March 8th, 2010 Update: “Bloggers are not slaves of brands” was the original post title.
If you run a blog, you probably notice a surge on the number of brands that wish to either buy coverage on your site, ask to write a guest post for free or for money, or my “favorite”, the ones that offer you a link exchange buried I do not know where on their ecommerce site because they work on their link building.
With all the social media books and gurus that tell businesses that they can seek coverage from influencers, any bloggers with a certain level of popularity see the good and the bad. The goal of this post is to talk about the best practices.
I do not think that all the brands do that to exploit bloggers. Many, including PR and marketing professionals, are clueless when it comes to approaching bloggers. Others listen to the advices from the wrong people. The rules are clear with traditional journalists but defining the best practices is still in the making when approaching social media influencers and bloggers.
In light of these facts, I think that bloggers should take the initiatives to be treated the way we deserve. My advice to every blogger is to think about your values and to clearly determine what is acceptable for your blog. Then, write down a policy that you will publish on your blog.
For a while now, I published my editorial policy. I also have a comment policy that is more there to explain the fair use rules of comments to merchants, marketing staff or PR people that seem to think that blog comments are free classifieds. Any business should know that unsolicited promotion on comments is not playing fair.
With the current boom, I needed to put a stronger message. But I did not know how to do it until I read the About on Cool Hunting. They started in 2003 and they are way bigger than me. So, I cannot imagine their inbox in the morning. My revelation came when I read this:
Money can buy you a lot of things, but it can’t buy you coverage on Cool Hunting. All of our content is editorially based using the standard of “stuff we like.”
One thing that I learned in social media is to avoid the legal jargon that nobody understand and say the things like they are. They could not have said it better.
+ image: Cool Hunting