Sep 232014

TrustAre readers of online content comfortable with sponsored posts? According to a new study, no. Most are confused and feel deceived.

Sponsored posts, for those not in the know, is also known as advertorial or native advertising. In our field, it means a company has paid (in cash or in kind) a blogger or website writer to write an endorsement. It must be disclosed as such, according to the FTC.

I first questioned writing content in exchange for pay or Continue reading »

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Jan 292013

Lori Lange of Recipe Girl is in her 4th year of writing sponsored posts. (Photo by Amy Boring)

Lori Lange‘s food blog, Recipe Girl, made last year’s list of one of the top food blogs in the US, according to The Daily Meal. Upbeat and energetic, Lori never seems to run out of easy meal ideas.

One of the things that interests me about her blog is the way Lori works with food companies. As you know, I’m a hard nut to crack on the subject of sponsored posts. I’m no longer opposed to writing them, but I get frustrated by how few food bloggers write about products well.

Lori takes a professional approach, writing directly to potential clients in a “Work with Me” page, and creating straightforward, non-advertorial posts that always disclose she’s been Continue reading »

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Jan 222013

In advance of my talk on ethics for Food Blog South this weekend, I’ve been researching product posts and thinking about what motivates people to write them.

I’ve been trying not to get annoyed when I see so many problematic posts, but it’s not working. So I thought I’d get this subject off my chest.

Of course YOU don’t make dumb decisions like this. But I bet you’ve read lots of posts that make you shake your head. What were these people thinking? I bet I know:

1. This came in my email. I’m so humbled and honored to be chosen! This explains why a food blogger raves about a car, or frozen peas when her blog is about candy.

2. A company gave me this for free. I owe them so much! Other than a polite reply and a responsible discussion, bloggers don’t owe Continue reading »

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Dec 222010

An urgent email from a p.r. person offered me payment of $50 per post if I would write 9 to 15 posts about a bakery chain over the next three months.

Obviously, she had never looked at my blog, because I don’t qualify. And anyway, I wouldn’t do it.

The question remained, however: Should food bloggers write sponsored posts, and under what circumstances?

In the email, the p.r. person took it upon herself to suggest what I might post about:

  1. Sharing recipes from the bakery
  2. Talking about what breaking bread means to you
  3. Sharing your thoughts on going to the bakery
  4. Linking to video assets of cooking /baking lessons.

(And if I wrote the maximum of 5 posts per month, that would be 15 posts @$50 each = $750.)

The p.r. person also wanted me to drive traffic to the bakery’s website on Facebook and participate in a Twitter party. I’d get a few free meals from the bakery. I’d also get a guaranteed minimum payment of Continue reading »

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Sep 032009

imagesWhen a food blogger emailed me recently to say she had just heard “puff piece” for the first time, I wondered who else had never heard of this term.

Her email led me to ponder the differences between hype, opinion and journalism, especially in blogs. I’m concerned, because some 84 percent of Americans say online customer evaluations influence their purchases, according to an Opinion Research Corp. survey. That means if you recommend Continue reading »

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