Sunday, May 6, 2007

Internet Program: Epinions

I have been a member of Epinions since 1999. Between the end of 1999 and early 2001 (14 months) I earned $290 on Epinions. I earned about $21 per month back then. MAD LOOT!

I recently returned to my account on Epinions to find some old product reviews I'd written (more on this in a future post). Epinions is a website where users post short product reviews on products, services, colleges, restaurants--you name it. In 1999 it was innovative. Now, frankly, it's quaint.

Epinions earns money for the company in two ways: advertising (of course) and click-through purchases. If you write about a baby toy, and someone buys that baby toy from Amazon.com from your review, then Epinions earns an affiliate kick-back (normally 5-15% of the cost of the item).

Epinions, in the past, paid reviewers a flat rate ($.10 to $1) for each review, and then a certain amount ($.01 to $.10) every time the review was rated by readers.

That system has changed. It's now a "revenue share" model, which means you don't know up front how much you'll earn per review. The 42 reviews I posted in 14 months are still generating small streams of revenue, ironically ($.50 in my account!). So the good of Epinions is that you write your review and it lives on, earning non-active revenue.

The bad of Epinions is that your revenue stream may amount to a trickle that isn't worth the initial time to set up an account and write reviews. On the other hand, in March 2007 Epinions had a "10 for 10" promotion--write 10 reviews, earn a straight $10 upfront plus revenue share. So there's potential when Epinions runs promotions.

Epinions can be an excellent tool for those who enjoy writing reviews of products and services, and can be a nice addition to a "recycling content" model I will share in coming days--a way to take one 400 word review and "monetize" it on multiple sites and accounts to maximize effort and money.

More on that later. Click here to join Epinions: http://www.epinions.com

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