Monday, May 25, 2009

Blogging for Pay: Can You Remain Credible?

According to the bloggers at Wall St 24/7, internet advertising revenue is in decline. When Google AdSense profits don’t add up, more bloggers are writing entries for pay to support their work.
As a new employee of Handshake 2.0, I sought to dig into the ethics of this model. How can we retain credibility while writing a review a business pays us to write?

Blogs like Handshake 2.0 have two goals in mind:
1) Establish their blog as a credible resource by providing meaningful, useful, and entertaining content.
2) Assure businesses purchasing blog-coverage that they are making a safe investment. A business must be sure they won’t end up paying for a Signature Warm Handshake only to end up with a bad review.

A blogger must write articles that are of interest to their readers, giving businesses positive reviews only if they are warranted. This means a blogger must turn down clients who cannot be represented without compromising these functions. If the match with the client isn’t ideal, it better serves both the client and the blogger to deny that client services. If the blog can’t reach the correct audience with a positive, credible message, the exchange is a failure for both parties.

Besides careful choice of clientele, blogs gain credibility by allowing readers to leave public “comments” below each entry. This is the blogger’s version of EBay “feedback” or’s product discussion forums. If someone or something unworthy gains blog spotlight, readers will speak up. By establishing a strong, active readership, a blogger has more users giving diverse replies. This reduces feedback bias and improves this checking system.
Tip: Encourage comments from readers by asking a question in your entry.

When it comes to remaining credible, just remember this: Nothing remains a secret for long on the internet. If your content isn’t credible, prepare to be Tweeted out.

-Jess MINIFAD: Blogging for Pay: Can You Remain Credible?Tweet this!

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