Pin It

Blogging for "quid pro quo"

In response to my recent post about Sermon Spice, Adam made this thoughtful comment:

"I dunno about pay to post stuff man. Don't you think it effects your credibility?"

This was my response:


I appreciate your comment. Although I think my credibility would be more in jeopardy if I didn't put the disclaimer out there, and be totally honest and above reproach. Also, I think my credibility would again be in jeopardy if I didn't say something truthful. SermonSpice wanted bloggers who are already using the service to talk about it. I could say anything I wanted, Good, Bad or Ugly. And for my effort they gave me $20 gift certificate for my next purchase at SermonSpice.

The idea of receiving a gift for posting my comments was a new idea. I would ask other bloggers and readers of Ministry Best Practices - Was it right for me to do it?

Did the disclaimer make a difference in your opinion?

Have any of you all ever been given some gift in exchange for posting on your blog?

On my other blog, Provocative Church, I receive free books from publishers in order to review them - is that a similar issue and concern as this one is?

Please weigh in the comments - thanks.


Do we get paid for leaving a comment here?

LOL - a cup of coffee at Starbucks

I would say that, due to the person's comment about credibility, that apparently in some people's minds your credibility would be brought into question. However, I personally feel that your inclusion of the disclaimer protects that credibility, especially as combined with your initial response to the person's posted concern. Your willingness to post a discussion such as this also speaks loudly of your credibilty. For the record, I feel your initial endorsement was very well worded and was obviously a true testimonial of your satisfied use of the SermonSpice products. It was so much more than just an endorsement.

Tough call. With books I think it's more clear that when you receive a review copy you're 100% free to write what you think. I have zero issue with review copies of books, and think that system works great.

When I first saw your post in my RSS reader and saw the comment at the bottom, my initial response was shock. I looked at the title blog title, intended to unsubscribe if it was a blog on my 'marginally' useful list. As your posts have been useful in the past, I gave it a second chance. Only today did I realize that you were free to post what you really thought. It sounded at first like a 'paid endorsement', which I think has no place in a ministry blog.

The practice is 'risky', not 'wrong.' If our church management software gave us a discount, for example, if we mentioned it kindly on our website, I would be prone to do it because I love their stuff and wouldn't mind a discount. I'm not sure if we would for the sake of 'appearance'. (If we weren't big fans of it, of course making them sound better for the sake of discount or gift would be out of the question.) Failing to mention compensation when some is received is also completely out of the question.

As a blogger, I hope you get more comments, or are otherwise able to find out more about how other bloggers/churches face this - I'm curious as well to learn what others think. -- Larry

@ Tim @ Larry Thank you both for your great thoughts and comments. BTW, I do want to make it clear that I wasn't asserting that Adam was necessarily questioning my credibility but that he raised a good question. A question and concern that I did truly appreciate that he addressed.

This, blogging, is such a new medium, that unfortunately there aren't any "rule books", that I'm aware of, on how to navigate through the many issues that a blogger may face.

Thanks again for contributing to the conversation and helping me and others figure out how to blog well and with integrity. And thanks Larry for not Unsubscribing! :-)

Post a Comment