Bloggers who get paid to blog about products or services are required to disclose their association with the companies that provides the payment according to the Federal Trade Commission. The same goes for bloggers who receive free product in exchange for a product review.
Failure to do so could mean fines of up to $11,000 per violation.
The easiest way to comply with the new FTC rules is to have a disclosure policy page that clearly outlines your relationship with readers and advertisers.
These rules only apply to bloggers in the US, however at some point these rules may eventually spread to Canada, therefore I have a disclosure policy here on Today’s Woman.
Here are some tips helping you create a disclosure policy.
- Create a disclosure page that mentions that you occasionally write paid blog posts. (Feel free to use my disclosure policy as a template for creating your own disclosure policy or go to disclosurepolicy.org.)
- List the specific types of compensation you receive. This could be cash, free products or services or advertising on other sites.
- Include a disclosure in every review blog post that you write where you have received a free product or payment.
- If you post about certain topics, or products solely because you’re being compensated to do so, that should be clearly stated.
- Give your honest opinion of the product. As a blogger, you should give your honest opinion to your readers, even if you are paid to write the review or receive the product for free.
- Post the policy on your sidebar where it can be easily found.
Some paid blogging companies have specific requirements regarding bloggers’ disclosure policies. Be sure you read those policies before signing up with them. Any review site that asks bloggers not to mention it is a paid review are asking bloggers to be less than ethical.