Now, I am not writing this to piss anyone off. I know I research companies before I work for them, and I just want to give you a point of view that you don't see unless you blog for them. Now, anyone who does blog for them won't ever post one bad word ever, because if you do, you will be kicked out (yes, I know people who this has happened to). If you happen to mention something that got said on their “private” forum, you'll get kicked out (but this rule hold true for only certain people because I've seen things blogged about and nothing was done to that person). Before I go on any more, let me tell you my story, what I've seen, and why I am not sure I'll go back even when I will be allowed back in.
I think it was about two years ago when I received an email from PayU2Blog asking me to join them. I was flattered, and it was a great way to make money off my blogs. You get paid $5 for a minimum of 60 words. Those were the rules when I started. However, they aren't posted anywhere, and if you don't have access to the forum, you'd have no idea to all the changes that just seem to magically show up at their whim. One day you can be following the rules, the next you aren't. The latest example of this (besides the reason I just got kicked but I'll go into that a bit later) is when Izea came out with blog sponsorships. If you had one on your blog, they (at least sent you an email BEFORE they did it) kicked you out. Now, no where in their “rules” does it say you can't have them nor would any new bloggers even have known it. Actually, I understand the reasoning behind it. However, there are so many bloggers that left Izea, because they felt PPP was telling them what they could and could not do with their blogs. Well, this step is one big one towards that for PayU2Blog.
Another issue I have with them has to do with a friend of mine: Drew. Now, the upper brass their have a bad habit of calling out who they think are “cheaters” on the forum. Drew decided to quit and emailed them to let them know. This was exactly what he was suppose to do. He then wrote a post about why he left PayU2Blog. He then was called out on their “private” forums by PayU2Blog for being a jerk and other things. He couldn't even defend himself, since he was locked out of the forums. Well, low and behold, they found his email. They then issued a half assed apology on their “private” forums, and actually, sent him a pretty snotty message before they realized their mistake. I'm sorry, but this whole mess could have been avoided if they didn't badmouth their bloggers. They also start witchhunts among their members and I often myself unable to disagree with them on their forums. You would often find that the members would gang up on the one lone person who disagreed. I found that long standing members would no longer comment on the forums, because they felt they couldn't. Now, I also noticed that my work seemed to go down if I disagreed (now, this could be purely coincidental since it didn't happen every time I spoke out, but did seem to happen enough that I noticed). As much as all this annoyed me, I keep working for them, because money is money. That may make me a bad person, but that money paid for Christmas and a lot of other things for my kids.
Now, what happened to me. As you all know, I was picked to be an Izea Insider. I have written a small amount about this. However, no where to the level of a “personal cheerleader” like I was accused of being. However, PayU2Blog disagrees and has told me that I cannot work for both Izea or PayU2Blog. It is one or the other. I was not the only one told this either – Brett, Corrin, Heather, and Julie were also kicked out. Now, PayU2Blog seems to think that Izea has it out for them, and we are all spies. Ummm, no. We applied for this position never thinking in a million years that this would be considered a conflict of interest. I consider myself a professional blogger and can separate what I do for each company. Heck, Izea obviously agrees since they knew we all worked for other companies besides them and have no problems. The best part of all this — the blogs that are not affiliated with the Izea Insider thing I am doing (like Lisa Reviews) are also kicked out. Now, I don't mention PayU2Blog or Izea on that blog, but since I am Izea's so called personal cheerleader now (which I have done no post to even suggest that) nothing I do is good enough for them anymore. Now, their advertisers lose out the most with this decision. This blog got over 300,000 visits in October alone, and I average anywhere from 500 – 1,000 visits a day on here. Since their advertisers are only after SEO (and maybe some hits from the posts itself), it really shouldn't matter what my other posts are even about.
Now, what does this “personal cheerleader” get for being an Izea Insider? I will get a template makeover for this blog (it's coming and looks awesome!). I was given an Affiliate Summit Pass and Sears gift card to give away. I am also being given a $1500 stipend to spend on conferences. Now, I actually have to pay out of my own pocket first and get reimbursed. As you can see, this isn't as glamorous as it was made out to be by PayU2Blog. I have been nothing but transparent about this, but whatever.
I hope this doesn't come across as sour grapes — I really do. I have a lot of friends that still work for PayU2Blog and that I hope this doesn't affect our friendships. However, I do feel that you need to hear both sides of a story, and if you are thinking about working for this company, you need to be prepared for what may happen. You will not hear this from somebody currently working for them, because they will get kicked out if they even mention in a blog post that they are doubting this company. If you do a google search, you can see all the people who have had problems with them. I can't vouch for those posts — only what I personally went through and what people I know have also. Since, I am over 1,000 words, I'll end it here even though I could probably go on for another 1000 words). I just have to say that it isn't fair to change the rules in the middle and not allow me to work for both companies especially on blogs that have nothing to do with me being an Izea Insider.