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An ethical way to earn a living as a blogger

Many people misunderstand my ongoing opposition to spam-shop Izea as opposition to bloggers earning a living.  To be clear: Bloggers have every right to have a business, to sell advertising, and make a living — if you follow the basic rules of ethics and disclosure that have existed for decades in all forms of media.

BlogHer has done an excellent job of explaining the ethical way for bloggers to work with sponsors and advertisers. Their model is admirable and I suggest all independent bloggers study it and learn from them before accepting any form of outside compensation.

  • Advertising should be labeled as advertising
  • Editorial needs to be separate from advertising
  • "We define unacceptable content as anything included or linked that…Contains editorial content that has been commissioned and paid for by a third party, (either cash or goods in barter), and/or contains paid advertising links and/or SPAM or 'Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages… "

Just as important, BlogHer has created clear guidelines and special content areas that help bloggers attract more sponsor dollars ethically.

Read the full details of their program.

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  1. Maria Reyes-McDavis May 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    This is great, thanks for sharing it and highlighting this very important topic. I also think, these same guidelines needed to be examined by marketers (internet and social media alike), when selling their expertise and the expertise of others. Great stuff!

  2. Elisa Camahort Page May 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks so much for your vote of confidence, Andy, it means a lot! As I said in the comments of the post, this post was a great opportunity for us to revisit our guidelines and criteria, remember why we decided on them and reinforce our commitment to them.

  3. John Pohl May 13, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Great blog title! Reminds me of one of my favorite CD titles: “Songs We Wish We’d Written,” a CD of song covers recorded by Pat Green and Cory Morrow. Citing other people’s great ideas is a wonderful way to share with your customers/fans and to demonstrate you’re not afflicted by NIHS (Not Invented Here Syndrome).

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