This is a paid review.
Here’s one of those ideas you wished you thought of first.
ReviewMe brings together advertisers and bloggers, aka people who have the power to turn the little guys into superstars and the big guys into… never mind what we can turn them into.
The point is there’s a lot of little companies out there with a lot of good ideas that deserves attention. They’re willing to pay a certain amount of money for this attention. There’s also a lot of bloggers who wish they are as famous as Kenny Sia and get really cool review offers tossed at them all the time. We’re not, and most of us don’t have the foggiest idea how to get this to happen to us without resorting to attention whore tactics.
ReviewMe marries the two. If you’re an advertiser, you get to pick bloggers to review your product according to your budget. If you’re a blogger, the amount of traffic your site generates determines your payout per review.
For example, I thought this very blog won’t get past their minimum requirements (specifics are not mentioned) but I tried anyway (because I’m greedy and all that), and lo! Standard Issue II rates 2 out of 5 stars, which amounts to a payout of $30 after ReviewMe takes their 50% cut. The lowest amount you can earn is $40 (before cut) for a 1-star blog. The good news is that your site rating is recalculated every month. The more traffic, the higher the payout. Now if that isn’t incentive to blog more, I don’t know what is!
The layout is clean and intuitive. Text size is not emo-kid tiny. There isn’t an overwhelming number of links all over the blasted page. Everything is pretty much straightforward… so much so that I’m not going to bother with screenshots.
Another extremely good thing about ReviewMe is that you are not required to put in a positive review if you feel the product doesn’t deserve one. Constructive criticism is always gold. If you gain a rep for indiscriminately trashing everything, I’m not sure if you’ll get much business!
I am particularly keen on this point because in my experience as a reviewer, you often get pressured to give a good (or at least neutral) review. Especially if they advertise in your publication! Advertising dollars are worth more than your opinion on this side of the world!
The first drawback that comes to mind is of a geographical nature. There is no public list of advertisers but I bet a bulk of them will be American. Will advertisers hire those of us on the other side of the globe? I suppose that would depend on the product concerned. LiewCF’s first review via ReviewMe is a product that can easily be delivered through the Internet. There is hope for the rest of us yet!
Another real problem I noticed is of a technical nature. There is currently no verification process for blogs you submit as “yours”. I can submit someone else’s blog and it’ll evaluate how much the site is worth. However, in order to claim your fee, you have to submit the URL to your review, which I’m sure won’t work if it doesn’t match the blog address you provided.
The ReviewMe Support team assures me that they are aware of the problem and are working on it. So boys and girls, don’t piss someone off by submitting their URL. IT WILL COME BACK AND BITE YOU IN THE ASS.
The whole reason I was even led into this direction is because I did a search on Malaysian blogs and Yasmin Ahmad‘s blog turned up. I could be wrong, but she didn’t strike me as someone who had time for something like this.
Lastly, you are given 48 hours to review the product and post on your blog. As this is my very first review, I see no reason why I can’t deliver as scheduled. My main concern is for products that will require more than 48 hours to fully test out. Or if Real Life happens and you can’t deliver on schedule. Apart from that, I’d happily backburn my other blog activities to put a paid post on priority.
Now go play.