An often overlooked part of blogging is the ever-important blog disclosure. The following is a description of Blog Disclosure and Why Your Blog Should Have One.
Have you ever noticed a blog post that ended with the sentence “Blankety-Blank Blog was compensated for this review?”
It’s called Blog Disclosure and it came to be via a ruling by the Federal Trade Commission in October of 2009. According to FTC regulations, all bloggers are required to disclose how and when they earn money on their blog. The ruling was designed to keep bloggers honest and transparent and protect readers from untrue or unfounded claims about products or services. Disclosure’s goal was (and still is) to encourage trust amongst readers and promote an ethical blogosphere.
What does “disclosure” really means?
Disclosure: The act of making something obvious. Disclosing (divulging or explaining), the purpose and interests of a blogger in his/her published posts: written, audio or video.-DisclosurePolicy.org
Disclosure does not mean you need to change your blogging voice, perspective, values, or even who you chose to have as advertisers. It does mean that you need be open, honest and transparent about the things that influence your blogging. This includes disclosure of organizational affiliations, affiliate links, compensation received for advertising, paid content, as well as any form of VIP treatment or gifts received.
Disclosures can come in two forms, the first being a simple statement at the end of a blog post. A safe rule of thumb is that if you are creating a blog post that is not a “natural” part of your blogging routine or has financial benefit to you, you will need to include some sort of disclosure statement within the post. You can have a fabulous lunch at Pizza Hutat Massage envy and blog about it, but if you were paid or reimbursed by Massage Envy in any way (compensated with a free service or money), a disclosure about that fact is mandatory.
Working in tandem with your end-of-post disclaimer is an actual Disclaimer Policy. A disclosure policy is a statement that is usually written in a simple language that most people can easily comprehend. What many business professionals don’t realize is that actually quite easy to create your own policy.
DisclosurePolicy.org makes it exceptionally simple to create your own Disclosure Policy by walking you through a series of Q&A questions that will help you craft a policy that is somewhat customized to your blog and business. Once created, bloggers are encouraged to post their policy on their blog for readers to review at any time. To create your own Disclosure Policy, go HERE.
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