Archive forBlogging

The Rise and Fall of MyBlogLog

A few months ago, many high profile bloggers in the SEO community started using the MyBlogLog Widget on their pages. This included people such as ShoeMoney, Andy Beal, and GrayWolf. People were excited about building their communities and the opportunity to network with other blogger. I also joined up in December and placed the widget on my blog.

Soon, however reports of MyBlogLog spamming started rolling in. People were adding links to their networks via automated scripts, people came up with automated ways of getting their pictures at the top of high profiles blogs. People discovered how to automatically add others as co-authors on their blogs.

One of the highest profile bloggers talking about these issues was ShoeMoney. He was pointing out flaws and also pointed out a way people could surf the web pretending to be any member of MyBlogLog they wanted. This action got him banned from MyBlogLog. This caused many other bloggers, including Andy Beal and GrayWolf to boycott MyBlogLog.

The ban was a surprising move by the MyBlogLog, they are a focused on helping bloggers so you’d think they would “get it”. They should have embraced what ShoeMoney was doing and thanked him for pointing out the flaws. Instead, banning a high profile, popular member from their service caused a lot of backlash. Bloggers are a tight-knit bunch, and they should have known doing something like that was going to get them in hot water. MyBlogLog did finally do the right thing and unbanned ShoeMoney, but I think the damage is already done.

To add to their public relation problems, bloggers such as JenSense, have been reporting that MyBlogLog is keeping track of click data on AdSense and YPN click-throughs. Most webmasters consider this data very private and do not like the idea of giving it away for free. Again, this news is spreading through the blogger community, and the reaction is negative. I guess MyBlogLog could help things by allowing users to opt out of this option, but again, I think the damage is already done.

MyBlogLog has definitely slipped, and I’m not sure that they can fully recover. This is a good opportunity for competing service, like Explode, to gain some ground. I personally have taken MyBlogLog off my site, and am thinking of trying out some alternatives.

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John Chow Made $3,440.66 Last Month From His Blog

John Chow has a great post on the monetization of his blog. He has gone from making $352.94 in September to making $3,440.66 in January. Almost a 10 fold increase in 4 months! He did this mostly by bring new revenue streams to his blog. His top 5 earners were: Direct Ad Sales ($750.00), Text Links Ads ($621.68), Affiliate Sales ($545.00), Google AdSense ($536.58) and Vibrant IntelliTXT ($478.18).

He has done this with 133,871 unique visitors bringing 255,574 page views. That works out to a $13.46 CPM.

This sure makes me want to keep trying new revenue streams, particularly Text Link Ads (aff link).

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Performancing Partners Ads Shutting Down

Performancing Partners ad network is closing at the end of the month. At the end of last month they announced that the ad network was to be sold to PayPerPost, but then the deal was canceled.

They have also recently announced that they are no longer running their metrics program. This leaves them with their Performancing for Firefox Blogging tool.

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Another Blogger Review Service –

There is going to be yet another pay-to-blog service – There are several existing services such as ReviewMe, PayPerPost and LoudLaunch that are very similar.

They mention a few differences that make them sound like they may be interesting:

  • Lower Transaction Fees – that’s always good for the advertisers and bloggers.
  • Manual Pricing – This could be good for advertisers finding good deals from bloggers who are willing to lower their prices

    They should be launching in a few weeks.

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Performancing/PayPerPost deal is canceled

The Performancing/PayPerPost deal I blogged about a few days ago is being canceled. I’m not sure of the details, but Nick Wilson of Performancing said the deal “proposed by PayPerPost just isnt right for us or our community”.

Update: The PayPerPost blog is reporting that “We listened to our Posties and other Metrics users, dug into the Metrics platform and regretfully found that it wasn’t what we were looking for right now.”

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PayPerPost Aquiring Performancing

Performancing, who runs an advertising network I personally use, and who I’ve mentioned before, is being aquired by PayPerPost, the blog advertising network who I have also mentioned. TechCrunch broke the news today.

Performancing has 28,000 users, most of who are bloggers. This fits in perfectly with PayPerPost’s business model. PayPerPost has been getting some competition from ReviewMe lately, and this should help give them a boost.

PayPerPost vs. ReviewMe

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PayPerPost and LoudLaunch Require Full Disclosure

Two services which allow bloggers to be paid by advertisers for posting about products, PayPerPost and LoudLaunch, both announced recently that bloggers will be required to have full disclosure for paid posts. This follows an opinion issues by the FTC last week that they will look into deceptive word of mouth marketing campaigns on a case by case basis.

LoudLaunch also announced recently that they are beginning to accept applications from both bloggers and advertisers and the service will be launched on December 26.

A third get-paid-to-blog service, ReviewMe launched last month and has required full disclosure from the beginning.

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FTC on Deceptive Word of Mouth Marketing

The FTC had been asked to look into the practice of “buzz marketing” by the anti-advertising group Commercial Alert. In response, the FTC issued a staff opinion (pdf) yesterday that could effect how business is done online. The practice in question is paying a consumer of a product to make claims about that product. While the FTC didn’t think there was any need to add any new guidelines, they feel that word of mouth marketing could not use deceptive practices and each complaint could be handled on a case-by-case basis. Basically, it boils down to people endorsing a product without consumers being told up front that they have been paid to promote the product.

This has some real consequences for doing business on line. Services like PayPerPost, which pay bloggers to write about products without requiring a disclosure, will need to change their practices. Even if an individual blogger writes about a service and includes an affiliate link, I could imagine this could be considered a “deceptive” practice. Jason Calacanis has also recently been looking into claims that some PR firms are paying top Diggers to vote stories up. I could see this falling under this general area as well.

It has always been my policy on this blog that if I have any type of paid review or affiliate link, I will clearly mark it as such. Obviously going forward, this will be a good practice for everyone. Full disclosure has always helped earned the trust of readers, and now it may also keep you out of trouble with the FTC.

I first read about this at CopyBlogger.
Read more: Washington Post Article, Word of Mouth Marketing Association press release

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ReviewMe Launches

The following is a paid review of ReviewMe

ReviewMe is now taking registrations for advertisers and bloggers.

Overall I think it is a pretty good concept and it seems like an easy way for bloggers to make some money. The basic idea is that advertisers pay bloggers to write about a product. Unlike some similar services, this one forces bloggers to disclose that a review has been paid for. Since this blog is all about monetization and ad networks, I would have been writing about this anyway, this just gives me a chance to make a couple of bucks for it.

The sign up is pretty quick and easy. Once you have an account you can register up to six blogs. Each blog gets a rating based on Alexa, Technorati and estimated RSS subscribers. Blog acceptance seems pretty instantaneous.

I signed up this blog and it got a two out of five star rating. This set the price for a review on the blog at $60, with my payout being $30 if I write a review for somebody. Right now when you sign up you automatically get a chance to write a review of ReviewMe and you will get paid the standard payout for the review. (That’s what this review is.) They are going to keep offering this opportunity until they have paid out $25,000.

The only conditions for a review are that you disclose that it is a paid review, and that the review is at least 200 words.

I did a quick search of the blogs available for advertisers, and it seems like there are currently only 3. AdMoolah was the most expensive at $60 dollars, while the other two were proced at $40. I’m sure that will change quickly as bloggers sign up and write the paid reviews of ReviewMe.

So, if you have a blog I would recommend you sign up and write a review of ReviewMe for some quick cash.

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ReviewMe Giving Away $25,000

ReviewMe, which I have mentioned before, is a new revenue opportunity for bloggers. Bloggers write reviews of products or services, and they get paid for them. They are launching on November 9th.

They have just announced that:

When we launch, we’re going to give away $25K USD. Here’s how: every new blogger accepted into the ReviewMe network will immediately have the opportunity to earn cash by reviewing ReviewMe itself. This gives new reviewers a chance to see exactly how our system works, and helps spread the word about ReviewMe, too :-) (good or bad). This offer will be in effect until we have paid out $25,000 total for reviews.

This looks like a good way for bloggers to make a few bucks if they don’t mind posting paid reviews. Look for a paid review of ReviewMe 0n this blog next week :)

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