Last month, fellow WalletPop blogger Aaron Crowe interviewed the CEO of Izea on how he pays bloggers to tout the wares of advertisers. Now Izea plans to move its controversial marketing onto Twitter. It will soon unveil a new program called Sponsored Tweets, which will pay Twitter users to promote products.
So will this make tweeters rich? Hey, it could be a better use of your time than tweeting about what you had for breakfast or your relatively uninformed opinions about nuclear proliferation. You could actually write something of interest to more people besides yourself -- and make money at it.
Here's how it could work. Say a new restaurant opened up in your city and needs some foot traffic. It turns to Izea for some help with marketing and promotion. Izea hires you to tweet about the absolutely fantastic meal you had at the place. Izea says it typically pays its bloggers $15 for a review of a Web site. A blogger that draws rising amounts of traffic, interaction and followers is paid more for a post than a blogger with less of that action.
For Twitterers, cash would either come via AdCash, and would be doled out on a click-by-click basis -- I'm assuming we're talking fractions of a penny for every click -- or, for higher-powered Twitterers, a flat fee for every tweet.
But some in the Twitter community are up in arms, saying Twitter could become filled with advertising pitches and spam that will annoy users (although the upside is that all the annoying ad drivel must be 140 words or less). Izea does not have a good track record of having its bloggers fully disclose what they were paid to promote, but it says it is tightening up its standards. Hopefully that means that any restaurant you tweet about must be in your city, you must actually have eaten there and, in a nod toward the dying embers of journalistic neutrality, you paid for your own meal.
If you are puzzled or annoyed by Twitter, here's another example you can add to the Twitter backlash. But if you're ready to earn some extra cash, Tweeters, now is your chance. Your first job can be promoting Blockbuster's online video rental system -- you'll get paid 68 cents per click.
Does shilling on Twitter make you cash -- or simply a twit?