Publisher Pam here. This page explains how I make money on my blog. There actually are FTC guidelines for bloggers, and you can bet I aim to meet — even exceed — those guidelines.
Following is an explanation of income to the blog and how I deal with various issues:
- Midcentury Marketplace Ads: The second way I make money is with what I call the “Midcentury Marketplace” advertisements — the smaller ads in two sizes in the far right-hand column of the blog and the larger “sticky” ad at the bottom of the same sidebar. I also have started adding one such ad at the bottom of our Sunday newsletter. I sell these ads directly to advertisers. In general, I accept ads only for products and services that are relevant to homeowners remodeling or decorating their midcentury homes — I want these ads to be a “win win win” — a win for readers who are looking for relevant products, a win for advertisers with relevant products to sell, and a win for me so that I can make a living and continue to blog. I do not promise editorial coverage to these advertisers. And, please do not consider these ads a personal endorsement; I may or may not have personal experience with a given advertiser; do your own additional homework if you are considering making a purchase. When and if I do write something about their products while they are an active advertiser, I may note a Disclosure: in the story so that it is clear that the story was not a quid pro quo.
- Ebay Links and Ads — I am a member of the Ebay Affiliate Network. When you click on a product in one of my ebay carousels, or on other links to ebay posted in various spots on my blog, ebay follows you with a “cookie” and if you end up buying something, I receive a commission. I always try to remember to put a parenthetical “(*affiliate link) note adjacent to such links.
- Amazon Links, Ads and A-Store — Similar to the Ebay situation described above, I am a member of the Amazon Associate Network and receive a commission if you buy anything from Amazon via a link on my blog. I always try to remember to put a parenthetical “(*affiliate link) note adjacent to such links.
- Other Ads and/or Affiliate Programs — If it looks like an ad, all design-y like, I’m likely an affiliate and earn a spiff, or earn money directly for the placement. If I am an affiliate and mention the company or one of its products in a story with a live link, I always try to remember to put a parenthetical “(*affiliate link)” next to such hotlinks or otherwise note it conspicuously at the top of the story.
- NO Text links: I do not sell text links. Kissing cousins: I do not take guest posts from writers who are being paid by commercial interests to get their links online in a sneaky way. That is: Shame on all the so-called “writers” who are proposing a guest post without your being 100% upfront about who you are working for.
- Sponsored posts RARELY: I am open to the idea of “sponsored posts” — that is, companies pay me to publish a story about them — and I have done a handful so far. (I have turned down or ignored many other such requests.) When I run a sponsored post, I seek to make it conspicuously clear that these are sponsored, that is: paid for. As per Google’s rules, all outbound links are no-follows. (FYI: Google considers such outbound links in sponsored [paid-for] posts to be equivalent to paid text links. They do not want websites to to “sell PageRank.”)
- Giveaways: I don’t typically charge money for retailers to provide items for giveaways. I do these as a surprise and delight to readers — and to grow my newsletter list.
- Consulting — In addition to being a blogger writing about vintage laminates and laminates available today for midcentury style kitchens and bathrooms, I have worked with Wilsonart to launch a capsule collection of 7 new colorways for their boomerang laminates. They promote these laminates on the blog with an ad. I disclose our involvement when we write about this collection. If I write about any other such projects I’ve been involved in, I will disclose that.
- In general: I don’t want my editorial coverage to be affected by advertising or other revenue sources to the blog…
- …and I believe in, and strive for, transparency when it comes to calling out financial relationships where they may occur.
- I seek to comply with FTC guidelines requiring “conspicuous” disclosure of any direct payments or in-kind payments (products supplied) by companies or vendors seeking to promote their products. If I end up doing a review of a product supplied from a company or individual vendor (yes, I’ve received samples), I note these with a Disclosure: up top conspicuously in the story. My general policy is to not take any free products for review unless they are relevant to readers, and I do not promise a story even if a sample/product is sent.
- Similarly I am occasionally invited on media trips to review new products. I may accept these if I think they are relevant to my readers. No coverage is promised in return. If I end up doing a review, I will aim to conspicuously note that the trip has been paid for by the inviting company with a Disclosure: in the story.