Saturday, April 13, 2013

Legalese (legal-ease)

The legal side of writing a blog...definitely not the reason I write!  But it's something I have to deal with, and I want to be very honest with my readers about what that means.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) makes rules regarding blogging and the disclosure of posts that were an any way sponsored (either through money or free products) and posts with affiliate links.

You may have seen other bloggers writing about the new .COM Disclosures standards that went into effect on March 12th, 2013.  The new standards are a bit stricter than in the past.  I have always been honest and forthright about which posts are sponsored, which products I received for free, and my affiliate links.  But the small script at the bottom of a post is no longer enough, so I will be disclosing at the top of every applicable post.  I don't make a lot of money blogging, and I don't expect to.  I do publish sponsored posts and products reviews from time to time and I often include affiliate links on my posts.  To learn more about these types of posts, see below.

I want to assure you though, that every post and every opinion that I've ever written or will ever write on my blog is 100% my true and honest opinion, and hope that you will not automatically write off my posts because I include the disclosure at the beginning.  Here is what the disclosure on a post might look like:

And here are the types of sponsored content you might see:
Product reviews:  From time to time, I am sent a free product to try and keep in exchange for sharing my honest opinion with my readers.  Many of the products I use with my family I previously learned about from other bloggers and in turn I love sharing with my readers the products that worked (or didn't work) for me.  I am not monetarily compensated for these posts and I share my genuine opinions, good and bad, with my readers. 
Sponsored posts: Sponsored posts are written by me about topics that I think will interest my readers.  They may specifically mention a company or product, or may simply include links to a company or product.  In exchange for including the links and/or product information,  I am then compensated with either cash or gift cards.  Although I am paid to write these posts, I genuinely enjoy writing them and put my heart and soul into them.  I make them personal by including stories about my family and my childhood, products I genuinely like, and issues I'm interested in, in essence, topics I would write about anyway. 
Sponsored guest posts: I have had the pleasure of having many guest posts on my blog. Most are fellow bloggers (many of whom I consider friends) and I post their content simply because I love it.  Other times, I published paid guest posts with links to companies embedded.  I choose content that I think fits my reader's interests and turn down others that don't.  Just because I am paid to publish a post doesn't mean that it's not a great post!
Affiliate links:  I belong to a few affiliate programs.  Sometimes, when I talk about a certain product, the links I include to the products are affiliate links.  If you click on the links and make a purchase on the sites, I get a small commission.  There is no extra cost to you. 

Have questions?  I'd love to answer them! 


  1. I wasn't aware of these new disclosure rules... interesting. There are so many crazy rules out there.. they should make a simple manual for all of the small bloggers that don't have a thousand hours to put into making sure we're following all of the rules :)

  2. Right! I only learned about them from reading what other bloggers have written. A simple manual for bloggers would be greatly appreciated!


I'd love to hear what you have to say! You can also contact me directly by emailing me at