I think Raynforest is a brilliant idea. The thought of earning some cash for your on-line efforts is not a ridiculous notion. In fact, I believe it’s the only way many writers are able to sustain good quality and keep producing meaningful content.
So far, I’ve made $2.08 for everything I’ve written and done on-line. I don’t mind. Sure, I’d wish there were a couple of zero’s before the comma, although I’m realistic enough to know this doesn’t happen overnight.
On-line services like Raynforest can help me, it might even balance the score on investment and time.
A bit about Raynforest then, before we get to the tough questions on ethics and morality (because, apparently they need to be asked).
Connect companies, causes, products and services to the most relevant influential people who will mobilze their audience to act.
It seeks to provide a solution where many brands have a problem; Reaching an audience.
Through their own SoMe channels they can only reach so many people, plus, they’re their channels. When you receive the same message from a different channel, other than the brand’s, it becomes more valuable. Especially when it’s a trusted channel, from an influencer you’ve been following for some time.
Raynforest creates the trinity.
Brands need the message spread, influencers can and want to spread the message, audience wants to hear the message.
Of course, this is all on a voluntary bases. I only write and share content which I find worthy. Worthy of my time (and effort) and worthy of my audiences time. I can choose my brands and causes, create my own network and collaborate with other influencers and brands to provide optimised content.
It’s about creating a Rainforest Ecosystem. A symbiotic existence between Brand, Influencer and Audience. Everybody benefits.
There are several kinds of content in the planning, giving you the opportunity to find something that suits you the best. This ranges from writing How To E-books, sending out an email to your subscribers, writing a blogpost (my favourite) or promoting a good cause anyway you can.
The advantage is, with a good variety of brands, causes and forms of content, any influencer is sure to find something on Raynforest.., and make some money.
Sounds good, doesn’t it. I’d say it’s a win/win/win.
But, some have a critical note.
Do we sell out?
Why even ask that question? Was your intention to never earn a buck with all your hard work and content creation? If you say yes, then turn away from Raynforest and be on your merry way. Because you would not be able to live with yourself.
Besides, running an ad, having affiliates or generating business in any other way through your website, E-book or blog comes down to the same thing. And I bet you do not consider that selling out. Again, if you do, don’t join Raynforest.
But, if you do want (some) compensation for your work, I know I do, then pay attention (pun intended). Because this platform brings content creators and brands together with a purpose.
What about your readers?
What about them? They want good and helpful content.
They also want to be informed on good deals (of course they do). And they want value, any which way they can, and, preferably, for free. With this new platform you can give them just that. Remember, you get to choose the brand, the channel and the content to share. If you don’t like it, or if you feel your audience wants nothing to do with it, don’t promote it.
It’s not complicated.
Image a platform, I’m a member of that platform. Raynforest is an active brand on that platform, they create a new product and they put out a campaign. I like the brand, that’s why I follow it, so I notice the campaign quickly. They ask for a blogpost. I like their new product and decide that my audience might be interested too.
So, I write the post.
I get compensated for that, my audience is turned unto a new and potential beneficial product and I help Raynforest spread the word.
Oh, by the way, I receive nothing for writing this article. No perks, no cash, nothing.
I happen to like Mark Fidelman and think his idea is just wunderbar.
Ethics and Morality
Dare I say it? Don’t worry about them, it’s hypocrisy you need to worry about.
But why, Rogier? Surely we have to stay honest, sincere, open and trustworthy? And, excuse me, but I’m no hypocrite.
No, your not. But you also shouldn’t pretend you don’t want to make any money from your influence. Why not? If they ask you for a speaking gig, in another country and they pay for everything.., do you say ‘No’? Quite the opposite, you advertise the fact on your blog, gaining more influence.
And yes, of course you have to stay honest, sincere, open and trustworthy.
OK, here’s to everybody reading this blog:
I, Rogier Noort, will, occasionally, write a post or tweet a Tweet, or write other content with the intend to earn some money. I won’t sell you anything, I will just turn your attention to something you might find interesting.
Now everybody knows. Nothing misleading here, open and honest.
And the best part is.., my readers don’t have to suffer for it.., they don’t have to buy anything. They can very happily ignore my post and move on.
Or, they can stumble upon a great new platform which can actually help make their dream come true and earn a buck or two from their blog.
Now, it would be unethical from me if I didn’t share this information with you, wouldn’t it?
I believe it’s is a great idea.
7 thoughts on “Raynforest: Brilliant idea or Selling out?”
Rogier – thank you for sharing your perspective. We heard the pro’s, con’s and how-to-keep-it moral-type concerns during a very public discussion on the topic. Looking forward to hearing other thought leaders weigh in as well! And full disclosure here – Raynforest is my client.
Well, it’s a good client. And I think your tweetcast was very positive, some good suggestions. And yes, some remarks on the above mentioned. I felt I needed to speak my mind about it. Should be interesting to hear other points of view…
Interesting Rogier, this is a new one on me. Will have to check it out.
Hey Adi, yes, you should check this one out. It’s perfect for you (I think). We’ll connect once we’re in 🙂
Great article for a very interesting and up n coming market. At Sociolus ( at the other side of the pond) we have a similar offering. Build not only only on social influence and advocacy, but also on gamification and a real focus on the user side. We are in private beta but do get in touch for a demo if interested.
Sociolus – building brand ambassadors @ sociolus.com
Just stumbled upon this post and wanted to share (fwiw) that this model is not totally new. Clever Girls Collective (my company) has been doing this very thing for 4 years. The only difference is that our network isn’t athletes, it’s women who are influential online, through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest &/or Instagram.
Our model is also slightly different in that we run programs for our clients so they don’t have to (mostly they don’t want to). We have about 6,000 people in our network, we suggest members for our client’s campaigns, and they sign off on it. It allows the client to scale, but our network members still have complete freedom to opt-in only to programs they want to.
Hey Kristy. It’s good to know there are similar companies out there, and going at it for longer too (I never assumed there weren’t).
I still believe it’s a wonderful system. Thanks for sharing.
Just thought I’d post the link here too, just in case: http://clevergirlscollective.com