Some of you may be familiar with bloggers like The Pioneer Woman, Dooce, or Girls Gone Child. All three of these blogging ladies make their living from their blog. Over 18 million American women are blogging, and a good chunk of those blogs are generating some sort of income.
If you are making money on your blog, you better believe that the FTC is going to come and regulate you!
The FTC is the government organization that oversees and regulates all consumer related activity. Fortunately, their rules are pretty straightforward: you are not allowed to make false or misleading claims about a product, you must disclose when you are being paid to promote or advertise a product, and that disclosure must be easy to find and easy to read.
Here’s the rub: being “paid to promote a product” really means that if you are in any way compensated for promoting a product, you have to disclose. And that includes free stuff. So if a shampoo company sends you samples that you love or if a hotel gives you a free two-night stay, if you plan to blog, facebook, or tweet about it you gotta disclose it.
So what’s a blogger to do?
The best practice is to create a blog disclosure policy (a document that states what sources of revenue you have, how they work, and how you plan to disclose them), make it easy for readers to access, and then stick to it.
As with most things in business and in life, the best way to handle advertising disclosure is to be direct, clear, and consistent.
Now Try This
- Go to DisclosurePolicy.org
- Answer the questions as they relate to your blog.
- Download a standard Blog Disclosure Policy to get you started!
Skillcrush has no financial or other affiliation with Disclosurepolicy.org or IZEA. We just think its a neat little web app!