Sunday, May 20, 2007

5 things you want to do before you publish your sponsored post

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice.

As blogs becomes an increasingly important media, there is more and more sites devoted to pay bloggers to review an advertiser's site for a fee. Before you publish your first sponsored posts, you may want to consider doing this five things first:

1. Clearly mark your post as sponsored post.

If you got paid for your post, you should always let your readers know. It is not only ethical to do so. According to Directory Aviva, the Federal Trade Commission has published a recommendation for this.

From "12 Laws every blogger should know" of Directory Aviva:

"The Federal Trade Commission published a recommendation that companies who promote their product through word-of-mouth marketing must disclose these relationships. The recommendation applies explicitly to blogging, meaning that bloggers must disclose the fact that they are being paid to promote or review a product whenever that is the case."

2. Get your disclosure policy

Any blogger can get his/her own disclosure policy from I am not a legal expert, and I don't know if having such a disclosure policy will help you in court. However, I think having a disclosure policy will at least show your readers that you are not intended to hide anything from them.

3. Carefully proofread your post

You should proofread any blog's post before publishing it. For sponsored post, you should be extra careful about the wording on your site. If you got the information from your sponsored site, you may want to state that you got it from their web site, such that the readers won't think
your information are based on your own experience.

4. Check the site you review

If you are writing a review for a site, you should always check your reviewed sited. Be alert on any unusal behavior in your browser because it may indicate that your reviewed site has some suspicious scripts. Clear your browser cache before entering the site. Check if you got any suspicious files in your browser cache after. This will give you some idea on what the site installs on your browser. If you have a good antivirus or spybot cleaning software, consider using the software before and after visiting your reviewed site.

5. Don't do evil

If the site you are paid to review is a clear scam, it is better for you to consider other offers.

Or you can do what John Chow did to Seven Days System for Making money online. I couldn't stop laughing after reading his review.