There’s no reason you shouldn’t be making money blogging |Only if you’re lying.
There’s been so much talk about advertising and ‘ethics’ and ‘disclosure’ in the blogging community recently. We hope that we’ve helped start that conversation. From our point of view, especially regarding The Pledge, bloggers can make money for blogging and readers should know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If we are making money, we do need to let our readers know that this is the case. A lot of bloggers hesitate when disclosing because they didn’t want to look cheap over their other counterparts.
But, the actual fact is that readers don’t know whether those bloggers are actually being paid.
We see it this way: Readers are like consumers and in South Africa we have an entire act that protects consumers called the Consumer Protection Act. It gives consumers a right to know. Consumers have a right to know that they might be eating donkey instead of beef. In that same way, readers have a right to know whether they’re seeing an editorial or an advertisement.
If you’ve been hesitant to disclose and take The Pledge, what can you do?
1. Let you readers know exactly what the ‘Sponsored’ means.
2. Let your readers know why you’re being paid. We see it this way: Blogging takes up a large amount of time, and some hosted blogs can cost hundreds of rands a month. Some of us have advertisements just so that we can cover costs.
3. Encourage other bloggers you know to do the same.
Honesty and transparency is so important and a huge stepping stone to creating a better quality blogger community in South Africa. What’s more surprising so far, is that we haven’t seen bigger South African blogs come on board. Shouldn’t bigger bloggers be setting the example for everyone else?