Ethical blogging is a bit of a new phrase in the world. Maybe not a new phrase, but it’s become more necessary than ever to talk about it.
Blogging has always been a hobby that over time became a career. It’s the entrepreneurs dream: A platform where you can become your own boss, basically for free.
Now that people are making good money from blogging, it’s become an easy target for a quick buck. People love to include blogging in their side-hustle posts, acting as if you start a blog and then over night you’re making thousands of dollars a month. You just set up your affiliates, place your ads, and you’re ready to go.
That’s the thing though, it’s not a quick buck. It’s not a quick anything. Blogging is the same as any other start up with the only difference being the start up price.
You don’t start making money over night. It’s a slow growth that only comes if you really work at it, and if you really love it.
This is where ethical blogging comes into play.
So many people out there are creating blogs for all the wrong reasons. They’re paying for followers, bombarding us with pop-ups and ads, and they’re really just taking up space on the internet. It’s hard to trust people these days and unethical bloggers are making it even harder.
So if you’re starting a blog, and you really love it, just know that it’s not easy. It’s not an over night success kind of thing. It takes work and honesty, but in the end, it’s all worth it.
ETHICAL BLOGGING TIPS
MAKE QUALITY CONTENT
Absolutely number one most important thing in all aspects of blogging. What is the point if you have nothing substantial to say?
Honestly, I keep up with a few blogs that do a lot of the stuff on this (no-no) list because they’re content is very high quality. It’s not like you have to be profound in everything you do. But the blogs that really make it, like really make it, are the ones that are original. They are written by people who started blogging because they love what they’re doing and they think that they can provide insight to certain things.
Maybe it’s financial advice, maybe it’s insight on awesome brands. It doesn’t have to be anything that’s never been done before, but it has to be authentic. Some of the best bloggers have found their success in simply being themselves and sharing high quality content that people look forward to reading.
DON’T BLOG JUST FOR THE MONEY
Whether you’re writing about a hobby you love, a profession you’ve taken to, or your life in general; you need to love what you’re doing. The writing part is secondary to the subject you’re writing about. Anyone can learn to write well, but none of that will matter if you’re forcing it.
If you started blogging just for money, it’s time to put your laptop up and call it a day. Blogging for money is not inherently bad in and of itself, we all have to get paid somehow. But if you’re blogging about something you don’t know about or blogging for the sake of selling things you don’t believe are useful, it’s going to come across to your readers. Even if it doesn’t, it’s not fair to them.
Ethical blogging is all about sharing what you really love, what you really know, and what you really use. Money is second to being honest to the readers who trust you. Eventually money will come, but you’ll lose it just as fast as you gained it if it’s all coming from baseless statements written for the sole purpose of taking your money.
It’s easy to hide yourself from people when you’re online. This platform where all eyes could reach you is intimidating and it’s so easy to maintain a false image. Whether it’s for appearances or pride, we all like to put our best foot forward.
Somethings are just personal. That’s true. It’s not necessary to share every aspect of your life with your readers. It isnecessary to be honest when you choose to share. Whether it’s a sponsored post or a simple life update, if you don’t believe what you’re saying, neither will anyone else.
We make blogs to create a community. They are a place where people come to take in the words from someone who gets it. Someone who loves what they love or lives how they live. Whether you know everyone who reads your blog or not, you’re creating a level of vulnerability and friendship with each and every person who invests their time into what you’re saying. You owe it to them to be as honest about the things you choose to say as you can be.
Be honest in what you know, what you use, and who you are. No one likes being lied to.
DON’T OVER-DO IT ON THE ADS
Ads seriously kill me. Sometimes they are the make or break in the legitimacy of the blog I’m visiting. Not to say I disregard any blog that includes ads. I get that when you’re doing what you love you need to find a way to support it. I just think there’s a better way than unintentional advertising.
If you really want to blog for the sake of blogging, it’s all about trust. It’s about the user’s experience. Blogging has somehow become a side-hustle that can get you a quick buck, but those blogs are just ruining it for the rest of us. Don’t take up valuable space on the internet if all you want to do is throw ads in our face.
I think ads are so difficult to accept for me because it feels like the easy way out. It’s easy to become an Amazon affiliate. It’s easy to put ads all over your page. It’s not necessarily going to give you useful things to recommend to your users, but at least you’ll get paid? Sponsored posts and affiliate links to brands you know and trust take work, but I think they really pay off in the long run.
If you are serious about blogging and you want to make money doing what you love, think about what your readers really would like. Think about the brands and companies that your readers would love. Then, work your ass off to be a blog that those brands will want to work with. Be the best for the people reading your blog and make money giving them what they really want.
STOP WITH POP-UPS PLEASE
Like the ads, we all hate pop-ups. Whether it’s for your email list or whatever. Just trust that the people who want to read your blog will figure out how to keep up with you.
Email subscription pop-ups are becoming a thing of the past. When you think about it, even if people are signing up to your email list, how many of them are actually opening it? Most newsletter sites charge per subscriber (or a certain number of subscribers) so why pay for people who aren’t even opening your emails?
Yes, it’s awesome having a solid following that will read anything you post. But not everyone who signs up for your email list will be that type of person if you’re making it too easy to sign up by slapping it in their faces. So get rid of the pop-ups. They slow down your site and people who have already signed up still have to deal with it which is pretty lame.
Ethical blogging doesn’t have to hold you back. It’s just a curtesy to your readers and ultimately will make you a better blogger. Thinking about what you’re sharing and making sure you are being the best you can be. These things will help to move you past the mediocre blog status. They’ll propel you into the realm of bloggers that people really want to follow.
Photo by Nicole Honeywill