When I first started blogging, I was looking for ways to earn money from my blog. I came across to the concept of paid reviews. A paid review is when you take money for writing about a product, service or a website. Back in 2008 it was so popular and there were a bunch of different websites offering paid review opportunities.
I came across with PayPerPost –which was one of the popular paid review sites. Popular because unlike others, they supported new and smaller blogs to get accepted and earn money online.
Anyways my first paid review was from LinkWorth –another web advertising platform, and they also have paid review options. I wrote my first 200 word sponsored post and it earned me $5. I was excited because it was the first big money I earned online. That website paid me $3.50 for that review when I learned that the earning will be split into 70/30. This means for every dollar I make, linkworth (the marketplace) will take 30% and leave 70% for me.
When I went to PayPerPost (PPP) and created an account they didn’t have this revenue sharing and it allowed me to keep 100% of what I earn from them.
When I signed up for a paid review account, they offered me to write about them for a handsome $20. WOW! I quickly grabbed that opportunity, wrote about them and earned that easy money (See the proof here).
What is a Paid Review?
It is just like a normal blog article but it will be about the product or service that you are reviewing. It’s just like paid advertising but it is for the blogs. You will be publishing this article on your blog for your readers. Each advertiser will have different requirements. Some will want you to write minimum of 300 words about them. Some will ask you to write only positive things about them. Most of these advertisers will require you to link to them.
Why Advertisers Pay to Write for Them?
They pay you to write in order to build buzz and awareness about their product on the internet. When people will search online about them, they will find these blogs talking about these products and these customers will be more likely to purchase it. Back then paid review was heavily done for the sake of google page rank. If you have a high page rank, you can charge more money from the advertisers.
Private Paid Review Opportunities
Over the years advertisers has contacted me directly to write about them. In this way I can keep 100% of the money and can set my own rate when reviewing them. So far I have charged upto $100 for a single sponsored post. If you have a popular blog, you will also get these requests and write paid reviews.
Some Tips for Writing Quality Paid Reviews
1. Do some research and explore
I know it could be tough. Paid review sites give you less time to complete a review so doing a research on the topic is really hard. Explore the website you are reviewing and take a look at their business. What they do, where they are from, how they manage their customers. Take a search on the internet to see what others are saying about them to have more reference.
2. Write it as a natural post
When it comes to a review, most bloggers create nothing more than a sales pitch. Advertisers tell that to create a post like a natural content. Try to write a review as you are writing about google or yahoo search in your blog. You should provide a much valued post even you are getting $5 for that. Please make a note that, a paid post is a part of your blog -so please write a review that is much more valuable as your other posts.
3. Fulfill the requirements
There could be unlimited requirements of an advertiser. The reviews I’ve came across so far are different. Some are filled with many requirements and some are very simple. Every paid post requires a backlink with a special keyword. Add the keyword link in that post. There are many other requirements from each post like one of them was adding a link to their services page. Some advertisers want the main keyword to be added in the title field. Like if the keyword is ‘Job search’, you have to add the word in the title too. Some paid review advertisers want to track the review so they want their reviewer to add a special image link in the post. This way they will know that if the article is still online or not. Some advertisers wants to have more in a paid post like a special image, logo, video or a special disclosure link. You have to add it on your post.
4. Forget about word count and minimum requirements
Advertisers will set the minimum word count of your paid review like 50, 100, 200 or 300 words. You have to forget about the word count and have to write in the way you want. Write a normal review about the product, the key features and everything you want your readers to know. But if you want to be strict and write a review on 50 words, then it won’t be a valuable content. Add value to your post and add images to make the review more interesting. Add additional links if you like.
5. Be personal in your review
Don’t just create a sales pitch or an advertisement. Write a review with your own point of view. Your readers will want to know what you think about this product. Be personal, add personal experiences. Being personal will make the review more appealing to the audience.
6. Focus on your reputation
If you write great quality reviews, your advertiser will love you and they will trust you. Try to build a good reputation on the marketplace to have long term benefits. If you write great articles, they will vote for you and this will help you to get more reviews. There are some review sites which allows you to get vote from the advertiser. One of them was PayPerPost
How to Deal with Rejection
I have done lots of paid reviews for different websites and I loved PPP and it was once my favorite money maker. For this reason, getting rejected for a post was just a common factor in my blogging life. Once I did a paid review and that was a $15 review. After the post, I wrote another ordinary article.
When PPP checked my blog for the review, they thought that the second article is also a paid review. There is a rule of PPP that, you cannot write continuous paid posts. The ratio of paid and original content should be 2:1.
When a article gets rejected by PPP, you will have 3 days to react and re-submit it for another review. But with the email they sent, said that this article is not allowed for another review. I thought myself, its just $15 and forget about it. On the second thought, I think of myself, this is not my fault, so why should I stay away.
Then I contacted their support and submited this ticket,
Subject: Rejected by mistake
Hello PPP, I’m a blogger of this system an writing reviews for a while. Recently you have rejected the sponsored article, “The rejected article title” (Opportunity#XXXXX) from my blogBlogKori.com because of the 2:1 paid post rule.
Your reviewer thought the article before it, “The original article title” -is a paid/sponsored post. But its not a paid post and there is no way I have taken any money for the post.
BlogKori.com is a blog about recent blogging technologies and services. This article is an original article about how to track blog visitors.
I know this may be an unexpected mistake, and you would approve my post for payment. Thanks for reading.
After a few days they approved my article for payment and sent this mail,
We apologize for the inconvenience. Your post has been approved.
So if your article gets rejected by the marketplace, please review it and take necessary actions. If you face any problem, don’t hesitate to contact their support.
The fall of Paid Review Sites
After 2009, paid review sites started to crumble. These marketplaces were heavily used to manipulate search rankings. Google took notice and they started to hit these websites that are buying links. As a result these market places started to shut down. However the top paid review sites that were working with elite list bloggers, still survived. JohnChow.com was one of the top bloggers doing paid reviews and at one point google just completely removed his site from their list. This lasted for a long time, maybe a year and half and later he came back again in google search.
Still active paid review sites,
Bottom line is a paid review is a great way for online earning. It helps a blogger to earn instant cash for writing. Comparing to adsense where they pay pennies (Read about adsense here), you are earning real dollars online and it helps you with the cash flow. So if you are looking for a way to earn money from your blog, start accepting sponsored posts. You can also check this article where I have shared about 10 new online earning opportunities.