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May 16, 2007

Paid blog posts – a closing window of opportunity

I’ve tested out the ReviewMe service previously, but after they opened their campaign marketplace I’ve been tempted to try them again and run a few campaigns – especially after Shoemoney’s recommendation and decent quality of some of the paid for reviews.

Anyway, results have come in from the weekend – so far variable as expected.

There’s a fairly even mixture of junk blogger blogs just after content, plus decent blogs who’ll give a straight and useful post.

However, I can already see a lot of benefits and hazards coming out of this.

The main benefit is the potential to generate buzz and engage a wider range of bloggers and audience than on a Pay per Post basis – plus cheaper than many paid link baiting services.

Another benefit is that you get a fairly natural link pattern, with people using different anchor text on the target URL, plus deep links if you have content provision for that.

In theory, so good so far in terms of marketing & SEO.

Here’s the problem – a lot of these blogs probably won’t be running 1 or 2 years from now, so these are best viewed as short to mid-term link solutions.

Another is that Google are actively seeking to devalue paid links, and “Paid for” or “Sponsor” is a big give away Google can easily crack down on. So I see paid blog posts as only offering shorter term benefits for SEO purposes.

Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is that in the long term I can see people feeding this market and generating tons of junk blogs to derive the income from it.

So advertisers are likely to see diminishing returns, in my opinion, if they continue to run constant and unvarying campaigns – because all they’ll be paying for is posts on blogs created with the sole purpose of being paid to publish. Zero Authority/PageRank/Trust/Traffic, etc.

So my strategy is – invest now, reap later. That means I’m getting a string of my higher quality sites prepared for a big splash out on paid blog reviews.

Will I get a return on my investment? I treat SEO as an art, so as long as I create art, I expect the investment will bear fruit in the longer term.

However, because I’m aiming to target higher quality websites with engaging offers – revenue share, free stuff, etc, then I’m hoping to generate a little buzz at least as well. If I can get people to join my communities and stay there, the long term benefits are potentially excellent.

In the meantime, I’m pushing on my webdevelopment as I portalise a number of websites, either moving foums to news sites, or adding news & blogs sections to forums.

Then it’s a big investment as and when ready to really start pushing on promoting these sites – because I don’t think the window of opportunity will stay open for long.

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"Paid blog posts – a closing window of opportunity":

  1. Heh I applied with my blog when the service was launched and it was rejected. :P Probably the low PR it had / has.

    I’m still not 100% convinced about the value compared to other areas you could essentially spend the budget on though. I do think it is a good idea though and as always with Aaron’s work it is extremeley well implemented from a business point of view.

    I think it’s all down to what you want to achieve from the campaign though – the relative benefits of paid blog posts vs other types of marketing vary a great deal from site to site.


    Comment by Marketing Guy — May 18, 2007 @ 9:17 am

  2. Indeed, I couldn’t suggest blog posting as a sole strategy, but in concert with others, I think it can add an extra layer of strength – certainly in the short-term.

    But as above, I think the usefulness of this as a service has a very limited shelf-life, hence why I’m running a few campaigns with it now, rather than spread out spend over the year.

    Comment by Brian Turner — May 18, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  3. Don’t forget that some of these arrangements only require a blogger to keep your information on their site for thirty days. After that, it can easily be deleted. Food for thought when going the paid post route.

    Comment by Matt Keegan — May 23, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  4. That’s definitely an interesting point – thanks for that – will keep a closer eye out on this issue. :)

    Comment by Brian Turner — May 23, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  5. Even with a permanent static page, isn’t their a dimishing PageRank value for the page / link to your site – starts off on the homepage, but with all blog pages (and forum posts for that matter) as it is pushed down by other posts and into archive area, there is less PR passed to the page. Something starting off at an effective PR3 could end up as a PR1.

    Comment by Marketing Guy — May 25, 2007 @ 11:17 am

  6. Indeed – but PR isn’t really the issue anymore IMO, as much as authority.

    Viral campaigns develop a degree of authority for a target site by getting a large number of blogs to link to it. Paid blog posts is an attempt to emulate something of that process.

    Not perfect – but with link development getting harder these days, it seems an avenue worth exploring.

    Comment by Brian Turner — May 25, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

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