Since a lot of you seem to enjoy my Blogging Tips, I always try to think of new topics to write about in that area. I will try to do some more photography and/ or editing posts later this summer, but today I wanted to talk about something a bit different, which is very important when it comes to blogging. These days anyone can start up a blog, without any knowledge of either marketing, business, economy, writing, photography and so on. In a sense that is what makes blogging so great, as anyone can do it wherever and whenever they want to, but it is also a big downside. Not because everyone should not be allowed to blog, of course they should, but because as your blog grows and things start to get more “serious”, you still have no clue what you are doing and therefore might do something “wrong”.

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{ Sponsored dress from StyleMoi  (adlink) }

There might be a lot of unwritten rules of blogging, about how your design should look, what you should write about and so on, but there are some things that are much more important that a lot of bloggers do not know about. It is now quite a few months since I wrote the long post about Working with brands as a blogger, but these rules kind of the second part to this post, with some rules about how you correctly write about and display your sponsored products, adlinks and so on:

Sponsored products.

One of the perks of being a blogger is receiving “freebies” in the forms of free clothes, beauty products, food, treatments and so on. I wrote a post about how to receive blogger freebies after I had started to really commit to my blog and work with some exciting brands, and I was glad to help a lot of you get a better understanding of it. But, what is important is that when you then start to receive these freebies, you need to know how to write about them and correctly mark them in your posts. I have noticed that a lot of UK and other International bloggers have a PR-Disclaimer on their blog, which is not as common on Norwegian blogs, but definitely worth having. Here you can write your personal disclaimer when it comes to your copyright, in addition to how you work with brands and mark sponsored products/posts. But for me the PR-disclaimer itself is not enough, as a lot of readers might never find and read through it. Therefore it is important to clearly mark your sponsored products in every post something is sponsored, so that you do not deceive your readers in any way. You have received this product for free to showcase it on your blog, and you have an obligation to your readers to inform them about this. You can do this whichever way suits you and your blog, as long as it is easily visible and clear, and not hidden in a long paragraph of text that everyone might not read. Be as clear as possible, and do not write things like “I received this piece of clothing in the mail recently” (as your readers can not know if you bought it yourself or got it for free) or “This post contains sponsored products” (without clarifying which products are sponsored and not). I for example simply always write {Sponsored} whenever I mention the sponsored product(s).

The 2-week deadline.

When sending out freebies, brands can be really different when it comes to how much information they give to you about what they require and expect. Some brands have a long list of how they want you to write your post, what words to include, how many links to include and when to publish your post by, while others do not give you any information at all. If you are unsure, there are some general rules to always keep in mind. The first one is to always include at least three links from their website, both to their homepage and some specific products. More important than that is the 2-week deadline rule, meaning that if they do not tell you otherwise, you should always write your post within two weeks after receiving the product.  Of course there are some exceptions, for example if you have to use a product for several months before seeing results (as with my LiLash Review), but you can still post a short post with some photos when you receive the package, or at least some photos on your other social media like Instagram and Facebook. It is also important to keep contact with the brand while ordering, receiving, using and writing about the product, for example through e-mail. Always send all your links (blog and social media) and often they also want your photos attached as files.

Adlinks.

It is not only sponsored products that you need to know how to correctly write about, but also everything else that has to do with ads on your blog. One way of making money on your blog is through adlinks, which is a fun way to show some shopping tips/ favourite products at the moment or similar. I myself use Bloggerfy and the StyleMoi Fashion Blogger Club (adlink) for this, as a way to make some extra money once in a while. It is pretty easy to make a collage and copy some links, but as you do this as an ad and as a way of making money, you need to be sure that you correctly mark it in your post. A lot of bloggers make collages with adlinks without mentioning anywhere that it is adlinks, and I always get so annoyed about that. With adlinks you make money when your readers click on the link and/ or buys something, and it is therefore so important that you tell them what these links are. Not all links are adlinks of course, and if you only copy a link directly from a webpage without any affiliate link or similar, you do not have to write anything. But, the second your links is something you can make money from, you need to be clear to your readers about this. I always start my posts with “contains adlinks” in the top right corner, in addition to writing (adlinks) after the links themselves. As with the sponsored products, you need to find your own way to do this which suits your blog, but just be sure that it is clear and visible.

Instagram.

Your Instagram and your blog might seem like two completely different things to you, but it is important to quickly mention in this post. Most bloggers know that they have to clearly mark their sponsored products, ads and adlinks on their blog, but on Instagram a lot of people do not care about it at all. This is of course not okay at all, and even though I know that it is not always easy to remember, you have an obligation to do it as a blogger. It does not have to complicated at all, but if you do post a photo of a sponsored product or an ad, simply either write it at the end of your caption {Sponsored} or {Ad}, or use the hashtags #spon/ #sponsored or #ad. Just remember that if you want to use the hashtags, do not write them in the middle of a long comment filled with 25+ hashtags. It needs to be just as clear and visible as on your blog. It is again really important as you have to be clear on which products and so on you have actually bought for yourself, and which ones you have been gifted to show to you readers and followers.

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I always end up writing so much and getting so many thoughts in my head when I write these blogger tips posts as there is so much to write about, but as always I hope you enjoyed the post and maybe learned something! I will try to do more blogging tips soon, either on photography, editing or more of the business side of blogging. Is there anything specific you want me to write about? x

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