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Here I Go Again: My Review of the ReviewMe Ads

The (self-proclaimed) Devil's Advocate of Poker Bloggers hasn't stirred up any harsh emotions in the last, say, two weeks, so let's get into it with my opinion on Review Me.

For those who do not know, Review Me is a site that coordinates advertisers and bloggers. Bloggers sign up for Review Me, and Review Me will give you a general rate for ads on your blog. The Ads are in the form of a Review made in a post. Advertisers go to Review Me, Review Me arranges which blogs will review the product or service, and Review Me collects a fee from the Advertiser, passing 1/2 of the fee onto the blogger.

Shock! Bloggers can make money blogging! Well, I'm not stupid enough to really start a thread that is all controversy (intentionally). So let me start with my rawest feelings on the subject: as a newly-self-identified Libertarian, I believe that each blog should individually decide on their own whether Review Me is right for them, and they should not be taken to task because of the monetization of their blog. I think we call all agree that 99% of us did not start blogging because of the big paycheck, wild lifestyle, and copious amount of groupies (not to mention the health insurance benefits!). No, we started blogging because we are all egotistical exhibitionists, or, if you prefer, creative poker-centric people who wanted a forum to share their thoughts.

That said, I do not think there is anything wrong with making money from your blog, plain and simple. There are two prevalent thoughts on the subject, and one subsection. Some believe that they should get whatever they can get. An ad doesn't cost the blogger anything, so making a few bucks for something that costs nothing is not only smart, but also logical. The other major group believes that there is an inherint value to your blog and/or reputation, and you will only sell it for the right price under the right conditions. A subsect of this group would not take advertisers because their valuation of their blog is too high, and advertisers aren't offering enough. But ask any blogger, ANY BLOGGER, if they'd sell their blog for $1,000,000, and I'd guess that they'd all say yes in a heartbeat. That's why I don't consider the non-advertising bloggers to be their own group. They just haven't seen their price yet.

Where do I stand in all of this. I stand squarely in the group that places some value in their blog and reputation. Sure, you see some ads on the side, but I don't take any affiliate deals because when I had them, I found that it was affecting my blogging. I'll advertise for you if you pay the price, but I won't do your dirty work, sending customers your way, because (a) if I don't emphasize your product in posts, I'm not likely to get a lot of benefit from your affiliate deal, and (b) if I do emphasize your product in my post, then I'm not blogging to express myself, I'm blogging to make money. That just isn't me, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Now, with all of that behind us, what does this have to do with Review Me and their post ads. It just won't work for me. I've considered it long and hard. Free money is nice, and that's why I don't blame anyone for trying Review Me out. But for me, when I see a Review Me ad on a blog, it just appears to be filler. I ignore it entirely, mostly because I know what's going on behind the curtain. I know that the blogger is just going through the motions and have no real interest in the product or service. It's akin to expecting your favorite show to be on, but finding an infomercial on instead. It just plain sucks. So, I ignore the post and wait for the next one.

One thing Review Me does right is that they have a disclaimer in each advertisement post. At least they aren't trying to fool us. Whatever the case, it's still just filler, and I doubt that the readers really care for it. At least the banners on the side are just trimming around the beautiful turkey that is my writing. When you put up an ad post from Review Me, the turkey isn't even real. It's a faux Thanksgiving, which is no thanks at all.

Do I condemn you for signing up with Review Me? Hell no! I was 5 minutes away from doing it a couple of times before I decided not to. If you are of the mind that the price is right for you or your blog, then take it. Who the hell am I to judge! No one, that's who. But will it work for me? Sadly, no. I'll have to leave that money on the table, because it just doesn't fit right.

So, what can we get from all of this? Live and let live, sure, I like that. Every man has his price, okay that too. I mean, if Review Me said, Hey Jordan, $200 per ad post, I'd be all, Where do I sign up? But for the time being it will cost me too much (my content) to take on those ads.

One last thought. Perhaps the advertising bubble has bursted in the blogosphere and Review Me is the only guy out there. If so, fine. I don't really need the ads. They were just some of the perks. I only mention it becasue for those considering Review Me, this may be the tipping point. But I haven't seen any evidence that the ads will end (just yet). Let's cross that bridge when we get to it.

posted by Jordan @ 10:50 AM,


At 12:15 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I'm currently working on a review of your post that reviews posts that have Review Me ads in their post.

Actually, no I'm not.


At 1:26 PM, Blogger BG said...

I cancelled my ReviewMe membership when the first offer I got was to review CardsChat for $50. Nick had offered to buy a text ad from me previously, and I'm sure I would have gotten quite a bit more than $50 for my troubles. Basically, I believe anyone who accepts reviews from a source that is or might consider buying text ads from our community is undercutting the value of advertising for those who want to monetize their blog.

Plus, the rake is 50%. That's shit.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

I'm with you overall, BG, but what about the smaller blogs who don't have as many opportunities for advertising? Also, what about advertisers who wouldn't otherwise advertise with bloggers? DP is a perfect example. He just restarted his blog and was already able to make some dough. Good for him. For someone who is more established though, or for someone who for whatever reason thinks Review Me is below them or their blog, then there are more than enough reasons why Review Me is a terrible service.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't done any advertising with ReviewMe except for their own company.

A new blog wont get the price I got ($100, I should get paid $50) as there are some residual effects of my old blog influencing that. If I was offered any less than that, I wouldn't have participated in the original promotion.

I don't know. It's an interesting concept, but I don't think the company will be successful.

There are many problems with the service.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Pauly said...

But ask any blogger, ANY BLOGGER, if they'd sell their blog for $100,000, and I'd guess that they'd all say yes in a heartbeat.

I've been offered 100K and 150K to sell my blog on two different instances --- and turned them BOTH down.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just find it funny how so many bloggers are willing to throw their Social Security Numbers out to a site that nobody had basically heard of a month or so ago, and for what? A few bucks? I signed up for ReviewMe but refused to give out my SSN until I had gotten some direct feedback from the ReviewMe management. I sent them a nicely worded email asking about this requirement. Think I ever heard back from them? Hell no! It's been two weeks now and no response. So they can just kiss my ass.

To all you bloggers who freely gave them your SSN - GOOD LUCK. Hope you don't get your freaking ID stolen for a few bucks to review worthless crap that most of us would never use in the first place.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a sponsored comment:

I sold out because my blog is shit and I don't care. They have not yet asked for my SIN # and if they do I do not know what my answer is as of yet. I look at it as free money for taking 15 mins out of my day to type 200 words. I guess I represent the smaller bloggers out there and I think a lot of them would be flattered to throw up a couple ads for dirt cheap.

The smaller bloggers don't have egos; we don't value our writing and integrity as much as the powerhouse's and this nominal amount of money we can get is great. I apologize to BG who thinks we are diluting his Ad revenue, but by me denying ReviewMe for that reason I would be colluding and getting nothing in return because they probably won’t advertise on my blog. I'm doing a Hit n' Run on these guys and I have no regrets.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, this is funny stuff. You guys are good.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Pauly, I added another 0. I actually was thinking of you when I was coming up with a number and was going to do 1 million, but then figured that most would sell for less. 1 million though, Pauly. You'd take that, right?

RiverRun, you know that I didn't do this to knock the bloggers who did take up Review Me. I understand the reasoning behind it 100%. And you are in good company, with Trip, Joe Speaker, and others on board. I'm very lasseiz faire about the whole thing.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are being hypocritical- if you make money off your blog, whether from reviewme, links, advertisers, prostitution, you make money off your blog. I think to try to differentiate and put yourself above others by saying the way you make your money is superior, is obnoxious. For those who don't make money off your blogs- well, more money for me as far as I'm concerned. If everyone knows a reviewme or ad is paying me to post it- they know why it's there plain and simple. Maybe I support it maybe I don't but this is America and choose to click it or not- I won't hold it against you. I have bills to pay and I want a PS3. So there.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

That's right, Anonymous. In fact, that was the point of my post, sorta. That said, the more we talk about advertising, the more information is available to us all. That information could allow individuals to decide (individually) whether they want to take a certain type of ad, and knowledge is power.

PS- Anonymous comments are gay.


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