Trying to find ways to make a bit of extra cash from your blog?
We all know blogs are pretty useful things for internet marketers. When done properly they can work as a vehicle to promote your affiliate products, earn revenue from Adsense, entice visitors back to your site through fresh content and a comments feature, help to build traffic from long tail search terms, keep your site fresh for the search engines, and generally be twisted and stretched to fill most of your SEO whims.
One thing that you might not have considered, though, is actually being paid directly to write content for your blog.
I've recently stumbled upon ReviewMe.com , and I think it offers a different take on marketing for affiliates: Basically it's a site set up to connect website owners looking for a little exposure with professional bloggers willing to write reviews.
How does it work?
Bloggers ("reviewers") are able to list themselves on ReviewMe.com under whatever categories they feel match their blog.
Then the website owners ("reviewees") search for blogs they feel are related to their topic or product.
When the website owner finds a blog he/she like to review his/her product, an offer is made to the blogger. The blogger can accept or refuse the offer... they're not under any obligation to review products they find dead boring. If the blogger accepts, money changes hands - kaching kaching! - and a review is born. The reviewee takes a moment to consider the review in all its merits and then returns to review the reviewer (essentially) by giving him/her a rating out of five. Bloggers with higher ratings can usually command higher fees per review. The starting rate seems to be around $60 for a review, but shoots up to $2,500 per review (or more) for highly rated, popular blogs in popular categories.
Where this requires a shift in thinking for affiliates is the idea that you're not paid for performance. You don't have to do a hard-sell for the product (or a soft-sell, or a "betcha didn't realize it was a sell"-sell, or any other sell you can think of). You simply need to offer a review. Of course if you don't actually take a look at the product and just scrape a review off another website, chances are your rating will go down. If you write a good, unbiased review that actually gives your reader (and your advertiser) some information, chances are your rating will be good.
What sort of review should you write?
Different reviewers have different styles. Some provide comprehensive, objective reviews of the products -- that's pretty much what we expect from a review, right? Some reviewers might be tempted to sweeten the review in order to grease up the website owner and glean a nice rating (although this might backfire). Some reviewers might be overwhelmingly critical in order to stir up a bit of attention for themselves and the website owner. It's up to you. But remember that future potential reviewees will look closely at your past reviews and use them to decide whether to enlist your reviewer skills or not.
- You're able to review a wider variety of material. Not just products and websites that ask for some sort of commitment from the visitor, but also regular sites that just want more traffic or on-topic links. You might even get to review affiliate sites!
- If you do review products they might be products that don't have affiliate programs, which means much less competition when people search for that-product+review. (You're not competing with affiliates!)
- You get your money up front so you're not reliant on anyone else's selling ability. If your reviewee doesn't get good results from your review... that's no problem for you. You don't even necessarily need to "sell" the click. If your readers don't click through to the reviewee's site... it's no skin off your nose. Although your reviewee might deem that this is a failure in your review technique and rate you lower.
- You get to say the bad things if the product or website warrants bad things. As I said before, you're not selling, you're reviewing. That said, you need to weigh your reputation as a reviewer against the wrath of the reviewee if you totally bag them in your review.
- You get extra content for your website! Everyone loves to read reviews of products and websites that they might be interested in, and if you do a really good job of the review, yours might become the "definitive" review of the website or product and attract some nice link love.
- Short-sighted potential reviewees looking for an SEO boost might not be so interested in your review skills as the traffic or pagerank your site has. This might make it hard to get reviews in the beginning if you don't already have a high-traffic, high-pagerank site.
- You can only write so many reviews in a week. Except for the guy charging $2,500 per review, this method of monetization doesn't have quite as much passive income punch as other methods of making money online.
If you're looking at an extra income stream for your blog, I would suggest you look into this. Think of it as putting one of your eggs in a different basket. This can be a really good way to further monetize your existing blog, or you could even create an entirely new blog focused around providing reviews. (I would suggest starting off providing reviews for free, and then as you build a reputation as an unbiased reviewer in your niche you could start selling reviews.)
Getting yourself reviewed
While the main focus of this post is on earning money as a reviewer... setting yourself up to be reviewed might also be worth some thought. If you can find a strong blog closely related to the topic of your website, $60 might be a good price to pay for a highly relevant link. If this is your motivation for getting reviewed, be careful that the blog you choose doesn't use "nofollow" tags on their links.
P.S - Affilorama members, don't forget to check out the fascinating interview with blogging guru Dave Taylor for more tips on how to make money from your blog.