I was recently contacted by the president of a major food product manufacturer/distributor who is quite interested in my site. I had a chance to view the company's website via the link provided in the email and I was quite impressed because I see their products in the supermarket. The company president said that our target markets overlap ( I operate a physical fitness, nutrition, healthy living website and that company sells food products) and that it would be good to work together. He suggested several ways this could be accomplished including link exchange, product review or affiliate programs. Because this is a major company I'm not interested in link exchange, my site is for profit so I have to earn money which is why I allow advertisements on my site (mostly Google Adsense).
I'm leaning more toward product review but I must have control over content. By this I mean, I must be allowed to write honest product reviews that will give the facts about the products; I will not compromise my site's credibility to satisfy advertisers because in the long run if my site were to lose credibility I would have no visitors to eve see ads from advertisers. Also, product review would pay more money than affiliate programs which is commission only and may earn me very little money while the food company makes a profit from the traffic they receive from my site.
Because the president of this company approached me that provides me with some advantages in negotiating a business deal.
My question for anyone who has experience in product reviews and/or marketing is this: what were the pros and cons of both options? How much would be reasonable to ask for in payment for product review? I know that their are some websites where people sign up and write reviews for such and such product and they get paid X number of dollars for the article BUT the company wants total control of the content. I do not like such sites. In this case I was approached by a company which sent email directly to me so I believe that this is different and I would be taken more seriously.
Thoughts and opinions are welcome.