The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

Why you should keep it clean – musings about blogs and advertising

with 54 comments

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If you’re a blogger (many of you are), the day will come when you’ll find a letter in your mail box from some company that suggests you a “partnership”.

It happens to all of us sooner or later; it’s just a matter of how persistency. If you keep blogging at a decent frequency, your Google rank will raise over time, and one day it will reach the level where it triggers the alert system for advertisers.

At first you’re probably a little flattered. Either we admit it or not, most bloggers thrive on getting attention from others. A link, a comment, a “like” or a new follower – we’re happy about whatever nod we get. As long as someone out there acknowledges our existence, we know that we’re not writing out in an empty space. So if one day a company turns up, praising our blog, claiming they want us as business partners, it sounds like a big deal and a validation of all the hours of work we’ve put into it.

Then you read the letter a second time, trying to figure out what this “cooperation” actually means. They want you to link to their place apparently. In return they offer you “guest posts”. But will you get rich? This is unclear. You’ll need to contact them to “sort out the details”.

So what are you going to do with this? Will you contact this company or will you throw their offer in the trash? My answer is simple: it goes straight to the trash bin together with every other shady offer I get.

Why I keep it clean
There are different opinions on this available out there. Some bloggers don’t think twice about publishing posts in “cooperation” with “partners”. Then there are others (the majority from what I can see) who accept ads on their blogs since it gives them a little bit of revenue, but who keep the ads well apart from the editorials, so there’s no question about what is what.

Then there are a few bloggers who have decided to keep their blog free from anything that smells of advertising. I’m one of those. That’s why it came as a shock when I a few months ago found out that WordPress sneaks in ads to blogs that use the free platform. I wasn’t aware of it before since it’s not viewable if you’re logged into your blog, which is the natural thing to be if you’re a blogger. The only way to get rid of them is to pay WordPress for the service, which I now do. I don’t want ads in any form of my blog – open or hidden.

So why this obsession with keeping it clean? After all it’s a blog and not a professional, subscribed magazine. It’s a hobby project and I’m free do whatever I like with it. It’s not as if I’ve sworn myself to follow any particular code of conduct. It’s in the nature of a blog to be opinionated and subjective, so what harm can a little bit of bias towards one or other product make?

Well I admit that my background probably plays into this a little. I’m a trained journalist and used to work as a reporter. It’s been a few years, so I can’t say if it’s changed since then, but in my time there were no blurred lines and mixing up between journalism and advertising. You never saw such a thing as a “sponsored editorial”.

The reputation of blogging
But what has this got to do with blogging? Blogging isn’t journalism anyway, so why bother about those self-imposed restrictions when I could earn a few bucks if I loosened up a bit?

My answer is that it’s true that blogging doesn’t enjoy the same respect as journalism has (or used to have, that’s changing too, sadly). In many people’s eyes it’s little better than “graffiti with punctuation”, as they called it in Contagion. However there’s no reason why we should settle with this and keep it this way!

I’m passionate about blogging. Most of the film criticism I read comes from blogs, not from newspapers. I think the blogosphere has a lot more to offer than people realize.

And this is why I plead to my fellow bloggers to never accept any shady offering. If you feel that you have to run ads on your blog, maybe to cover the cost for self-hosting, fine. I don’t hold it against you; I’ve got a fulltime job and don’t need the extra money, but some bloggers do and I understand this.

This said, you should never start crossing the lines. Don’t publish ads that are disguised as posts. The price you pay in form of lost credibility is enormous. It’s just not worth it.

Time has come for us to clean up the reputation of blogging. We’d better start with ourselves.

 

 

photo credit: (davide) via photopin cc

Written by Jessica

April 29, 2013 at 12:48 am

54 Responses

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  1. Darn it, I didn’t know that WP added ads to the blogs they host. Bugger. It the display of ads consistent, as I just opened mine on a different browser and I don’t see any?

    typhoonandrew

    April 29, 2013 at 1:00 am

    • Basically, if you open a post on a WordPress.com-hosted site while not logged into a WordPress account, there’s a random chance they’ll display an ad at the bottom of the post, after the content but before the comments section.

      Morgan R. Lewis

      April 29, 2013 at 5:36 am

      • @Typhoonandrew: What Morgan said. It’s very sneaky and it doesn’t come up all the time. Maybe 1/10 or something like that. But it freaked me out since I felt that I had been cheated and out of control of my own blog. I now pay them off not to have those ads.

        Jessica

        April 29, 2013 at 7:22 am

  2. I’m getting more of these ‘offers’ ever since witching to a .com domain. I’ve always had a very similar opinion to you in that ads must never compromise content (as in what you write) or layout/readability.

    however, these days I do understand better why some bloggers care for hits and would like to try and make a small side income with their blogs; not all bloggers have the same goals and blogging seriously and frequently is kind of a job, surely is in terms of time commitment. many bloggers dream of having more time for writing, maybe even using their blogs as a career starter to part-time/fulltime writing gigs at bigger sites (and then there’s the domain and webspace costs which can vary greatly). if you love what you do and you’re good at it, it’s natural that you would try make a living out of your writing somehow – and I know many bloggers who have this dream. building revenue slowly allows them to write more, maybe leave a different full-time job one day – and how could their reader base not want that? the more money I can make with my blog, the more and better I can write for them (a general ‘I’ – I still do not have ads on my blog).

    So, while I think that ads need to be well-considered and unobtrusive yeah, I think one should question ad bias. it’s similar to telling artists they can’t ask for money for their creative ventures – they need to eat too. blogging isn’t lesser talent for me personally, many bloggers are ace writers hoping to write as much as they can one day. I’ve become a lot more tolerant about ads for this reason and support optional monetization.

    Syl (@Gypsy_Syl)

    April 29, 2013 at 1:08 am

    • @Syl – good point, I agree its the choice to do so that is important. I am (now) concerned that I am not seeing the ads that WP might be adding for others, particularly if they are ads for services that I dislike. I think I’d rather have ads for content I support than random ones.

      typhoonandrew

      April 29, 2013 at 1:14 am

      • Definitely. I use self-hosted WP, but I noticed ads on my fellow bloggers mobile sites who use wordpress.com. I was surprised but then realized it’s WP doing it, rather than them. I went to this page to read up on it – http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/how-to-remove-wordpresscom-ads-from-your-wordpresscom-blog/ ..and well, they have a point, you know. WP too sorta ‘need to eat’ and it’s a fabulous service. what they should have done is inform their free users better though (and you can still disable it afaik if you really hate it). I can see why you rather choose your own ads, not sure you can for the free platform.

        Syl (@Gypsy_Syl)

        April 29, 2013 at 1:21 am

    • I don’t think we’re on different sides here. Again: I don’t begrudge bloggers who need the small income of normal ads. It’s the sneaky sell-outs that bother me. They take away so much credibility for so little reward.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

  3. Just like all other forms of publication, there are shady blogs, saintly blogs, and everything in between. I think we’ve come to the point where the public will judge a blog on its own merits rather than the reputation of blogging as a whole. So if bloggers want to make some cash on the side, then they should feel free to do so.

    Yes I do actively sell ads on my blog. However, I agree that one should be very selective, and never cross the line and accept deals involving paid guest posts, or posts that consist of nothing other than blatant product placement. As you said, the damage to credibility is not worth the quick buck. Most of us are smart enough to recognize (or have even wisely turned down) that sell-out post, so it isn’t fooling anyone.

    Bonjour Tristesse

    April 29, 2013 at 1:39 am

    • I think being “selective” as you are is a good thing. The problematic thing about automatically generated ads, like the ones that come from Google, is that you may end up promoting stuff that you absolutely don’t want to promote. If it’s a gaming blog you run you may up promoting gold selling, which is the equivalence of film piracy to take an example I’ve seen a lot. I often notice ads for dating sites that I wouldn’t like to have on my blog. I don’t think the bloggers chose that ad. It just came up.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:32 am

      • They do have an option in the control panel that allows publishers to filter out ads that they find are objectionable or are a conflict of interest. You can block them by specific site or by category, and there is a pretty extensive list.

        I do allow dating ads, but block out gambling, religion, and politics.

        Bonjour Tristesse

        April 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        • I know about the blocking possibilities, but I still don’t think it allows the control I want to have over my blog.

          Jessica

          April 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

  4. I’ve somewhat recently started getting the ad offers, though the only one I’ve accepted is the WordAds through WordPress. I also was surprised about the general ads through the free WordPress hosting besides the WordAds which I signed up for, but while my blogging is a hobby, my income level is at a point where it’s hard to turn down easy money. I’ve avoided agreeing to the ad requests because they are vague and smell very suspicious even though I recently heard of other sites that vouch for their authenticity. For now, I’m sticking with merely flirting with ads. Maybe if I get one that’s straightforward – and perfectly in line with my site’s content – I’ll sign up for it (and never in an advertorial capacity, if I have an ad, my readers will know it’s an ad), but until then it is what it is.

    Bubbawheat

    April 29, 2013 at 3:13 am

    • I think you’re doing what most bloggers are, somewhere in the middle of the line. Throw an eye once in a while at the ads to see that you’re not promoting stuff you don’t want to promote though.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:33 am

  5. Here here! Great thoughts. I deleted an email just recently offering a little revenue for ad space. No ads here although I wasn’t aware that WP may be sneaking ads on my pages!

    keith7198

    April 29, 2013 at 3:52 am

    • Good on you!
      The wp sneaky ads are really hard to spot. I was baffled when I found it after a long time blogging.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:34 am

  6. I’m not so bothered about the WP ads because they are giving me a free service and deserve to cover the cost somehow and I’m too cheap to put in myself. Otherwise, I’m not so concerned about monetizing my blog since the amounts involved would be insignificant.

    Bondo

    April 29, 2013 at 5:38 am

    • I understand why WP does this, but they should make an effort to inform the users so we can make a choice about it. For my own part I don’t mind paying a little for the service they provide in order to get rid of the ads. I think there are many more out there who would, but as it is now they’re not aware of either the ads or the option to get rid of them.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:35 am

  7. I received the first of those “offers” within a month of starting my blog. Wasn’t exactly a “guest post” one, but it was close — write a post about something related to casinos (they even helpfully suggested some casino-themed movies, given the subject of my blog), and include links to their casino clients in the post. I had to laugh… someone trying to get a share of the three or four readers I had at the time. 😀

    I turned them down, of course, along with all subsequent similar offers. While I’m not totally averse to tasteful advertising, I agree with you that the line between content and advertising should be bold and clear.

    Morgan R. Lewis

    April 29, 2013 at 5:40 am

    • I’ve felt like you receiving those letters: amused. What do they think my little blog is? It’s not exactly a blockbuster blog. But you need to remember it’s auto-generated. It’s not as if someone has been reading our blog and thought to themselves that it would be awesome to have exposure at your blog.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

      • Yup, precisely. They’re just hitting as many people as possible, hoping somebody bites.

        Even aside from blog purity issues, I’d prefer to stay away from that type. I’m a programmer, I’ve worked real SEO… and frankly, even that leaves a person’s soul feeling a mite tarnished.

        Morgan R. Lewis

        April 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

        • SEO… *shivering*. I’ve never bothered about that. If people find my blog, great! I love to have conversations with interesting guests that drop by. But I won’t go out in the world trying to push them to my place by all available means.

          Jessica

          April 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm

          • To be perfectly honest, that’s the best way to “win” at SEO anyway. The search engines, et al, are constantly refiguring themselves to compensate for any artificial attempt at boosting ratings. The only honest way to play the game is to simply emphasize those words that you would be emphasizing for a human anyway — titles and headlines, pretty much, and tagging those important things you actually mention in your blog. Anything beyond that, is wasting your time in the long run. So just keep on keeping on.

            Morgan R. Lewis

            April 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm

            • From what I heard you’re probably better off if you’re active on several platforms, including Facebook. I don’t even have a FB account… On the other hand I’m not really striving to maximize the number of readers, so I don’t care all that much about how high this blog comes up in Google ranking. If anything there’s a post that I’d like to downrank: the one about the Norwegian movie Turn me on, dammit! That post generates a ton of traffic for he wrong reasons. People are looking for something here that I find pretty disgusting that they’re looking for in this manner, and which they definitely won’t find here. I’d rather like to get rid of those visitors than raising my SEO ranking so I’ll get even more of them…

              Jessica

              April 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm

              • Well, you could always nuke the post if it came to that, but I understand what you mean; it’s aggravating to get the wrong kind of visitors from a post.

                As for Facebook and other platforms, that’s not SEO so much as it’s just community networking. Little more honest, I think. I view it not so much as a way to get new followers, but as a way to make it convenient for current followers to find out what’s going on.

                Morgan R. Lewis

                April 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

                • Actually, as far as I got it from the one who was lecturing on the topic, Google takes into account how active you are in social media. Being present on a number of platforms will affect your status. As I was told.

                  Jessica

                  April 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

  8. I kind of laugh at a lot of the offers I get because they’re so completely all over the map. One of my articles joked about having a crack addiction (addiction to filling in the cracks in my movie experience), and some addiction treatment place wanted to pay for ad placement. I also get a lot of offers from casinos, because… I have no idea why.

    I will confess that I’ve run one or two “guest” articles in the past, and I’ll be completely honest- I wish I never had. It was great to have free content for a day and that’s ultimately why I did it. But I wouldn’t do it again. (in full disclosure, I didn’t get paid for either article)

    I do run ads on my site, but it’s only through WordPress’ accepted method, which is pretty limited (I have a .com, not a .org). I don’t feel a lot of regret about it, though I respect both points of view regarding these type of obvious ads (as compared to blatant marketing). For what it’s worth, the income derived from it is almost non-existent.

    I’d also add that I don’t consider myself a journalist in any capacity. I have too much respect for the profession- or at least, what it should be- to throw that word around lightly. What I do doesn’t even approach “journalism.”

    John

    April 29, 2013 at 7:09 am

    • Well done on coming out open about the “guest posts”!
      From what I take it you wouldn’t do it again.
      I think many bloggers put too much of a burden on themselves about filling their blogs with content every day. It stresses them out and can lead to badly judged decisions. If you’re running short of time for writing or ideas, it’s much better to have a little break from blogging for a week or two and come back refreshed after that. You’d be surprised at how few that even will have noticed your absence.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 7:42 am

  9. Good post and I understand your feelings toward it. It’s also good to point out that if you are on a wordpress.com site you are not allowed to run your own ads (except if you sign up for the WordPress ad program). If you do so WordPress can suspend your blog, so not worth the risk.

    Within your blog post you state: “I’m free do whatever I like with it”, and that’s also the way I feel. I do regularly say yes to some advertisements, but only if I feel they are a match to my blog.
    I won’t allow guest posts (I write everything myself) so I will always say no to them and will not overload my readers with ads. This weekend I ran an infographic for the first time and since it did lead to discussion about the subject I feel it was a good choice to do it. I know for myself what I do and don’t want to do and I appreciate earning a little bit extra which I can then spend on movies/games.

    Nostra

    April 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

    • Actually – and maybe I should be clearer about this – I would accept guest posts, but not commercial such. A guest post from another blogger who wrote a piece that they thought would fit better in my blog than in their own place would definitely be welcome. It’s the shady business I don’t like.

      I’d love to hear more about the origin of the infographic. What is Motors? Did you find it yourself or did they approach you? It looks very cool, nothing of the sort that I could put together on my own. Just curious about its origins.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 9:09 am

      • Maybe I’ve worded it wrong too, I do have an occasional guest post by a fellow blogger, but not from advertisers.

        For that infographic I got contacted by an ad agency I’ve worked with before. The graphic itself looked interesting ( probably would have a hard time making something like that myself) and the site itself was ok, so decided to agree with it. Plus like I said, it is something which generated discusssion about movie cars, which is really nice.

        Nostra

        April 29, 2013 at 9:23 am

  10. I’ve mentioned to people before about Ads on our sites, unless us WordPress users pay to remove them they are there. I found out by accident on my wifes phone when looking at my site. Frustrating, yet I still havent paid to remove them…….

    I get offered a lot of things from casinos to paid commercials, but I always turn them down. I’m not saying I wont say yes one day, maybe I will sell out if the offer is too good to be true. But for now, I want my blog to stay as on track as possible. Nice post Jessica 🙂

    Tyson Carter

    April 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    • I thought about that: at what point would I consider saying “yes”? Is there a price for my blog? And if I’m completely honest I guess there is. Give me 100 000 dollars and I’ll give you my blog to do whatever you want with. Then I’ll move on to other projects. 🙂

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm

  11. Totally with you on this. Unfortunately I’ve kept the standard WordPress ads on my site because you have to pay extra to remove them. Nothing grinds my gears more than sponsored posts, collaboration, editorials etc that have nothing in common with the site you’re looking at.

    It’s like someone saying:
    “Hey, noticed you’ve put a few years into building a following and getting loads of hits – mind if I get me or my client exposed on your site too”.
    “Eerrrmmmm, P155 Off!”

    Paragraph Film Reviews

    April 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    • Yeah and the problem with sponsored posts is that it’s harder to avoid them as a reader. You won’t see the ads if you read the blog through a reader, but you’ll still get the ads disguised as posts.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm

  12. Very interesting piece Jessica. I’ve not had any emails about advertising space but I have had them from PR agencies asking me to write about a particular movie soundtrack or something if they let me listen to it early. I also got an email over the weekend actually asking me to show off these wooden carving of Iron Man that someone had done. Odd.

    I have put up some guest posts before from people who have emailed me but they just seemed like regular bloggers who wanted to get some exposure, so I was OK with that, although I must admit, it felt strange putting someone else’s random articles up on my site.

    I think most people realise that advertising on big sites is inevitable and understandable as they’ll be raking the money in from them, but I don’t think us bloggers need to buy into that. Unless they come to me with an offer I simply can’t refuse 😉

    • Thanks Terry!

      I got that e-mail too. Actually I checked out the blog and found that the writing actually is very good. I don’t think it fits into my type of blogging, but I could very well link to the post about the director. (without making any advertising about why you should buy woodcuts from that person). I don’t think it felt truly shady since – as far as I get it -he wasn’t asking for a shady deal, paying for text advertising or anything.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      • I wonder how many of us got that email?! Nah it seemed pretty legit and did seem just like someone trying to get a bit of exposure, which is fine by me but, as you said, it doesn’t really fit in with the style of my blog.

  13. […] Why you should keep it clean – musings about blogs and advertising (thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com) […]

  14. Jessica, I’m of the same mind as you in terms of ads. I don’t have any issues with other bloggers who do have ads, though I will decide to avoid them if they get too pervasive. I’ve received a good amount of e-mails from people who “LOVE!” my blog and want to work together, but they’re usually shady and come from something really random like an online casino. I’ve ignored those and don’t respond to them.

    I got my undergraduate degree in Journalism, so that plays a role in my thoughts about the posts that are really ads. Also, it doesn’t fit with my goals for the blog. I’m not doing it to get discovered or turn it into a way to make a living. Instead, it’s a fun way for me to keep writing and connect with other film fans. I’m definitely on board with this post.

    It’s funny that the comment mentioned the Iron Man carving. I got that one too but haven’t looked at it. Nice job with this post. The comments have been interesting, and it’s spawned really good discussion.

    Dan Heaton

    April 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    • Thanks Dan. I’m not surprised that you and I think alike in this matter. We seem to have similar background and views on movies (with the difference that you’re much more passionate about certain TV franchises than I am.) Just like you I’m not in this for the money. And that’s a big part of the enjoyment: the complete freedom this gives me. I know there are others who hope that it will lead them to a job and an income in the long run and I can understand and accept that. But only as long as you keep yourself well within the boundaries of good ethics.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 9:11 pm

  15. I accept ads of two types – banner type ads which are clearly outside of editorial content, and text links e.g one review mentioned T-Shirts so a T-Shirt website paid me to link the word T-Shirt to their site. The first type people can clearly see it’s an ad and avoid paying attention to it if they choose and the second type isn’t even visible so doesn’t interfere with the editorial. Compared to most professional sites it’s completely unobtrusive. Any money I get goes straight back into the running costs of the site. Living in Ireland, conducting phone interviews with actors and film-makers in the States costs me a small fortune. Then there’s the cost of movie tickets as I often can’t take the time off work to attend press screenings. My day job (I’m also a journalist) wages don’t leave me a whole lot after I’ve paid rent and bills so the small bit I make from ads is a Godsend.
    What I do have a moral dilemma with is when distributors try to pressure me into featuring their trailers in order to keep inviting me to screenings. I’ve had a falling out with one particular Hollywood studio over this. Sorry, but there’s no way I’m promoting Scary Movie 5!

    • I have no issues with the first type; the second sounds a bit weird to me. I wasn’t aware of that such text links even existed. Being aware of the economic situation of Ireland, it’s hard for me to be judgemental about it though. I just wish you didn’t have to do it I guess.

      I’ve never understood why bloggers post trailers on their blogs. It’s not particularly interesting. If you want to see the trailer for a certain blog, it’s widely available on Youtube. But your post gives me an answer.
      I really think it shows a low standard by the distributor.

      Jessica

      April 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm

  16. I don’t have any problems with ads. I use WordAds for my blog and get a very tiny income from it, but I wouldn’t be opposed to maybe adding a small banner in my sidebar or anything. I think most people these days use ad blockers anyway, so what’s the harm in having small advertisements?

    However, I am in complete agreement about those ridiculous “guest post” offers. I get them every other day, and the vast majority of them are related to writing a post about casinos and gambling. What’s sad is that I see these guest articles pop up from time to time from the blogs I subscribe to in my RSS reader. I guess it’s tempting to make a quick buck by doing that, but I feel the hit to a site’s integrity is too damaging to risk it.

    Eric @ The Warning Sign

    April 30, 2013 at 12:40 am

    • I actually don’t use ad blockers. I don’t even know how you get one. Yeah, I’m lazy. But I read blogs mostly through a feedreader anyway, which sorts out the ad issue for me.

      I agree that it’s strange that some bloggers actually fall for offers about strange casino cooperations. Most don’t, but you see those posts now and then that are testimonies about a sell-out.

      Jessica

      April 30, 2013 at 10:41 am

  17. I’ve been approached many times with offers to place ads on my blog. The most popular one is the “we’ll pay you for a featured review written by someone on our staff that will stay on your main page for “x” amount of months”. I’ll admit, at first the offers were tempting, because in these economic times who couldn’t use a few extra bucks. And even better, those extra bucks would come from a blog that I created and have nurtured for about five years now!

    Jessica, the reason I’m with you on this topic is because in the end my blog was created by me and I have nurtured it for all these years. I’ve put a lot of work into my blog, and my blog is a representation of me as a person and a cinephile (or Star Wars nerd as the case may be). Peppering my blog with sponsored posts and ads would not be fair to all the work I’ve put into make my blog distinctly my own, or to the people who come to my blog to read what I have to say. My two cents are any different than your post, good work. 🙂

    Bill Thompson

    April 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    • I feel exactly like you: blogging is such a personal thing to me. I’m pouring out my thoughts, my heart, my soul and it would feel just so weird and wrong to mix it up with sponsored messages.

      Jessica

      May 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

  18. I don’t agree that this is a problem of blogging garnering a lack of respect or not being regarded as journalism. The notion of objective journalism as something we should all spire to is relatively new. Journalism used to be little more than propaganda: one side wanted someone to say all the other bad things the other side was doing, or how great they were. It was difficult to separate it from advertising too. It really wasn’t that long ago that we had respected men like Murrow giving personal endorsements of products, and their entire news show might be sponsored by a single company, placing them or their managers under a lot of pressure.

    This will get resolved over time. Though that’s not to say that it’s a passive process: it’s people like you who stand up and demand clean blogs and set an example that move it along. So bravo to you.

    Klepsacovic

    April 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    • Thanks Klep for bringing up a good point and a different perspective! It’s true that articles from the 19th century look pretty weird when you watch them with modern eyes.

      Jessica

      May 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

  19. You’ve raised some interesting points here. I’ve always turned down adverts and paid posts but when they start offering big money, it becomes harder and harder to do so. I started writing as a hobby and would continue doing so for free but it’s nice to be asked and offered money to do it.

    I think everyone has different opinions about what is acceptable and what they will and won’t do. But the blurring of lines is between editorial and sponsorship is a shady area.

    biggreenjelly

    May 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    • I guess there is a point when even I’d sell out. If someone offered me a 100 000 dollars for the blog, I’d hand it over without any further discussion (but leave it right away and start a new, personal blog where I’d keep doing what I did at The Velvet Café before).

      Jessica

      May 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

  20. […] Why you should keep it clean – musings about blogs and advertising (thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com) […]

  21. Great post Jessica. I’ve had at least three of these offers from online casino companies. I looked into it a further and chose to send them packing. I’m not into advertising either but unfortunately I’m still on the free wordpress site and have the one that they put up. I’m aiming to change this in the future, though. Again it comes down to integrity and if you’re disguising a review as a means to link back to a company for the sake of few pennies, then your integrity is certainly in question.

    Mark Walker

    May 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    • Thanks Mark. Yeah, casinos seem to be most active in this. I had an offer as recently as today, which I obviously won’t accept. It’s strange to me that anyone does. For the few bucks you may make, you lose so much on your credibility. It really isn’t worth it.

      Jessica

      May 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

  22. […] Why you should keep it clean – musings about blogs and advertising (thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com) […]


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