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Most of you bloggers have heard about PayPerPost, right? But please... don't tell me you've thought of participating...?


Here's the PayPerPost pitch, in a nutshell:

"Get Paid for Blogging. You've been writing about Web sites, products, services and companies you love for years and you have yet to benefit from all the sales and traffic you have helped generate. That's about to change. With PayPerPost advertisers are willing to pay you for your opinion on various topics. Search through a list of opportunities, make a blog posting, get your content approved, and get paid. It's that simple."

Notice the ickiest part? Yeah: "get your content approved."
Blogger and agency exec Tom Hespos was at ad:tech this week and, in a juicy bit of journalism, grilled a PayPerPost booth guy on his business. It's a great read, or listen... and the best few minutes you'll spend all week.
Be sure to read the comments on the post, where Tom lays it on the line:
"...blogs already struggle with respect to their credibility. Readers are only now becoming comfortable with the notion of trusting blogs for information and ideas. What we don't need right now is something that calls credibility into question."

(And it's not such a winner for advertisers, either, as Tom also points out in the comments.)
My take: Seems to me that any blogger who pockets cash for endorsements of any kind is cha-cha-ing with the devil. Bloggers have a responsibility to be open and honest with their audience, and a blogger who accepts cash permanently sullies all he or she really has: his word (literally).
I'm actually not a purist on this issue–I've written in the past about the dance between editorial and advertising. But models like PayPerPost are something else entirely–they permanently cross that sometimes porous line and encourage writers to compromise themselves on behalf of the products and services.
Here's a crazy thought: If the opinions of bloggers are so influential, how about suggesting that those institutions participating in PayPerPost instead purchase advertising on the blog itself? That way, they are speaking directly to the audience instead of using the blogger as their mouthpiece.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. IBM named her one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, mom, dog person, and writer.