Shilling has never looked more attractive: Amid an old-media depression, "sponsored" blogging company Izea thinks it can get you around $1 per character to sell out on Twitter.
Izea, you'll recall, is the company that paid llifecaster Julia Allison, with real actual money, to blog about a free trip to Sea World. Not satisfied merely to pimp out bloggers, the firm has set its sights on the burgeoning field of tweeting. The company's announcement, passed along by Mashable, leads one to believe there's a big payoff for promoting Izea's clients; here is the screen Izea shows prospective Tweeters, set at $100 per 140-character tweet:
Mashable had its screen configured for $150 per tweet. We took the bait and clicked through to the signup screen for our personal Twitter account. Reality was bleak, with Izea suggesting an asking price of $1.50 per tweet, based on our usage stats.
For what it's worth, taking part in this sort of shilling doesn't seem to be a barrier to working with national news networks. Allison wrote paid blog posts for Armani Exchange July 17 but went on MSNBC as a pundit at least twice within the following week. Tech blogger Chris Pirillo is listed prominently as an Izea client and has his own show on CNN.com.
Of course, you're supposed to disclose your ties to Izea, which means you'll probably lose a lot of followers. Plus it will get progressively harder to look at yourself in the mirror each morning. But at, like, $4 per word, you can at least pretend you're a real writer.