You know I LOVE sharing great places with you to take your family and LOVE sharing a great deal, right? I share where we have gone, where we have eaten, what other reliable sources tell me and more. If it is about something that I am compensated to share (a review, etc), I try to make that VERY clear up front, like we are supposed to do legally. There is a disclosure law that all bloggers are supposed to follow.
I hope you see me as a source you can trust.
Here is the thing, not everyone who plays the online sharing game is like me. I learned that there is a difference between a Blog and an Online Magazine. Magazines, apparently, don’t have to follow the disclosure laws.
***How can you tell if what you are reading is a REAL recommendation or if it is simply sponsored content?
It is tough.
I learned at BlogHer that some people are making a LOT of money by sharing “their recommendations” with you. Basically they are only recommending those companies that have paid them to share their information with their readers.
Some actually have it built into their advertising package promotions that for X amount of dollars, they will have a side bar ad, a feature story or event and make a “top 10” list. This usually runs about $950.
(This is where I did the math… 10 companies, at $950 a pop, just turned into $9,500 in income). That they don’t disclose to you, their reader.
That is just for ONE list of “Top 10”!! What if they have 5 or so lists? $47,500 in income. That is pretty darned good for “recommending” a place for you to take your family.
How can one site consistently review new places to say “these are the best camps to go to” or “here are our top 10 ice cream spots” or even “10 best places to have a kid’s birthday party”?
I now tend to be leery of sites that have an awful lot of lists on their site. I don’t feel that they are there to help ME as a reader, but are doing a great job of self promotion. I don’t really see how someone telling me to take my family of 6 to a “top pick” event (where tickets are $30 each) is a big help to my. That is $180 for ONE family to do ONE thing.
That is almost 2 months of my grocery budget?
Does that make sense?
Now, here is a source that I trust locally — Madison Loves Kids.
Julie DOES personally see to and review all things that she talks about… so you even have tips for getting the most out of it. She has a phone app for Madison and Milwaukee that you can get for just $1.99 (free updates) and no — I was NOT compensated to tell you that. I share that with you because I know and trust it, just like I hope you know and trust me.
Her new venture is Wisconsin Parent and I have told you before that I am the Thrifty Editor there. She will have some GREAT stuff coming your way soon — we chatted a LOT about Wisconsin Parent while we were at BlogHer together.
I will also continue to provide FREE and CHEAP things for your family to do in our area… along with cool ways to save at Disney, on Black Friday, and more.
I hope you hang with me.