Today we'll be talking about paid blogging jobs. Having a paid blogging job has become very mainstream. We see bloggers taking an authoritative position in the media as reporters and sources of information. These blogging professionals wanted to be part of what is known as the blogger revolution. However, bloggers can come across some legal snags as well as issues with Google, if not careful. For starters, blogging professionals should strive to stay clean with the FTC and not make endorsements about products that they have been paid to cover. When it comes to Google, the rules are more gray. Watch the video for more paid blogging job do's and don'ts.


Hello and welcome to our video today on paid blogging jobs. I'm Chad Hill and I have Adam Stetzer with me.

Hi. Good afternoon, Chad. This is a fun topic to get into today, this whole idea of paid blogging jobs. Going back a good three, four, five years as paid blogging became very, very mainstream, you started to see it be reported on mainstream media and the news-- bloggers jumped into the game and wanted to declare themselves some sort of reporter and wanted to be part of what was known as the blogger revolution.

And that's evolved a bit, but in some ways has not changed all that much. I want to talk today about the dos and don'ts in taking a paid blogging job, because Google certainly has weighed in on this topic. I know we look very favorably at bloggers as a cool way to get the word out, create buzz, and earn backlinks, but there's certainly some downsides if you push it too hard. So let's queue this up for our viewers and talk about the good and the bad around paid blogging jobs.

Well, I think first of all, it's important to define-- what is a paid blogging job? That's what we want to get to today. But I think there's lots of different ways that bloggers ultimately want to blog for pay. A lot of them start out thinking that they can be doing it solely through advertising. So if I create enough interesting content, I will get paid to blog to put an ad on my website.

And that certainly is true for the most popular paid blogging jobs, but then there's a whole second tier of people out there where they're just never going to have enough audience to get to the point where someone is going to sponsor them for enough money to make it worth their while. And so there are some other ways that they might want to get paid to blog for the time they're putting into it.

Yeah, that's an interesting point. So you start with the advertising model, and that's something everybody's familiar with. This is how newspapers work, right? There's an advertising model there, and the advertisers blog for pay to be included in that media type. And there's news, so there's readers. And you basically blog for pay to get in front of those eyeballs. I think a lot of bloggers do start there, and they think, oh, all right. Something great. I'll get found and I'll get some advertisers.

And what we know in our experience it's very hard to actually get mind share and attention as a little blog, one of 500 million active domains on there. So that model really does not work for the small-scale paid blogging job. There are certainly people who have made it work, but it takes a while. And if you have connections, or you're a celebrity, of course, it's a lot easier. So what they quickly turn to, right, Chad, is, well, maybe I can just get paid to blog directly for the content I create that might benefit someone.

Let's talk about that, because that starts to get more interesting. Now you're kind of mushing the definition of reporter, because reporters don't take money directly to cover a story, right? There's a lot of indirect influence, but that's not how it works in PR. So when a blogger blog for pay, now are they a sponsor? Do they have to disclose that? What do you think? This gets pretty sticky. What do you think about that?

It does get sticky, and I think even the FTC at one point weighed in on this. But the whole idea there is, you really get into the editorial purity of your website when it's not clear whether you're writing and being paid to say something or whether you're writing because it's what you really believe. And so that's one of the things that I think there's been a lot of different models out there. Early days, there was something called Paper Post, which was a company and was very successful that essentially had assignments. And you could take an assignment and you could get paid for the assignment, but there were some very clear requirements about what you were able to say and then ultimately where you had to link in saying that.

I think those types of models have all been slowly undone, because basically Google and other people cracked down and said, hey, this isn't real. This is not real. You're not truly telling people what you're doing. And so those links are going to be discredited in some way-- when they could find them. Of course, it's not that easy to find.

And let's tease this apart. Because it's one thing to say Google doesn't like it because it doesn't suit their business needs, but it's another to say the government has actually weighed in and there are some legalities around this. I want to be real clear for any of our viewers who are thinking of doing a paid blogging job. The FTC did put out a ruling several years ago that said, if you're going to endorse a product and you've taken sponsorship money, you need to disclose that.

So I think the issue of endorsement is really important in staying clean with the FTC, although I know that that's not been enforced. So it was put out there as a guideline. It has not had a lot of teeth, but we generally think you should follow those guidelines. That's the government. Now, Google on the other hand has its own best interest to make sure that you're not putting it a do-follow link that passes page rank as a blogger who's been paid.

It's not illegal to do so, but they, of course, say, if we find that you're doing that, we could and might de-index your blog. And yet they've also said, Chad, and this is very interesting-- if it meets your editorial standards and it's appropriate for the topic that you're researching, then they do want you to give credit with a link, because that's exactly how Google works and it helps them find other good content. So I can imagine bloggers watching this video being pretty confused by what I just said.

Yeah, absolutely. It is confusing to even think about it, because ultimately, Google knows what they like, but can't really tell you. They know they like and don't like, but they can't really explain how that looks. So that leaves a lot of us in this area in the middle where we're not really sure what they're saying. And that's always a hard thing to follow when you don't have very clear, precise guidelines. So I think what that leaves us with, Adam, is-- what can a blogger today, if they can't really attract advertising dollars and sponsorship dollars, what are some other ways they might want to think about either making it easier for them to do their paid blogging jobs so they can build their community or in some way find some way to get paid to blog?

Well, I think for starters, stay clean with the FTC and don't make endorsements about products that you've been paid to cover. That's just a clear one. When it comes to Google, as you said, it's more gray. They are really going to not like a link that you put on because someone was interested in your paid blogging services. So advertising on your blog, I will put a link here for money, is a bad idea. You're going to attract the wrong attention. But getting some sort of consultative blog for pay for the time you spent doing some research and editorial work-- I think even Google would agree is OK. And even slipping a link in there may be OK, but that's probably where it gets a little gray.

If you want to stay super clean, maybe you would use other types of media, like an infographic or video that would really enhance what you're doing for your readers. And again, you might get a link in there for attribution. We can't give a solid answer on this, because I'm I don't think even Google can. But I think the bottom line is, if your content is good, it's excellent, and it's in line with what your readers want to see and they find it valuable, then the issue of whether there's a do-follow or no-follow link and you got paid to cover this topic probably evaporates pretty quickly. So really, your mind on high-quality stuff when you do your paid blogging jobs is probably the best way to go.