Back in 2009, the FTC started requiring bloggers to disclose when they are being paid ,or are given some form of compensation, when writing a post. The mommy bloggers took the heat for this, even though it’s not just women with children who are being given free stuff.
She recently announced on her Facebook that she was going to the Olympics. We’re friends on Facebook and I saw the post and thought “Hey – that’s cool. Good for her.” But I guess some people thought a lot of other things that prompted her to write a post on how she was actually spending her own money to go to the Olympics. Well, if that isn’t full disclosure, I don’t know what is!
If you read Amy’s post, you’ll see that people automatically thought a brand was paying for her trip. People commented on how she was lucky – that she got all of the best opportunities, and that she was a “golden blogger.”
I think it’s a pretty sad day when someone has to say “Hey – I paid for this with my own money.”
That being said, it is true that bloggers get a lot of perks. And yes, Amy is a very well known blogger and works with very well known brands. But guess what? She’s also worked her ass off and has made a career out of blogging and consulting with brands, and she deserves to get paid for it.
There are lots of opportunities for people to work with brands. Sometimes, PR people will email you and try to get you involved. And sometimes, you have to go after the opportunities you want. If you want to work with brands, you have to develop relationships with them, maybe do some non-compensated work to show them that you have a following and that people listen to you. Once you’ve proven yourself, then you can start reaping the rewards.
One thing is for sure – bloggers have to disclose when they receive compensation of any kind. So, the next time you read a blog post about someone’s favorite ice cream, a review of a book or movie, or their vacation — if the blogger got it for free, they will tell you.
Let’s not start making bloggers write about what they pay for with their own money. Some things really aren’t our business.