ReviewMe, which launched a week ago, pays me 30 US greenbacks for writing this review! That's free lunch for the week! Moreover, they are planning to pay bloggers up to $100,000 to write a review about them! More dough for the bloggers, how good is that?!
Now I just need to wait for the ching-ching to come into my PayPal account. Oh wait. There is a 200 words minimum. Let me try to squeeze a few more words...
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by ReviewMe. While I am compensated to provide opinion on this website, the compensation received does not influence the content.
What is ReviewMe?
ReviewMe is a new breed of advertisement, and just like all types of advertisement agency, the advertisers are their customers, whereas publishers are their suppliers. What sets them apart is that their suppliers are your average Joe bloggers, and the post content inside their personal blogs are the media where the advertisement will appear.
Traditionally an advertiser has a few options to get more exposure online. She can go and buy banner ads or text links from agencies like Google AdSense or Overture if they like to pay on per-click basis, or companies like Text-Link-Ads (aff) with flat-rate monthly fee. She can also establish affiliation program with Commission Junction or clixGalore to lure publishers into marketing for them. She can even
bribe well-known journalists and reviewers to do a good write up about them.
It's all good. However in the era of Web 2.0, we all know that it is the number of eyeballs that counts -- otherwise YouTube wouldn't be sold for $1.65 billion. More eyeballs, more buzz, more visitors, <skip a step>, more profit! An advertiser can longer count on the quality of major media shops, because we live in an age where quantity also matters.
So instead of paying $5,000 to have your product reviewed by a popular magazine (sorry I have no idea about the market price), ReviewMe allows advertisers to pay $100 to 50 bloggers to review their products (bloggers get $50 and ReviewMe gets $50). Suddenly your newly launched website receives 50 new quality incoming links, which might give you good boost in PageRank, good exposure on Technorati, make you more visible to Digg and Del.icio.us users -- now we have a buzz.
What's in for the Bloggers?
Dough, of course. Long gone is the day where people blog because they want a soapbox to rant about what is happening at school today. Put "blog" and "money" into Google Search and you'll be surprised how many pages does it return. ReviewMe allows bloggers everywhere to sign up (as long as your blogs meet their criteria), start taking review requests, blog about it, and then just wait for the PayPal payment or cheque arrives at your door.
There are some simple guidelines on how you should write. 200 words minimum is easy to understand -- you can't just say "so and so is great" and demand your dough. However, what differentiates ReviewMe from their controversial competitor is:
- Posts must be fully disclosed.
- Positive posts are not required.
Readers of these blogs do not have to guess what motivates the post, it also helps the blogger to have a cleaner conscious (I'll write something about it later). Advertisers on the other hand cannot demand their products to have a positive review -- of course they can shop around for a happy positive blogger instead of grumpy one, but a good review is never guaranteed.
That does put advertisers in a situation where they must have a good mature product before launching their advertisement campaign on ReviewMe. This might hinder ReviewMe's initial growth in getting enough advertisers. However I think in the long run it will make ReviewMe-affiliated reviews more creditable than any other non-disclosed reviews.
How Much Do I Get Paid?
All blogs are different (unless you are Splog), so payout varies as well. It all depends on how many stars do you have. A not-so-good looking site like this one only gets 2 stars, which translates to $30 payout per review (and ReviewMe takes another $30 from the advertiser).
A 4 star rating blog costs advertiser $250 per review, and $125 payout for the blogger. I can't seem to find one with a 5 star rating, but my guess that it will be a $500 per review.
Once you sign up a review, the blogger has 48 hours to complete and submit the completion. Review will be "reviewed" before account is credited. 48 hours is a long time to write that 200 words, but might not be that long if the review requires extensive testing of the product.
So, Is It a Good Idea?
I personally like being paid (who doesn't?) However I do not like to be told what to write, and how something should be written (more about that in a separate post), as this is really what blogging is about -- personal opinions. What I like about ReviewMe is:
- It pays. Well, I haven't been paid yet, but judging by many happy reviewers on the net, and their other venture (aff) which I had previously been paid, I don't think they'll just run away with all their advertiser's money :)
- Write whatever you like. Of course I can't write about foo when I am doing a bar review, but I have the freedom to put my thoughts into my writing. I have been a criticising guy, and the advertisers might be mad -- but at least ReviewMe allows me to do so.
- Pick you own pace. Blogging is not work, and I do it when I have time. Reviewing technology products and websites isn't my job either, and with ReviewMe I am not obligated to write x number of reviews a month. I can write as many as there are reviews available, or skip a few months when things get busy.
So overall, yes, a good idea for the bloggers.
A good idea for the advertisers too if all they want is the buzz. After all all reviews are "good" reviews, regardless whether the content is positive or not, as they bring more visitors to your sites, and they will form their own opinions afterwards. If you are selling a product however, you might be a bit worried when majority of reviews are negative. So I guess it is not for everyone.
Not yet. If what Jason Calacanis predicted is true, where online marketing budget is going to go skyrocket, then we'll see a lot of them flowing to sites like ReviewMe. It all works on the principle of demand and supply.
However what if there's not enough advertisers? Andy Hagans said they'll focus on bringing in more advertisers next week, and I would like to see that happen. The reason Google Adsense/Adwords works is because there's a good supply of advertisers and publishers, and the customers (remember, it's the advertisers) feel their money is well-spent. I hope it will also come true with ReviewMe.
How Is ReviewMe Affecting This Site?
I signed up, and am waiting for the review requests to come in. For all the reviews I write for ReviewMe, I'll put it under the ReviewMe category to easily disclose my affiliation.
However I don't expect to write more than one review a month. Scott Yang's Playground will still run as usual -- technology, faith and everyday randomness, according to Scott.