Are Paid Posts Ethical?

This question has been debated and discussed for a very long time now. Ever since pay per post platforms entered the blogosphere, the controversy has been around. On the one hand, there are those people who believe that bloggers should not receive any form of compensation for what they write – monetary or in kind. They liken bloggers to journalists and as such, hold up bloggers to the same standards of integrity. On the other hand, there are those people who believe that there is nothing wrong with making money off blogging. After all, it is one of the reasons for blogging.

So which is which? I know that this topic has been thoroughly discussed but a controversy recently occurred in my city where a PR group working with bloggers and various companies were targeted by one popular blogger. Apparently, this big blogger was approached through e-mail several times and was offered compensation. Unfortunately his personal stance is strongly against this practice. A big brouhaha occurred – thus my thinking about this topic once again.

So what do you think about paid posts? Personally, I believe that as long as the blogger has full disclosure, there is nothing wrong with it. If an advertiser wishes to pay for a slot in a blog and the blogger is willing to write an ad, then by all means they should do so. The bottom line is that they should let their readers know that they are being compensated for their writing and even better, their write up should not be influenced by the compensation. Of course, the last part is idealistic thinking, I acknowledge that. Still, I am not one to stand in the way of others. If you are against paid posts, then veer away from them but do not pull others down for engaging in the practice – as long as they are open about it.

What is your take on this?