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Create Separation between Sponsored and Editorial Content

On your mom blog, create your own separation between content that’s sponsored and editorial content — your own writing that has no direct ties to outside interests. It’s next to impossible for most mom bloggers to operate at the level of journalistic standards that news organizations do.

We don’t have a sales team to sell advertising and sponsorships for us. We’re our own sales team and our own Editor in Chief. We don’t have a perceived natural boundary between our advertisers’ interests and our own business interests, even when one exists internally.

Creating separation between your sponsored and editorial content is only necessary when you’re writing content that is compensated in any of the following ways:

  • When you receive a product/service for free and write a review, testimonial, or endorsement about it.

  • When you receive any other form of compensation in exchange for writing a review, testimonial, or endorsement (this includes money, travel expenses, meals or entertainment, or other free products or services).

  • When you endorse an advertiser or client outside of the context of your blog, as when you’re engaged in social media conversations.

  • When you use an affiliate link in conjunction with a review or recommendation (this doesn’t apply to affiliate marketing that is clearly advertising and doesn’t include a personal recommendation or endorsement).

There are a few ways to separate these kinds of sponsored content from the rest of the content on your blog:

  • Create a separate blog for sponsored content: Blogger Maggie Mason writes Mighty Girl, a personal blog about her life in San Francisco with her husband and son. She has created three additional blogs that are commercial in nature, the largest being the shopping blog Mighty Goods. By doing this, she is able to easily separate her personal content from her commercial content.

    Maggie Mason created blogs for personal writings and sponsored content.
    Maggie Mason created blogs for personal writings and sponsored content.
  • Have sponsored content written by someone else or by the sponsor: The leading technology blog ReadWriteWeb allows its long-term sponsors to write blog posts on the blog. The posts are labeled clearly as “Written by RWW Sponsor.” They are also placed in a separate category so that regular visitors know if they are reading editorial or sponsored content.

    ReadWriteWeb separates sponsored content by having the sponsors write it.
    ReadWriteWeb separates sponsored content by having the sponsors write it.
  • Write a clear notice at the beginning of a sponsored post, disclosing your relationship to the sponsor: Amanda Soule’s SouleMama blog is an example of sponsored content done well. Each of her advertisers is a perfect match for her audience of creative crafting moms.

    On any sponsored post on her blog, the post title is prefixed with “SouleMama Sponsor ~” so that blog readers and RSS readers know what to expect from her content. All of her sponsors provide a giveaway, so Amanda’s readers love her sponsored content as much as her regular content!

    The SouleMama blog titles every compensated post as a sponsored post.
    The SouleMama blog titles every compensated post as a sponsored post.
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