In my previous post, I blogged about a free headset that was sent to me by an old friend. Sure, he got some promotional benefit out of it — but I wasn’t blogging to send him business, to thank him, or as a quid-pro-quo.
I wrote the blog post because it met the editorial standards of my blog:
- It was relevant.
- It made a specific educational point about word of mouth marketing.
- It was a good, clear example of a principle that I was trying to teach.
- It was easy to properly and clearly disclose the freebie.
What I don’t do — and what I don’t think you should do:
- Write posts to get free stuff.
- Write about something that you don’t care about just because it’s free.
- Sell out and trade your good reputation for free samples.
- Fail to clearly disclose that you’re getting freebies.
There are all sorts of ethical reasons why you shouldn’t do this. But the big reason: It makes for a crappy blog. You owe your readers more than product pitches.