a paid review?” Duh.

  38. Chris Howard says:

    Great Information!!!

  39. Simon says:

    To clear up the pricing “issue” once and for all, I’ve updated the FAQs and submission page to reflect the fact that all submissions made within the 30 day promotional period will be free for life. That includes anyone who has already made a submission.

    After that, submissions will cost $10 every 6 months. Hope that clears everything up. 🙂

  40. Looks better than TLA. They take 50%, it’s ridiculous.

  41. Alex Choo says:


    Thanks for clarifying 🙂


  42. John Bennett says:

    I tried to install this plugin but was having a few problems. Anyone else have any luck or difficulty after install getting it to actually work? Maybe I’m just slow…

  43. I have emailed simon about the changes I would like to see. Lets hope they happen! 🙂

  44. I still think using ReviewMe helps because the do provide a service: They channel the customers to you. If you have enough visitors, I guess you could go with this plugin.

  45. Sunnye says:

    Is this a tool mainly for people who already have lots of traffic?

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