Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Q & A About Paid Postings

My, my, you all have a lot of questions and comments on this!

Q: Are there adult pay per post programs?
A: If I knew any, I'd not tell. (I hate to sound like a magic 8-Ball, but really now, it's rather clear I detest the things and do not want to promote any.)

Q: What about being paid for reviews? Isn't that the same thing, really?
A: Pay per post is completely different from reviewing products or services; reviews are ethical.

Reviews are when a person uses a product or service and provides and honest accounting of its usefulness, worth, function, or some statement saying if it was pleasing or not.

The product or service may have requested the review (in which case, they ought to have provided a sample, review copy, screening, or other way for the reviewer to try the product), or the reviewer may simply have bought or otherwise used the product or service himself. The piece was written and published as a service to readers who value their opinion about such products and services. (This makes them targeted and part of the publication or blog's mission, and as a result, reviews may be used to further the blogger's authority, reputation and traffic.)

The piece is an honest opinion or set of opinions about the product or service and is published as information for interested consumers; it is not a promotional piece for the author, manufacturer, company or service provider ~ though, if positive, it can be used as such.

Reviews are not paid for, in any sense of the word.

While a blogger or reviewer may make money off an affiliate program, such as Amazon affiliate links for book reviews, this is not to be confused with "being paid." These links exist primarily to give the consumer access to the product (and additional product information) as well as provide a nominal (and potential) 'thank you' to compensate for the reviewer's time. (If you've ever done reviews, you'd never question the amount of time put into them.) This is why affiliate links are more accepted at blogs and personal sites, rather than at The New York Times and other large publications where the reviewers are staff or other paid writers.

Again, and repeat with me, "Reviews are never paid for." Even paid reviewing services which promise you 'the big guy publications' (and no, I won't drop their names either) are smarmy in my book. But I am an opinionated whore.

Q: Can I turn a paid post solicitation into money another way?
A: Yes, and I'll be writing that up in an upcoming newsletter.

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