Updated January 21, 2015.
The FTC rightly requires bloggers to abide by certain marketing guidelines. Here’s the skinny on Hammer & Moxie’s advertising and sponsor arrangements:
Banner & Text Link Advertising
For better or worse (let’s be honest, worse), the Internet is built on ad revenue. However, as much as we’d love to turn your clicks into cold, hard cash (sorry, we value you as a person, we really do, but we’d also love to recoup some expenses along the way. House projects ain’t cheap), at this early stage Hammer & Moxie does not run banner or directly purchased text-link advertisements (see “Affiliate Marketing” for more on this). If and when we reach the daily traffic needed to ensure that we can integrate relevant, quality advertisements, we will likely do so and update this disclosure accordingly. In the meantime, we don’t want to clutter your experience with low-grade, unwanted ads. You’re welcome. (And this coming from an advertiser by trade.)
Hammer & Moxie does consider inclusion of sponsored content if (and only if):
- It is deemed relevant to the content of this blog. (We won’t be hawking Thighmasters, Snuggies, or Volkswagens, with our apologies to Thighmaster, Snuggie, and VW.)
- It is a product or service that we would consider using even without sponsorship.
- Its potential benefit to our readers is apparent.
- We reserve editorial rights to provide our honest assessment of the product, which may include negative impressions.
Advertising giant, David Ogilvy famously claimed to only advertise products that he himself would use, and we adhere to that philosophy. It would be disingenuine to allow sponsorship dollars or like compensation to muddy our content. And we understand there are plenty of other blogs you can read that don’t shamelessly shill wares in every post. We don’t want to chase you away. (Please stay.)
Therefore, sponsored content will be explicitly identified. Dedicated sponsored posts shall include the prefix “Sponsored:” in their headlines and include a first-paragraph disclosure of our relationship to the sponsor. Dedicated sponsor posts will never appear more frequently than once in every ten posts. Sponsored product or service mentions within otherwise non-sponsored posts (e.g. a mention of a certain saw within a post on building a fence) shall include “(sponsored)” after the first mention of that product or service and link to this disclosure. Links to sponsored posts on social media will also be clearly labeled “Sponsored:”.
Any brand-name mentions in our posts that are not identified as sponsored are, in fact, not sponsored. We include such mentions because they strike us as relevant to our readers. We do not receive compensation for such mentions.
Hammer & Moxie uses a service called Skimlinks, which converts links to certain merchants into affiliate links. That means if you click on a link to a product and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission (usually a few percent) on that sale if Skimlinks has a contract with that merchant. Since Skimlinks has contracts with many large retailers, we are able to link to products that best fit the content without catering to certain sponsors. In other words, Skimlinks has little to no affect on how we create content but allows us to generate some income off of external links.