Why I (Still) Like SponsoredReviews

written by BlogEx on November 13, 2007 in Blog Monetization and Blog Reviews with 13 comments

Update: Wow, that was quick. SponsoredReviews has just launched their affiliate program. You get paid $5.00 for every blogger referred and has the following pay structure for referring advertisers:

Amount Spent Referral Fee
$1 $5
$100 $20
$1,000 $50
$10,000 $100

So, if you haven’t signed up for SR yet, you might as well do so now 😉

My latest posts mentioning SponsoredReviews.com have generated quite a few questions. And, since I skipped the Reader Question Session yesterday, I figured I’d address all these questions in one single post. I’m just going to run down the questions and comments and I’ll leave some of the more open ended questions to the end. Buckle up, cause here we go!

bmunch: I would really like you to do a review on Sponsored Review.

Ask and you shall receive.

Mike Huang: Well, it’s better if there is no middle man. Just advertise that you do reviews on here and don’t use any service to do so.

I would have to disagree here. While I definitely like keeping 100% of the profits of the private reviews I do, I would not have nearly as many offers as I get with the service acting as the middle man. Currently the only people that I know I offer site reviews are people that visit the Advertise page. That’s a still a very limited audience. However, the service sites like SponsoredReviews (SR), ReviewMe (RM), and PayPerPost (PPP) all have much larger audiences. So, by using their service I’m increasing the number of my potential clients by incredible margins.

Also, this recent episode actually illustrated a big benefit to going through a service. I don’t have to deal with the customers. Once the dialogue was started with the SponsoredReviews representative, it was actually a very quick and easy process to get things cleared up. If I had been the one dealing directly with the upset advertiser, I’m quite certain things would not have gone as smoothly.

bmunch: Have you use PayPerPost? If so, what are your assessment for both of them and why do you prefer Sponsered Post?

I have and do use PayPerPost but I much prefer SponsoredReviews. PayPerPost has a lot more limitations and MUCH lower paying opportunities. I usually spend 2-3 hours on a review and my time is worth a heck of a lot more than $10-30 for that amount of time. Also, I’ve just found the SR system to be much easier to use overall. There’s no wondering whether or not your blog qualifies, or whether or not all the opportunities have been reserved like there is in the PPP interface.

Ruchir: I haven’t tried SponsoredReviews yet fully since I didn’t like the bidding thing. The bidding takes too long, plus SR gave my blog a very low value ($5), so the max I could bid was $5, which is pretty bad. Anyways, how has been your experience of SR so far Ben?

Actually, it’s funny that you mention the bidding process. That’s one of my favorite aspects of SR as opposed to the other sites. I hate sitting around waiting for advertisers to contact me. SR’s bidding process allows me to proactively contact advertisers. Then all they have to do is accept or reject it. Also, I like the ability for either party to make counter offers which allows some negotiations to take place. I haven’t really found the bidding process to be all that time consuming. I log in a few times a week, check out the new opportunities, bid on the ones that fit my blogs (I have several blogs signed up with the service) and they email me when one of my bids is accepted. The whole process probably takes 15-20 minutes a week max.

As for the low value, every time I’ve registered a blog with them, SponsoredReviews has given me a range that my price should fall within. For example, for this blog their suggested price was between $50 and $500. For another one of my less popular blogs, they suggested between $20 and $200. I’d be willing to bet that if you log in, click on the Manage Blogs tab, and then click on the blog in question, you should be able to enter in your own price. If that’s not an option I’d drop them an email asking for a price increase and see what they say. They’ve really been quite easy to work with and go out of their way to help me in most situations.

SEO blog: After all Ben, i think you should pick another company that doesn’t dictate how to write the reviews…

From what I’ve seen each of the major services have similar requirements. SR does give advertisers the option to “Benefits Only” as their desired review type, however, those are usually few and far between and I simply don’t bid or accept those types of opportunities. In my opinion if I don’t feel free to speak my mind about the site in question, the review won’t be worth anything anyway. Not only would I be compromising my integrity but readers would immediately see through any insincere review. It’s just not worth it to me. However, I do think it’s wise for SponsoredReviews to have that as an option for advertisers such as Laser-Toner.co.uk that only want to read warm and fuzzy comments about their site, whether they’re based in reality or not. At the same time it allows me to skip over those reviews without giving them a second look.

Now, before this starts to just sound like a gushing, 100% positive review, let me address a couple of areas I think SponsoredReviews could improve upon.

Shaun Carter: However, I do agree completely with you that if SponsoredReviews wants to enforce these rules they talk about in that e-mail then they need to explicitly state those rules in their TOS.

As it turns out, they do state it in their best practices guide. It just wasn’t in the one that is easily found. I definitely think they could stand to update their TOS and make the rules a bit more accessible. I think that would help reviewers avoid the type of situation I encountered yesterday.

Also, I’d desperately like to see SR come out with an affiliate program. I’ve been told that there’s something in the works that will be released in a matter of weeks but this has always been SR’s biggest weakness in my opinion. For example, if a post like this could generate income for me, I’d probably have written it a lot sooner.

And last, but certainly not least, I’d like to see some sort of system put in place to denote which opportunities are old and stagnant and which are still active. I currently have quite a few bids waiting for approval but I have no way of knowing whether the advertiser is actually still active or hasn’t been to the site in months.

All in all, SponsoredReviews is still my top choice in terms of sponsored or paid posts, and although there are still areas they could improve upon, they’ve come a long way in the 8 short months since I first reviewed them over on SEOrefugee.com. And, whether you decide to use SponsoredReviews or not, I’d definitely suggest you check out their blog. It’s not updated all that regularly but it’s got some quality information on blogging and marketing.

What about you? Have you used SponsoredReviews? What kind of results have you seen? Do you prefer a different service, and if so, why?