All About Content

PayPerPost Segmentation Benefits Advertisers, Bloggers

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 11:33 pm

I’m still working on that (unpaid) review of the various pay per blog services, but in the meantime, PayPerPost is really trying to get the word out about the upgrades they’ve made to their blog marketing service.

The most important update allowed for segmentation — that is to say, for advertisers to narrow down which bloggers could take an ad “opportunity” according to blog topic, Alexa rankings, Google Toolbar PageRank and other criteria.

Unfortunately, the interface was really buggy the first few days after the new release, which is never a good way to launch an upgrade. Advertisers were unable to increase the number of blogs they wanted to recruit for any given ad campaign; bloggers found that their Alexa rankings and Google PR were not adequately reflected in their accounts, so they were excluded from participating in ad campaigns they should have been eligible for.

Luckily nearly all of the major bugs appear to have been ironed out now. And that distraction aside, the upgrade was a good one. Because advertisers now have more control over the quality of sites their “ads” run on, they are willing to pay more for those links. There are some campaigns paying as much as $1,000 per post … if you happen to have an on-topic blog with PR7 or higher.

These higher payouts make paid blogging more attractive to serious bloggers and is probably attracting bigger, more reputable sites that might not have considered PayPerPost as a revenue opportunity (not when they could get $200 at ReviewMe, and the usual payout for PayPerPost pre-segmentation was less than $6).

I’m pretty bullish on PayPerPost (which has nothing to do with this being a paid post – Scout’s Honor!), and if they keep innovating (and keep aggressively reminding participants that disclosure is mandatory) I think the service will continue to attract new bloggers and advertisers.

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Category: Link Building,Monetizing,Paid Content Script Doesn’t Work on Custom Blogger Templates

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Title pretty much says it all. According to Text Link Ads you need to be upgraded to the new version of Blogger for the script to work, but that’s actually not quite true — you need to use the new version of Blogger and use one of their standard templates. If you have an older custom template that you migrated to the new (then-beta) Blogger, you don’t have the option of adding widgets. And the way the script is set up to display the text link ads, you need to add an XML feed to your template via a widget.

I’ve tried creating a separate blog, setting up the ads, and then copying the code into the template for this one; but that doesn’t work because when a widget is created it’s specific to a particular blog id… and I haven’t even been able to find out what the blog id for All About Content is (did old Blogger sites get blog ids?).

It’s probably not that hard, but as a non-programmer, non-coder I’ve hacked this about as much as I can without having to actually rebuild this blog with a new template (and I don’t want to do that!). A reply to my emailed question to the company basically says, “it doesn’t work” (or rather: we don’t support that).

Okay, so I’m done for now. Never mind that idea.

Update: Just discovered some Blogger help pages that might help me hack this thing some more. It’s probable that the old template won’t let me use the widget builder (which is a bit like a WYSIWIG) but that I could somehow write the necessary code snippet by hand. That reminds me of some other adjustments I’ve been wanting to make. Will report back later.

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Category: Link Building,Monetizing,Navel-Gazing

Google AdSense versus Text Link Ads

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, February 5, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Note: I wrote this post in 2007. Please be aware that selling text links is heavily frowned on by Google and may have consequences for your site.

For advertisers, there is a significant difference between contextual ads and (non-ad-served) text link ads. Contextual ads, like the Sponsored Results you see on the side of search engine results pages are all about ROI; whereas text link ads are primarily about (c’mon now let’s be honest) buying relevant inbound links that are intended to drive up rankings.

But for publishers, one concern looms larger than all others: show me the money!

After doing some investigating into the whole industry of purchasing text links (not to be confused with paid content or paid blog postings), I’m starting to come to the conclusion that I should migrate away from Google’s AdSense system in favor of a text link broker like Text Link Ads, or the equally creatively named Text Link Brokers (both terribly generic company names that serve as ultra-relevant anchor text anytime someone links to them).

So here’s the thing, it took me a whole year to get my first Google AdSense check. I look to be on track for another year of the same. Don’t get me wrong, I have no real complaints about the program. So why am I thinking of walking away with money left on the table?

Reasons Why Text Links Are Better Than AdSense

  1. Google’s minimum for actually cutting you a check is higher than most other services, but until the money is in your bank account you haven’t actually earned anything yet.
  2. With contextual ads you only get paid when someone clicks, while the simple act of publishing the text links is all it takes to earn money under the other model. And depending on the default level you set for editorial oversight, text link ads can run themselves as easily as the AdSense script.
  3. While one could argue that visitors to the site might actually be interested in contextual ads and that text links, by comparison, are simply link spam –i.e., that I’d be doing my readers a disservice by switching to text ads — the truth is that I don’t think any regular readers of this blog are too interested in the cheesy contextual ads that get displayed alongside my posts currently.
  4. Because text link ads don’t require anyone to actually click through, there’s less pressure to pimp out a site with ads in very prominent locations. (Google advises advertisers to pay attention to eye tracking and heat map studies to make decisions on where to place ads.)and finally…
  5. Even if I only sold 1 link a month with, I’d still be earning more money than I do with AdSense currently.

Whether you think text link ads are “black hat SEO” doesn’t really matter if you’re the publisher, not the advertiser. Even if there’s a possibility that the search engines start discounting your links by virtue of being lower quality, the only reason this should matter to you as a site owner is if the ability to pass PageRank is part of your sales proposition (which means, de facto, that you were already trying to pull one over on the algorithms).

If you’re a very large site, text link ads look pretty tacky, so I certainly don’t think revenue should be the only consideration when deciding between AdSense and paid links; but on the other hand, AdSense would detract from how seriously I would take a large, would-be authoritative site as well.

If you’re interested in selling ad space on your site as well, visit

Comments (17)

Category: Contextual Ads,Link Building,Monetizing,Navel-Gazing

And Another One Joins the Fray (

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, January 22, 2007 at 10:11 pm

A new pay per posting service is coming onto the scene. According to Blog Herald, raises a new question: at what point are you guaranteed to get a biased review no matter the blogger’s pledge of honesty? The thing that sets Sponsored Reviews apart from PayPerPost, ReviewMe and Blogsvertise is that the bloggers are the ones to set the price — apparently up to $10,000. At that price, who would criticize their sponsor?

Read the article and tell me what you think. In the meantime, I’m going to go sign up at and check it out.

Oh, and stay tuned for a follow-up to my comparison of the various paid blogging services — this time from an advertiser’s perspective.

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Category: Monetizing,Paid Content

Paid Bloggers Required to Disclose

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, December 21, 2006 at 9:28 pm

The Federal Trade Commission last week issued an opinion that bloggers being paid to engage in word-of-mouth marketing must disclose that relationship. According to the Washington Post, WOM advertising is already covered under existing FTC regulations that govern commercial endorsements. The opinion meant to clarify that “such marketing could be deceptive if consumers were more likely to trust the product’s endorser ‘based on their assumed independence from the marketer.'”

Mary K. Engle, FTC associate director for advertising practices. “We wanted to make clear … if you’re being paid, you should disclose that.”

On Monday, PayPerPost sent its bloggers an email titled “PayPerPost Requires Disclosure / by Marketplace Participants”

Company Follows Disclosure Launch with Transparency Mandate

ORLANDO, FL ā€“ PayPerPost, the leading marketplace connecting marketers with bloggers, videographers, photographers, podcasters and social networks, announced the second phase of its full disclosure model, whereby participating Consumer Content Creators are required to disclose their sponsored status. The new Terms of Service, effective today, will bring greater transparency to the growing Consumer Generated Advertising industry.

Read the full release here

I’m signed up for Blogsvertise, PayPerPost and ReviewMe. PayPerPost is the only service that emailed me about the new requirement (although ReviewMe already had this requirement in place).

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Category: Monetizing,Paid Content,Social Media