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Blogging with Integrity – Where Do You Draw the Line?

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Consider how you write and react to different situations…do you draw a line? Are you willing to cross that line? A discussion on blogging with integrity and how various situations affect you personally and professionally.

Consider your own writing and how you react to different situations? Do you draw a line? Are you willing to cross that line?  A discussion on blogging with integrity and how various situations affect you personally and professionally. As bloggers, we put it all out there.  Whatever “it” is for us, we open ourselves up to praise, compliments, criticism, and controversy.  We share our families, our homes, our ideas, our crafts, our recipes, and our lives across cyberspace for everyone to see.  

This post is meant to be less about me pontificating and more of an interaction and dialog with you.  I will share three scenarios from my own experience, but I want to know what you think.  What have you witnessed?  Where do you stand on these issues?  How would you react?  What would you do?

Scenario #1

Paid posts are an awesome way to make money.  I have declined numerous opportunities for paid posts because the product does not align with my personal and/or business values.  A $100 check is not worth losing my reputation.  I end up taking fewer paid opportunities, but the ones I do take are completely in line with my brand, and I can honestly promote the products to my readers.  In return, the few times I do promote a brand, my readers know that it is legit. 

What about you?  Do you ever turn down paid opportunities?  Will you run a sponsored post even if it’s not in line with your blog and brand?

Scenario #2

As bloggers and writers, we all have the “holy grail” publications that we hope to have our work published in one day.  I recently read an article in my HG publication that was a hate-filled rant.  What made the situation worse, was that the author didn’t even have any experience with the topic – she was spewing vile merely for publicity.  It was a hate-filled article published immediately after a similar topic went viral, in hopes to elicit the same response for that publication.  I didn’t speak up for what was right.  I simply lost all respect for that organization to the point where I un-followed them on all social media. 

On the flip side, Michelle here at a Dish of Daily Life was brave enough to go public with her response to a similar situation in which the original author wrote an article designed to elicit an emotional reaction.  Michelle and I were both upset at these two articles, but we reacted differently.  I stayed quiet, and Michelle spoke up. 

As a blogger, do you write to elicit a reaction, even if it’s not the truth?  What do you do when a trusted brand or fellow blogger buddy crosses the line?  Do you continue to put your stamp of approval on them or do you disengage?  Do you speak up or stay quiet?

Scenario #3

A very popular home and garden collective asked me to feature our home remodel on their Facebook page.  With three quarters of a million followers, how could I say no?  I knew right away when it was posted, as my blog traffic had an immediate spike.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the negativity that followed.  The FB post received close to 100 comments in their thread, almost all of them were not just negative, but downright cruel.  Did I address the negativity?  Did I reply to those who called our home “disgusting, ewwww, ugly and ghetto?”  Nope.  I just ignored them and did what any reasonable blogger would do – I posted a cry for help to my FB Tribes and fellow bloggers came to my rescue with their positive comments.   One week later, this same collective asked to feature another of our remodels.  I said yes.  Why?  Because this time, I’m prepared for the comments, and it was a huge spike in traffic to my blog. 

What would you have done?  Would you have responded back to the negative comments on FB?  Would you have accepted another offer knowing what happened the first time?

Connect and Share

There are never right or wrong answers in any of these scenarios, just our own opinions.  Hopefully these scenarios help you to stop and think about your blog, what you write about, and how you react.  What have you experienced as a blogger?  What was the situation and how did you handle it?  How do you find that place where you draw the line?  Have you ever crossed the line?  Why or why not?

Blogging with Integrity


Holly Bertone, PMP is an author, blogger, and breast cancer survivor and advocate. She is the President and CEO of Pink Fortitude, LLC and Editor in Chief at the inspirational blog The Coconut Head’s Survival Guide. Holly holds a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Elizabethtown College, and is a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Holly is an Ambassador for the Tigerlily Foundation,was accepted into the National Cancer Survivor’s Day Speakers Bureau, and was named a 2014 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.  She is passionate about reaching out to breast cancer survivors, and also volunteers for organizations supporting our military veterans. In her free time, she loves to garden, hit flea markets, antique stores and yard sales, and drink a cup of coffee on her back porch. Holly is married to a retired Green Beret, is a stepmother, and lives in Alexandria, VA.






Monday 23rd of November 2015

Thx, I needed this. I'm in the midst of communicating with someone offering me to become an expert on their site. The site is not in line with my philosophy. As a starting Blogger, I could really use the exposure though.

I've also had to pleasure to be featured on The penny hoarder's FB page. The traffic was awesome but the criticism (mostly on my writing style) was stinging. The lesson there is to really have your work proof read prior. Opportunities like that don't come around too often.

For now I will keep turning down offers not in line with my blog and hope that 3 years from now I look back and find I made the right decision.


Saturday 11th of July 2015

These are tough questions. Sometimes I make the right choice and sometimes I don't. As a blogger, do you write to elicit a reaction, even if it’s not the truth? What do you do when a trusted brand or fellow blogger buddy crosses the line? Do you continue to put your stamp of approval on them or do you disengage? Do you speak up or stay quiet? - I had this situation come up last week with a really big name blogger. She posted something cruel about a public figure whose husband had died. I called her out for posting it just to get in on the negative buzz. Her friends were mad and mad some nasty comments about ME rather than about HER for posting mean stuff directed at a woman who had just been suddenly widowed. Don't they understand that celebrities are real people and this stuff gets back to them? She wanted people to share and comment on her nastiness and I lost a lot of respect for her for being so hateful. By the way, congrats on grabbing a featured spot on the SITS Sharefest this week!


Friday 3rd of July 2015

That is a powerful post and I love it. I have not as yet experienced that sort of negative response as yet. I am going to the PROBlogger conference (my first) and I see a whole session is on this very subject. I came here through Tip Tuesday Kathleen PS would it be rude to ask you to post this on the party below.


Thursday 25th of June 2015

This article is great food for thought and discussion. I have not yet pursued sponsored posts, though I have looked at some opportunities presented in various groups. So far, there hash't been anything that would fit naturally with my blog, so I haven't bothered. I don't won't to present something that is not "me" and that I don't believe in.

That said, I did recently advertise a sale for an item I had not actually had time to review (Ultimate Bundles). I had purchased and used several resources from a previous bundle, however, and felt comfortable with the quality. When someone I know who is on a very strict budget asked if it would be worth her investment, I was horrified because I had not actually had time to look at the books. So…I gifted her mine (they were unopened)! AND vowed not to do that again! :)

As for confrontation, I am such a wimp! I haven't had any negative comments yet, but yesterday I got my first Facebook notification that someone had blocked my page's posts -- I felt like I had been slapped! Yep, gotta toughen up this skin a bit! :)


Wednesday 24th of June 2015

Because I'm vegan, I'm very careful about the sponsored posts that I take. In addition to avoiding anything that is obviously an animal product, I also decline to work with companies that test on animal, or use contain products that aren't cruelty free. That's a big list and sometimes I make mistakes, but overall, I turn down a lot of potential revenue for ethical reasons.

Facebook commenters are notorious for being nasty and negative. I know it's hurtful, but you have to consider the source.