The topic is often discussed in the blogosphere: how to monetise your blog and, of course, one of the obvious ways is to be paid to post.
Whilst this may seem an easy option, it can be quite difficult to find people willing to pay for you to post to your own blog about their products. The big guys have usually a larger audience than you through their own sites, have their own copywriters and blogs, and/or have previously been bitten if the posts appear on blogs which then have content they are unhappy to be associated with; many of the smaller companies who might want a written endorsement of their products often haven’t grasped what the blogosphere is about yet; and some of the posts pay a pittance.
Additionally, Google started to take a dim view of paid for posts when some sites passed PageRank through these posts, which then affected the ‘level playing field’ in the SERPs. Google has quality guidelines for bloggers, and anyone violating them will find themselves plummeting down the rankings and their traffic dropping off accordingly. Which of course then means it is ever harder to find companies willing to pay you to post because your page views and audience have also dropped.
Using the ‘nofollow’ attribute is a must if you intend to accept pay for posts; however, many people actively seek out blogs that use ‘dofollow’ to comment upon for marketing purposes. You win some, you lose some!
Google’s other problem with pay for posts is highlighted in Matt Cutt’s sponsored conversations post. Here he illustrates how a ‘pay for post’ for a brain surgery technique could potentially overtake a more serious website with real information required by those who are researching brain surgery. I guess I would take a pretty dim view of being inundated with this type of advertorial if I were researching that sort of subject too.