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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.

Sneaky-deep public relations

Because I have a background in copywriting and marketing, I've been known to accidentally hawk products on my blog … like when I once wrote on my personal blog about…..

FIRST POST! How the first comment sets the tone for the entire conversation

Back in the early days of blogging, readers of especially popular blogs started competing with each other to see who could be the first to comment on a post.

"FIRST POST!" would come the digital shout, the equivalent of a big of blog commenting graffiti, sort of like a tagger plastering his name on a wall. Nothing actually was said. It doesn't relate to the post at all. The poster has just established that they were here first.

Folks typing FIRST POST miss a huge opportunity, because as the first commenter they have a lot of power. It's important to understand how the first comment on a post has the ability to define the mood of the entire conversation. It's the first comments that I tend to watch most closely in my moderation process.