Blog Whoring

March 29, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Stuff I Found 511 views

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I’m always fascinated by the new and creative ways that people think up to make money on the internet. A week or two ago, I found myself looking for ways to better my PageRank. For those of you who don’t know, PageRank is a number from 0 to 9 assigned by Google to every website. The higher your PageRank, the more of an “expert” you are considered and the higher you will appear on the search results and the more traffic you will get. The way you get more PageRank is by getting other websites to link to you. I don’t remember why I started looking, but I found some blog cataloging sites, like blogcatalog.com, for instance, that are basically like a phonebook of blogs, with a dash of social networking thrown in. And from there, I got sucked into the depressingly lonely narcissism of nominating my own blog for the Blogger’s Choice Awards, knowing full well that the only votes I’d receive would be my own. Sigh…

But my third major stop in my descent into the red light district of blogging was PayPerPost.com (some of you may have noticed this square in the sidebar). And this is the one that really struck me as clever. Most internet surfers are pretty attuned to what is advertising and what is not. We all recognize Google Adwords ads and flashy banners, and know that it’s advertising. Not so much with blog posts.

What if I wrote a four-paragraph blog post about how I bought the BEST NOODLES EVER from this new site called Mhnaty.com. A lot of my regular readers would click on the link and go check out the site. Some might even order some noodles, because, as friends, they respect my opinion. But regular readers are just a small piece of the pie, I think. The real value is in internet searchers that are putting words like BEST NOODLES EVER into Google, or someone that already knows that Mhnaty.com is a noodle wholesaler, but is looking for more information about them before making a purchase. Someone like that could really be influenced by my blog post saying how fantastic the noodles are over at Mhnaty.com.

The problem is: How do potential advertisers get average Joe Bloggers like myself to write a post about their product? The solution is PayPerPost.com. Advertisers log into the site and create what are called “opportunities”. An opportunity is basically an offer of “We will pay $X to anyone who writes a positive post with at least N words about our website and products,” where typical values of X and N are $10 and 100 words. But the really clever thing, in my opinion, is that the advertiser can specify “Only allow bloggers with at least a PageRank of N”. This makes so much sense! If I’m advertising my business, a blog entry on Engadget.com (PR=7) is obviously worth a lot more to me than a post on Hubbers.com (PR=2).

What PayPerPost.com has done is harness this more-or-less trusted abundant resource of user-generated internet content as a source of advertising revenue. Think about it, if you’re at a party and you overhear someone you don’t know telling his friends about how great the noodles are from Mhnaty.com, you’re probably not going to stop and wonder if Mhnaty, Inc. is paying him to spread these opinions, you’re probably going to accept it as true. And then the positive subliminal seed is sown, so the next time you stumble upon Mhnaty.com, you’ll remember that you’ve heard somewhere that their noodles are pretty good, but you might not know why.

But wait! There’s more! If you order in the next five minutes… They’ve also got this “Review My Post” system in place that rewards building connections between PayPerPost bloggers. The idea is that, if you click the “Review My Post” button at the bottom of one of my blog entries, you sign up with PayPerPost.com, submit your blog for approval, and then write a post about how awesome mediocre deplorable a post on my blog was. They pay us both $7.50. My share is for getting another schmuck to sign up with them and your share is for directing your traffic to my PayPerPost-enabled blog. Pretty clever, huh?

I’m going to try a few paid posts just to get a feel for the system and participate in it a bit. I probably won’t do many, because it feels dirty and shameful. Hence the title of this post.

So anyway…to my regular readers… If you see a post here about a fantastic new real estate agency serving the greater Oklahoma City area, you’ll know that it’s not because I’ve lost my last marble.

 
  • http://www.antisatanic.blogspot.com arun kamath

    What da ya think about google slapping payperpost bloggers.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

    How so, arun? I haven’t heard of that. (I’m very new to this)

    It makes sense, though. Google’s often one step ahead of people trying to best the PageRank system.

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

    Found some links.

    PayPerPost Bloggers Get Slammed By Google
    PayPerPost Fights Back Against Google
    PayPerPost Users Freaking Out Over Google PageRank Nuke

    Very, very interesting. In that case, maybe I won’t do this. Thanks for that, arun.

  • http://letterstosg.com Lance

    I used to run a blog with a toolbar page rank of 5 — not exactly “weather.com”, but respectable nonetheless. It’s not like the money was rolling in. (What did come in came through blogads, as we eventually pulled Google’s ads because the income wasn’t worth the screen real estate.) There’s room to optimize the site’s ad practices, but I doubt that would put the site over $6,000 or $7,000 a year in ad revenue, which is minimum wage for a 28-hour per week job (assuming two weekly days of rest and two weeks of vacation).

    I put that kind of time into it when I ran the site mostly solo, and I’m sure that the group running it now puts in at least that much time altogether.

    Mileage will vary, but I’ll hazard a guess that you’d need to enter the top 5% of bloggers in your field before making anything near what the time you spend blogging is worth.

  • http://www.isoglossia.com sgazzetti

    I had heard about that, too. Not long ago I came across a similar post by a guy who, like you, just wanted to do it a few times, kind of ironically, kind of just to see what it was all about. After just a little while, Google dropped his page rank and the “opportunities” dried up. I don’t think it’s something you want to get involved with.

    But I have heard that the noodles from MHNATY are indeed the BEST NOODLES EVER.

  • michael

    we have a person on staff full time writing blog posts now. definitely talk to james and john about this.

  • http://www.antisatanic.blogspot.com arun kamath

    Well I have joined two sites which don’t require to disclose that you are being paid to write. smorty and
    http://www.buyblogreviews.com/welcome.php?id=221001

  • http://www.erik-rasmussen.com/ Erik R.

    Interesting. Well it looks like I won’t be doing this after all. My curiosity in participating isn’t worth risking offending the Big G that watches over us.

    I’m glad I ran this by you guys. Thanks for your input.