I am a big fan of IM, and every once in a while I have those long chat sessions with friends on a wide range of topics. Most of the conversations rotate around blogging and online marketing, so I thought that perhaps it could be worth to save some of them and share with our readers.
This is just an experiment, so if you guys hate it we will not keep publishing them. On the other hand if you think there is some value we might turn it into a weekly feature.
Today we have a chat session that I had with Jarrod Hunt a couple of days ago. Jarrod is the owner of SponsoredReviews.com, and he has also being involved with online marketing and SEO for years.
Finally, if you want to connect with me via IM here are my contact details:
- Skype: dscocco
- AIM: dscocco
- MSN: [email protected]
- GTalk: danielscocco
Now to the chat!
Daniel: Hello Jarrod
Jarrod: Hey Daniel
Daniel: How are things?
Jarrod: Monday.. crazy as usual
Daniel: Yeah, ready for those questions about Sponsored Reviews and blogging in general?
Daniel: Well first of all how is the paid blogging market evolving? Do you think it is growing as fast as some months ago?
Jarrod: Ya, we havent seen any slow down. User signups and revenue are still growing steadily
Jarrod: We just reached our 20,000th user the other day
Daniel: Oh that is big indeed
Daniel: How are you guys managing to the whole “disclosure” issue? You probably know that PayPerPost had a big turmoil with it back in the day.
Jarrod: SponsoredReviews has always been an open marketplace. Advertisers and Bloggers can make their own decisions on disclosure. While we do agree that disclosure is important, not all Bloggers or Advertisers agree. With that being said, the first rule a blogger will see about posting in our system is that “They Must be Honest”.
Jarrod: We do not allow advertisers to ask for dishonest reviews, and we regularly remove bloggers who feel they must lie to do a good review.
Daniel: What about earnings, do you have any data regarding how much some of your top bloggers are making monthly from sponsored reviews?
Jarrod: We have quite a few bloggers earning in the thousands of dollars per month. These tend to be bloggers who own several quality sites.
Daniel: Cool. I used to take a look on your market place once in while, and there was always plenty of review opportunities. It means advertisers must be finding value on it as well?
Jarrod: Ya, and as we add additional features they are finding more value all the time. We have recently added compete.com traffic data and a few other metrics. Combined with our internal SR Rank, Advertisers can easily find higher quality sites.
Jarrod: Plus, the proof is in the pudding. Many advertisers are seeing a real return on their investments.
Jarrod: Whether it be in direct traffic, search engine rankings, or feedback.
Daniel: Not I want to hear your opinions on the blogosphere in general though. I know that you have a blog, and you also are in contact with thousands of others on a daily basis so you are qualified.
Daniel: now = now
Daniel: Do you still see it growing as strong as some years ago, or do you think gradually we will reach a stale point?
Jarrod: Eventually the growth rate will decline, but as it stands people continue to find reasons blog. I know a lot of bloggers are simply getting bored with it and are quitting outright, but for now there are still huge segments of people who have yet to jump on the bandwagon. We are also starting to see a lot of bloggers diversify into multiple blogs/topics.
Jarrod: Besides, do blogs ever really die?
Daniel: Yeah I guess they just get discontinued.
Jarrod: I have a blog which will go months without any posts… then I’ll find something new to write about…
Daniel: What do you think of the argument that claims that Facebook/Twitter and company will take the place of blogs?
Jarrod: Well, I think there will be convergence over time. Many blog platforms are adding features that resemble the sort of features you would get with Facebook. In the future it may be hard to distinguish the difference. However, there are many different reasons to blog, not all of them require social networking sort of features. Business blogs for example, although….
Jarrod: Im struggling to think of an example of a business blog that wouldnt benefit from more community features unless it was meant for nothing more then internal announcements etc..
Daniel: Do you use twitter?
Jarrod: No, I’m a pretty private guy. I can see applications for Twitter, and I’ve seen lots of blogs using it, but I do not have an audience nor the motivation to provide that level of detail into my daily activities..
Jarrod: Speaking of blogs dieing, I think that is one of the biggest reasons.
Jarrod: A lot of people are starting to reject the idea of archiving their entire lives on the internet.
Jarrod: I’ve known people have lost jobs because of myspace. I’ve also seen some of my employees (Who are active on myspace, facebook, etc…) run into relationship problems because of information posted in pubic.
Daniel: Yeah I also tend to avoid going too personal on my blogs, let alone twitter what I am doing all day long.
Daniel: In fact I still don’t see much value on twitter, but I guess I will need to play more with it to give a more structure opinion.
Jarrod: I think its novelty will wear off soon, but Im sure some people will find good uses for it as well.
Daniel: Do you think blogs and mainstream media will end up converging as well? Or we will keep seeing them as separate entities for a long time yet?
Jarrod: They already are converging. As you know about me I follow politics pretty closely.
Jarrod: 2 years ago it was rare to hear a Main Stream Media mention of a blog.
Jarrod: Now we have sites like Politico who sponsor debates.
Jarrod: and sites like the Drudge Report which can literally make or break a candidate.
Jarrod: Mosts major news sites now have blog sections as well.
Daniel: Yeah but they tend to separate their blogs from the core publication
Jarrod: That is changing everyday
Daniel: but I agree we are already seeing a good deal of convergence
Jarrod: CNN for example. It’s fairly common now to see a link to their blog op/ed section on the homepage, above the fold.
Jarrod: I think one of the biggest issue with media these days
Jarrod: is the fact that real journalism is rare anymore.
Jarrod: The great thing about bloggers is that they tend to dig into a story
Daniel: You mean reporters going out and testing things and checking facts right
Jarrod: Mainstream news sites are getting wise to this, and are starting to closely track news on the blogosphere.
Jarrod: hold on one sec. phone
Jarrod: k back.
Jarrod: Ya I love the way things are progressing when it comes to the blogosphere and the MSM
Daniel: Do you think the Internet is playing a big role on these elections?
Daniel: Ron Paul has a huge support online apparently, but it is failing to translate into real votes, ain’t this the case?
Jarrod: While Ron Paul may be very popular online, most people still get their news from the MSM. If a candidate can’t get airtime on the major networks, there is no chance of them winning, at least not yet. Why didnt he get much airtime on the major networks?… we’ll save that for another conversation
Jarrod: On the other hand, Barack is a great example of how a candidate was able to use the internet to break into the MSM.
Jarrod: its not just about the internet shaping the news
Jarrod: but also about fund raising
Jarrod: I’ve heard that Barack has raised nearly 90% of his money online.
Jarrod: Mostly from donors of $100 or less
Jarrod: That was unheard of 5 years ago.
Daniel: Yeah that is pretty significant
Jarrod: It’s also very tough for politicians to get away with anything anymore.
Jarrod: Every little thing they say is digested by millions of people then discussed on blogs and in forums
Jarrod: Eventually that news makes it to the major blogs, the MSM will then “Sometimes” pick up on it
Daniel: That is a positive result of the democratization of the access to technology and information, I agree
Daniel: All right, we’ve wondered far and wide, some interesting points to think about.
Jarrod: Thats why we have to keep the internet “Regulation Free”..
Daniel: thanks for the chat Jarrod!
Jarrod: yep, anytime.