The marketer’s curse is this: whenever I rave about something, the very next question I get (without fail) is whether such and such is a client. It’s reasonable that people ask. In this world where so few people disclose their relationships, I find myself wondering sometimes, myself (er, not about me, but others).
Let me be really clear about my own self and my own business standards. I disclose everything I imagine to be materially relevant to things I write about. My disclosure page is on my about page, down near the bottom 1/2. If it’s not on there, you can always ask, but I am fairly quick to disclose in-post and even in-tweet when I’m talking about something that might afford me gain.
In the US, the Federal Trade Commission is starting to heat up their effort to crack down on bloggers who violate disclosure guidelines. It’s nothing terrifying, but it’s out there. Here’s a recent post from a panel at BlogHer that gives decent enough guidelines. I’ll recommend mine at the bottom of the post.
I’ve written about FTC disclosure before, by the way.
One Way to Provide Ample Disclosure
- Update any specific disclosures on your site’s about page.
- For any sponsored post (should you have one), be clear to add “sponsored post” to the TITLE of the post.
- For sponsored posts, make the first paragraph and the last paragraph contain a sentence or two showing that it’s a sponsored post.
- For tweets about an affiliate link, mention that directly after the link.
- For tweets about a client, mention that directly after the link.
- For tweets about a sponsored post, mention that after the link.
That seems reasonable, and not entirely unwieldy.