Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Feeding the Beast - making blogging pay without selling your soul.
On the off chance that you noticed at all, it's possible you saw a three month trial of an ad network come and go, followed by the appearance of PayPerPost blogging as an alternate. The practicalities of various revenue schemes - like keyword advertising - require that I focus a great deal of time "optimizing" my content to maximize the exposure of lucrative keywords, or in the case of Google Adwords, agreeing to never talk about Certain Things Which May Scantalize Our Traffic. Then there are the various BlogAd networks - which in practice require an invitation from other boggers and therefore, the implied pressure to conform to a general editorial slant IRT various issues.
And of course, there's the whole traffic thing. In order to make any decent money with any of these schemes, you must have a GREAT deal of traffic. Now, I want a great deal of traffic, but it would be nice if the traffic found something other than a tourist trap, nich wahr? Worse yet, SEO and traffic can become a full time job in themselves, leaving little room for doing what you intended to do in the first place.
That's why I decided to leap on board with PayPerPost, which - oddly enough - pays me to post. And that means I can pick opportunities that appeal to me as a blogger and which will not clash with my blog or conflict with my personal ethics. (You will not see me talking up Payday Loans on this blog... I'm not a big fan of either wholesale or retail usury. )
But I have no problem selling my wordsmithing services when it doesn't require suspension of editorial discretion.
But WAIT! There's MORE!
Sorry, I couldn't resist. There really is more, and this "more" is something that will appeal to a lot of bloggers who might feel iffy about the original issue.
Between application and validation, they came up with a whole new way for me to make money - by creating a simple system where I can negotiate directly with potential advertisers to write about something they feel I would be suited perfectly to speak about.
Now, it's not a unique idea - there are other such firms out this, but PayPerPost does this with lower margins and in a way that ensures the security and satisfaction of both parties.
Where competitors like ReviewMe charge 50-100% markup and keep up to half your money, PPP Direct only charges a 10% fee, 5% of which goes to transaction fees for PayPal and credit card processing.
PPP Direct is in many ways even less of a threat to your journalistic integrity than the ordinary PPP "menu" of opportunities, which is a whole range of offers conditional upon blog rating, google rank, blog platform and so much more. It's quite possible that there will be no opportunity that moves you that will be available to you - though probably there will be tomorrow.
PPP Direct is more - well - direct. It allows your readers the opportunity to get you to talk about the things they KNOW you for. And the PayPerPost code of conduct requires that I clearly label my post as an Advertisement. With other "Adword Optimized" sites, you really cannot be sure how much of the text is there solely to get you to read the advertisement and how much compromise has been made to a blogger's standards in order to keep the dollars rollng in. I doubt that the bloggers themselves know - but the effect is pretty clear in some areas; consider how consistant the voices are from members of "Pajamas Media."
Check out the details here:
Watch the overview video:
One of the best tutorial vids I've seen in some time, with particular emphasis on the negotiation process.
See it live in action
As Andy Beard and a client use the system to work together on the client's SEO needs, and "showing the work" as valuable content while disclosing that he was, indeed, paid. Rather a lot, I hope. Certainly more than the ten bucks I'm getting for writing this.
This is a great opportunity for bloggers with powerful expertise in a niche area to actually be paid for using that expertise while having the safety and security of an escrow-like service that ensures performance and satisfaction. In regard to this, I cannot help but think of the number of times Echidne of the Snakes has performed powerful and insightful rituals dismissing and debunking the fraudulent usages of the Holy Knowledge of Statistics by various Right Wing talking heads, and I will be sending this to her.
Why don't you pass this on to the various bloggers you know who might just benefit, in lieu of hitting that "tip jar" that you (as a statistical entity) almost never fill in any case. And if you'd like to benefit - well just hit that red bar just below this post and the enlightenment will unfold in front of you.
This New Media cannot long sustain it's refreshing independence without some means of paying the rent. This is ethical, transparent, and I think less annoying than blinking context-driven advertisements. Comments are open, please let me know your opinion on the matter.
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