I believe it is every blogger’s mantra to blog with passion and integrity, as well as to maintain the credibility of his or her blog. Maybe majority of the bloggers, if not all. What about you?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the recent news about a blogger asking for a free haircut, and then threatened to damage the reputation of the salon when they did not respond to her e-mail. You can read it HERE, HERE and HERE.
What do you think of this blogger?
These days, it’s not unusual to see sponsored contents on blogs. This means that the company has paid the bloggers, in form of monetary benefits or in some other ways, to write about a specific product or service. Think about it as a commercial, only on a blog. Nothing wrong about it. Even if you purchase a print magazine, you’ll also see a substantial amount of advertisements on it. Right?
On the other hand, there are also bloggers offering various services in exchange for products, services or sponsorships. If the companies are keen on partnership with the bloggers, it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Still, there is nothing wrong about it.
But for the case of this blogger, she threatened to damage the reputation of the salon when she failed to get a respond from them. When the news went viral, she apologized to the salon on her Facebook Page and claimed that her e-mail account has been hacked.
I do not know to what extent is truth. But the fact is she has indirectly tarnishes the reputation of bloggers in Singapore.
The Perks of Blogging
Being a blogger myself, I know how easy it is to be carried away by the perks of blogging. We get invitations to new product launches, events, free products, free services, free meals, and even sponsored holidays!
The urge to accept freebies and to go along with opportunities, one after another, is often difficult to resist. If this is not handled well, the passion for blogging will eventually dies out, and replaced by greed or moral issues.
Therefore, I always calibrate myself by returning to the basics. I ask myself what is the main purpose of starting this blog. The main purpose of this blog is to document my journey as mom, and to capture my son’s childhood. My blogging goal is to inspire others to live a happy and fulfilled life as a mom, and to spread the joy of parenting.
By doing so, I will not be lured away by temptations. I want to continue blogging with passion and integrity. I’m still as committed to sharing my honest opinions and experiences with my readers as I was when I started this blog five years ago.
How to maintain clarity?
While I acknowledge that as a blogger, I also received freebies and monetary compensations for sponsored posts, I tried my best to provide readers with fair and balanced information. For that reason, I’m making it clear that each sponsored post or advertorial post will have a disclosure statement at the bottom of the post.
On my blog, you’ll see two types of sponsored contents, and I like to make it clear again on what do these tags means.
1. Advertorials: If you notice a post that is labelled as “Advertorials”, this means that I’m paid to write a post to advertise a product or service based on certain contents provided by the advertiser. I will only write about things that meet my own integrity standards. You will not find an advertorial about alcohol or contraceptive pills on this blog.
2. Sponsored Post: If a post is tagged as “Sponsored Post”, it means that I received the product or service free-of-charge for personal use and review. I do not accept invitations to review products or services where the advertisers will dictate to me on how I should write my reviews. I might be compensated to write these posts, depending on the complexity of the projects. Hence, please read the disclosure statement at the bottom of the post.
I want to be honest and transparent in my blogging. With a full disclosure, readers can make their own judgement and always be mindful that a person’s opinion is still his or her opinion. They should make their own decision rather than depending solely on the blogger’s reviews.
In addition, I will only advertise products that I’ve tried and tested, that I genuinely like, and that I can confidently recommend to my readers. Therefore, I like to review products that offer some combinations of value, quality and uniqueness, and also relevant to my blog.
Should bloggers accept compensation?
I also know that there are people who don’t think that blogs should accept compensation. Allow me to explain this from a blogger’s point of view. Bloggers also work hard to churn out their reviews. A lot of time is taken to test the products, take pictures, edit and publish them. Maintenance of the blog costs money. Creating unique contents and maintaining the blog’s traffic take a lot of time too. So, it’s definitely worth 10x more than what bloggers are getting paid in products and ad revenue.
Having said that, I have a lot of respect for bloggers who put their time and efforts into creating contents without having advertisers. Kudos to you!
Ultimately, I blog because that’s what I enjoy doing, and I will still do it even if it’s not a source of income or recognition. I will never let compensations influence this special space of mine.
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it! If you’re a blogger, let me know how you blog with passion and integrity. What motivates you? And how you maintain clarity in your blog? I love to hear from you too!