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Sponsored Posts & Reviews Using Free WordPress Blogs – Not Allowed

I was asked  a question today so I thought I should look up the answer quickly.  It was a simple one and as I’ve never used the free blogging platforms, it’s not one that I had paid any attention to in the past.   All she wanted to know was if it was within Terms and Conditions that she could accept sponsored posts on a blog.

I know there are plenty of people out there who have taken the risk of using freebie blog hosts to take compensation in goods, services or cash for the written word on the blog, but I didn’t know the actual rules for or against.

Checking against TOS, it seems that it is forbidden to actually take any form of paid posts in sidebars, posts or anywhere else.   Looking deeper in, it seems that people who do flout the rules have the potential to have their blog pulled out from under them at no notice.

I am quite surprised at the complete ban on using blogs in this way, but I’d guess it would be so that they are not responsible as a company for being associated with anything advertised on blogs within their network.   It looks like Google Blogger allows sponsored posts and reviews as long as they don’t breach the content policy, but everyone should check that out for themselves.

The WordPress Terms and Conditions on Advertising clearly say that sponsored posts on WordPress . com, (or paid posts) are NOT allowed.  Moderators on their forums have cleared up that payment via goods or services, eg by doing reviews are also part of the prohibition although that doesn’t seem clear in the Advertising Terms and Conditions.

So, pretty much, a lot of parent blogs accepting freebies on the free blog software are doing so against the Terms and Conditions of the hosting companies.

I think I’m glad I took my blog down the self-hosted route when I changed the name to Scottish Mum.  At least I don’t have to worry about my blog disappearing if I upset someone and they report my blog.

In answer to the question I was asked, we’ve shelved the free WordPress option and I’m in the middle of setting my friend up as self-hosted blog.

Being on a free platform might be nice, but the risk is too great for her and we found a great little host that supports the self hosted version of WordPress and will allow sponsored content from the start.  She gets webspace, and WordPress support with her own domain name for about £16 a year.  It’s not an advert for them so I’m not going to post their name here, but if anyone wants to know it – send me a message as it’s been very reliable for my husbands work website.

To be clear, these types of posts are NOT allowed on the FREE WordPress blogging software option.

  1. Ad – Sense Ads Unless Placed by WordPress themselves.
  2. Sponsored or paid posts.
  3. Affiliate or referral links.
  4. Clickthroughs or MLM networking.
  5. Sponsored Content. (I presume this means reviews where a product is the payment)

If you are in any doubt, contact WordPress support to see where you stand.

Post amended after comments on Twitter about Google Blogger allowing sponsored content.