Per the new FTC regulations about bloggers and disclosure, this is a crib sheet on exactly how I handle anything involving compensation here at Want Not.
Want Not began as a hobby, and has since grown into a commercial enterprise. Simply put: This is my job, now. I get paid for doing my job, just like you get paid for doing yours. The following should clarify any questions about that.*
Free stuff. Sometimes I accept free items from marketers or companies, and then almost all of the time I use those free items as contest prizes here on Want Not. On the rare occasions when I keep one of those items for my own personal use, I will disclose that I received the item for free if it is discussed here on the site. If I tell you I love my 3-handled family credenza beyond measure and I never mention that it was a freebie? That’s because it wasn’t.
Sometimes I accept even “bigger” free items in return for discussing them here on the site, such as my participation as a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom. Those campaigns are also fully disclosed so that there’s no confusion as to whether or not such a thing is sponsored.
Product reviews. I do not do paid product reviews, with the notable exception of occasional contracts with Federated Media to participate in targeted campaigns where I am reimbursed for my time. Those reviews will be clearly labeled as such. Any other product review I do will either disclose that I received the item in question for free (and from whom), or if such a thing isn’t mentioned, it’s because it’s an item I purchased myself and just happen to love and want to tell you about.
Other sponsored content. Occasionally I will agree to participate in some other sort of sponsored campaign, like the GoodNites campaign which allowed me both to offer prizes to my readers and ended up winning $1,000 for my local library. Such campaigns always have been and will continue to be clearly disclosed as being sponsored.
Affiliate marketing. The main source of revenue here at Want Not is commissions I make off of sales generated through affiliate linking. (Cliff Notes version: I have an existing relationship with a store whereby using a special link gives me a percentage commission of any sales made through that link.) Per the new FTC rules, although I previously disclosed those affiliate relationships on my About page, any link through which I stand to make money will now be clearly marked as an affiliate link via hover text.
From December 1st, 2009, and forward, all affiliate links which appear on this site will have the hover text disclosing them as such. If a link doesn’t have that text, well, it’s not an affiliate link. It’s just a link. I am not an affiliate with every merchant I feature here.
I am a proud member of Blog With Integrity and strive to conduct myself ethically and with full transparency both here at Want Not and in my life in general. Links to products and stores found here are primarily because I personally feel they are good products and/or bargains, and the affiliate relationships are secondary—as long as I’m already linking to something based upon its own merit, it makes sense to me to profit from sharing that information, if possible. I do (regularly) share deals upon which I make no money at all, and that’s okay, too. Now there will be no question as to the difference between these types of links, but know that discussing the mechanics in this way doesn’t change how the site operates at all.
I’m all about the deal.
And pretty shoes. Always pretty shoes.