Every once in a while I’ll get on a Sponsored Post kick in which every few posts will be sponsored from various sources. Hey a blogger’s got to eat, right? Well I’ve cut back on this a bit, partly because of Google’s Page Rank drop, partly because I’m going to be changing the format of Egonitron.com a bit.
Regardless, I may still do sponsored posts here, and I’d like you to know what my stance on them are.
I take sponsored posts from various 3rd-party companies as well as direct. My favorite places to take sponsored posts: PayPerPost, SponsoredReviews, ReviewMe, and LinkWorth (LinkPosts.) It’s a good stream of revenue, but they’re still too reliant on Page Rank. Fortunately, Izea (PayPerPost) is working on RealRank which has already been implemented in response to Google dropping the PR of a lot of blogs in their system to Zero (including mine,) so be careful.
Anyway, I don’t have anything against sponsored posts unless the advertiser requires a positive review, or no in-post disclosure. I believe it’s very important that for your blog to remain trustworthy, you need to be transparent. That means not recommending something that you don’t like just because you’re getting paid for it. Tell the truth. If the advertiser doesn’t like it, maybe they need to listen, and change the service. You did them a favor; companies pay tons of money for real customer’s opinions. Why would this be any different?
I once got a request to review a financial services company on an old blog of mine. I did the review, but there were a lot of problems with the site that I not only said was a problem in the post, but offered a good way to fix each issue. The advertiser didn’t like the fact that everything in the review wasn’t positive, so they didn’t pay me. I “nofollow”d their links, and never took another post opportunity from that post broker.
But I digress. My point is that I believe sponsored posts are great, as long as they’re honest and fully disclosed as sponsored posts. Each of these that I do on Egonitron.com is included in the Sponsored Posts category and also have a disclosure inside the post, usually at the beginning or end.
How do you feel about sponsored posts? Are you OK with not disclosing them as paid, and why?