Thursday, November 09, 2006
Basically, ReviewMe is a new blog marketing, buzz generating word of mouth service, an offshoot of the excellent Text Link Ads. The idea is simple, write blog reviews of stuff, get paid for doing it - helping yourself and the companies sponsoring you.
Whilst there will be a whole array of ethical issues around this, pay no attention - they'll generate a lot more heat than light. Many unpaid Bloggers out there will already happily shill about something they like, cultural items, products, a nice new site or whatever. Maybe some more adventurous ones will even throw in the odd Amazon affiliate link or something similar, and why not? This is the logical extension of bloggers' love of writing about stuff and a great way for less affiliate and marketing minded bloggers to earn some cash from their creative output.
The trick will be not annoying your readers too much and striking a balance between your usual posts and themes and the sponsored posts. This shouldn't be a problem, because you only pick up and write about the things that interest you. If the chances are you would write about it anyway, why not get a bit of cash for doing it? One other plus is you're not editorially tied to actually liking what you're writing about.
Another positive for the service is, unlike some other similar services out there, with ReviewMe you disclose the fact you're blogging for cash. Hence the disclaimer at the front of this post. If need be, your hardcore readers can always skip the posts they see prefaced with a disclaimer - but once again, if it's in your circle of interest, they'll want to give it a look.
The site itself is very slick, it's taken a good beating with the Web 2.0 Design Handbook, but the logo is a touch Pre-School for my liking given the rest of the design. The sign-up process is quick and easy - I'd like to see a lot more FAQs about the place, it feels a bit barren at present. I'd also like to see more about the level of your blog before being accepted - I submitted my first blog only to be told it was not up to scratch. I started again with my other blogs that I knew were better thought of in certain circles, they were accepted fine. I'd like to see something like, 'if it's below a Pigeon Rank of five, forget it' - rather than spend a few minutes filling in the form and thinking up tags to no avail. Ok, I say no avail, they do save the details for when it hits those levels, which is something.
Setting up was nice and easy, it took less than 10 minutes to go from registering to being ready to blog here - and I even get my own RSS feed for potential jobs. I almost feel like a professional writer.
Ok, so at the moment it's all new and there's nothing out there to get reviewing, but as the buzz grows and people see the potential, it'll be interesting to see how the job's to pick from grow. It's still very early days yet - but it's looking promising so far.
My main gripe would be the revenue split between us and them. 50/50 seems a bit rich to me, especially as it feels like I'm the one doing the creative work. I'd like to see something more along the lines of 70/30 in favour of the creator. Given the slickness of the site and potential opportunities so far - we'll see how that pans out and if it remains worth taking part. Otherwise, there's a lot to commend them on.