Hamilton Nolan was offered $130 to insert an advertiser link into his copy; the small marketing company making the pitch claimed to work with editors at Business Insider, Huffington Post and Technorati.
Mario Ruiz, senior vice president for media relations at AOL, which owns Huffington, told me by email:
We have no knowledge of this company or its business model but we do not allow our editors, writers or bloggers to receive payments for editorial coverage, of course.
Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget also told Nolan he wasn’t aware of any such arrangement.
The company, 43a, told Nolan:
We generally meet with resistance when dealing with editors, but bloggers aren’t paid as well and most are willing to make some extra money.
What we suggest (as long as you think it won’t get you into any trouble — we don’t want anything that isn’t beneficial for both parties) is trying to drop a link in the article, and seeing if the editor mentions it. If he does, remove the link, and we’ll go our separate ways. If he doesn’t, we’ll pay you handsomely, and we can continue if you want to. We don’t do this for every article, and there is a certain “under the radar” element to it, so you don’t want to over do it.