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Ask the Readers: Sponsored Reviews?

Hello and happy Saturday! I thought I’d write a short post today to ask you, my loyal reader, about sponsored reviews/posts.

My main concern being, what do you think of them? Do you like them? Not like them? Do you not visit a blog because they do sponsored reviews?

Here’s my opinion. I don’t mind sponsored reviews as long as they are unbiased and relevant to the blog subject. As long as the review can add some value to my readers, then I will approve and write them. I’ve gotten many offers for reviews, but I have refused the ones that weren’t relevant to my blog. The two reviews (ShortDaBull, Team Wealth Builder) that I’ve written were through ReviewMe and were highly relevant to the main theme of this blog.

I do promise that all sponsored reviews will be indicated within the post and they will never be a main source of content.

Let me know what you think!

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Super Saver July 7, 2007, 8:35 am

    While I am not opposed to others doing paid for posts, I have decided not to do them on My Wealth Builder.

    By the way, I’ve tagged your blog. Check out the URL for more info. http://my-wealth-builder.blogspot.com/2007/07/eight-random-facts-about-super-saver.html Enjoy.

  • FrugalTrader July 7, 2007, 10:26 am

    Hey Super Saver!

    Thanks for considering me for your list! Unfortunately, I’ve already been tagged before.

    All the best in your endeavors.
    FT

  • FourPillars July 7, 2007, 11:03 am

    I don’t like them at all. To me they are just ads and I avoid them wherever possible. I think one of the great things about blogs is the objectivity of the bloggers & commenters. Obviously there are errors and misinformation in blogworld but generally there are good intentions with posts & comments. I also think sponsored posts can dilute the “brand name” of a blog.

    Having said that, I read both of your sponsored posts and even checked out the ShortDaBull site as a result of it. They were definitely relevant reviews. You have also made it clear that one of your goals for the site is to make money.

    One other note – although I enjoyed her site, I stopped reading Gimme 5 bucks because of all the sponsored posts.

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader July 7, 2007, 11:10 am

    FP, thanks for leaving your opinion. I have been very selective over the reviews that I have written thus far, and will definitely continue to be extremely selective.

    So are you saying that you won’t have sponsored reviews on your blog?

  • guinness416 July 7, 2007, 11:10 am

    Relevant or not, I won’t read them. I use Google Reader, so it’s trivial for me to scroll up past anything that says “this is sponsored” (such as Gimme 5 Bucks) to the next post. That said, I can handle a couple of blogs doing sponsored posts this way, but if it becomes more common I’ll be very irritated.

  • Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer July 7, 2007, 11:17 am

    I would read them if on the same day you posted a regular post as well. In other words, you give readers a good regular post and they ‘reward’ you by reading your sponsored post.

  • FrugalTrader July 7, 2007, 11:22 am

    Let me ask you guys a question, since it’s a sponsored review, it can be either positive or negative. Is the reason why some readers don’t like them is b/c they feel that the blogger is obligated to write a “good” review for the sponsor?

  • Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer July 7, 2007, 11:49 am

    that’s one factor … there’s also the thought of reading something not for your best interest but for the best interest of the sponsor and the blogger (even if they both have the best intentions).

  • guinness416 July 7, 2007, 12:29 pm

    There’s just a lot of great blog content out there, and I’d rather read the stuff that is personal and has that enthused tone about it. The personal experiences, stories, homemade advice. I have finite spare time to read blogs, and don’t waste it on sponsored posts. I’m not on my high-horse about sponsorship, you guys deserve all the cash you can make. But I fear the thin end of the wedge and ALL the bloggers I read doing sponsored posts, which would really suck.

  • The Financial Blogger July 7, 2007, 12:31 pm

    I actually read them when they are relevant to the blog. Your last two for example, we good and honest review and they match perfectly your blog.

    I think that people have to understand that it is fun to blog, but it is also fun to receive a bit of money in return. Unfortunately, adds are part of our daily lives.

    The good thing about honest reviews is that it gives you a real opinion on a website or service. I guess that giving your thoughts and show up the bad points during the review are ways to keep your readers interested.

    Cheers,
    FB.

  • KK July 7, 2007, 12:38 pm

    It’s your blog do whatever you want. Also, good quality blogs can be missed so its a good way to get some traffic. But I do agree too many blog reviews may seem like advertising.

  • FourPillars July 7, 2007, 3:30 pm

    I can’t see ever doing a sponsored post on my site.

    I’m not trying to be judgmental or anything, as long as it’s clearly stated, there is nothing really wrong with doing them, I’m just not a fan myself.

    As for the objectivity – if you had totally criticized ShortDaBull would they still have paid you?

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader July 7, 2007, 3:36 pm

    Hey FP,

    Sponsors for Reviews are through ReviewMe, which acts as a middle man. The only rules for reviews are that they have to be 200 words or greater, and bloggers need to indicate in the post that it was sponsored. ShortDaBull went on a big marketing spree, and they did get one extremely negative review and another that was middle of the road.

    So to answer your question yes, I could have criticized ShortDaBull and still received my payment from ReviewMe. You know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. :)

  • FourPillars July 7, 2007, 5:04 pm

    Thanks Frugal – interesting to know how that works.

    Mike

  • Canadian Capitalist July 8, 2007, 3:40 pm

    I completely avoid paid reviews because I can’t honestly assure my readers that my opinion was not influenced by the fact that I was paid. That’s not to say that it won’t work for others, just not for me.

    As a blog reader, I simply don’t read “sponsored reviews”.

  • Jon / BlogThot.com July 12, 2007, 6:18 pm

    I think you’re the one who decides whether paid reviews are a good idea or not, because it’s all in how you write them. Readers often forget that authors deserve to be compensated.

    The reviews you’ve done so far look good and I don’t think you’ll lose any readers. I’ve never seen you write bad content, so don’t worry about it!

  • Monty Loree July 14, 2007, 1:25 pm

    Paid reviews of which I have done a few serve a few purposes.. They make me money, and give the reviewed site some relevant content that links back to their site.

    This is one review that I did on a pay day loan site.
    http://www.canadian-money-advisor.ca/archives/2007/07/Review+of+www.paydayloansabc.com.html

    I wasn’t overly friendly to the site, and tried to keep a factual approach to the situation.

    I approach this as a purely technical exercise. This type of article gives me keyworded pages, and gives the reviewed site keyworded links.

    After all, I’m in the business to squeeze out as much money from my sites as possible. I need to do so in an honest and legitimate fashion, which I believe I am doing.

    Lastly, I made $30 for a 15 minute review!!

  • Nabloid July 17, 2007, 5:42 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head. A topic relevant review is NOT detrimental to the site… you may even be able to point the readers to another valuable resource or you might be able to help the reveiwee improve thier site with some tips !

    I see nothing wrong with it if its topic relevant and feel you shouldn’t be worried about a few readers that don’t like it. If they don’t like that particular type of post they can choose not to read it, but they will most likely come back to the blog for more quality posts, which I’m sure you’ll continue to do…

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