Chat Session: Jarrod Hunt on Paid Blogging and Blogs Going Mainstream

By Daniel Scocco

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: danielscocco@hotmail
  • 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?
Jarrod: shoot
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: right
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: Right
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
Jarrod: sure
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.
Daniel: Yeah
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
Daniel: right
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.
Daniel: yeah
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: yep
Jarrod: hold on one sec. phone 🙂
Daniel: k
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?
Jarrod: HUGE
Daniel: Well
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
Jarrod: yep
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: totally
Daniel: thanks for the chat Jarrod!
Jarrod: yep, anytime.

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10 Responses to “Chat Session: Jarrod Hunt on Paid Blogging and Blogs Going Mainstream”

  • Jeremy Steele

    It’s weird reading a chat conversation that isn’t all “yoo supp dude?” “nm jus chillen” “u see that rambo movie” “ya, bloody and crap!” “yeah” “it waz cool”

    Anyway, I have to agree with the part about twitter, it’ll never take over blogging, and similar features will be slowly integrated into the big blogging platforms. At this point I think twitter is more useful to cell phone users who want to sneak past those limits on text messages.

    You should have asked him about whether or not he thinks links in reviews should be nofollow. Would have been an insightful response probably.

  • Bitten

    Nice idea. But maybe a summary in the end would make this kind of post better (and more worthy of posting). Also, it might be easier to read if the post would be divided to paragraphs. Like paragraph/subject.

  • Daniel Scocco

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah dividing into paragraphs is a good idea.

    I will also maybe let you guys post questions here before chatting with someone, so I can get his answers on the topics the readers are interested.

  • Young

    I haven’t earned one dollar from SponsoredReviews yet.

  • Ganha

    Young i have already made a lot of money with sponsoredreviews, in the past days they had less reviews opportunities but now the numbers are growing, just give it a try and remember the better your blog is the more money you can make, improve all your ranks alexa, technorati etc etc

  • Mike

    Nice post. Not much too new information, but good to just get an idea of whats going on and whatnot.

  • Los Angeles Seo

    I like the style and whole idea of this. It’s very fluid and is easy to read, and the chat is packed with information, but you don’t feel bombarded by it.

  • Michal Splho

    Nice idea. I agree there should be a kind of summary in the end, easier to catch the point.

  • Mindfull

    I would have to agree with Michal, since it is more important to be able to see the point from within a paragraph, but to read a chat log is kind of more like reading an interview, but I think you are onto something here Daniel, I mean, wouldnt be nice to have a msn network connection list for all seo’s ,) so that everyone within the community can chat about seo stuff and new trends etc….??
    Thank you for posting this Daniel, was informative .)

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