Blog for dollars? Not that way . . .

Call me old-fashioned, but the practice of writing sponsored posts about various products and brands strikes me as just plain sleazy.

The Los Angeles Times’ Josh Friedman reports that thousands of bloggers are now writing sponsored posts touting such diverse topics as diamonds, digital cameras and drug clinics, and paid for by marketing middlemen such as PayPerPost Inc., ReviewMe, Loud Launch and SponsoredReviews.com.

The funny thing is how little at least some of them are being paid. Blogger Colleen Caldwell, for instance, admits to being paid all of $12 to build buzz about the opening of a Fox Faith film.

The marketing folks see no problems with any of this. Of course not. After all, what’s the difference between blog product placements and “placing” bottles of Heineken beer in the latest Matt Damon movie or Reese’s Pieces in ET? It’s all entertainment, right?

For what it’s worth, you’ll never see this blogger dropping names of sponsored products and brands on these pages. I’d rather get a real job first. The blogosphere’s got enough credibility problems without people selling their souls — cheaply.

(P.S. Advertisers, on the other hand, are most welcome to sponsor this site!)

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2 responses to “Blog for dollars? Not that way . . .

  1. All of those posts do add up…to the tune of almost $8K in 8 months. I do have a day job, but this is a nice part time gig. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Glad to see you’re at least making some decent money.

    What concerns me, though, is the general lack of disclosure regarding sponsored posts.

    Do you let your readers know when you’re pitching a sponsored product or service? If so, then I guess my objections aren’t that strong. If not, then in my opinon it’s basically dishonest or at least unethical.

    Readers deserve to know when their information is being tailored to serve some third party’s objectives, whether commercial, political, religious or whatever.

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