Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Oct 20 2006

Compensation and blogs

I have to admit that I had never heard of PayPerPost until Buzzmachine's Jeff Jarvis wrote about it. I don't know a lot about the site in question, but I thought it was interesting that Jason Calcanis named a few specific blog personalities he'd like to hear comments from. (At first it sounds like he's calling for a clique response, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and suppose he has merely read and respected those folks' opinions before and isn't intending to exclude the opinions of those who might not be on his preceived A List.)

Some blog owners have published statements claiming their independence of opinion and reviews on their blogs. I've resisted doing that, partly because this is a gray area to me. I'm a writer by nature and I sometimes, but not always, make money from what I write. I don't get paid to write blog entries, but a blog presented by a writer could easily be pointed to by some folks as a marketing or public relations tool. I would be lying if I said that I never wrote anything on a blog with the hope of sparking interest in a paying writing job. I also do a wee bit of that affiliate marketing thing, as you will note by some of the links over on the right side of this page. I do include those kinds of links in an occasional blog post, though it isn't the majority of focus you'll find here. I've just never been comfortable declaring my status as an independent voice of opinion because of all the little nuances that go with the work of writing. While I'm not doing this blog for profit I'm not adverse to the idea that it could generate income—directly or indirectly.

What I don't do is take direct payment from any entity, business or organization for saying this or that on this blog. If I happen to review a product or service in a post it's because I've either had personal experience with it or have my own curiosity about it. If someone were to send me anything to review or send me to a site to review and I ended up writing a post about it, I'd plainly say so in my post. If I use an affiliate link to point to a product and comment on it I hope readers will look at the status line at the bottom of their browser as they wave over the link and will see that I am definitely encouraging them to go to the affiliate's site and have a closer look. For instance, a post I did on slow cookers includes a commercial link showcasing a product I own and use regularly. No deception is intended and I don't get paid to tell you the product is a good one, but if you were to click through and purchase one of your own, then yes—I would get a sort of kickback, if you want to call it that.

I doubt we'll be able to eliminate the commerical aspect of blogs any time soon. Tho most one can hope for is that those who make money from blogs will be as straightforward and honest as possible in their writing. I hope that goes for people on the A List (whatever that means) and also for everyone else.

posted at: 11:57 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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such varmints when they least expect it!