First, let’s lay it out on the table: this blog isn’t financially driven. I blog because I love it. I blog because I think it does great things for my writing and my understanding of people. And I blog because I think it helps people. My primary means of supporting myself is freelance copywriting and content strategy work and book sales (which are indirectly connected to blogging, but would both go on without the blog as well). I do use affiliate links (for products I already love and plan on recommending), I review products from time to time, and I’m going to start occasionally offering sponsors the opportunity to sponsor a link round-up or other post, but hopefully not so often as to feel overwhelming to anyone.
That said, beginning December 1, 2009, the FTC requires bloggers to disclose whenever there could be hidden interests or unspoken biases related to recommendations. So here goes…
Per the FTC rules, if I interview someone and they grab the bill for lunch, I would need to disclose this. Ditto if I use an Amazon link that gets me 8 cents instead of an Amazon link that gets me 0 cents. If someone gives me a comfy t-shirt with a logo and I wear it in a photo, same deal. Disclaimers all over the place. This would be tedious for me and even more tedious for readers. But rules is rules. To cover my ass and preserve your reading experience, please assume that, for every link and product I use, the following all hold true:
Writer probably also got free or discounted accommodations, plane tickets, train tickets, tours, spa days, admission, puppy snuggles, and advice.