Mummy Confession: I disclose.
I know this is way off topic considering my posts are mostly mum and child related, but I wanted you to know as a reader, follower, or happened-to-stumble-upon-my-page-er the reason why I disclose anything. Several of the posts on Mummy Confessions have a “disclosure” listed, and I go on to explain a little about it and refer you to my disclosure policy. Maybe you hate reading that little message every single post. Maybe you don’t bother reading it. Possibly, you want to ignore everything I have to say after reading it, or maybe you’ve even clicked away or scrolled past to find something else.
Well, basically, disclosure is a person letting people know about any sort of relationship between the person writing about something and the brand on display. Should I, for example, receive an item or monetary compensation in exchange for writing about a certain product or service, or including them in a post, that requires me to disclose that I had received something. This by no means should indicate that anything written because of this shouldn’t be trusted or taken into account. Why?
People make money blogging. It’s a thing. And why not? A blogger invests a lot of time and uses many different skills to craft their posts (if you knew how long some of these took me, you’d be scratching your heads as to why I do this). A professional doing the same things gets paid. You get paid for the hours of work you put into your job. Somehow, with bloggers it may not always be the case. We’re sort of the “starving artists” of the internet realm.
To do this solely for products is great, but it doesn’t pay bills, and I understand that. I haven’t yet written a sponsored post, but I hope that time is coming! Depending on how the post is written, how the blogger was compensated may play a role in how much you value their opinion. But I digress…
There are a few reasons I use disclosures in my blog, which I explain below. Feel free to ask questions you may have, and I will be happy to answer them- and if you want tips on starting your own blog, again, happy to help!
1. I Want to Be Honest. I don’t want anyone to think that I did the review positively solely for the product (I don’t). I also don’t want to dupe people into clicking something I’m affiliated with without their prior knowledge. it’s just common courtesy. I don’t recommend things I don’t like (and on the same note, I don’t affiliate with brands I don’t love), and I only write to brands if I love what they do. However, I never intend to hide the fact that I received a product and wrote about it. Or, should it be something I entirely write of my own accord, I want to let you know that, too. I will always give my honest opinion.
2. I Value My Readers. I love you guys, seriously. I don’t want to try anything sneaky to get my hand in your pocket, or shove products down your throat that I don’t truly enjoy myself. I started this blog to tell mums about everything I found useful and everything I’m still discovering. Whether it be products, ways to help, showing you other blogger’s work, or different places to find products or information. I try to be helpful, and I hope what I post does help!
3. I Value the Brands I Work With. And I want you to know who they are, and where to find the products or services I’m talking about! In order to abide by the law (see below) as well, I value their reputation and don’t want them getting in any sort of trouble, either. Plus, they get extra points for being awesome and letting a small blogger like me talk about their products!
4. I Want People to Have All the Information to Judge For Themselves about how valid my opinion or review is based on my relationship with brands. Did I receive something free and wrote about it in turn? Was it a sponsored post by a brand? Just like studies or collated statistics, you do need to know who is behind the post or review if it is someone other than just me. As little as it may or may not affect someone’s opinion, that is up to the reader to judge.
5. It’s the Law. Or at least it’s highly regulated and recommended to disclose. Yeah, this should probably be the top reason. Several governing bodies do require disclosure of relationships between bloggers and brands. Even if you only got something small in value, you need to disclose it. The consumer (reader) has the right to know exactly how the blogger came about the product and why they may be writing. There was recently a Twitter Q&A about the FTC’s policies concerning disclosure, but in the end, they mostly advised disclosure was the best practise. Some information on disclosure can be found on the FTC’s website (for US people) and the ACCC’s website (for Aussies). When in doubt, I try to overdisclose.
I hope this helps paint a little bit of the picture about why I disclose and why you see that message on many of the posts I’ve written. Whether you have questions about this, or even wanted to get into blogging yourself, please, feel free to contact me and I can help with what I know (which is quite small compared with those long time bloggers).
I hope this helps you understand a little more about why I do what I do, and a learn a little more about disclosures and what they mean!