The “get paid to blog” business is growing, and it’s already much bigger than I had thought.¬ When I started doing research for this topic, I kept finding new sites that are offering to match up advertisers and bloggers.¬ Originally I was going to provide a list of top sites, but there are just too many sites!
Basically, the concept is this:¬ Advertisers are willing to pay bloggers a certain amount of money to write about their products/services, and bloggers are can view advertisers’ offers and pick the ones they are interested in.¬ Bloggers blog about that particular service or product and get paid for that post.¬ ¬ Bloggers may or may not disclose that they are getting paid (some sites make it optional, some sites specify that bloggers have to disclose this relationship).¬ At the end, bloggers are happy because they get paid for what they already do, and advertisers are happy because they just got more buzz (not to mention the possible incoming links) at a relatively cheap price.
Some people argue against doing this because they believe this is unethical, that the bloggers, if they are getting paid, should at least disclose it.¬ I don’t really have an issue with this, because the entire world of journalism is subjective anyway.¬ Just because a story came out of a respected wire¬ service or your favorite¬ newspaper¬ doesn’t necessarily guarantee¬ that it is free of personal bias, which may or may not be influenced by monetary considerations.¬ ¬ Besides, blogging is all about expressing personal opinions.¬ If a blogger is motivated by the incentives the advertiser offers, why not blog about the advertiser’s products/services?¬
Even though I don’t have any moral issues¬ with the concept, it is very unlikely that I will get into it myself.¬ My concerns are more practical:¬ 1) traffic, 2) economics
If I read a blog and it appears that the person behind the blog is talking about certain products / services because he/she is getting paid, chances are I would not return (unless it happens to be on something that I have a lot of interest in).¬ By the same token, I can expect my readers to have the same response.¬ ¬ Over the long run, this means that the regular readership that I have built up will likely go away, and my traffic will suffer as a result.¬
The offers¬ are typically about $2 – $5 per post.¬ Let’s say I get offered $4 a post, and I spend 20 minutes playing with the product/service, and 20 more minutes writing about it.¬ That comes out to an hourly rate of $6 per hour, which does not get me too excited.
Bottom line, you won’t get rich by joining any of the “Get Paid To Blog” sites.¬ You’ll make a little money, sure, but does that make a difference?¬ For some people, it will, and for others, it won’t.¬ If you are the former, definitely go try it out to see if it’s for you.¬