Sponsorship FAQs

Date Wed, November 18 2009

What does “sponsored” mean anyway?

It means that the product or service I am reviewing or able to give away have been provided as payment by the manufacturer or another store in return for a review or other promotion. 99% of the time, I have reached out to those companies in order to bring better content and opportunities to you, the visitor. Although, I do accept pitches from companies who want to spread the word if their products are relevant to my interests or those of my readers.

Does this affect how you review, Cole?

No. As you can tell from many of my reviews, I am never afraid to tell the truth. I approach all my reviews the same way. I aim to do a thorough review and whether it’s positive or negative is hinged only on how well the product or services works. I know some folks are so flattered to have these opportunities that they would rather not post a review at all than post a negative. Respectfully, I say that is a bad move. Other consumers and companies have a right to an honest opinion which is unbiased by sponsorship status (however, I would like to point out that I do have biases towards products that work well, are affordable and nicely designed but those are all biases which help me to write a better review). Without criticism, how can a product ever be improved? Furthermore, I do not work with companies who do not respect my rules.

Do your reviews comply with the new FTC Guidelines?

Absolutely. Most of my reviews are products I bought myself. The reviews, giveaways or other posts which are sponsored by a company will be marked and linked to this page.

Marketing Roadmaps is a blog with some extremely helpful posts about these new guidelines created by the FTC. I strongly urge you check out those posts to help clarify any points.

What about paid posts?

Currently, the bulk of my paid posts simply require me to insert a link. They are not labeled as sponsored because they are not reviewing or even suggesting you use that product, service or website. They are simply links. In fact, some of the most helpful posts on Reviews by Cole include paid links! Paid posts from companies such as SocialSpark automatically include a disclaimer and link regarding the opportunity.

How do affiliate links work?

I try to only affiliate with companies that I support, so Reviews by Cole remains full of content that’s relevant to me and you. I will earn commissions when you click links and if you make a purchase. However, I aim to be 100% transparent when I use affiliate links and will note this in my posts. In fact, many readers like to click affiliate links to be generous!

Will you review my product or serve on your blog?

Yes, I am PR Friendly!  Send me an e-mail and we can work out an arrangement. If you’ve read this far, you know you can expect an honest review of your product or service and that, no matter my opinion, it will be posted.

Are giveaways sponsored By Twitter, Facebook, etc?

Although social media follows may be included as optional entries in the giveaways that I host and participate in, no social network promotes or endorses them. This includes Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+. However, the list doesn’t end there. The companies have nothing to do with how the giveaway works, prize fulfillment or any other aspect of the giveaway.

Furthermore, the giveaways that I host will always have a free mandatory entry such as entering your name.

Who handles shipping?

More often than not, companies handle shipping. Giveaways abide by their shipping rules, and I never see the product. I may not be able to provide a tracking number. Because I am the middle man, I cannot promise that all companies will fulfill their promises of giveaway prizes. However, I do my best to work with companies that are good for their word so that my readers can trust me!

More Questions?

Please feel free to e-mail me!

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