Do you write positive paid reviews on your blog?

I got an email today from Linkworth which told me that an advertiser would like me to review their website on my personal blog. It was only for $25 but it was probably worth doing since it only had to be 200 words or more and I could probably write the post in 15 minutes or so.

Before accepting I noticed that the advertiser had stipulated that the review had to be positive, something which I always tell advertisers I can’t guarantee when they enquire about a review. I had a quick look at the site in question, it was a basic photo rating site which offered prizes to those who participated. Whilst I wouldn’t give it a purely negative review, I certainly wouldn’t rave about it and I wasn’t keen on recommending it to my readers. Therefore I declined the review and told the advertiser (via the comments box) that I cannot guarantee reviews will be positive.

Because this was my first review request via Linkworth and because I always tell advertisers who contact me directly that I cannot gurantee reviews will be positive or favourable, this is the first time I have ever had to deal with this. No advertiser in the past has ever requested a review to be positive because I tell them up front I can’t gaurantee it so I’ve never had to decide ‘Yes or No’.

It didn’t take me long to come to this conclusion, if I get a positive review request in the future I will :

  • Accept it : If the website is good and I would recommend it to readers anyways.
  • Reject it : If the website is average or very poor and I would normally criticize the website.

Trust is something that takes a long time to build but a short time to lose however I don’t think that your integrity as an honest writer will be diminished if you would otherwise recommend the website to your readers anyways. Do you agree?

I’d love to hear what readers would do in this situation. Do you accept reviews for your blog even if you need to give them a positive spin?

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22 Comments

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