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Reviews and Advertising?

  1. Good Morning WordPress Forums

    I've just read this on Timethief's blog, that no advertising, retailing or reselling of other people's work or services is allowed on WordPress, I am sure it is in the original terms and conditions which is my responsibility to read. However I have some questions about this.

    How do book, restaurant and or product reviews fit it to this dictum? If someone asks me where I sourced an unusual herb or spice for a recipe am I not supposed to reply? Or am I supposed to run my content before some editorial board before publishing it? I have read countless references on other people's blogs to products used, books that recipes are sourced from, restaurants visited, shops where you can buy stuff and so on. Are we not supposed to a) write about this b) link to where someone can find out more i.e. the blog of a friend who has published a book?

    I notice that many small businesses have blogs which link to their main website where they sell their products and services. Is this allowed then?

    How can I distinguish between a VIP blog and a non VIP blog? I can't see any visible marker on these. The average blogger will get the impression from reading the VIP blogs (if they don't know that they are allowed to do this, and why should they?) that they can advertise etc....if the distinction isn't drawn clearly.

    Kind regards, Joanna

    The blog I need help with is zebbakes.com.

  2. Amended text to above query where i have written

    (if they don't know that they are allowed to do this, and why should they?

    above should read

    if they don't know that they aren't allowed to do this, and why should they?

  3. I am with you, sort of attempting to do a similar thing, write a different style of reviews around my city. I'm certainly not getting any money now, but if you get a small business owner that would pay you to write an article that boasts that business I don't think this would be any violation. But in order to get to that point I think you're going to need to start getting a lot of hits (several thousand a month before anyone would pay you to write anything).

  4. @zebathome

    How can I distinguish between a VIP blog and a non VIP blog?

    If you check out the VIP hosting information you will find that VIP bloggers are paying hundreds of dollars for site set up and hundreds of dollars every month for support services and hosting by the month. They are extremely all high traffic blogs and high quality content blogs like for example TechCrunch. http://techchruch.com. If you click into that blog when you are signed into wordpress.com you will see the top gray navigation bar common to all blogs hosted by wordpress.com. If you look at that blog's footer on the far right hand side you see this: "Powered by WordPress.com" which is linked to VIP http://vip.wordpress.com/ You will also find a small smiley face indicating the site is using wordpress stats.

  5. How do book, restaurant and or product reviews fit it to this dictum?

    If you take note of the advertising entries which I did link to in my post and the types of blog entry you will see this: "If you are in any doubt, please contact support for clarification."
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
    http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    And if you read the forum thread Staff link to under Types of Blogs subheading Affiliate marketing blogs http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/affiliate-link then you will see that there must be an original content blog, original reviews are allowed but simply setting up a blog and plugging in links to reviews others have done without providing your own personal review is not allowed. Staff are approachable and Volunteers answering threads on this forum have no role to play in the process aside from pointing to the information that is available. If and when any blogger is in doubt we ask them to please contact Staff.

  6. Thank you Timethief. You are very kind to take the trouble as always to answer. I think you have answered my question which is that it is ok to write original content reviews. I hadn't followed the affiliate link thing because I am not into marketing. Just wanted to review a book that a friend had written, and someone else has recently sent me a book that I would quite like to write about but I do all this for love, as we say.

    I will continue on the way I am and hope that it is OK. I have read many of the links you provided and I still found this a grey area for people like me, who don't blog to make money, but wouldn't want to break the rules. Thank you for the pointers about recognising the VIP blogs too. I found the tech crunch one and can see that it says WordPress.com VIP in the bottom corner. I don't think I've ever seen a VIP blog before. All much appreciated! And will ask Staff direct if I have any concerns next time.

  7. And sorry, misunderstanding on my part as this forum is called Support but I didn't realise that it was Volunteers only and not Staff. So this is primarily just for pointing people to existing information. I'm up to speed now!

  8. @zebathome
    Not to worry. Staff only monitor threads here. Naturally there are gray areas that need clarification and they can only be reviewed by Staff in context. Without specific details about the particular blog in question and the intentions the blogger has with regard to that specific blog no "yes" or "no" answer can be given by Staff.

    I'm going to post the following for the benefit of others who read this thread:

    In a nutshell free blogs from and being free hosted by wordpress.COM cannot be used to drive traffic to third-party sites by means of advertising and/or affiliate programs (see "Affiliate marketing blogs below for more clarity").

    No blogger initiated advertising, retailing or reselling the work created or services provided by anyone other than yourself is allowed. E-commerce transactions via shopping carts and the like cannot be conducted on wordpress.COM blogs.

    The only advertising exceptions are for high traffic blogs that qualify for and are accepted into the Ad Control program, and for extremely high traffic blogs that qualify and are accepted into the paid VIP hosting program.
    http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
    http://vip.wordpress.com/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

    The only exceptions with regard to affiliate links are found here:

    Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

    If you have any further questions about any of the foregoing, please contact Staff directly and provide them with specifics using this link. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    If you do require an ecommerce site, advertising and/or affiliate links on your blog, you can hire a web host and get a free software install from http://wordpress.org Read the information at the link below to learn about the differences between free hosted WordPress.com blogs and WordPress.org software installs for self hosting. http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

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