Payperpost recently celebrated its first full year as a company, and in that time things have changed a lot for them, for their bloggers and their advertisers. One recent innovation has been the introduction of lots of tools for bloggers, including the Marketplace, PPP Direct, a referral program and so on.
Best Practices: Best for Bloggers?
They’ve just added their own best practices guidelines , too, with lots of useful suggestions for PPP bloggers and non-PPP bloggers. Naturally, this is a good thing in general as there has been quite a problem with splogs and spamblogs created by bloggers for the sole purpose of making money from PPP. With a lively community in Payperpost Boards, extensive tools, and good support in place, it’s looking like Payperpost could be the best online to do sponsored postings.
Synopsis of the Practices
However, if you read the guidelines carefully , there are quite a few places where the guidelines are really telling you WHAT and HOW to post on your blog. Let’s look at a few examples:
- You HAVE to maintain a balance of posts/sponsored posts, no matter what the source of your sponsored posts or how your posts have been sponsored.
- Archives… well, obviously archives are a good idea for most blog types. They provide backlinks and lots of fodder for new readers. But what if your blog doesn’t archive posts…
- Link placement: It may be obvious to place links inside the text, but there are huge exceptions to this, including graphics, emphasis, ..
- Relevance: Another obvious one. If you write a tech and investing blog like this one, but you suddenly blog on women’s hats, or underwear for pets, or whatever. But what if you’re blogging on the underlying companies that provide these prodcuts…? Well, that’s relevant. But what if you’re a general blogger?…
- Word count: While this is obvious, the last comment is less so: “Also, stay on topic. If a car rental site is requesting 200 words, 200+ words should be about car rentals.”
- Choosing Opportunities: Choosing carefully and personalizing your postings. But we can’t go overboard or be inventive or *cough* creative *cough* regarding our ‘personal’ experiences…
- Titles & Categories: We can’t use “PPP” in the title of the post, nor a special category for such posts (why not?)
- Money: We can’t talk about how much we were paid (why not?) nor can we talk excessively about money or post it near a PPP posting.
- Look and Feel: We have to follow guidelines for blogs, fonts, colors, pictures, pop up links, etc….
- Content link ads: We can use content link ads like Contera in our posts.
- There are further ‘suggestions’ on search, finding friends, TOS, and FAQs. Not to mention Customer Love (how 1984?).
The Big Picture?
Well, individually taken, many, if not most, of these are great suggestions. Taken together, bloggers are beginning to see the influence of advertising money on not just the WHAT we blog (the opportunities or advertisements, whether they are ‘buzzes’ ‘opinions’ or ‘reviews’ or whatever) but also the HOW of blogging, that goes for both form (the blog’s appearance – archives, links, look and feel) and the content (balance, linking, word count, relevance,…).
Given many of these requirements are already rules (balance, categories, titles, content links, etc.), one has to wonder how many of the rest will be formalized sooner or later. There’s quite a discussion going at Payperpost’s Community Boards (which are an excellent insight to the whole PPP game) with one British blogger summarizing their feelings quite appropriately: “I can definitely live without the Ã‚Â£3 a day (if I am lucky lol) if it means NOT feeling like PPP own my soul “.
On the otherside, scorpy01 noted: “This Best Practices suggestion isn’t about being deceptive, it’s about giving the advertiser the best exposure possible.” This is a sentiment I also understand, as a businessperson. The challenge going forward for PayperPost is going to be the same as always: providing a valuable marketplace of bloggers for advertisers, while balancing the needs of bloggers especially the more popular bloggers who can go it alone, to be independent. Ted Murphy has created an amazing company, but the balancing act could so easily fail, if the company rules become excessively strict ( there are increasingly long TOS, FAQs, Practices, etc.) that are sapping some of the freedom and joy of the basic motif ‘Be paid to blog about the things you love’.
My Own Thoughts
I think my own personal feelings run more like BSN’s who noted:
‘…it’s another case of someone trying to control how I organize my blog. As I said earlier, this isn’t about disclosure to me, because I use other methods to disclose. And since I respect the advertisers wishes by not taking those opps that say ‘no sponsored post category’, it’s really my business how I organize/categorize my blog. I understand there might be some opportunity cost associated with how I organize my blog and I can live with it. My blog, my decision . (my emphasis).
My own opinion is clearly reflected in my own postings from PayPerPost. Increasingly, I’m finding that I am less and less willing to go through all the hoops: minimum words, disclosure, relevance, links, images, image links, PR ranking, segmentation, checking and double checking, queries, errors, and so on just to get $5. I’m afraid that “My blog, my decision” may become my motto for many things related to PPP. (An afterthought: I wonder how long it is before we are expressly told not to talk about the TOS publicly or mention how much we make…? You think I’m joking: look what happened to Google’s TOS!)
Effects on my Blogging
This has resulted in my blogging a lot less for Payperpost over the last year. In fact, I haven’t posted anything in September. Here you can see what I mean…
- Sept 12
- Oct 5
- Nov 14
- December 27
- Jan 25
- Feb 15
- March 11
- April 12
- May 11
- June 7
- July 3
- August 8
- September 0
Great for Newbies!
I wouldn’t discourage new bloggers from getting involved with PayPerPost at all, quite the contrary. It’s a great way to start blogging regularly, make a *little* money, meet great people, and find some good reading! All of these are great pluses in the system. But if you are a little seasoned, with 50K bloggers now in the system, it’s difficult to make any real money, posting rates have declined somewhat for individual bloggers, esp. those with rankings above PR4, though there are many more opps now; and I no longer login and refresh as much as I used to. I’d rather get on with my ‘work’.
Perhaps, the new Argus system will make things better for us more established bloggers, perhaps not. The Marketplace hasn’t brought me any new offers at all. In fact, I’ve had more luck finding my own clients than using them or even Sponsored Reviews or ReviewME. My blog tends to get lost amongst all the others… That’s something I need to work on, I guess…
Disclaimer: this Blogger has posted extensively for PayPerPost over the past year, and this post contains affiliate type links, but it is NOT sponsored.