I publish everything on this site and have full control over what is on my website Any ads, sponsored content or such is down to me and only me… I’m a one man band! Please contact me to discuss anything further: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Following recent guidelines from ASA, from February 2019 all sponsored/paid for/collaborate posts of any sort will include a ‘ad’ in the heading part of the blog post and the usual disclaimer with an explanation at the bottom of the post.
On my website, older posts before February 2019, have always featured a disclaimer if the post or content is sponsored in any way. You may see something such as:
“*Disclaimer” followed by an explanation of what is paid for/what is sponsored
This post is sponsored by…
This post is in collaboration with…
This post is an ad feature…
and so on.
This disclaimer is the legal ‘way’ of showing that the blog post features/is ad content.
All posts on my Facebook page which are sponsored or feature anything which was received as payment in goods is explained in the post as such with ‘ad’ and a disclaimer. Older Facebook posts, prior to February 2019, will have featured a written explanation and/or disclaimer. If the Facebook post was a blog post share, and that blog post is a paid for feature or ad, then there is a disclaimer/ad in the blog post itself.
However, following February 2019, any Facebook posts will now include “ad” as well as the disclaimer in the blog post itself.
If a Facebook post includes any ad content, or I mention anything which has been paid for either by cash or goods, this will be explained with ‘ad’ and a disclaimer.
On Twitter, the hashtag #ad will be used and same for Instagram.
As a blogger I am invited to some events. These could be press openings, press previews, blogger events or events for “free” where the payment for work is in return for free tickets.
If I am going to write or mention about any experience, trip or event on my website then this is seen as ad content and will include ad and a disclaimer. The same goes for social media.
On Facebook, I am honest and explain what we were invited to and what we got in return. In addition, I often offer “free” experiences to members of my community group, in return for guest reviews from them. This is usually when I can’t attend something myself.
Please note, although I have run my blog for 2 years, I am still a beginner and learning as I go. This is a all new to me, and there are many situations and experiences which I have yet to deal with. I may mention things such as free events or free trips but this is yet to happen, for me. If you see I have attended an event, trip, or been on a holiday and it features no ‘ad’ or disclaimer; this is because it is not one.
Here’s some questions you may have which I hope to answer:
What if your post doesn’t contain ad or a disclaimer?
This is because the content/post does not feature any paid for, collaborative or sponsored content in any way. The majority of my blog posts will not feature any paid for content and therefore you won’t see “ad” in it (or disclaimer).
If the blog post I’m reading then contains a disclaimer saying it is sponsored, does this mean it is an ad?
Yes, any blog post which is sponsored by or features paid for content, by ASA is considered an ad. All content is written by myself, though, and my opinions are still my own. I don’t accept payment to write reviews or put out any information about a place/experience which I don’t agree with.
Quite simply I won’t be paid to write, so all I write is honest, whether it has been paid for or not.
If I’m reading a review you have written, how do I know if this is an ad or a review?
All reviews I write on my blog are written by me. Whether you consider these an ad or not that is your call. ASA do not consider reviews an ad, but if the review was paid for in any way (such as cash or payment in goods) then it is an ad content.
If a review I write was paid for in any way there will be a disclaimer. The reviews are always written by myself in my honest opinion, and make no difference whether it has been paid for or not. All opinions are still the same and I am incredibly honest when it comes to writing reviews.
What about freebies?
Nothing in the blogging world is free; there is payment in goods which is a type of payment, such as money. If I have received payment in goods, this is in return for work; and is not a ‘freebie’.
If I was sat in a coffee shop and someone said they love my blog a lot and appreciate what I do, bought me a coffee, and I thought that was very kind and mentioned it online… that is not advertising that persons random act of kindness. However, if a coffee shop wants me to go along for a coffee on the house, in return for a social media share this is an ad and will be disclaimed as such.
Please note, if we were given payment in goods, for example press pass, tickets, voucher, etc., then these are in return for work. Although it does not make any difference to you as a reader, it is important for you to know that, contrary to peoples beliefs, I don’t reep in the freebies for writing blog posts. 😉
If the blog post I’m reading then contains a disclaimer saying it is sponsored, does this mean it is an ad?
I see you’ve worked with a business/brand before, but have multiple blog posts or content by the same place. Only one blog post has a disclaimer/features ‘ad’; what about the others?
Only blog posts which have been paid for in cash or payment in goods will be labelled appropriately as so. There is no need for me to go through all the blog posts (I now have 400 of them) to clearly state that I have worked with XYZ before. This is not a legal requirement.
If I am paid (this is just an example) by ABC business to feature something about what they do in a blog post, then that post will feature ‘ad’ and a disclaimer. If I then go to ABC business, as a regular customer, pay like everyone else does, but write about it in a blog post because I want to; this is not ad or sponsored content.
It’s important to know I only work with brands/businesses I love. If you see a paid for/ad blog post for one business, but have seen other content I have written that is because I genuinely like and if I am a repeat customer, then this is because I have chosen to be.
Do your listings, roundups, etc., include ad content?
As of February 2019, I have not sold listings either in my weekend roundups, daily term time roundups, daily Facebook posts, or Facebook event calendar for money or payment in goods. Therefore, all listings in any of these posts before February 2019 feature no sponsored or paid for content.
Following ASA advice, from February 2019, if any listing on Facebook or in a blog post roundup/events list is paid for or compensated for being there, there will be a disclaimer (and “Ad”) label to identify this as such.
I completely understand that it may appear all my listings, event guides, etc., are ads because all they include links to events/things going on from other businesses. Likewise with my daily Facebook morning posts which give 5 ideas for things to do, every day… advertising places such as attractions, days out, indoor play centres, events, etc., this may look like I have been paid to mention these things. However, as of writing this post (February 15th, 2019) I have not featured an ad listing, paid for in any way, in these roundups or daily posts.
I choose all of what goes in these guides myself and are the only one publishing this information, from behind my computer!
If, in the future, any listing or link to an event in any roundup or events guide is paid for in any way, there will be an ad and disclaimer saying such. If there isn’t? This is because it doesn’t feature any.
If you wish to advertise with me in any roundup or feature, then this can be discussed by contacting me here.
You have mentioned before you are not employed. Now you are saying you are paid for your blog. What is the truth?
The truth is I have, in the last 2 years, been able to earn some small amount of money through a variety of ways on my blog (mostly through sponsored posts or advertising). This has 99% been on my website (here) and has always featured in a disclaimer. I am working extremely hard to increase this small amount into a reliable income over the next few years.
I have always been transparent with what I do to my followers, and although some people have assumed I am making lots of money behind the scenes and keeping it a secret; this is far from the truth. And if I was, I would definitely not keep it a secret; I would be proud of my success!
As of February 2019, I hope to be able to make this a reliable income and change what I do into being a business… declare myself as ‘self employed’ and eventually pay tax. As of yet, though, I have not earnt enough to do so and have not been employed through my blog.
Whilst my finances are my own business, and my tax, I believe it is important for my audience to know who I am and what I do. I am 100% honest with you. What I do is a very gradual process. It is not an overnight situation, where I created my blog 2 years ago and have been getting paid with a regular income/salary on a continuous basis since then.
If I have been paid up until now, it has been disclosed as such; so there is no problem. Why has this disclosure only just come about now, and not before? Shouldn’t I have been more honest before, I hear you say? The disclaimers, details in posts regarding sponsored/paid for content have always been there. Following recent ASA Guidelines, along with my recent changes (hopes and dreams!) to turn my blog into something a little more serious; it has been time for me to research, learn and publish this disclosure policy. It’s one step forward to (hopefully) something positive for me! But changes nothing for you. 🙂
Should you not label everything as ad or a disclaimer if it mentions someone you have worked with in the past (with payment)?
No, if I mention/talk/discuss/recommend something or someone and have not been paid for it in any way then this is not an ad and won’t feature the ‘ad’ or disclaimer.
If I was to label everything I mention, which if it has been paid for before, as an ad, then I am shooting myself in the foot. I am potentially giving that business/brand free advertising, by labelling it as such, and losing out on a chance of it being a paid for advert!
That would be like me having a repeat visit to somewhere I may have received a press pass before in the past, but this time the visit was not sponsored/paid for in any way, but me labelling this visit as an ad. The first visit, which was paid for in goods (press pass) is a “Ad” as we were compensated to go there. The second visit, if it was paid for by us and is not in any way in collaboration with the place, is not an ad.
There is a difference between recommending/talking about something without being paid for it, and being paid for/compensated for what I talk about. The latter is always followed up with ad/disclaimer.
How do I know if you are honest?
These guidelines are recommended by ASA and not following this guidelines would be breaking the law. It is important for my followers to know that when you read my content, I am being honest with you. Not only to build trust with you as a loyal reader, but also to ensure I am following the rules correctly.
I take my blog very seriously and have built a loyal audience up for over 2 years. I read many blogs as well as run my own and I can see things from both sides. There is no reason for me to lie or not disclose something as paid for when it is… I don’t get any benefit in doing so.
I am not paid to write my blog posts, write on Facebook or publish my social media 24/7. Only a handful of my content a month (or less) is paid for or includes a collaboration of some sort. If you have never seen a blog post, or social media post, which includes ‘ad’ or a disclaimer, or a mention of it being paid for, this is because you simply have missed the ones that have been. It does not mean that I am hiding the ad content and misleading you.
I am a honest, loyal person and love my blog wholeheartedly. I am not willing to put this at risk after all my hard work.
Everyone deserves to be paid for the work they do so please respect this. I can only ask that you trust me as a loyal reader of my blog, and carry on enjoying trips with a tot as you always have! Thank you so much for your ongoing support.