Selling Your Soul: Choose your paid blogging company carefully

Recently, I have been approached by several companies/individuals seeking to use my blog(s) as a means to reach out with advertising to my readers. Now that this blog is becoming more attractive, I guess this will happen more and more. However, while I am excited by this possibility for a number of reasons, another bunch of concerns are rearing their heads that I had not expected: one of which is appropriacy, another is editorial control, another is blog quality.

  1. Appropriacy: Are the adverts and links appropriate to my readers? Are my readers likely to want to know about these products, given my foci on this blog?
  2. Editorial Control: I had always assumed that it was I who had the final control over what and how something appeared on my blog. It never occurred to me that it could be otherwise. But apparently, it can.
  3. Blog Quality: As I have begun to blog much more than ever, with sometimes three or four posts a day, I’m beginning to feel a much greater sense of pride in what is on my blog. I haven’t really codified that ‘sense of quality’ yet. But perhaps I should.

So, anyway, here is another story about a possibly interesting, money making scheme that looked attractive until I read the terms. Once I had, I turned it down for this blog for a number of the above reasons.

I was approached by a representative from PayU2Blog with an interesting offer, much like the one on the website. Once I replied, I asked about the terms. I found out the following:

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.

Basically, they’d have you over a barrel. You have to post on the required subject in order to get payment for that task. You are not given any choice about whether you can choose the assignment or not (not like Blogsvertise, Blogitive, or Payperpost, or indeed ANY of the companies I have worked with so far). Not good. Since payment is bi-weekly, in theory, if you refused to post, what would happen to your owed payments?
Then it said:

If you do not mind linking to websites about other subjects then let’s move on. 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.

Hello, does this blog not look like a ‘standard’ theme? Woops! Perhaps I should make it clearer for my readers. Well, I checked out the blog, and I saw a bunch of unrelated posts with assignments included, obviously. Given the concerns I outlined at the beginning of this post, I realized that following such an offer would have affected greatly all three. I declined to allow this blog to be used for such an offer. Moreover, I think it has made me wary about accepting offers like that in the future.

Although it looks attractive at $5.00 per posting, it may not be a good thing for the blogger, the blog or its readers in the long term. I will stick with paid blogging content systems that respect my choices, my values and my blog.