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Write for Pay and the Moral Struggle

I've been selling to a number of pay-per-post sites my talents as a writer.  I like doing this sort of work because it doesn't take long to write a small review, and I get to discover new and interesting sites.  The pay is horrible, however, and the terms, although they differ in subtle ways between each site, can be confusing and the policies strict.

One such site, SocialSpark, accepted my first post that I wrote for Wordpress Power Pack.  I was happy about this and so I decided to take another opportunity and write my second review, this time for  SocialSpark, this time around, rejected it.  I didn't understand why until I read the terms more closely.  SocialSpark doesn't allow one sponsored post after the next.  A non-sponsored post is to be placed before and after each sponsored post.  What confused me further was that I wrote each sponsored post for customers of SocialSpark, and neither post conflicted with the other, thus I never imagined that this would be a problem.  It wouldn't have been so bad if I was permitted to fix the problem and resubmit my post, but for reasons that still make no sense to me, I was not. This of course made me angry because, although for me it's easy to write these reviews, I had to spend not an insignificant amount of time using the site to discover its usefulness and benefits.

So my moral dilemma is this. Because I've already written the review, should I allow it to remain in my blog or ought I deleted?  The argument for allowing it to remain is that the producers of, as far as I understand it, didn't reject it, rather the editor of SocialSpark rejected it.  And while my site doesn't draw many readers, my reviews give such sites some exposure. The argument against keeping it, and it's really just a selfish and perhaps immature argument, is that I am angry with SocialSpark, and I think that some of their terms are senseless.  So being one who is sometimes driven by emotional rather than rational thought, I decided to delete the post. 

My opinions and my actions will certainly have no effect on how SocialSpark deals with it's writers.  If they read this they might bother to cancel my account, but I don't care.  It just feels good to rebel against the commercial ad/blogging establishment.

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Carri said…

We apologize for the frustration that you experienced with this. I thought I would share the reasoning behind the SocialSpark ToS in hopes that it will answer some of your questions.
Ultimately, what our advertisers want is word of mouth marketing. They are looking for their opportunity post on your blog to relate to their product AND to the content of your blog. (Relevent content is helpful to your SERPs standings as well.) Advertisers are not interested in having their post lost among a sea of ads, they want to be an island of advertising among a sea of your original content.
So, the intent of the Terms regarding interim posts is to help ensure that sponsored posts are able to be viewed on their own which provides the maximum benefit to the advertiser and to you as well as excessive ads are a big turn off to advertisers, readers and search engines.
The second issue with the ToS is what we call Time Shifting and this is why you could not resubmit your post. Basically, when you submit a post to us, your blog is frozen in time. When we review, we review what was submitted. To add, remove or change the date of a post to meet the ToS is essentially considered cheating. (If it helps, think of it like being in school and correcting the wrong answers when you self grade a test. Sure the answers end up right, but they didn't start out that way and it is, by all accounts, considered cheating.)
I do apologize again that you were inconvenienced by this and hope that you will give SocialSpark another try.
Always remember that we are happy to answer any questions you might have by submitting a help ticket to Customer Love.
All the Best,
Carri Bright
Communications Lead
IZEA Customer Love

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