We keep throwing romance rules at you, and they’re for the good of your relationship. Likewise, The Federal Trade Commission has their own set of rules that we must follow, and they insist we include “clear and conspicuous” disclosures to our readers, for the good of our relationship with you. We play by the rules, too, so here’s the deal: You can access and read the FTC Guides Governing Endorsements & Testimonials, but it’s a lot of reading, so we’ve nut-shelled it for you here:
Why does the FTC make these guidelines? Well, bloggers often receive free products or books, and then write reviews on those items. The blogger is required to disclose that fact if he/she endorses or otherwise recommends the product or book. We do, occasionally reference books that we feel hold vital information that is useful in the our quest for romance education and is applicable to our readers. We do not, however, receive “freebies” or any type of compensation. If we offer an endorsement of a book or recommend a product, it’s because we’ve purchased it and read/used it, and we believe the content/product will be helpful to our audience. If that is to change, we will update our policy and make it clear that we have received compensation via payment or free goods.
So, how does DL7 make money? DL7 is paid through three monetary avenues: First, we sell products. Granted, they are small and inexpensive, and as you can imagine, not a big money maker. But, our cause is more the focus than money. We also may receive income from advertising that we provide on our blog page: “Word on the Wires”. We always encourage you to follow advertising links if there is a product that interests you, but that’s left up to your discretion, and we do not control the ads placed (it’s automated), nor do we endorse any particular product, book or blog. The third way we make money is through affiliate advertisers. Select ads are placed on our site. To determine which ads are our affiliates, you may see them listed under our Affiliates listings. These advertisers pay a small commission on any product purchased through our site links. Not all ads are affiliate marketers. Keep in mind, we always encourage our viewers to only follow these links and/or purchase products that you are interested in. That’s it. Good ‘ole fashioned business done ethically and within the guidelines of the FTC.
Why must you include this information and why is important to me? Basically, this is to prevent commercial conflicts of interest that could hurt consumers due to inappropriate product reviews. Violating the rules could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Advertisers or Bloggers who do not follow these guidelines could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses. We’re not excited about big fines so, we’re happy to be clear about these issues – although we do offer advertising space for affiliate advertisers and receive commissions on those purchases, we do NOT receive payment or free products in exchange for positive reviews or references in our blogs; not from anyone at anytime, and our opinions are just that, our honest opinions.
This is important for your understanding because we want to ensure that you make purchases with us and others based on truth, and by your own informed decisions, without fear that we’re trying to pull one over on you by pushing products because we receive “freebies” from them. So, shop and blog in peace, knowing we are being fully forthright in our practices.