The Root Of All Evil?

So I’m little bit broke.

That’s an exaggeration, actually. We’re not at risk of missing a mortgage payment and there’s no danger of us buying supermarket value mince any time soon. But because of several personal changes, which I’m not going to bore you with, we’ll be accepting an income drop this autumn. This is a bad thing.

So I was really tempted a while back when an email arrived from Target Splash Marketing asking if I’d host guest blogs “highlighting companies and products that might be of interest to my readers.” They offered to provide the links and have me write the articles. But in the end I said no because they said I would not be able to label the posts as ‘paid-for content’. I wonder how many other bloggers received a similar email and whether they agreed.

And let’s not even get into the PR company who offered to provide guest posts about BBC Active Video for Learning but stopped replying to emails when I asked about payment.

Maybe I’m being oversensitive. Maybe you think being this picky is ridiculous, rather than ethical. After all, I’m not exactly a professional journalist with standards to adhere to. But at the moment, the only way I make money from this site is from Amazon referrals that I would make anyway. And it’s about a pound a month.

More recently I’ve had a similar offer from a different company, but they’re not objecting to me labelling the paid-for content clearly. The money isn’t much. But it’s still money. So here I am, asking – would you object to occasional posts, once or perhaps twice a month, with commercial links?

If you do, this is your chance to object. If there are enough valid objections, I’ll reconsider. It’s my site so I get to decide what counts as valid. But I promise to respond to any and all comments.

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7 thoughts on “The Root Of All Evil?”

  1. No objection at all – clarity does matter, and being able to see what is paid for / not paid for is a nice courtesy to your readers. And just because something is commercial doesn’t make it automatically bad!

  2. If they’re labelled as paid for I don’t see a problem. As Alom says there’s no reason why they can’t be interesting and relevant

  3. Afternoon all

    Cheers for comments; I’m probably being over-cautious but I’m very aware that my blogging is a big part of my ‘professional capital’. Unless I get compelling arguments against, I’m planning to agree tot he company’s offer and the (clearly labelled) “sponsored posts” will be appearing at some point after. I’ll not be writing them, probably – although I’m open to offers of paid commissions, for either this blog or elsewhere.

    I’d emphasize that if you’re non-commercial and you’d like me to host a guest post for some reason (anonymity, time-saving, seeking help etc) then get in touch – I’m happy to help out fellow non-profits!

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