Caveat Lector: Beware of irresponsible blogging!

Published: October 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Last Updated on

A short note on how the lure of online revenue prompts bloggers to generate irresponsible content via sponsored native ads.  There are many ways in which online revenue can be generated. The most popular among them is to install Google Adsense and letting Google spy on your browsing habits and serve up “relevant ads”.  Although I personally dislike this, there is nothing irresponsible about this.

Affiliate marketing is another popular way to get commissions from product sellers. Whether this mode of revenue is irresponsible or not, depends on the way in the content is presented. Lines like, ” here is the review of a best product” followed by an affiliate link can repulse loyal readers. Very few bloggers manage to pull of affiliate marketing without coming across as greedy and partisan.

Banner ads is yet another way to generate a reasonable income. Here, the blogger sells advertising space to companies who host their banners for a fee. Nothing irresponsible about this too.

The reason I write this post is the latest buzz  in content marketing: Banners ads are out, and native ads are in, due to better engagement and conversion statistics. Native ads can get past ad-blockers!

A native ad is an article written about a product or service.  If a financial planner, distribution portal or insurance company writes a blog post about their products or services in their websites, it is called a native ad. There is nothing irresponsible about this too.

Financial services firms approach bloggers to post their native ad (articles) for a fee. Some bloggers bother to mention, “this is a sponsored post” at the end of the article and some do not!  It is irresponsible to publish such articles without disclaimers.

Personal finance bloggers are not targetted for hosting native ads. Naive lifestyle bloggers, mommy bloggers, and the like are the soft targets. They know next to nothing about personal finance and these financial firms can write what they want in the native ad and get it published for a fee.  I have seen such posts with no disclaimers. Since only popular bloggers are solicited, there is decent engagement (comments) in such articles. The bloggers often answers  comments like it were a self-written post. typically endorsing the product/service. Mission accomplished for the firm!

Caveat lector.

Do share if you found this useful
Share your thoughts on this topic at the  Reddit freefincal_user_forum

Reach your financial goals like a pro! Join our 1600+ Facebook Group on Portfolio Management! You can now reduce fear, doubt and uncertainty while investing for your financial goals! Sign up for our lectures on goal-based portfolio management and join our exclusive Facebook Community. The 1st lecture is free!
Want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (will work with any index!) or you buy the new Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. We operate in a non-profit manner. All revenue is used only for expenses and for the future growth of the site. Follow us on Google News Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions, seek the right answers and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now. It is also available in Kindle format.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 199 (instant download)
Free android apps