Here are my guidelines and values about sponsored content and affiliate links at Parent Hacks.
What is a sponsored post?
A sponsored post is one in which I am paid or otherwise compensated for the post content.
How do I know a post is sponsored?
I put a disclosure at the top and bottom of the post content. In social media links, I either include the #sponsored or #ad hashtag, or I make sure the word “sponsored” appears in the link description.
I used to put the word “sponsored” in the post title, but given how clear the disclosure is in both feed readers and social media links, I decided to drop this practice.
How do you choose sponsors?
I don’t search for sponsors; they choose me. They make proposals which I accept or reject. If the proposal gives me an opportunity to write about a topic I think would be helpful or interesting to you, I consider it.
Proposals I don’t consider: “pay for positive” product coverage or messages that promote something irrelevant to my readers or objectionable to me.
Does the sponsor write the post (or tell you what to write)?
I write all sponsored content, and all views expressed in a sponsored post are my own. My favorite way to go about sponsored content is to write up a hack or tell a story I would want to share anyway, but that also dovetails with the sponsor’s message.
The sponsor may have some key messages or a giveaway they want me to include, which I handle as it comes up.
I am grateful my sponsors value my time and the work I do enough to want to support it. While a sponsorship is not the same as a personal endorsement (see “What’s the difference between a review and a sponsored post?”), I encourage you click their links to find out more. These businesses are taking a risk to support independent writers.
How often do you post sponsored content?
It depends on when the proposals come in. There seem to be “fast” and “slow” seasons, so some months I may have several sponsored posts, and others I may have none.
I’m mindful that too much sponsored content, even when it’s good, changes the feeling of a blog, and I don’t want that to happen here. I strive for balance, but I know that line is different for everyone.
What’s the difference between a review and a sponsored post?
A review is simply my take on a product. It may be positive or negative, but I rarely take up space here with negative reviews. If you see a glowing review on Parent Hacks, that’s me getting excited about something I think is a good value, that has made my life easier or more fun. Here’s an example.
I hate clutter — I believe clutter directly interferes with living a sane life — so I review very few products.
I do not get paid for reviews, nor do I do reviews in exchange for a free sample, but I usually include affiliate links in the review (see “What are affiliate links?” for details). I sometimes get a sample of the item being reviewed, but I only accept it if I think the item is truly hack-worthy. I often donate or give away items I get for review.
What are affiliate links?
Many of the posts at Parent Hacks contain affiliate links, mostly to Amazon products.
I love affiliate programs because they help me support this space without extra cost to you, and it’s probably shopping you’re doing anyway.
For example, if you buy your diaper supply at Amazon and you initiate your purchase by first clicking any Parent Hacks Amazon link, that purchase will earn me a small commission.
If I come across a particularly good deal at Amazon I’ll post about it here, but only if I think the product is really worth your money and attention. In other words, I won’t be suggesting you buy diamond pendants or machine parts, no matter what the discount!
Are you trying to sell me stuff?
Well, in the case of my books, yes! But in general, no.
I’m a reluctant shopper and a cranky one at that. I also battle clutter as many of you do, so the last thing I want to do is to encourage you to fill your house with more stuff. But if I come across something I think is really worth the money and the space in your life, I’ll tell you about it. Not because I want you to BUY IT NOW, but because I like to hear product recommendations from people I trust.
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I’ll update this page as my practices change. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll respond here.
Thanks for reading, and, even more, for making Parent Hacks what it is today.