All About Content

Pay Per Shill

Posted by Melanie Phung on Saturday, July 8, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Nevermind the whole business of pitching your company’s press release to a blogger and crossing your fingers for a mention and an open dialogue about your story. A new service called Pay Per Post is starting an online marketplace to connect advertisers with bloggers looking to get paid for company-sponsored blog entries.

The pitch to advertisers is this: “Create buzz, build traffic, gain link backs for search engine ranking, syndicate content and much more. You provide the topic, our network of bloggers create the stories and post them on their individual blogs.”

Bloggers on the network will be able to go through “opportunities” like they might RFPs and pick what they are willing to do on their site. As a blogger, you then “create a post on your blog, paying attention to the Opportunity requirements the advertiser has set forth. Then submit the direct link back to us. Our team will review the content and either approve or deny the post.”

After Pay Per Post ensures the requirements have been met, money is taken out of the advertiser’s escrow account to pay the shill blogger for the posting.

As you can imagine, some people are outraged, especially since there does not appear to be any requirement for disclosing that these postings are in fact advertisements. The current issue of Business Week magazine even has a story called Polluting the Blogosphere which warns of a backlash.

Ted Murphy, Pay Per Post’s founder and the company’s blogger this weekend responded proudly: “I am meeting with a few different private equity groups next week to help blow this thing out. I am wondering if all this buzz and controversy is going to be a good thing or a bad thing. I guess the important thing to them is we are making money…”

Well, at least he’s being honest – let’s see if the paid bloggers will end up following his lead.

Comments (3)

Category: Blogging,Monetizing,Navel-Gazing,Paid Content


Comment by fabian trudewau

Made Sunday, 9 of July , 2006 at 5:11 pm

It’s a clever way of promoting products to kids and young adults who are in general more net savvy and/or bloggers themselve. However, if the blogs are devoid of truth, it will become unethical; and in the long run, the “pollution of blogosphere” will hurt the online advertisement.

Comment by werner schuhmacher

Made Sunday, 9 of July , 2006 at 5:35 pm

It’s sad that this low form of paid advertising, which borders at “cheating”, will receive VC interests and fundings. It is sad that the old offline media such as newspapers, TV and radio broadcasting are suffering financially because advertisers believe the new online ads (through search engines and blogs) are more effective in attracting young adults’ eyeballs.

It is sad that our modern society “respect” successful entrepreneurs whose goals in life are to make money employing all means (incl. distortion of truth). I believe that the sincere words of mouth approach is still the best way of promoting one’s products.

In Europe, public TV and radio broadcastings are financed through subscription fees. In France, the retail store will registrate the consumer’s name and address at the time of purchase of a TV and radio. In Germany, the monthly subscription fee depends on the number of TV and radio sets existing in a household (Car radios are counted too). The paid service guarantees the objectivity of news. Au contraire, in the US, TV and radio stations are mainly financed by advertisers. The profit motive forces them to deliver “popular” news such as privacy of celebrities instead of international and domestic political and environmental issues. And now, the online entrepreneurs want to “fake” popularity of products in order to make money. How low will our society sink?

Comment by Leslie Nguyen

Made Friday, 14 of July , 2006 at 12:36 am

Werner is naive in believing that paid subscription guarantees objectivity of news in radio and TV. A radio or TV station is as objective as the opinion of its team of editors. Therefore, there is no difference whether a TV station receives its main budget from paid subscription or from advertisement revenues. Basically, European and American media share the same business strategy, namely use all means to attract viewers in order to increase revenues. Advertisers pay for eyeballs; if blogs attract readers, advertisers will venture online.

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