Over on my TheBestWebStuff blog I recently added an Advertising Disclaimer to the main navigation of the site. I felt that since I had recently added RSS ads, banner ads, text ads, and I would soon be venturing into paid reviews as part of my research into the various advertising networks and opportunities that I should make some sort of statement about the types of advertising used on the site. Additionally, services like SponsoredReviews.com require that you either have some sort of site-wide notice or you identify each post that is a sponsored review.
This idea of full disclosure is nothing new to the full-time blogging world, but it is a bit new to the rest of us who blog as a hobby or to promote our ourselves or our companies and have only recently looked at advertising (mostly using Google Adsense) as a way to offset some of the costs associated with it. Sites like ProBlogger.net and DailyBlogTips willfully disclose their advertising agenda and often report traffic and income as well.
I plan on doing the same on this site. Well, not the paid reviews, but adding an advertising disclaimer. I think it’s just good form to do so. If a blogger is going to pass on their Amazon affiliate id when someone clicks an image or title of a book the blogger has read and reviewed then the reader should know that the author stands to make a couple of cents if they purchase the book. It’s pretty widely recognized that is the case, but I think it’s responsible to spell it out.
It also makes sense to point out the difference between Google or other network ads on your site and links to products/services/sites that you truly endorse and recommend. Otherwise everything may just appear to be an advertisement to the battle-hardened blog reader or worse yet, everything appears to be a personal recommendation to novice readers.