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Disclaimer for sponsored posts and other monetized content

My strategy for much of the advertising on the Empire has always been that it doesn't FEEL like advertising. I do this not because I'm trying to trick anyone, but because I find disruptive advertising annoying and bothersome… so therefore, rather than have sponsored posts written by some random advertising client, all our sponsored posts are written by us, in the same voice that the rest of the posts are written in.

I've invested significant design and developer time/money into trying to be as transparent as possible about my monetized content, but there's still confusion sometimes.

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Non-shady ways to mooooonetize your blog

For me, the biggest challenge with monetizing has been finding legit, non-scammy tools. There's a lot of shady, scammy stuff that goes down in the world of online advertising, and it's hard to trust information you find online about any of them. I like to feel good about the businesses I partner with, so I figure it'd be worth sharing some of the tools I use that don't feel shady to me.

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About the "You might also like" posts you'll see on Offbeat Empire sites

The "related posts" underneath each blog post are served up by a service called Outbrain. The thumbnails include four Offbeat Empire posts and one related-ish post from another blog. The bulleted list of text links beneath are all to other blogs that use the Outbrain service. Each link includes a parenthetical notation of its source blog, so it's easy to see which are native Offbeat Empire links and which are to other sites.