So here are my thoughts on PayPerPost.

If you haven't heard about it, it's a new service dedicated to blog advertising.  That link right there?  I'll get paid for putting it on my blog, because it's an "opportunity" that the site lists.  Bloggers can scan available opportunities and pick ones that they want to write something about, if they're willing to put the link on their blog.

Because many blogs have good PageRank with Google, a link from an established blog is worth a lot more than an ad, because you're (presumably) more likely to click a link that it looks like I wrote, than a link that's obviously placed there by an ad engine.

I can see readers being upset with bloggers who "sell out", who start talking about online poker and vacation resorts simply because they'll get paid to do so.  And eventually, Google will figure it out and lower the PageRank of bloggers that do so.  I believe their algorithm already has the mechanisms in place to do this.

But here's the other side of PayPerPost:  If I'm already going to write about something, like VoIP, then it really doesn't hurt to scan the available opportunities and see if anything matches.  That's what happened with the VoIP article I just linked to there - I wanted to post about my experience with the Cisco phone at work and Rogers Home Phone at home (and my revelation that I'm 100% VoIP now), and hey, I can get paid to do it.

This is really nothing new for writers - there has always been the opportunity available to sell out.  Product previews and ad money comes more easily to magazines that write positive articles about iffy products.  Some bloggers will sell out, but I predict that the best blogs will not.

I will occasionally pick opportunities from PayPerPost - maybe even let them inspire me to write about something I might not have otherwise written about.  But it won't be selling out.  If I don't have something to say (that's about as relevant as what I usually say, which admittedly is a pretty low bar), then I'm not going to do it.  They don't pay that well.

I also recently took all the ads off my main blog page.  It was looking messy.

(I don't try to make a living off blogging - this is definitely a hobby, and if it pays for an XBox game every few weeks then I'm happy - and tinkering with ways of getting paid for blogging is part of what this blog is about.. that's part of the reason I don't consider this selling out.).

Or am I just rationalizing?  What do you think?