Raynforest: Brilliant idea or Selling out?

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.

raynforestSo 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).

Raynforest’s mission:

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.

Variable Content

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.

This blogpost

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.

I love some good feedback. Do you have anything to add on ethics or Raynforest?

The Personal Exodus of A Writer

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I stumbled across a marketing blogger named Geoff Livingston.

In fact, in was through Triberr and Dino Dogan’s tribe “The Ori” that I was introduced to this remarkable man.

Exodus - A New Novel from Geoff LivingstonIn the beginning Geoff wrote about marketing, and I shared his content via Triberr to my followers, because they were well written and well considered posts, worthy of sharing.
I also noticed the community behind the blog, the comments were (are) always interesting and supporting, always adding to the conversation.

As a blogger I know how difficult it is to gather such a following of loyal readers and commenters.

A Change of Pace

One of the reasons I stuck around on Geoff’s blog is because of his more personal articles. Some really personal and really deep. Some even touching really sensitive subjects like antisemitism in the United States. And not just in general, but revealing part of his personal history and conflicts.., heavy stuff.

I grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia called Glenside between the ages of 2-8. We were the only Jewish family in an Irish Catholic neighborhood.

We (the readers of the blog) could feel something was up. And when the time came, we all understood the change.

We did not all accept this change, apparently a third of Geoff’s readers decided they wanted nothing to do with this more personal style of writing. Mind you, he still writes about marketing, just a little less.


Exodus: Book One of the FundamentalistsOn 7th June Geoff revealed what his ‘secret project’ was and why his blog had turned such a personal corner.

He’d written a novel.

And he’d been working on this book for 19 (nineteen) years. I was thinking, if this book is as epic as the time it took to write.., then I surely want to read it. And, being a fan of Geoff I signed up to the ‘Exodus’ newsletter and was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy to sink my teeth into.

Now, when it comes to novels, I’m not a fast reader (that’s why I don’t start with Game of Thrones, I’d never finish it, heh). So, I haven’t finished the book yet. And in all honesty, this post isn’t about the book (although I’m loving it already).

No, this is about the personal journey of a writer. A journey put on display for everybody to read, to participate in, to comment on, to enjoy or to reject.


This post is about courage. The courage to take control of your life, to take a step back and re-evaluate, to change what needs to be changed. The courage to put yourself out there, for everybody to see, completely naked. Having 19 years of your life judged.

I watched “We Bought a Zoo” the other day, and despite having seen it before, it still got to me. And the “20 seconds of courage” rule Matt Damon’s character has is something that resonates with me. Because it’s true. It’s all you need to make that step, to hit “Publish”, to face the music. But to do it on a scale and openness that Geoff has exhibit the past year.., man.., we can learn from that.

I’ve learned from that.

Thanks Geoff, and good luck with the book.

For more on the book, watch the trailer below:

Establish Yourself Through Blogging

I was asked by a friend whether or not he should blog. I said, ‘yes’. He asked, ‘why?’.

So, I wrote this blogpost to answer his question, because that’s how we roll.

Strangely enough I had to think about this. It’s not like I don’t know, but to sum it up in a coherent list just makes you go.., hmmmm.

Thusly, here are a few reasons why you should blog.

establish yourself through blogginSubject Matter Expert

130221- Praise
Thanks @MarkHarai

Your knowledge is a precious commodity, but people need to know what you know for them to accept you as an expert. Writing articles for your blog can provide just that.

On-Line HQ

Having a place to call your own provides you with flexibility to change or improve your representation at will. Also, any content (you create) placed on your blog belongs to you, no matter what. Your site cannot be cancelled for making a small mistake and you never have to agree to any terms of use.

It’s the best place to direct people, because it will always be there.

Just make sure you have your own hosting. Tumblr, Blogger or WordPress.com do not provide this (WordPress.org does).


Ideally you create a community around your blog. Visitors who comment or share your content are part of your community. By following up on them your network can grow.

You can direct new contacts straight to your blog, instead of a Twitter account or Facebook Page.

Own Your Brand

Personal branding remains a powerful tool in your arsenal. By setting up a blog (or your own homepage) you can establish your own style which you can use throughout various social media, emails, presentations or anything else with your name on it.

Creating a strong and recognisable brand is well worth the effort.

Solve Problems

This is more about what to write, but in the interest of adding value to your blog, helping people should be your goal. Providing articles which are genuinely helpful, without asking anything in return, will establish you as a trustworthy source of information.

People respond well to that.

Creative Outlet

Especially when you enjoy writing and spend enough time on your blog to get a good flow going. The rewards go beyond providing great content. The satisfaction of producing a good (looking) post can be significant. Also, remember that each post demands at least one image.

Using images created by you tackles any copyright issues you may encounter.

Educate Yourself

In the ever lasting quest for new (and better) content you have to keep developing. Always finding new subjects to write forces you to think creatively and learn new things.