Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sponsored Posting and what a Blogger needs to know

The Federal Trade Commission sets the guidelines for proper disclosure when writers are being paid by by a brand to write a sponsored post. 

Or link to an affiliate program

Or run a pin/tweet/link campaign

social media icons on keyboard

Let me quote: "If you write about how much you like something you bought on your own and you’re not being rewarded, you don’t have to worry. However, if you’re doing it as part of a sponsored campaign or you’re being compensated – for example, getting a discount on a future purchase or being entered into a sweepstakes for a significant prize – then a disclosure is appropriate."

What is disclosure?

Disclosure is easy, you simply tell your readers what you were given in exchange for the writing you are doing.

Not how much in dollars, mind you, some things are best kept private.
But something along the lines of. " I received a shipment of Brand Name butter to work with in recipe development."

Or I've been entered into a competition for XXX in exchange for this post.

And you need to do this no matter where you share.

Which in the 140 character world of Twitter, means you use hashtags, #sponsored, #ad are fine.

On Facebook - hashtags work, but it is even easier to declare the sponsorship right up front.

That is the key to being completely safe about sponsorship.  

It can't be buried in your footer.

It can't be hidden in your post, six paragraphs down after you tell how much you loved the item.

You need to explain what you got to do this work for pay, right up front.

Even if it is just a bunch of coupons or a link out to a video from their homepage.

Then you have to make sure that any and all links out to your sponsor are rel=nofollow.
Google knows that those links convey no link juice, no benefit to either party for the link.

No matter what your sponsor would like to have, the FTC says no follow links.

I use this simple test to check a company's ethics.  If they are asking for any follow links, then they are unaware or unethical.

Keep yourself on the high road and you will have no problems.

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