I received another query today about whether I accept sponsored posts on this blog. These are posts when a blogger gets paid to talk about a product or brand on their blog. I don't accept them.
It is not so different from the spokesperson advertising we have seen for the past century in print and then on radio and TV. Now, you see lots of posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even in Google search results that are labeled "sponsored" - as they should be labeled.
Why don't I accept sponsored posts? It's not that I am opposed to making money. Tim and I have some ads on this blog for Amazon and Google ads, but they don't get much attention or make very much for us. That surprised me because this blog does get a good number of hits. Part of it is that on mobile devices those ads are kind of lost. Part of it might be that our readership is just not into shopping.
It's not that I have such high moral values (though I do hope they are reasonably high!). When I see sponsored posts on a blog, I question the other posts a bit. I also wonder when I see a rave review of a product/service on a blog that is not labeled as sponsored whether or not it is sponsored.
Ideally, a sponsored post is an endorsement of a product or service that you actually use and like. That might be true for some but I have to believe that a lot of sponsored content is just there for the money.
I have a Facebook group about edtech and I was hesitant to allow vendors to join. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish a vendor from a user. I ask when they join if they are a vendor, staff, faculty or student, but I allow all of them. But sometimes I wonder that when a vendor posts there does it look like I am endorsing (or getting paid) for that product placement.
Am I being foolishly moral about this?
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