Blogging is a huge component to business success today. It doesn’t matter if you have a bricks and mortar business or a solely online business, blogging is essential to your success. But, much in the same way that blogging can make your business, it can also break your business. It’s important to blog with integrity.
* Don’t steal content – It’s wrong to take content from other people without permission and without credit. Even if you get an idea from someone else, it’s important to give them credit for the idea.
* Give credit where credit is due – This includes the above as well as giving credits about photos and images that you use. Always be sure to use legal images too. You can’t just take an image off the net and use it. You must have permission.
* Disclose everything – If you’ve been paid to do a review, write a post, or have been given free product, or you’re going to be linking to a product you will earn revenue from, you must be clear to your readers.
The website seeks to obtain pledges from bloggers to stick to a certain set of guidelines, to help bloggers understand what blogging with integrity means. They have webinars and other events to help. But, you don’t have to be a mommy blogger and sign up to post the graphic to know right from wrong.
This boils down to honesty. Be honest in your interactions and with your intentions to your readers, and your integrity can never be questioned. Don’t tell people things that you’re not willing to back up with facts and figures. If you’ve not made a million dollars blogging, don’t tell people you have or imply that you have. People will respect you more for it.
Conversely, there is no reason why making money from your blog is a bad thing. It doesn’t have to undermine your authentic view of anything. As long as you don’t allow any money you make off a product to determine what you think of the quality of the product is, then there should not be a problem.
One way to curb any issues is to only recommend products you have legitimately tried and like. If you’ve not read it or used it how can you recommend it? If you do product reviews, mention how you got the product. Did they give it to you, or did you purchase it yourself? It’s important to let people know where you stand and why.
If you are only promoting your own products and services, then be honest; don’t blow smoke. You need to be who you are – the good, bad and ugly. It’s essential in order to command a strong following of readers who will want to know what you think about many things.
If your readers read what you say and purchase or use products that you’ve recommended and/or created, and they are winners, they’ll see you as someone they can trust. That trust will carry over and help make your business a winning business that you can be proud of.