In the last couple of weeks one of my clients asked for some sponsored reviews and the first company I could think of was IZEA with its well knows payperpost.com.
Back in 2009 (or 2008?, I really forgot) the system was very easy: you, as an advertiser posted an opportunity with some requirements and only the bloggers that met those specific criteria could take that opportunity. That was the way bloggers were making money online. Well, at least one of the ways.
Nowadays you create an opportunity but IZEA’s blog network is shitty. I am absolutely positive that 99% of its bloggers are not proper bloggers but that king of bloggers that have like 10-20 blogs, all on different domain names, all on the same shared IP, with content from various content generators like uniquearticlewizard.com (unique my ass) or articleranks.com (non-sense spunned articles). They interlink these blogs and they obtain in a few months PR 2-3-4 on all blogs. Now, they submit those blogs to PayPerPost, NO ONE verify them so all the blogs are instantly approved.
After you create an opportunity you can make “leads’, meaning that you ask for bloggers who would write about your product/service etc. Of course, no serious blogger would write (and link to) about you for $5. So… you pay $5, you get nothing because the value of those links are ZERO.
I stopped my campaign after rejecting 90% of the reviews (the 10% I approved was only because of the nice design) but I cannot get my money back according to their TOS so I have to spend the remaining fund for crap.
So, making money via sponsored reviews is not what it was a few years ago. The concept of making money online if you are a blogger is like this: you writ unique, quality niche (or not) content every day. Right? You have a few thousand visitors/day, visitors that find your writing interesting. Now, if I have a product that is highly related to your blog’s niche (let’s say… I dunno, gardening), I pay you to write your HONEST (the concept of positive review it is just bullshit, why should anyone write about you that you’re awesome if you are not? Wouldn’t be better if the blogger would say the truth and you could learn something about how your audience sees your business?) review about it. Your readers are happy, I am happy, search engines are happy and we all make money out of it.
Because everyone wanted to make money out of it, this system degenerated into what it is today. So, I am not afraid to say that IZEA (and other systems alike) sucks both for bloggers and advertisers and it does not help at all.