KIDS' BLOG CLUB
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What is disclosure and what’s it got to do with my blog?

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Disclosure is a pretty hot topic amongst bloggers right now and you might have seen several articles about it published.

But what does it mean for children who blog, and how should we include disclosure in our posts?

Don’t panic!

First of all, don’t panic because for most of you it won’t make any difference to how you already do things.

‘Disclosure’ means letting the reader know if you have any kind of commercial relationship with the company or product mentioned in your post.

In other words, this could involve:

  • Being paid to post about something
  • A company sending you something for free
  • Agreeing to do a review – like if you’re a fashion or beauty blogger and a company offers to send you clothing or make-up to review
  • Your parent works for the company mentioned
  • Someone you know has written a book you’re reviewing, or runs the shop you’re recommending

 

For kid bloggers this sort of thing is less of an issue because you’re probably reviewing stuff that you find naturally in your life. And the things you review are probably paid for by somebody else, so you might think that it doesn’t make much difference whether your mum gave it to you or some random PR person.

But it does make a difference – after all, if the PR hadn’t sent you the product or invited you to the theme park then you probably wouldn’t have blogged about it in the first place. And then the reader might not have ended up buying it on your recommendation.

It is good blogging practice to be clear to the reader where you got something you’re reviewing. So if your granny bought it, say that. Granny will probably be pleased that you did. And likewise if a company sent it to you, say that.

The reason why disclosure is so important is first of all because it’s good to be honest. Readers trust honest bloggers. Honesty is good. And also it’s against UK law not to be honest about stuff like this. Don’t go breaking the law!

 

How to  disclose

How you do it is up to you – you can either disclose within the post or in a separate line or paragraph at the bottom of the post. It’s quite easy to say it within the post naturally, eg

  • The people from Starships Incorporated sent me this lovely starship to review
  • I received a copy of ‘School Dinners – Yum Yum!’ from the publishers to review
  • I was invited to The Wizarding World of Homework theme park to try it out
  • My mum got sent this hat by World of Crochet and forced me to wear it
  • I’m being nice about this book because my dad wrote it and he pays my pocket money

The main thing to ask yourself is – am I being clear and honest to readers? Would anyone who doesn’t know me be able to tell that I got this thing for free?

Because don’t forget that your readers won’t get the stuff you review for free. They may well read your review and go out and spend their own saved up money themselves. You owe it to them to tell the truth.

Got any questions about blog disclosure? Post them below and we’ll do our best to answer

 

image credit: woodleywonderworks
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1 Comment to “What is disclosure and what’s it got to do with my blog?”

  1. Matthew (@Matth9999) says:

    I suppose the reverse of disclosure, is disclaiming “I have nothing to do with X, other than being a satisfied customer” – If I’m highly praising something in a forum post (I’m too boring to be a blogger!) , I’ll often add … no, I don’t work for them.

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