Considering ReviewMe

The following is a paid review: 

I recently received an invitation to join ReviewMe from Text Link Ads. Text Links Ads is one of the major sources of revenue for Fat Pitch Financials, so I decided to pay attention to their email.

The email I received indicated that ReviewMe is a new blog advertising system.  It is based on paying bloggers to write reviews that are clearly labeled as being sponsored.  My first question was, am I required to write positive reviews?  ReviewMe clearly states in their FAQ:

“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?”

I’ve been rather hesitant to get involved in being paid to generate content on a specific topic.  However, ReviewMe’s system sounds reasonable and acceptable to me. I’m interested to hear my reader’s thoughts on this.

From a strategic perspective, I’m starting to realize that sponsored review posts are likely going to compete with text link ads.  This could have a significant impact on Fat Pitch Financials if I decide not to participate in paid reviews.  My guess is that advertisers willingness to pay for plain text links for search engine optimization purposes will decline now that “premium” text links embedded in review posts are now widely available through advertising agencies.  The advantage of the links included in review posts is that they could drive significant direct viewer traffic as well as provide search engine optimization benefits.

I feel a bit caught between a rock and a hard place in maintain my site’s current revenue given these developments.  I must admit that Text Link Ads was very smart in teaming up with ReviewMe in order to maintain their competitive advantage.

However, paid content is nothing new in the financial media sector.  Barron’s, the Wall Street Journal, and Fortune all include sections that are titled, “The following is a paid advertisement”.  Most blogs don’t currently have such sections, but I think that might be changing.

Fat Pitch Financials will tread very slowly with paid reviews.  I will only review products that will likely be of interest to my readers.  This will be primarily financial products.  I will also apply my usual sceptical approach when doing any reviews, and they will definitely include “constructive criticism”.  Writing this article has been a fat pitch for me personally, and the potential to win $25,000 for reviewing ReviewMe has definitely captured my attention.

Please share you thoughts below on how you feel about potentially seeing sponsored reviews in the future here on this blog. 

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