(This is a paid review, but it doesn’t mean I’m being paid to praise.)
As some of you might know, I’d been thinking and planning on putting book, book adaptation, and otherwise-literary-schtuff reviews here on my writing site/blog, which I started with my review of BBC One’s Jane Eyre adaptation. I have a few half-reviews written from my old site, which I also plan on putting up here at one time or another. That said, when I read on Danielle’s blog about ReviewMe, I was intrigued and I certainly wanted to see where it would go.
ReviewMe is this interesting service where Advertisers can basically “hire” bloggers to write reviews of their products. They can browse a list of websites according to category, choose a website/blogger, and have that blogger write for them. It sounds really fishy, but as Danielle pointed out, ReviewMe prohibits advertisers from requiring their reviewers to write a positive review. Hence, if the product is actually crappy, I wouldn’t be compelled to slave away for hours to come up with 200 words of half-truths.
I was so in.
However, one thing I wasn’t entirely anticipating (although I should have realized that) would be the difficulty in getting paid. I’m sure it would be an absolute breeze for those living in the US — ReviewMe offers payment via Paypal and check — but Paypal’s Philippine accounts won’t allow funs to be trasferred into my account — I can only send funds and pay via Paypal. (Which is seriously annoying, but hopefully will be rectified soon.) I was left with the check option, but I have to clear with my bank first if they’ll allow deposit of a US check to a peso account, or if I’d need to open a dollar account for that (ouch).
Of course, that supposes that ReviewMe does actually allow sending US checks overseas. They allowed me to sign up, so I’m assuming that they will process my payments along with the rest. We’ll see. ;) I also contacted them about possibly holding my payment for me until I am able to set something up with my bank (in case I can’t deposit the check to a peso account), but I haven’t heard from them yet — not a big deal, as I only sent it around an hour ago and it’s probably the weekend over there. I’m not too hard to please. ;) Plus, payout would be the first of every month, and that’s still a few days away.
Obviously, I’m waiting to see if this really does push off. It is an interesting idea and I’m all for it. Implementation-wise, it seems rather sound. The website is easy to navigate, the colors cool and easy on the eyes. I think they could improve on overall documentation, however — I have had to look for small details like the following:
Question: How do you know my blog is worth $X? What are your criteria, how does it add up?
Answer: You can find the answer by hovering over the question mark beside the “Price” heading when the system shows you your blogs (like in the Manage my sites page, for instance). They say: ReviewMe determines price on several factors including theme, estimated traffic, link popularity, and estimated RSS subscribers. Alright, thanks. They could have easily put this on the FAQ page, but maybe they just forgot.
Question: You said my blog was worth $X but I’m getting paid $Y!
Answer: You get 50% of the price of your blog. I was surprised at this, quite frankly. And yes, you only find out why by hovering again on the question mark beside the “Payout” heading in your list of blogs. I feel that this is misleading marketing on their part. Why put in a certain amount as “this is the price of your blog” and then only pay out a certain portion of that, without even notifying clearly that 50% of your blog’s price will be sent over to ReviewMe? I don’t entirely mind the fact that hey, you’re chucking off half of the price even though I’ve done every bit of the work — but at least tell me clearly at the onset so that I don’t have any unpleasant surprises and confusion afterward. If I was in a bad mood, I’d have easily ranted about the fact that they’re not being up-front about the costs of their system. Because, basically, that’s what it is. You don’t know how much they’d charge you.
Which brings me to another point, actually. It seems that it’s the bloggers that are being charged for writing the reviews. The bloggers write, but the bloggers also pay for the service in full. I don’t think that’s sound. I’d suggest that they do it 50/50 — if my blog costs $100, I’d like to receive $75 and then the advertiser pays $125. One might even say that the advertiser has to pay more for the service ReviewMe is giving them, but I’m good with half-half.
I know that the above is probably just ReviewMe’s presentation problems. The thing is, they could just easily have told me my blog costs this much, and not tell me that they’re actually charging the advertisers 100% of my fee. It’s just in the presentation, really. But I think they should fix up the way they present their fee structure, because it certainly seems like the bloggers have it bad.
But hey, they’re a new site, they can’t be expected to be fully perfect the first time around ;) Otherwise they seem sound, and worth looking into.
(Now we’ll see how great their support is — I’ll probably post again or add to this entry once I get a better feel of the system. ;) hee)
EDIT: Yes, support is alright — they could be chattier, or have a bit more initiative, but they’re courteous and they meet the requirements.