I have been writing paid posts for US companies for two years and usually, I crapped my way out because I never do any hard sell on the paid posts unless some stingy advertisers twist my arms.
Usually, I try not to ass lick the advertisers too much because I feel that the purpose they are paying me is not to spread the news but rather to gain search engine exposures. Most paid post companies allow us to just write anything as long as the keyword with the link are included.
Unless the advertisers pay me USD100 and above, I do not normally give them a thorough review. If it is only USD20 to USD60, I would write a regular post almost related to the product, give a sneeze and squeeze in a short mention and that’s it.
However, it is not so with local Malaysian companies. I find it hard to lie through my teeth to my blog readers about something just to trick them into buying/using it. For local companies, it is even harder to ass lick because I do not like all the things I was assigned to. Usually, I will be beating around the bush, write imaginary stuffs and suggest to my readers to check out the site if they are interested.
I have written many advertorials and my regular blog readers do know when it is an advertorial. However, whether I am paid or not, it is not important because for each post, I will still engage my readers into the story line, ask for their opinions and give a passing mention about the product/service. So, I feel I have not short changed any of my regular readers whom I treat as friends by faking it.
I never reveal a paid advertorial from local companies before. I do not see why I should because it is not part of our Malaysian advertising policies. Heck, do we even have any policies? It seems that every dumb, stupid, gory, moronic ads get through the filter on our airwaves, TV and newspapers. So, why make life difficult for me or the advertisers? Moreover, it is not like I charge my readers a subscription fee. They are reading my darn blog for free, so why should I care? Unless of course, bloggers have crossed that moral boundary and it will be of concern and public interests.
However, what do you think of this approach? Do you think we should reveal and warn our readers when a post is a sponsored one?