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Do sponsored free book giveaways violate WordPress.com policies on advertising?

  1. Does the prohibition on advertising include things like sponsored free book giveaways?

    Here's what I want to do: I have a close friend who owns a bookshop. I want him to sponsor a book giveaway. He would give me a book for free for the giveaway. I would then create a "Giveaway" sign-up page on my wordpress.com blog that identified his store as the giveaway sponsor and tell people to check out his store. A reader of my blog would get the book, my friend would have his company featured on my blog, and I would (theoretically) get increased readership. No money would ever change hands.

    I have no interest (at this point) in monetizing my blog. Just trying to establish a reader base by giving something to readers. No ad plugins. Is this kind of activity allowed on wordpress.com?
    Blog url: http://carsonjrogers.wordpress.com/

  2. Probably, but it's staff's call. I'll flag this for them to respond.

  3. Thanks much!

  4. In this case, it would depend on how you word it. Something like, "Enter here for the chance to win a free book courtesy of [bookshop]," would be just fine, but if that extended to listing the sponsor in the sidebar (for example), it would look more like ad placement and would therefore violate that bit of the terms of service.

  5. No ads in the sidebar (my theme doesn't allow for sidebar material anyway), or the footer. I would create a standalone page on my blog. I would list the details of the contest, create an entry form on the page, and probably feature a short bio of my friend as the sponsor with a few facts about his bookstore, and a link to his website. That's it. All advertisement of the contest itself would be done via my personal twitter and facebook accounts, and possibly his site. Does this sound acceptable to you? Not trying to be a tool here, I just want to be specific about what I can and cannot do. I want to make doubly sure, because I'd hate to get it up and running only to log in one day to find my content gone and user account suspended or deleted.

    Anything else you think I need to keep in mind would likewise be appreciated.

    Carson

  6. That should be just fine. It's hard to make a complete decision without seeing the final product, but it sounds fine.

  7. Thanks for the quick replies! Would it be best to create a password protected page of what I want to do and give the password to WP staff so that they can check it before I publicize it?

  8. If you'd like to, sure. Just let us know the password and we'll take a look.

  9. Awesome. Thanks so much. Should I just post again to this thread to let you know when it's ready? Or is there an email I should send it to (obviously posting the password here would kind of defeat the purpose). Or perhaps just a screen capture of a private page would do the trick? Just let me know.

  10. Actually, just leave it as a Draft and let us know the title.

    You can reply here when its ready.

  11. Sounds good. Thanks again for your help today!

  12. You're welcome!

  13. Hello, I've been searching the Support and Forums to check the rules and methods available for hosting a giveaway. My question is in two parts:

    I host a book blog and have already reviewed this author's book. She has agreed to do an interview for my blog and has offered a book as a giveaway. The interview will be a single post and there will be no sidebar links. I'll be doing other off-site advertising of the giveaway. Will this be ok under the TOS?

    Second part: what giveaway "tools" are available to use on WP.com? I know rafflecopter isn't compatable: are there any other tools I could use/link to? I want to be seen to be impartial in awarding the prize!!

    Thanks for the help, I'm new to all this

  14. Hey there,

    Regarding your first inquiry, that should not be a problem as long as the giveaway is not otherwise promoted on your blog (via the sidebar or similar) as was described above.

    As for the second, I am not aware of any tools that are specifically designed to work with WordPress.com blogs. I have seen similar giveaways done in the past by requiring a comment on the post in question--one can then use a random number generator like those at random.org to pick the comment number of the winner.

    Best,
    P.

  15. Thanks muchly :-D

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