Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sponsored Blogging- Would you like some Ethics with your fries?

Blogging is fun but work! Any blogger will tell you, we do it for a variety of reasons. Keeping in touch with family and friends, chronicling our family's life, connecting with other families in the blog-o-sphere, learning, sharing different products or how-to's.

Some of us receive product so that we can write about our experiences with it. Please don't think that this means we get product for 'free'. It takes time(skill and money) to write, take photos, network and amass a reader following. In all honesty I could devote a full work day to my blog if I so chose. But it wouldn't exactly pay the bills at this point! Unless the mortgage companies start accepting cloth diapers...

You may come across the word 'sponsor' while out an about on various blogs. What does it mean? I've had some wonderful sponsors in the past that agreed to donate their product so that I could in turn give it away to my readers. Blogs with larger followings sometimes even get paid to write posts or sent on sponsored trips(Can someone tell me where I sign up for one of those!?). As blogging is an extremely effective way of marketing and I can attest to it being a job, I see nothing wrong with being compensated.

To a certain extent.

With any blog post, I'd hope honesty would be present despite the addition of money(or product). And maybe a dash of ethics if it's not asking too much. 'That sounds so interesting, please explain!' It would be my pleasure! Take the following fake post for example:

The dangers of over the counter medicines to our children is something I take very seriously. More studies are coming out all the time of potential side effects we never dreamed about when giving Little Timmy something to ease his teething pain. Specifically, we know fevers are our bodies' way of working out the bugs- and it's better to leave them alone unless they get dangerously high.
But guess what? I'm now a sponsored blogger of (over the counter medicine)! Because I feel more secure knowing I have (over the counter medicine) in my closet in the event Little Timmy has a fever. It works quickly and effectively so that I can sleep through the night knowing he is ok.

Confused? What exactly am I in support of? You might be left wondering if I really meant what I said about not giving my kids over the counter medicines. Or maybe I just sold out to the sponsoring company. Either way, would you continue to trust me when I reviewed future products for you?

Really, I'd love to know. Do you trust sponsored posts and the writers behind them?


Living Hip Today said...

It depends on the blogger.
I've seen bloggers stand by their ethics while reviewing products and that makes me respect and trust them, even if we don't agree on a subject. (Ex: A Christian blogger reviewing bracelets that claim the stones have "energy healing". She reviewed the product, stated what the brand claimed, and stated that she doesn't believe in things like that. Seriously, my respect grew for her that day.)

On the other hand, I've seen far too many blogs that do what you're writing about. It's sad and confusing.

My biggest pet peeve right now are the blogs that are being paid by generic formula companies to talk about how they're equal to name brand. Maybe I'm just a stickler for the WHO Code, but it really bothers me when (several) of my favorite bloggers show no respect to it. Most of these said bloggers breastfed and encourage it - so it really baffles me that they would be willing to take a little bit of money to advertise for a formula company.
But I digress..

I know for MY blog, I'm willing to do sponsored posts, but ONLY if it's a product I can stand behind. In my experience, you only need to read the blog for a little bit to realize if you can trust their opinion or not. :)

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

*finger to nose* You got it right, point on! The IBFAN/WHO code is one in particular that makes me furious. We all know how effective marketing is through mom bloggers and formula companies are particularly incorrigible.

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