Widgets or badges may look cool - or just uncool, depending on how you look at it - on your blog. Some bloggers call them ugly! I tend to join the "ugly" crowd.
For example, by using ReviewMe or PPP widgets on your blog, you're telling visitors that your site has been approved to write reviews for a certain fee.
It may sound good and look exciting on your blog initially. But as this marketplace evolves, bloggers will become blind to these widgets and, perhaps, wiser about the worth of most of these reviews.
How they price your blog...
ReviewMe will set the price for you. It is based on your blog's ranking, traffic and popularity. And they take a hefty cut out of your fee - 50%!
At least PPP Direct give you the option of selecting your widget - one with the price on it or the other one that just says "Hire Me..." And they don't take 50% out of you. Much less.
Which widget would you prefer?
As we can see, most blogs are displaying these widgets on their sites showing the amount that they will charge for a review.
For ReviewMe: Most blogs start at $40 (There are others below that sum)
For PPP Direct: The price can even start at $5
Incidentally, PPP allow you to specify your own price within a reasonable range as set by them. This gives the blogger the flexibility to see fit what he or she should charge for a review and indicate it on the widget.
Other consideration aside, I believe PPP Direct have got the edge over ReviewMe by providing this flexibility. But not much.
I'm not sure what other paid-to-post bloggers think about their widget display. After the initial "euphoria" of getting approval to display these widgets, I've reasons to believe that some bloggers will have second thoughts about displaying prices on them.
Well, I've seen PPP Direct widgets with price tags being replaced by those without the price. I've done that myself, not that you're going to see people rushing in asking for reviews by doing that.
I just see that there's no point in showing on the widget how much you're going to charge. All you need to do is click on it and you'll see all the particulars on a form with the price indicated there. How simple can that be?
Talk about banner-blind people...and you can see that this widget thingy will suffer the same fate. I'm now convinced that there's no point in indicating your price on the widget.
ReviewMe's widget comes with a specified price tag based on your blog's ranking. If you don't want to use it, then just use the text link instead.
How much will you pay for a review?
For example, who will want to pay $1,000 for a review? I've seen one high-ranking Malaysian blogger asking for that price with some self-glorifying assertion placed in one marketplace.
Or for that matter, $400, or even $40?
Be honest, are you sure somebody will request a review from you for $400? I'm aware that somebody did pay for a $400 review - from John Chow. That's an exceptional case, and I believe it's not likely to happen many times over, even if you're among the top 100 blogs in blogosphere.
The majority of us are "blue collar bloggers' and dare we ask for $400 or more to write a review? Even at $40 you'll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay that price for a review.
As far as I know, Kumiko's Cash Quest can be considered as an exceptional case again, just like JC. She charges $40. Yeah, Kumiko is one smart cookie who really knows how to hype herself but she can write well, too. So that's her advantage. But I still think there won't be many more reviews coming her way. When she reads this she'll be more determined to prove me wrong.
And to ask for $1000 to do a review...just because you think you've got a very high-ranking blog is simply too much to swallow! No individual blogger can pay that amount. Problogger Darren Rowse can afford it but he doesn't need a review to boost his blog. So, would you?
For a cheap $10 I got a crappy review.
I tested once to have this blog reviewed via ReviewMe and I discovered it wasn't worth my $10. I had no control on whom I picked to review my blog. If I'm paying for a review I must be able to select the review applicant. Yes, let me look at that blog's content first before I made a decision on the applicant.
But having said this much, I tend to believe that the whole marketplace will continue to evolve. PPP with Ted Murphy at the helm may continue his hype to gain popularity and market share. But then, it may be a whole new ball game farther down the road.
Of related interests:
Blogsvertise are doing some cleaning up
Shocking quality of blog reviews
Time to get smart with Smorty