Is Payperpost experiencing slow business? Why the $1.00 offers?

By | January 15, 2009

Is Payperpost experiencing slow business?

I recently received an email from Ted at Payperpost who writes:

As you know we recently made some changes to the PayPerPost platform. While the feedback regarding our interface refinement has been great, we have also received some concerns relating to our pricing adjustments.

I am sensitive to your pricing feedback and would like to try a new model for a limited time. My hope is that we will find a balance that works financially for advertisers, bloggers and IZEA. With that in mind, we have made the following changes: – Minimum total cost per post reduced to $1.00 – Minimum word count reduced to 25 words with a link only option This is a limited time promotion that starts today and ends at the end of the month.

I’m not surprised at this announcement. I also wonder how long PPP will run these announcements for because of their recent drastic price increases. It’s likely true that PayPerPost’s cost structure was untenable originally.

However, their timing in increasing pricing was just awful. Increase prices as advertisers and everybody else start trimming budgets and spending. It’s also clear that there are competitors out there that offer more for less in advertising and blogging terms. Perhaps Payperpost is now trying to attract advertisers away from competitors.

But there are just too many problems for me working with Payperpost now, and not much upside at all.

You need to be in North America or even Europe to have a chance of good posts; you need some PR; you need to maintain posting even if you don’t get opps; you have to follow the rules for Opps; you have to follow the requirements; you have to include links, codes, word requirements (200 words are increasingly required), style of opp, you have to have Alexa rankings, PR ranking, RR ranking, your own domain name, your own hosting, a decent tack rating, and you have to reside in certain countries, … all to get a share of $5.00 opps that require 200 words or more for a blog with a PR of three! Wow! And that’s if your blog is still considered ‘acceptable after the audit.

Whither now?

It’s a telling sign of where blogging is headed: prices are going down, Payperpost’s share is going up, traffic from India is up (Alexa cites India as the primary source of traffic for PayPerPost) as bloggers there find they have a competitive advantage. But worse seems to be in store: Compete is showing that time on the site is down considerably since last year, as are monthly visits. This means more competition for fewer opportunities.

Competitors abound?

There are indeed many wannabes in the marketplace, and in fact, I’ve been blogging for several of them over the years, and I much prefer PayU2Blog which pays a standard rate per link only, there’s no censorship of content or links provided you have a minimum number of words; and there’s no hassle getting assignments. You either have them or you don’t. If you don’t have them, check back next week.

Compared to the hassle of PayPerPost, it’s seeming a viable even pleasant alternative to Payperpost without most of the downsides. So I’m still sitting on the sidelines with PayPerPost. SocialSpark has no interest at all for me now, more’s the pity.

Any thoughts about these two blogging companies? Owen’s already posted his thoughts, but I wonder what’s going on… Owen…

Author: InvestorBlogger

Investorblogger.com takes you on a 'Random Walk To Wealth' through money, investing, blogging and tech. We'll explore my insights, mistakes, and experiences together.

16 thoughts on “Is Payperpost experiencing slow business? Why the $1.00 offers?

  1. Becca's Buzz

    I agree, the freedom in content is so much more worth it over at PayU2Blog. I don't get many assignments these days but when I get them, I enjoy the work much more than PPP. This was a great relevant article. Thanks!

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      I don't know if you read the recent fuss at PPP over this… Check the boards. It's amazing. It's going to turn into a full fledged revolt, I think. If anyone who cares still remains…

  2. BeccA's Buzz

    I didn't read anything on PPP specifically. I saw a message over at PayU2Blog asking the bloggers not to complain on the blogs in their system about this 'other company' who is only paying $1 or actually $.50 per post. So I asked my friend who this 'other company' was and he directed me to your post here.

    I still have privileges over at PPP but I only keep that open in case adverts wish to contact me directly for writing opps through that sytem. I only go over to PPP about once or twice a year just to see how it looks. I do wish I could get my blog more popular so I could get more assignments at PayU2Blog though. 🙂

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      Yes, I saw that message, too. Wow! While this blog isn't in their system, I doubt that such a claim would endear me to them, or vice versa. The blogging companies are getting more controlling in this end game scenario, with increasing demands about what to post, what not to, where you can post, what you can put on your blog, etc… I'm beginning to sense that this is the beginning of the end game for some of the companies.

  3. Lisa

    I wish you luck with PayU2blog. They seem to change the rules as they go (you can ask all the insiders that were recently kicked out with no notice). Also, from what I've heard, they are going to require in the future that you can't work for anyone else but them.

    The advertisers are going to quickly figure out that the only people who take 50 cent posts are going to write crap and will adjust their prices upward.

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      Agreed. And since you don't get any notice, you're out on your ear as it were. Where did you hear that from? I don't believe it, really. I think advertisers are more likely to paint companies that permit low-ball offers like this with the same brush as the bloggers. Hence, I believe it's now a game of reputation. So far PY2B is keeping a tight control of things, but has better rep than PPP; but one false move, with so many bloggers out there, and it could be all over. That goes for PPP, too.

  4. redmn

    Lisa wrote: "They seem to change the rules as they go" about PU2B. Well, don't you think that PPP has done the same thing? There have been so many changes at PPP that I can barely keep track anymore. Companies are well within their rights to adjust their ToS as they see fit, especially since bloggers are not employees.

  5. InvestorBlogger Post author

    Indeed they are. But each time they do, they must assess the impact. As I wrote before, PPP exists in the breach between advertisers and bloggers. It has to maintain a balance between the different groups involved in the day to day operations. Too many requirements, or too much tilting in one group's favor will undermine the entire future of the company. Right now, I believe that they are favoring advertisers over bloggers, poorly controlling quality (too many crap blogs, too many good ones out), driving out quality bloggers (actively and passively), … the balance is disrupted. We'll see what happens. But the fact that more and more page views come from India does not bode well for PPP. We may give up blogging for them, but they'll never make their costs on 50c posts, no matter how many links or words are required.

    1. brettbum

      I agree that all companies have to be free to make their own strategic decisions. PU2B tends to drop bloggers for what seems like a whim, but when you look at their core business (ergo SEO consulting) it makes a good deal more sense. They drop anyone that is not in it hardcore to game google and engage in linkbuilding.

      I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I made a lot of money off of PU2B last year, and they dropped all of my blogs a couple weeks back, when one of my blogs was upgraded out of blogger from the blogger domain registered at PU2B to a new domain on WP that started doing PPP under the Insider program. PU2B was not only defending their network from PPP blogs, but from the perceived SEO risk of a PPP neighborhood.

      I have nothing against PU2B. I do understand their actions and why they did it. I would not do business that way myself, but their's is not MY business. 🙂

      The point is that if they drop my blog and all of the blogs controlled by me because of my connection to a PPP neighborhood, that same SEO theory could be applied to eventually boot anyone with any connection to PPP. (They can't do that until they grow stronger, but it can happen).

      The interesting thing is that they are booting people from PPP when PPP is starting to serve Advertisers that are heavier in SEO (as opposed to people looking for buzz and reviews). In that light it points either to PU2B's misunderstanding of Izea's strategic moves, or it indicates that Pu2b is simply taking a defensive action against a competitor that they fear. Given the fact that they fired everyone right away, and before PPP had really showed its new direction, I'm guessing they misunderstood what PPP was doing. (ergo they did not do this out of fear, but ignorance instead).

      For us bloggers trying to figure out how to navigate the changing industry, I personally think that we have to exercise our voices and power more to make our own demands. Not just to say, 'hey give me more money' but to show our power and influence with our audiences to justify higher rates. We also need to push like hell to insure that the TOS in all systems work either to our advantage or at least in a wya that does not harm our blogs, our business and our readers.

      PPP's TOS was created years back when this was all new and is definitely in need of a upgrade, which is my current focus. (not dropping a link, but you can click on my name to find more info on that) Investor Blogger can add a link if it is deemed useful, but the point is that we need more feedback from all bloggers. We are already in talks with Izea over these changes and I do think we will see improvements come through as a result of our talks. So please get involved now and share your thoughts!

      🙂

      1. InvestorBlogger Post author

        That is an interesting comment on the ongoings on the industry. I can see your commitment on the boards at Izea. You work so hard for the improvement of the system. I always enjoyed writing the opps for PPP, getting to find new websites, coming across new products, and much more. I liked the challenge of writing an opp that was beneficial to readers, advertisers and me. But I observed what happened at SR when they went through the downpricing phenomenon… it made the fun of being involved that much less so. Who would want to write a 300 word opp for $3.50. If PPP is changing direction, it's not something they have signalled publicly at all. SR used to list all opps by the minimum amount but no longer.

        Of course, the bigger question lies in: when my blogs are all segmented out because I live in Taiwan (I can now scarcely get any opps at all), why so many bloggers from India find so much work on PPP with domains on Blogspot, one would reckon them to be segmented out. But are they? It's easy to game the system on PPP – I know how but I refused to do it – so that you are eligible for opps that are in the N.Am, Europe, etc. There are almost no opps for Asia at all, these days… I know there are bloggers in India, surely there are advertisers, too. But the majority of Opps are for the N. American or even the US market. With thousands of bloggers in the Indian subcontinent blogging for $, it is difficult to see how things could get any worse for bloggers like me. So I'm now working other ways to find business. I'm finally removing PPP as the middleman. I doubt I will do worse than before, that's for sure. It's pretty difficult to make less than $0.

        PY2B (and PPP) have their own reasons and rights to make their strategic decisions as they wish. However, they do not make these decisions in isolation. They make them in context: they know that they cannot piss off too many advertisers. But one thing they need to remember: they should not piss off the bloggers, too. It will be very difficult for them to repair a damaged reputation among bloggers. And new bloggers WILL certainly look at what more experienced bloggers write and say. Right now, I am still recommending PPP and PY2B for new bloggers, but with each twist and turn I have to reconsider this point of view.

        It is a bit of a rant, but then I think my POV is quite different from yours. Thanks for commenting at length, Brett.

  6. brettbum

    I completely agree with your POV, that neither network can piss off bloggers. From an old media perspective, they could be pissing off 'the talent' which is always dangerous. From a new media perspective they could be alienating the marketing channel and risking readership and reach.

    I also agree with your earlier sentiment that PPP has not publicly signaled this move. It was partially evident in the PPP upgrade a several weeks back, when advertisers lost the option to include a tracking image on new campaigns (legacy campaigns still have to work their way through).

    On the international challenges, I think there is a very very very large opportunity for the first company or person that comes along and learns how to tap the potential of international bloggers, blogging without borders.

    The internet has no boundaries, WHEN bloggers are able to COMMUNICATE universally. PPP and many other paid to blog companies tend to PUSH for universal communication by requiring bloggers to blog in the English language. This makes the blogging experience quasi-universal as long as readers universally read in English.

    Obviously, this slices up the potential of the market on the front end and on the back end. To my knowledge, outside of a couple European paid to blog companies like Bloggerwave, which got off to a shaky start due to bad PR management when PayPal literally disseminated false information about Bloggerwave, there are not to many companies that push for multi-language blog marketing programs.

    There are 3 components that I think could make this possible in the future:

    – 1 international ad sales by the firms involved (I started as a blogger, became an advertiser also, and manage some campaigns. You (investorblogger) could do the same thing!) and you could grow the demand of international blog marketing and by extension the demand for international bloggers.
    – tools to help convert blogs written in any language to be converted fluently into any language
    – tools to help bloggers have their articles proof read and edited to increase quality (currently this is drastically needed by many bloggers outside the US in both India and the Phillipines, where I have seen far more blogging activity than India). This might even contradict the findings of your original article.

    **** sometimes I lose track of my parenthesis *****

    Anyway, I'm working very hard on bringing the last two bullet points into the system and I think bloggers might see some new ways to earn money in those areas by this spring or maybe early summer. More importantly it can help improve quality of blogs across the board and that can increase the value of blog marketing internationally which might help drop the border walls into the ocean.

    That said, I can only do so much, and I think we definitely need more people with the experience and locale opportunity to get involved on point 1. 😉

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      Thank you Brett for such a long comment. I am sorry to say that I assessed PPP for its overall performance in 2008 and realized that for me, it just was not worth the hassle of being involved. I used to take part in the forums a lot and I was very busy in 2007 with PPP. But the effort is just not worth the time and the returns are increasingly pointless. I know you are very bullish on the whole thing. But without repeating myself: I have been frustrated at every turn by PPP telling us to create quality blogs, all the time the definition of quality was either shifting or evanescent. I do have TWO quality blogs, but for various reasons have been excluded largely from PPP for the past year. I could not even take any of your opps because segmentation rules applied. I still don't know how bloggers from India can be so active, when I cannot get anything. I even switched my account to a UK address to compare the difference. There were loads of new opportunities. But I did not want to take them under false pretences. I did everything: switched categories, increased readership, separated channels (no longer), add keywords, … all of the things that would help to bring traffic. My rank broke through 400 at several points until I realized that the Izea RR was just not worth much. So I am sure you can understand why we are frustrated: we did everything PPP told us to do, only to find that we were blocked on others… I will reevaluate in three months whether this was a good choice or not. I will still follow the discussion on the boards as it seems things ARE changing.

  7. Sally

    Did you see payu2blog's response to this?

    Support Staff, Bloggers
    From Tony Feriozzi
    Sent On 02/02/09 06:52 PM
    Priority High
    Subject New Blog Requirements for ALL BLOGS Please Read
    Attachments

    ***Please do not post this message or any part of this message on your blog as the goal here is not to be negative but simply to make sure you continue to recieve assignments and our clients get the results they want.***

    Hello Everyone.

    We have after much careful thought, and research decided it is time to disallow blogs in our system that do assignments for Pay Per Post, Social Spark, or any other IZEA company. This was a very tough decision but we have no choice.

    They have been a good company for some of you. Unfortuneatly too much of what they ask of your blogs interferes with getting good results for our clients.

    A few people have taken steps already to remove the scripts banners etc.. from their blogs and saw almost an immediate positive reaction.

    If you only have 1 blog within our system you will have to remove all pay per post tracking codes, izea scripts, pay per post banners, count trackula codes and some tinyurl links associated with them…IF you want to stay with us.. and of course that is entirely up to you.

    If you have multiple blogs and want to continue working for both companies… you will need to pick blogs that you want to stay with us and remove all the banners and tracking codes from that company.

    Some of what must be removed is in this list:

    * PPP Banners
    * Izea Banners
    * Social Spark Banners
    * Any posts about them
    * Tracking codes -izea, paypal, social spark etc..
    * Real Rank Codes
    * Izea Etc.. all Affiliate Codes etc.. all
    * Count trackula
    * A direct copy or link to the disclosure policy provided by payperpost izea for your use. If you need a disclosure please write your own and don't copy theirs.
    * DO NOT VIOLATE YOUR TOS for assignments with them… ie don't delete posts if you are not supposed to for a certain amount of time etc…

    Some things to search your code for are:

    pay per post

    izea ranks
    urlbrief
    tinyurl
    disclosure
    counttrackula

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      Sally, thank you for your note. It seems to me that the ownership of blogs is now something that these companies are trying to claim… More for a future post.

  8. InvestorBlogger Post author

    An update: I have already removed all of my codes from this blog and my other one. it took a time to do that and it was a little tricky. Some residual crap still remains in the blog, but I don't have access to the actual posts that have those tracking codes. I rerouted all of them but there are errors. It's just too tricky to find them. All the other PPP crap is gone: ITK, sidebars, javascript… all gone. And I feel better for it. Really.

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