New Site Offers to Pay Bloggers Per Post
Posted on July 1, 2006
A blogstorm has erupted about a new service called PayPerPost.com that does just what the name implies: promises to pay bloggers per post for promoting a product or service in a blog post. Some of the current opportunities range from fast loan offers to Spider-Man 3.
Matthew Ingram has a good post that summarizes the events so far. A BusinessWeek article called "Polluting the Blogosphere" first discussed PayPerPost.com. PayPerPost.com now has "As Seen in BusinessWeek" as part of its logo. Here is a little of what BusinessWeek had to say.
Murphy is launching PayPerPost.com, which will automate such hookups between advertisers and bloggers and thus codify a new frontier of product placement. Advertisers pay to post details about their "opportunity," specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they'll pay only for positive mentions. Bloggers who abide by the rules get paid; heavily trafficked blogs may command premium rates. Those seeking to subvert PayPerPost from within can't: No pornographic or "illicit" content is accepted.
Murphy's approach used to be more ad hoc. He made invitations through e-mail via the BlogStar Network, which he started in 2004. BlogStar paid nicely -- a flat fee of $5 or $10 per post. "Easy money...go buy a burger or something," advised a BlogStar invitation from 2005 soliciting posts about cable network TNT's basketball commercials featuring HBO character Ali G. That come-on also told bloggers "we definitely appreciate more positive posts."
TechCruch followed with a critical post called "PayPerPost.com offers to sell your soul." This led to much more criticism of PayPerPost.com. Here are some comments from bloggers which have ranged from negative to indifferent to curious about PayPerPost.com.
- Jason Calacanis: "The currency of blogging is authenticity and trust... you pay folks to blog about a product and you compromise that. I would almost care about this, but it's so obvious to everyone that this is either a joke or an idiot that there is nothing more to say."
- Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 calls it the swift-boating of the blogosphere: "It's the Swift-Boating of the blogosphere. Once you've been slimed, there's nothing you can do to shake it off."
- Rob Hyndman says who cares: "The 'sphere's explosive growth has diluted its much vaunted authenticity, and the proportion of bloggers who reliably speak with unblemished candour is dimishing exponentially (and with it, the number of feeds I follow)."
- Elliot Black: "See, blogging is about personal expression. If I want to blog about Peculiar Blue Dinosaurs, and Pay Per Post will happen to offer me a commission for writing about it, why say no? The only possible moral confusion I see is where the incentive is enough to sway a blogger's opinion about the service, which for a successful, popular blogger is unlikely." In a follow-up post Elliot Black analyzes the comments on Digg and TechCrunch.
- PayPerPost.com CEO Ted Murphy has an "Apparently I am the Devil" post on the PayPerPost blog: "There is quite a discussion going on over at Techcrunch.com about this service. People are all over the board making some very broad generalizations. I have been called just about everything under the sun today. We are just going to go ahead and take the site down. LOL. Never!"
Mark Evans has a good point about there not being a disclosure requirement. Maybe bloggers who use the site will do this on their own. Most complaints about advertising crossing into editorial (whether in print or online) have been when the mention of a product or service is not disclosed as being paid for.