PayU2Blog: Blog Marketing – An Interesting Alternative
PayU2Blog is a website that is entering the blog marketing sphere as a vehicle for advertisers to reach out via blog advertising (links, video, etc.) to a broad readership across the 100 million blogs out there. You can read more about their business in the advertiser FAQ.
When PayU2Blog first came out, I was approached by Derek Noble about using this blog for sponsored links. The discussion was quite interesting and I was initially curious about their linking system but having worked so extensively with PayPerPost, I had several concerns that hindered me from working with PayU2Blog on this blog. These boilded down to three concerns at the time. This post is a considered reflection of whether these concerns were justified or not:
- 1. That I couldn’t reveal the sponsored nature of the link;
- 2. That I couldn’t pick and choose assignments; and
- 3. That payment was fixed for each and every link at $5.00.
Is it sponsored?
The biggest concern initially was the first issue – I didn’t believe that I should hide the sponsored nature of the links. Of course, I also felt that some links would have been totally inappropriate on this blog, such as drug rehab centers.
Recently, though, I have signed up under another blog; and I’m working through some assignments even as I type now. I wanted to see how the actual system worked; what the assignments are like; and how prompt payment is. So far, I’ve been impressed. It’s quite a different methodology from PayPerPost, quite different.
The sponsors are paying, not for the post, but for the LINK! That means, within reason, you have a lot more freedom to write the content of the post, and you can choose the perspective. For example, on one post that required a link to an alcohol rehab center, I was able to ramble on about something that happened to me during Chinese New Year, as well as punishments for drunk drivers. I enjoyed writing the post, and I found the challenge interesting.
I still feel now that it would be better if the link relationship were properly disclosed, but it seems that in a post with several links, it might be difficult to highlight the sponsored link without making the others seem out of place.
Picking or choosing?
So far I’ve had to write about some tricky topics, but I must say I find it harder to write when the blog is a general blog (like my other one is), but on a business or investing blog, if all else fails, I could simply write about the industry itself, such as the industry for rehab centers. That would be interesting. And it would provide a different perspective to most of the posts.
But it’s true – in the TOS, Derek was upfront (thankfully) in informing me that
1.You HAVE to AGREE to Link to (within your articles) any assigned subject. This is a requirement. If your blog has a standard theme and you do not want to include posts with links to other topics, then I’m sorry, our projects are not for you. You can link creatively but the links need to be there in order to be paid.
At the time, I didn’t appreciate the subtleties of their system and the freedom that bloggers in their system typically have, so I simply turned them down for this blog. Looking back, I still think that this was the best decision. But now I’ve been working for their system for a while, I can see why it might not have been so bad. A further answer clarified their position (in their FAQ):
Do I have to endorse the product or service that I receive as an assignment?
Not necessarily – your job when completing assignments – is to relate to the assignment(s); by personal experience, personal knowledge, personal research, personal creativity etc. Unfortunately, no negative postings are allowed.
So, while you wouldn’t write a negative posting ABOUT the link, you can write indirectly about the link and relate it to your post. That is something bloggers regularly do. So you can avoid endorsing a product somewhat. Some bloggers would say that linking is a form of endorsement, but I’d find that hard to believe, as bloggers do typically link to websites that aren’t being endorsed. Anyone think political campaigns?
$5.00 and not a penny more?
I’ve been in their system for a while, and I haven’t seen any opps for more than $5 yet. That is likely due to the poor PR ranking of my other blog, and something that isn’t likely to change any time soon. A single link for $5.00 isn’t a bad deal, but it’s true: other companies that offer paid links at the foot of posts do pay more. TLA for example, offers a scaleable rate BUT there are certain criteria that each page needs to meet before it can be accepted into the pagelink program. I haven’t managed to get many pages into that program, due to the poor PR of the blog concerned. Also, the placement of the link is quite different, too.
While PayPerPost offers are generally better than this, they do typically require more on the part of the blogger: often a buzz or review is required; and that sometimes has to be a POSITIVE buzz; there are also additional requirements (from 50 words, multiple links, jpegs, PayPerCost code(s), etc.). PayU2Blog seems to offer a much simpler solution for the blogger. Perhaps that is the upside of the lower payment. Less fuss, less muss.
PayU2Blog: Worth trying
Overall, I’d recommend PayU2Blog quite highly; but they don’t accept every blog or every blogger, so it might take a few tries to get accepted; they DO prefer more general blogs as very specific blogs might have issues with certain kinds of links; and it took a while for my blog to show up in the system properly.
Disclaimer: I’m a blogger that uses PayU2Blog on one of my other blogs, and I have accepted assignments from them before. There are no affiliates in this post, and this post is merely my own experiences. It is NOT sponsored.