Get rid of offer credits
This new "offer credit" plan is not going to be good for your advertisers or bloggers. For example, there may be days/weeks when there are a plethora of post opportunities that are a great fit for more blogs where I could really help a lot of the advertisers with posting to my blogs, but then there are days/weeks when there are no opportunities that would be a good fit. Putting a limit on how many opportunities a publisher can offer is going to be preventing your advertisers from being able to see all of the available blogs that would love to work with them. This is not going to serve your customers well at all.
We have suspended the offer credits system so you can freely make offers. This will be replaced by a opps to offers ratio checker – if excessive you will be limited in the offers you can make.
@Erik - we're about to remove the 'All Considered' budget option which should help mitigate the offer too expensive factor from accept rates.
Daniel Tan commented
PostJoint, cost to advertiser:
1) Content production, and everyone wants it 'engaging', which means not only cost, but real effort too.
2) Paying the bloggers.
3) And a fee to you? Seriously? You are better off charging this on the bloggers.
1) Free content, usually engaging. They can choose!
2) Get paid.
3) If they were charged a fee for the money they receive, they will still be happy. Just keep the content quality top notch, bloggers will stay.
I imagine that if a fee is imposed on advertisers (in addition to what they're already paying the blogger), that the number of available posts will decline, as will the fees the advertisers are able to pay to the bloggers.
@PostJoint - I'll be leaving the site if you do that. I place hundreds of posts on your site each month and the fees would be astronomical. Sorry!
@Erik - point taken. We're thinking about removing the offer credits system for some sites. We're planning to charge advertisers a nominal fee as low as $1 for each offer they receive and giving them the ability to get as many as they want. If they report an offer as invalid, we will review it, return the credit, and limit the bloggers ability to make offers.
Erik M. commented
@Laura - thanks and I completely understand where you're coming from which is why we don't have any bids on your posts any longer.
However, I disagree that this is a valid excuse for everyone that we have messaging us to reduce our bids. I own a content development company that does hundreds of guest posts a month for clients at a price point of $99 each - http://gravytrain.ca/guest-blog-posts/ - and we have no problem with the minimum $25 setting. We write the post content, pay for licensed stock images for each post, deal with PJ, final reporting, etc. and this service is profitable without outsourcing anything overseas.
My team has never, ever asked anyone to lower a bid and although we may find ourselves overpaying a bit here and there, it's not a problem. The amount of blog sourcing and contacting time (and thus money) saved by using services like PJ drastically outweighs the $5 we might save by harassing the blogger to lower their bid.
Two schools of thought, and neither is right or wrong. You're free to ask for a reduced bid, and the blogger can either accept/deny as needed.
... oh and Eric - I understand why you're frustrated with people messaging you and asking you to lower your price but we are also an SEO company and our clients do have PR based pricing plans and others have fixed prices. We are not allowed to tell a blogger what our maximum fee is until after you have bid on our articles - many of us used to place our maximum fees in the title but this is now against the rules of PostJoint. Please don't think we are making excuses - many of us would love to pay great blogs great prices but we ARE stuck by what our clients dictate and what they pay us. Asking you to lower your price for the reasons you state is not an excuse.
That said, PostJoint needs to do something relating to the pricing, I've been asking for months and they still don't seem too interested in reintroducing lower price brackets. It would make sense for BOTH advertisors and bloggers, and make a big difference to the success of offer credits.
I totally get why so many of you are frustrated - the offer credits don't seem to be working out. I am having to decline a lot of offers because the fees are too high but this doesn't mean that the blog itself is poor quality - most that I unfortunately have to decline are great. Other clients have specific metrics that I need to adhere to - again the blogs are usually great quality but if they don't meet a specific metric I have to decline them. I can see why so many people are frustrated.
If you are going to keep offer credits you need to let advertisors let the bloggers know more about what they want. If I can say that I can only afford $10 per post, the bloggers can see this and choose whether or not to bid. This way they aren't getting penalised because they don't meet my clients pricing or guidelines. If I can ask only PR2+ blogs (for example) to bid then PR1 blogs aren't getting declined when their blog might be more than relevant but just doesn't meet my client's needs.
I've seen a big decrease in irrelevant blogs bidding since you introduced offer credits but just as many great blogs have stopped placing offers too.
Erik M. commented
@PostJoint - one key factor you're forgetting is that some blogs (like all of the ones we run) will have low accept rates if we refuse to do things like downgrade a $39 offer to $5 when the advertiser messages with excuses like "our client is poor" or "we have a PR based payment schedule"
I have loads of five-star feedback and accepted posts, but a very low acceptance rate as we're not Indians offering $2 to get a blog post up. This doesn't in any way affect the quality of our offers, nor does it affect blogs.
It DOES, however, affect our number of offer credits. Although we were one of the first members here on PJ and have done many thousands in business, my account is flagged as "Poor" and thus we get 5 credits a week.
The offer credit system sucks, plain and simple. It shouldn't be based on acceptance rate as this reflects negatively on those who charge a real fee for editing advertiser posts, running spelling checks, paying for licensed stock images and more.
Rajkumar Rr commented
I completely agree with Linda, this is the worst idea ever, the bloggers like me will lose more and more opportunities and the Advertisers will get offers slower than before, after the credit and key word systems I have seen a great reduction in the number of opportunities available to my blogs and also the acceptance rate.
As long as you are making well considered offers, your accept rate should be in the good zone and you should have plenty of credits. If you're offering on every opportunity you come across, that will not be the case.
Inessa Derr commented
Offer credits are slowing the whole process of matching good blogs with good content. Either get rid of them, or just increase them with at least x3.
@Denise - thanks for your feedback. The algorithm inflates new keywords for a short while to encourage the database of keywords to evolve. It also cleans up keywords that don't get used automatically. But clearly the keyword system is being abused so we may need to moderate all new keywords.
A follow-up to my last post, on "popular" keywords. It seems that advertisers are spamming them with with strange phrases to increase "popularity." For example:
I have a blog that focuses on books, reviews, authors, publishing.
So, looking for variations on the keyword "publish" or "publishing." Two suggestions come up:
The keyword "publishing" is unpopular - a red circle by it.
The second suggestion is "travel industry writer you name it i can write about all work so far is published" This one is medium popularity - a yellow circle by it.
"author award winning poet blogger" - yellow circle, medium popularity. I don't think so.
"indie authors" - red circle, low popularity
"authors" - red circle, low popularity.
Perhaps there should be a standard set of keywords from which everyone can choose.
@PostJoint, yes, more keywords would probably be an improvement.
The popularity scores seem pretty meaningless. As I mentioned when I contacted support on August 29:
I like the idea of the popular keywords feature. But some of the supposedly "most popular" words and phrases have misspellings. For instance, I can't believe that "internet and technoloy" or "web design geelong" or "web bloggind and sex" are really popular - probably just entered over and over again by the same person. I also can't believe that "web design" is much less popular than "web design geelong." Most of the keywords which I would use are "unpopular" - which is mystifying because they are large general topics. I tried to use this feature but I guess I will just stick with "less popular" words such as "internet marketing," "web design," "domain names" and hope something appropriate will come up eventually.
The above paragraph was my message to support and I did get a nice reply from Simon. A few days later I tried adjusting the keywords I'd chosen but it doesn't seem to have made any difference in the number of opportunities I'm seeing.
@Denise - we could increase the number of keywords to 25 or even 30. Are you making use of the popularity scores for the keywords?
I am not sure that the offer credits are the reason advertisers are not getting more offers.
I have plenty of credits available, but have seen a great reduction in the number of opportunities available for my blogs since the keyword system went into effect.
Yes, with the categories, which were rather broad, there were a lot of posts which didn't fit my blog, but there were many that did.
With the keywords I am only seeing a fraction of the opportunities that I once did. Keywords are so limiting since there are so many variations on them and one can only pick 15 overall. My websites have a number of topics and there is no way to pick all the keywords that are relevant.
The categories worked better (though I would have liked the ability to pick more than one category for each blog; two would have been good).
I think what he means is that every time an offer is rejected the publisher's acceptance rate goes down. The feedback may not be affected by making offers, but the acceptance rate is. Fear of reducing the acceptance rate may inhibit publishers from making offers.
I'm also struggling now with limited bids on my articles. I listed a bunch of new articles yesterday and have had hardly any bids. Before the change I would have had dozens that were suitable...
We've released a change that will give most publishers more credits.