After all the hoopla about PayPerPost, I wanted to form my own opinion. I opened an account, scanned their offers from advertisers and picked one more or less at random. It was from a site called WeddingStrategies. They offered me $10 for writing a blog post about them with at least 300 words. Their instructions included “title needs to include keyword wedding or weddings, PR3 please, no business blogs, no mention of PayPerPost.” That last bit certainly was revealing. I then went to Technorati and searched for WeddingStrategies and found that several bloggers had written about them in the last couple of days. None of them disclosed that they got paid to write the post, which is obviously unethical. Interestingly, the posts sound somewhat artificial, more like an infomercial than a blog post.
PayPerPost is actually not a completely horrible idea. If a blogger I respect recommends a book, and they make money if I click through and buy that book on Amazon, I’m fine with that. PayPerPost takes that idea and pushes it way over the line, turning bloggers into spammers in the process. That’s bad news, but I’d be surprised if it ends up having a big impact on the blogosphere, because without clear disclosure rules, the model is so obviously flawed that I’d be shocked if any reputable bloggers or advertisers embraced it.