Blogging Ethics

I'm not perfect. But.

I like to think I abide by pretty firm ethics. I value people’s integrity, and in return I strive to stand by my own.

In this blog-eat-blog world you will see a high number of blogs selling paid links. Paid links are hyperlinks to external websites, which have paid the travel blog owner to display them.

Paid Links Policy

This malpractice manipulates search engine results pages, like Google and Yahoo! and essentially undermines the authenticity of search engines on the internet, which is one of the main avenues leading visitors to websites.

For example, when you search in Google for a “cheap backpack”, the top results should be the most respected web pages about content related to “cheap backpack”. This is determined among other things, by the number of quality web sites which link to that particular page.

Now, imagine a crafty little company really wants to get to the top of the search engine results page for the search term, “cheap backpack”. They would search for reputable websites and blogs, and offer to pay them a small amount to display the link.

To the naked eye it would look something like: “Are you looking for a cheap backpack?”

Pretty discrete, but remember that Google’s algorithm isn’t a human (although it can be controlled by them) so they might misinterpret this as a valid endorsement of that site, rather than a cheap bribe.

Companies like Google are working to stamp this out, but it still happens — primarily because of greed.

This tactic throws a spanner in the works, and hinders the organic nature of search engines. Suddenly, someone who has worked incredibly hard to build up a good reputation around “cheap backpacks” using valid techniques is suddenly smashed out of the way by someone with a few quid to flash around.

I find it incredibly hypocritical when travel blog editors do this. As a collective, we are quite vocal about topics such as buying local, looking after the little man and treating everyone with respect.

If you haven’t noticed — the practise of paid links is the antipode of this.

For the record, I estimate I could earn around £200 a month if I did; so this I think it’s important for me to highlight this.

I will never encourage this practise by selling links on

Affiliate Links & Sponsored Posts

What I will do, is personally seek out and display links to relevant businesses, if and when it suits my editorial content.

Some of these might be affiliate links.

This means, if you purchase a product using a link I provide, I will receive a small financial return; usually in the region of under 50 pence. I will always tell you if a link is affiliated.

Another similar topic I am often asked about, is if I can publish entire posts promoting a product or service. This is commonly known as a ‘sponsored post’, and I would receive a flat-rate fee for this.

Naturally, I have a strict policy surrounding this.

Any links within these articles will not pass any search engine benefit to the company (for the SEO-savvy among you, they will be “nofollow”), and I will thoroughly research the product to ensure that the company operates in an ethical, and sustainable manner.

Any Questions?

In a nutshell I value the internet, and while I do need to earn an income, I am working hard to achieve this in the right way, to do my bit in ensuring a sustainable future for companies which work hard to earn a good reputation.

In return, I hope this shows my reader that I practise what I preach. That I don’t sell out, and that I commit to the same set of standards on my web site as I do my own nomadic lifestyle.

If you have any concerns or queries about this policy, or you have uncovered a discrepancy in the archives of which you feel undermines my approach, I would be more than happy to discuss it with you. Drop me a line via the contact page.