Honesty and Compensation for Your Mom Blog
If writing paid reviews fits with your business model, then there are ways you can minimize the perception that your blog post presents a conflict of interest. Mixing money and opinion can be dangerous.
It is generally accepted that money can and will influence your opinion — though it isn’t always true. For most mom bloggers, no amount of money would justify publishing a lie on their blogs.
You can say that your opinion’s not for sale. But that doesn’t change the fact that people who don’t know you will assume what is generally accepted: that if you take money for a review, it will influence what you say, even if it doesn’t. Yet, bloggers need to cover their expenses and make a living.
Disclose more than you are required to disclose: If a review is compensated, you must disclose that relationship. Disclose why you chose to write the review in the first place. If you have spent money on the company’s products in the past, say so. If you would have written about this product for free anyway, say so.
Balance all reviews with constructive criticism: Make a habit of pointing out ways a product could be improved in every review. It’s hard for a review to sound credible if all it does is rave about a product. Even the most perfect product in the world can be improved.
Balancing every one of your reviews with constructive criticism helps to show that you are willing to be honest, no matter what.
Be open about the opportunities you turn down: So much attention is focused on the freebies that mom bloggers receive because that’s what the public can see. The public never hears about the opportunities and products you don’t receive.
You can be general while still conveying the message that you’re picky about what you choose to receive. You can create a simple statement in your sidebar or on your disclosures page saying that you only publish x percentage of the reviews you are offered to write.
Write about products you know your readers would be interested in: Your readers have been attracted to your blog for your voice and the quality of your content. You can scare them away if you write any kind of irrelevant blog posts, not just irrelevant products. Keeping your blog on topic also makes you more attractive to advertisers.