Writing or Buying Paid Posts

Writing paid posts

Do you blog? Do you sell paid posts or sponsored reviews? If the answer is yes and you want to get top line dollars for your blog posts then here is a little message for you.

STOP WRITING ABOUT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. PLEASE LINK OUT TO OTHER STUFF WHEN YOU WRITE!

I looked at a few blogs last week that offered paid reviews. There was a disturbingly typical pattern that occured over and over and over.

If you look at a typical blog post (by that I mean a blog that doesn’t do the paid post thing)  you’ll often find that a person might link out to a variety of sources. They’ll point to this domain or that domain to add weight to a point. Sometimes they might not even link out at all, sometimes they’ll write the piece as if they actually cared, they’ll inject a little passion, a little enthusiasm for their muse, they’ll write with a little panache a little style and verve, they’ll add something different to the mix, at least the good ones will.

What am I saying here? I’m saying that on the whole, a lot of the blogs out there writing for profit simply aren’t making a big enough effort! Ok, so yes, a lot of the people purchasing such posts are doing so because of the value they get for the keywords they target. It’s a big reason behind why some search engines come out so publicly against the things. They like us to believe that paid posts harm relevancy. They formulate arguments and show examples of poor quality posts that purport to review important topics and say that they harm the user experience. The odd thing about such a claim is of course that the opposite is true. People using these services do so because they have a real world product that is spot on and laser targetted to the market that they serve, the bloggers who write about their products don’t end up ranking for them in the SERPs either, the products that they write about do. I’ve written about such things in the past already but never really expounded on the topic itself but as its Sunday and Ive got an hour or so before I pick my son up, then heck, why not.

Good blogs versus bad blogs

There are good blogs and bad blogs – I’ll focus on the bad type and tell it like it is. If you have a blog and you are looking to monetise it via some kind of paid post or review route then you really have to start looking at it from the angle of a potential advertiser. You have to convince the prospective customer that what you are going to write is going to stand the tests of time.

Off putting flags from a buyer perspective

  • If your blog is plastered with badges and words that say “I SELL LINKS” in twenty five foot neon lettering then that really is not good – Do not stand on street corners shouting, hey officer of the law, I have a Bren gun under my coat and I’m going to shoot yo ass with it! Cos, you’ll just get busted.
  • If you have a blog in a particular niche, say Computing or Floristry and your home page is littered with posts about phentermine, cialis, online gambling, hotels in timbukfarkintu, then it’s going to look a little crappy, it’s going to shout out “LOW QUALITY” – By selling out to the highest bidder you’ll ultimately lower your value to advertisers. When a search engine cop stops by, they’ll instantly see your blog for what it is and kick you up the hiney. If you really must chase every vertical, then go and set up a few other blogs instead. Don’t ruin what you’ve built up over the years for that quick fast buck.
  • Do not have a one or two post blog home page where your posts stay on the home page for one or two days only – Keep your home page long, output 10 or 15 blog posts on your homepage, snippetise them and ensure that a link to your advertiser appears amongst them. Advertisers want to get maximum exposure for their money. By maximising the time that your review stays on the front page, you are increasing the attractiveness of your offering.
  • Crap crap posts. The anti paid post camp like to point to instances of low quality stuff. They love to point out how awful some of the stuff that’s out there is. It makes their whole PR job that much easier. Do yourself and the advertiser a favour. Write the post like you would any other. Say it like it means something to you, if it doesn’t then maybe you ought to consider why the hell it is you are writing about it. If you simply say ooh company x is really cool and they do this wonderful keyword product, then people are going to see through it. Be inventive, be imaginative, make an effort.
  • Don’t be an idiot. If you use a brokerage service to advertise your blog, then please please please, don’t say high quality pagerank n blog in your blog title or description. It really doesn’t help and sticks out like a plasma tv in ancient Rome. Don’t make the job of those looking to hurt you any easier that it already may be.
  • Terrible terrible english – Some people write the most awful blithering nonsense full of typographical and the most basic of grammatical errors. I appreciate that for some people, especially those in emergent economies that $10 for 20 or 30 minutes work can seem very appealing, but do know this, to some, it’s a reason not to purchase. If english isn’t your mother tongue and you know it’s a little rusty then take a little time to ask a native english speaker to run your work over once finished, it’ll pay dividends long term.
  • Nofollow – I don’t need to say much on this. If you blog and your post links are nofollow, then the level of interest in your offering will speak for itself. Nuff said.

It’s not only the bloggers of course, they need help from the advertisers and the brokerage services too. Whilst it’s not for me to teach snakes how to suck eggs and all that, I do nonetheless have an opinion or two on the topic built up on the back of having to work with and sift through a platform or two.

Advertisers

  • Write good adverts – Inspire your bloggers with your creatives. Think about the type of blog posts you want to see for your products or clients. Help your bloggers by giving them ideas or examples.
  • Be flexible – Give your bloggers options. Let them link out liberally, instruct them too even. Tell them to cite other sources than your own. Get them to link to wiki’s or Y! answers other companies even. You want your post to look as natural as you can get it. Get away from that bog standard approach. Be creative for your brand and your products. Deep link and vary your requirements, chase that long tail , take a long view.
  • Create more opportunities – Don’t just write one advert and be done with it. Write lots of different ones and vary your requirements. Mix it all up . By doing so you will get a whole lot more diversity. You might have to spend a little more to get what you need, but in the long term, it’ll pay.
  • Innovate -use your noodles, lower your costs and deliver more effective solutions. Consider  combining your efforts with other themed advertisers. Build relationships with  advertisers and quality bloggers, employ them directly, use them to help build new content and projects. Break out.

Brokerage services

  • Educate – Your bloggers are the lifeblood of your service. Some of you just don’t do enough to educate those who are contributing to your bottom line. If they aren’t kept abreast of changes and policies and shifts in the market place, then it’s going to affect the perception of your product. If you want the continued patronage of agencies and big spend clients then you really must step up to the plate and deliver more on this.
  • Incentivise – Reward quality posts, quietly behind the scenes. If blogger x writes above and beyond the call of duty then reward them. Just because Johnny bloggo writes 10 posts per day and earns you x profit doesn’t necessarily mean he is doing a good job. Encourage quality, weaken the arguments of those who would see you destroyed.
  • Innovate – Keep on innovating, don’t stay still. One brokerage service I know of offers a fantastic sub product that is very popular and very powerful, products like this are an immense asset in competitive webmastering, please deliver more of these.
  • Build trust in your products. Give us the option to trust in what you say, evaluate your bloggers and what they write, tell us who they are, what they do, yet controversially perhaps, do so in a way that masks their identities. Too many bloggers are getting caught up in unfriendly fire. It needn’t be so, be inventive with your platforms and deliver.

I’m sure there are more, but you get the general gist. If you want to make paid blogging attractive and want to build a quality resource then be smart about it, it’s a big cake we can all have our equal share. The internet doesn’t exist to benefit those who just happen to have found a way to make good money from it. It’s there for the little guy too. Let’s not forget that fact.

Have a great day!

Rob Watts
Kickstart your business today - Get an SEO Consultation or just talk to Rob about your online aspirations. With over 20 years experience in building traffic he's pretty much encountered most markets and scenarios
Posted on: 27th January 2008, by : Rob Watts

22 thoughts on “Writing or Buying Paid Posts

  1. I have to agree with you on this whole article, it is well written. Blogs started out as the platform for the individual, and I understand monetizing to some degree for some extra dough. But anytime a way is discovered to make money it gets abused to the point of no return. I do not blame Google for smacking down bad blogs, it is a shame some very good ones went down in the process, but it would have been hard to sift through good and bad. Hopefully those that were abusing the system will leave now that the hayday is over, and those that really love to blog can get some of their income back and stick to posting some good stuff for us everyday.

  2. I usually find some blogs wherein they are bombarded with different paid articles. I think it normal but I do agree that such type of advertising should be patterned to kind of blog you are into. It would be much better if such articles be posted in general blogs so it is not to be considered as low quality blog.

  3. These tips and suggestions are spot on. It’s amazing how many things people do that make their blog stick out. These tips can help many people get reviews from all the right places.

  4. Thanks Jayson, glad you like them.

    @Motivator – Yep this is the thing, those that sell their hiney to all and sundry just make it all look icky.

    @SEO Tracy – I agree, it’s good idea to try and keep such things on page 639 of the steam train philately section 😀

  5. As someone who is new to the blogging scene I have to say that I am enjoying it but I find some of the concepts and practices somewhat foreign to me given my background in running a bricks and mortar shop, then venturing into affiliate marketing by getting customers for other businesses and after 5 years hard work getting to a comfortable state of living then venturing into the blogging world I thought would be interesting from the perspective of developing another business model.

    Having built a considerable business without ever purchasing a link and at max spending a few dollars a day on Google adwords for research rather than traffic purposes I have to say that as a ‘little fellow’ there are numerous ways to earn a living from the web – trouble is that it seems that most people think there is some magic get rich formula whereas the reality is a little hard work and a bit of dedication can get you along way.

    So my take is simple, if you think that what you are buying is worth the money then buy it. If you think what your are selling is worth the money then people will buy it if they think that it is worth it but I guess that are more disappointed buyers than sellers out there! The good sellers will get repeat business based on the quality and effectiveness of what they sell and repeat customers is how you build a solid business.

    BTW I recently purchased Geek Mother and intend to change its direction in due course once I have worked out how this blogging game works.

    Nice blog, bookmarked.

  6. When considering whether or not to contribute or comment on a blog I tend to look to see if there is any genuine dialoge going on between both the writer and readers of the blog.

    I haven’t come across many bloggers with such brilliant opinions that I find myself hanging on their every word so it would be unlikely that I would return time and again if they were the only contributor.

    If I see comments switched off I assume the blog owner is stuck it “Telling” mode and won’t be interested in any dicussion. Likewise, if all comments go unacknowledged or are blandly accepted then there is little likelyhood of a genuine debate breaking out.

    When I see banter between all the parties invoved in a blog AND I like the content then I probably head towards my Bookmarks folder.

  7. I think thats fair criterion for the decision to do so John. I agree, if a blog manages to have a little dialogue going on and is updated at a reasonable rate on topics of interest and isn’t administered by some haughty ass then yes, bookmark/subscribe to feed/email sub etc is exactly what I do too.

    Heh – I chuckled at your ‘brilliant opinions’ point. I could certainly point you in the direction of a few who think they are a cut above everyone else mind! Although, I’m sure you’ve encountered your own fair sure too.

  8. A very good reminder on how paid reviews and paid post is messing up the quality of blog posts. For once I may say money is evil. But of course it is the way the money-driven society work.

    I do feel that when a sponsors give product samples and the blog owner writes a review, I think that is fair game.

  9. I just don’t find that any of the networks are any good. I’ve got to believe G can see when a blog is just full of pay per post.

    Maybe a real broker likes “text links broker” is the way to go. I haven’t even thought of that route.

    But the “pay per post” type networks are just adding garbage to the web from what I can see.

  10. Great tips for Pay for post. I have just been searching information on this and ran across your blog. This is definitely going to help me with my new adventure in making money online. Thanks a lot!

  11. I have blogs that have PR and almost all content is paid posts. I just didn’t look at things like you did. This post made me think.

  12. A penny for your thoughts.. So blogs owners, you already know what’s being expected from you, from now onwards!!

  13. Great points. I had someone write a paid review of my site this week and he put exactly thirty seconds worth of effort into the post. I only paid six bucks, but you get what you pay for! Horrible. I felt ripped off.

  14. Great post thanks for sharing your experience. Just setting up some blogs and looking around for good info. These blogs will be purely paid posts, but paying more than 6 bucks a post. Actually for an Indian blogger 6$ an hour sounds quite ok to me…

  15. Thanks for this great resource. I would like to get my blogs going but I am still in the learning phase. I am also considering to pay for posts and I have no doubt that I will find a good blogger that will give me quality work..

  16. If you want to buy articles be sure to work with a reputable blogger. Unique contents is very important as is the general quality of the work. Don’t try get a cheap job done as you will get crap work.. You always get what you pay for.

  17. Do it yourself is the best way, as we each know our business best, so ensure that the posts are meaningfull as they have the potential of generating far more than link love.

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