Friday, January 2, 2009

SocialSpark Blog Marketing Sponsored Posts

After venting about the Smorty vs. Google scandal that I discovered recently, I had posted my findings on Gather, a super fun social networking community that I recently joined. I basically mentioned everything that I mentioned here on this blog; the fact that sponsored or paid blog posts = Google PageRank decrease, and that no matter how you slice it, it's bad for the blogger. I received a response from one Carri Bright, an employee of IZEA, the parent company of SocialSpark, another 'pay to blog' website in the mix. Here is a copy of what she wrote:

"I enjoyed your post and think that the decision to participate in sponsored posting is an important one for every blogger and I am glad to see some honest questions and conversation surrounding this decision.

As I work for IZEA, the parent company of SocialSpark, my view on this is a bit different. Obviously, we are firmly on the pro side of the Sponsored Posting argument. We believe that Sponsored posts do have a place in Social Media and that place is rapidly expanding.

If it is done correctly, Sponsored content should ALWAYS be disclosed, should only appear infrequently (a good sponsored to non-sponsored ratio is 1:10) and should fit nicely with the theme of your blog.

I also wanted to let you know that SocialSpark opportunities are all no-follow which makes them search engine (re: Google) friendly and will NOT cause your PR to disappear. In addition, SocialSpark has run campaigns for Sears, Ford, KMart, Dockers, Windows and Coke in the past few months, so big name companies are beginning to see the efficacy of this type of Marketing and we expect lots more in the new year."

I appreciate her response to this matter, however, I signed up for SocialSpark at the same time I signed up for the others. I honestly wasn't thoroughly impressed with what I saw, and therefore never made a post. I've read reviews on other 'at home money' blogs from people who really like this service, and have made quite a bit of money.

Personally, I am going to stay away from blogging for pay. The only thing I can think at this point, having lost PageRank on my other blog, is that if links have to be made 'no-follow' so Google doesn't know what's going on, it's still a scandal. (And I use the word scandal in order to refrain from calling this an outright scam!) It still seems scandalous to me, but I've included the post from Carri so that you may feel free to make your own decisions.

I will continue to gather more information on this topic and forward it along.

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