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Sponsored Posts

Many companies are looking to optimize their websites for search engines. One of the most efficient ways to accomplish this is by getting links back to their site from authoritative sites using specified keywords.

In other words, if I have a site that discusses lifestyle design, and someone links to my site this way — lifestyle design — it could indicate to Google that my page is probably a good site for that topic. (It’s often better than a link that just has my site name in it, like this — Pix2Brix.) And if the site that’s linking to my site is a highly ranked page, even better.

Because of this, many companies will pay bloggers to write posts that link back to them, using the keywords they want to target. And they’ll pay more, the higher your own site ranks. Some services have a minimum page rank before approval. Check their terms of service for details.

I recommend signing up for Blogsvertise and Social Spark right away. If you find you have time for more sponsored posts, look into the other two.

Blogsvertise

BlogsvertiseBlogsvertise is my bread and butter paid blogging services. The site is archaic. It looks so shabby that you might think it’s not a legitimate source, but it is. They don’t pay a lot per post, but the offers are very consistent. I usually have more offers than I can take.

This great service has a “grab bag” feature. When you qualify, you can look over post opportunities that were assigned to others and either expired or were declined. If you like one, just select it and it will be added to your list of assignments.

Another great thing about Blogsvertise is that they pay each post as soon as it clears. 30 days after a post clears, the payment is deposited right into your PayPal account. You do not have to wait until the payments accumulate into a specific dollar amount.

Social Spark

SocialSparkMy second favorite sponsored post service is Social Spark. The site is new, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. Overall, they offer the best paid posts of any of the services I use and the offers are fairly consistent.

One of the best features of Social Spark is that they offer more than just paid posts. The also offer “deals” and “ads.”

Deals are ads that you can add to posts or sidebars. These deals work like affiliate marketing. If one of your readers clicks through and completes the desired action (purchases, signs up, etc.), you get a commission. Like most banner ads, they don’t seem to create a lot of income, but they are certainly easy to do. Given the time involved, they have given a great return on investment, since one completed action can drop $25 or more into your account.

Ads (at least the ones I’ve received) are display ads that are paid on a cpm (cost per thousand views) model. While the payments may be very small, they are an easy way to keep money trickling in without doing any work other than initial setup.

The only thing I don’t like about Social Spark is that they use a direct publishing model. That means you enter the text directly on the Social Spark site and, when approved, they publish it right to your site. You can opt out of this feature, but the information seems to indicate that your opportunities may be limited if you publish manually.

There are a number of problems with this direct publishing setup:

  1. More tag, categories, tags, etc., cannot be set until after the post publishes.
  2. Custom title tag and meta description cannot be set until after the post publishes.
  3. Post slug cannot be specified, it defaults to the post title you select with hyphens inserted.
  4. The posting interface is a bit wonky. Trying to edit the source code doesn’t always work.
  5. The direct post feature doesn’t work with the latest versions of WordPress. When the post is sent to your blog, is loses all the HTML open and close brackets. Until you go in and manually fix the code (a pain), your page looks like garbage. (They know about this problem, but don’t have a date for when the fix will be complete.)

With SocialSpark you must wait for your income to reach $50 before you withdraw. Otherwise, you have to pay a $2.00 penalty to withdraw lower amounts.

Note: SocialSpark uses a point system instead of a dollar amount with each point being worth one cent. For example, a post that earns 3,500 points is worth $35.00.

PayPerPost

PayPerPostPayPerPost is one of the best sponsored post services out there. It’s owned by the same company as Social Spark. It’s older and I would guess that it may eventually be phased out and assumed by the newer service.

While I don’t get quite as many offers from this service as Blogsvertise, they pay more and tend to be more straightforward with fewer requirements. Like Blogsvertise, you post on your site and then link to the post in your PPP account for verification. They pay tends to be a bit less than SocialSpark.

With PayPerPost you must wait for your income to reach $50 before you withdraw. Otherwise, you have to pay a $2.00 penalty to withdraw lower amounts.

Sponsored Reviews

SponsoredReviewsThe fourth and final paid posting service I use is Sponsored Reviews. It’s my least favorite, but mostly because I get the fewest offers from this site.

With Sponsored Reviews, you choose a per review payment amount. You get 50% of the amount you select for each review you complete. The reviews can be positive or negative, you simply give your opinion. Most of my opportunities weren’t really reviews at all, but more topical posts.

Sponsored Reviews pays bi-weekly through PayPal.