Back on January 11th, 2007, I posted about an upcoming review service called SponsoredReviews. I'd discovered the site, which was still in Beta, from a link in Jarrod Hunt's (of TextLinkBrokers) email to me. I was intrigued because it sounded as though it had taken the best aspects of currently running review sites, and added some new features that would be beneficial to all.
I was right. SponsoredReviews has launched and I believe it will be a worthy contender in this fast-growing space. Let's first go over some of the main features.
- Automated Rating System that rates the quality of the blogs
- Bidding System. This one is interesting as the advertisers and publishers can offer and counter-offer prices for reviews.
- Manual Pricing. Although the system will suggest a price, publishers can manually set whatever price they want. It doesn't stop there, however. Publishers and advertisers can still negotiate a price via the bidding system mentioned above.
- Full disclosure required, which is pretty much the standard these days.
- Not only can advertisers search for bloggers, but bloggers can also search for advertisers. If a blogger shows interest in a particular review, the advertiser is contacted. The advertiser can then either approve the blogger (and the blogger's bid price, which may be different than what the blogger originally submitted as his standard blog price), or the advertiser can send the blogger a counter-offer. The ball is then back in the blogger's court to accept, reject, or counter the counter-offer. Of course, the same system applies if an advertiser would like to request a review from a blogger.
- Bi-weekly payouts to publishers via PayPal
- Bloggers are encouraged to write in-depth, honest reviews and constructive criticism is expected.
Now for a couple of screenshots. The first shows Bloggers Finding Advertisers, and the second shows Advertisers Finding Bloggers.
One of the best features, in my opinion, is that each review opportunity posted allows for plenty of space for the advertiser to be specific about what he would like. No, I don't mean he gets to dictate what the review says. But he gets to inform the blogger what he would like reviewed, and what requirements must be met. If an advertiser has a large site, I'd much rather know that he would like me to review a certain product, rather than wondering which of the 100 possible products he might want reviewed or whether he just wanted the design of the site reviewed, or a tool or gadget reviewed. It's imperative that the advertiser and publisher are clear on what is to be reviewed, and this system allows for that easily.
My next favorite feature is the ability for either the advertiser or the publisher to search for each other, and then have the ability to negotiate with each other over the price. That's business at its finest. SponsoredReviews.com looks to be the perfect amalgamation of all those that have come before. Sometimes you don't have to build the first mousetrap; you just have to build a better one. I'll be watching this one closely to see if it lives up to its potential.
This has been a sponsored review.