I got an email today from Gavin at Text Link Ads (aff link), letting me know I’d been pre-approved for the ReviewMe service. TLA doesn’t send out alot of emails, so I took time out of my crazy schedule today (one of my blogs is in the middle of a HUGE contest) to give ReviewMe a cursory review.
Right off the bat, the most interesting thing was that reviewers of ReviewMe were being paid to review the service, good or BAD. So, consider this one my paid review of ReviewMe. As you may know, I came out hard against PayPerPost, and my initial reaction, even though I love the other products that TLA offers, was not one that would have made any of the folks at ReviewMe happy. Knee-Jerk reaction? Paid Spam.
However, first to admit I’m wrong, I noticed the first positive thing when I read that reviewers are paid, regardless of their opinion’s positive/negative flavor. This is very different than PayPerPost‘s specific demand for a positive post. (correct me if I am wrong here, I could not find the documentation to support or disprove this oft-repeated statement)
And, I heartily agree with ReviewMe’s reasoning here:
We do not allow advertisers to require a positive review. The vast majority of reviews are measuredly positive, although many do contain constructive criticism. We view this as a bonus: how else can you quickly and cheaply get feedback on a product or service from influencers?
Now, I have to also add that I can appreciate the money involved too. Sell a post on my blog, my baby, for $5? … not likely. $50? Now, I’m listening.
What I liked:
That the grade wasn’t just based on Alexa, Technorati, RSS subscribers or some other arbitrary, easily gamed ranking. Instead, they’ve taken a sampling of those three numbers and combined them. You can even see where you are weak (transparent).
So, while a text link on my blog costs you $30 per month, and RSS advertising on my site costs you $30 per month, you can buy a permanent link via a post on my blog for $100. Of course, it may come with derision, but more often than not, it will come with constructive criticism. Depending on ranking, you’ll pay between $40 and $400 for a blog link.
Also, I liked that they pull the RSS feed of the site so that the advertiser can get an idea of what the blog normally holds without having to leave the page.
Constructively, I’d like to add that it would be nice to have a page that pulled all these things together. Clearly TLA, Feedvertising and ReviewMe are run by the same people, under the same umbrella, so why not have it included on my listing at Text Link Ads?
Also, were they to create that ‘catch-all’ page, I’d link to it from my site to increase it’s exposure. A handy branded button would go far here.
Now, considering my normal rate for writing, consulting, etc. is $50 per hour, I’m right on target here. This post took me roughly an hour to write and I’ll receive $50 for it. What do you think? How would you improve ReviewMe?