CREAMaid is a new site, cue beta tag here. Companies are starting to see the marketing power of bloggers and the weight that their recommendations or reviews have on readers. CREAMaid aims to capitalize on this and generates blogging “buzz” using the service. Bloggers are requested to blog about products and services, if their post is accepted then they are paid a royalty. Smart marketing or cash for comment? You be the judge.
There is no registration process, bloggers are invited to participate with the click of the mouse. You are presented on the right hand page a selection of topics to blog on or the “Recently Updated” list. Listed is the topic or service, with a link to the widget. The royalty that will be payed and the number of remaining posts that will be accepted in that “campaign”.
Clicking a topic opens up a flash generated widget that has all the details of what the marketer is requesting of the blogger. At this time there were only four topics listed, but the site is new so that is understandable. But there other ways to find topics that are listed on CREAMaid:
- In the wild: finding a blog post that is talking about the conversation
- Virally: on another bloggers post
The one that I looked at requested that the blogger visit their page, choose a product, write about it and include pictures. Reasonable enough request, especially since fulfilling the requirements and subsequent approval will get you $5. However, for a quick easy buck I think that it could encourage people to make blog posts that are not truthful. Such as saying that they actually purchased the product and proceed to write a glowing review; really knowing nothing about the product. However, the embedded code that the blogger puts in the post places the widget from CREAMaid on their post when published. So it is obvious to the reader that it is a paid comment. I think this may in many instances erode the creditability of the blogger, regardless of who they are. A comment that is made by a blogger is respected because it is an independent opinion not based on economic gain.
Once you have written your blog post, you return to the site and the widget and lift off some HTML code that you are required to embed in your post. Currently the supported services are all the usual suspects, WordPress.com included. But also: Blogger, TypePad, MySpace, Live Journal, Windows Live Spaces, Xanga Blog, AOL Journals and all user hosted blogs to name but a few. As well as embed the HTML you are required to submit an email address via which they will inform you if you have been selected.
As soon as your post has been selected you are sent an email. The email includes a verification code and a link you can visit to collect your royalty payment via PayPal. You are payed directly as soon as you have done this.
There are a few rules (“promises”) that must be followed in the post that is to be submitted and the suggestion is that you will more than likely be payed for your post as every effort is made to accept all posts made, as long as you follow the rules. So almost a guarantee that you will be payed. The responsibility of the payment is that of the marketer, which CREAMaid kindly refer to as the “Conversation Starter”.
The business model in this instance seems sound in that CREAMaid charge for the PayPal service and for the beta period; no more than the cost of this service provision.
“During the beta period, CREAMaid will not take any fees except for the PayPal fee (5.6%, for receiving and sending the money) required for running the Service itself. However, we plan to change this policy after the beta period is over. “
Given that fact it leaves the opportunity open for them to actually charge “Conversation Starters” a percentage of the royality offered, not that it will mean less for the blogger but rather the marketer. At this point in time that is cheap marketing.
The service that this site offers is a well thought out process but it leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth as I feel it takes advantage of the community of bloggers that review products and services for free and because they want to. This service is already available to companies. If you have a good product, bloggers will talk about it and review it honestly.
This process has creditability right now, no one is payed and if they are they make a point of saying it in the post! They avoid their readers thinking that what they are saying is “just a payed comment from X company”. Creditability for the post = zero if they find out and you don’t tell them in addition to being trashed all over the blogosphere! I know from my own experience that there are companies, coders and developers out there that believe in their product and ask me to include it in the podcast for review. They believe in the process, one that is very much survival of the fittest application or product or book etc. If the product is rubbish it will die a natural death. But I agree there are those products out there that fail to gain traction and exposure that deserve to. Would I submit my service to CREAMaid? I think a good couple of days approaching willing bloggers and podcasters with good reputations will get you further.
I say this because I think the above statements reflect the feeling of most consumers and readers of blogs, once you submit your product or service to a marketing service that makes no secret of the fact that bloggers are payed to comment, the product itself looses credibility with the post.
CREAMaid looks slick, easy to use, simple and a low cost marketing alternative. The site is very well implemented and executed. However, in my opinion it will be very difficult to make a marketing engine work on payed comments because of consumer trust and creditability. Not only that this is a system that is already in place and works well, without any cash changing hands. Although I will admit that that is not a guarantee, I would argue that at this present time a rarity.