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-   -   Should The-Military-Guide.com endorse it? (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/should-the-military-guide-com-endorse-it-58322.html)

Nords 10-12-2011 06:13 PM

Should The-Military-Guide.com endorse it?
This thread might be a recurring subject. The blog is starting to gain some traction among military-oriented businesses, and the USAA Blogger Event really put it out there on Twitter & Facebook.

Of course it attracts spam like... well... spam attracts flies, and those are easily trashed.

I've had a few requests to do guest posts, and none of them have panned out for the blog's mission. (Two were boilerplate personal finance that would get laughed off this board, and the third was a thinly-veiled political screed to defend VA health benefits.) So far it's been all me.

I added Care.com to the blogroll a couple weeks ago. Although it sells products to families (including military), it also gives military families a chance to sell their own services. It comes highly recommended by a couple of military spouses whom I know & trust.

Commercial commentary has been mostly spam, but they're getting better. One of them was from LocknLoadJava.com. (Sea story: Coffee, anyone? | Military Retirement & Financial Independence) I almost sent it to the spam bucket but then I looked at the guy's website. A veteran who goes to that much trouble for a commercial website, and who donates a buck a sale to military charities, deserves a chance. (It's worth perusing just to snicker at the photo captions.) I've ordered a bag of the Double Barrel Black for additional research, so far so good, and maybe I'll add his site to the blogroll.

Today's query comes from VAMortgageCenter.com :

Hello, my name is [edited by Nords], and I'm an Account Manager at the VA Mortgage Center .com, the nation's leading dedicated VA lender.
I came across your site while browsing military and financial blogs, and I really liked how you apply the lessons you've learned to help your readers. I was also impressed by the lengthy list of resources you provide links for.
The reason I'm reaching out to you today is that I'm curious about how to get a link to my site, VAMortgageCenter.com, featured on your blog. It has been estimated that we have originated more VA Home Loans than any other VA lender in the nation, and I believe many of your readers browsing the Military and Personal Finance links would be eager to learn more about the services we offer.
I'd be happy to send you more information on my site to look over if you'd like, and I'd also be willing to write a guest post for your site in exchange for the link. If you'd like me to write a post we can discuss a topic, it could even be something as simple as explaining the VA Home Loan program.
Thanks for your time, and please let me know if there's anything I can do to get my link featured on your site! Have a great day!

Note that they also have an affiliate program (VAMC Affiliate Program) which (after I take the blog out from WordPress.com to WordPress.ORG) could direct more money to military charities.

VAMC seems to be a legit site, they seem to have attracted positive media attention, and they seem to be keeping their noses clean with the VA and the BBB. Has anyone used these guys for a loan, or heard any other anecdotes? Any reason to link them to The-Military-Guide.com? Any reason not to?

brewer12345 10-12-2011 06:25 PM

I think that before you decide on this particular link you should come up with your own policy as to whether to accept links that are clearly for profit and how to evaluate them. Come up with a set of thoughtful criteria and stick to it, just like an investment policy. Otherwise you will end up with a haphazard collection of whatnot that may be a problem down the road. You probably also want to decide if you are OK with the idea that at some point you will be linked to a business that is or becomes "undesirable" for one reason or another.

WM 10-13-2011 09:42 AM

+1 on Brewer's advice. Also think about whether there are circumstances that would make you remove a link/ad if the nature of, say, another guy's blog changes in a direction you don't like.

Other bloggers have obviously dealt with this question - maybe contact a few you like and ask what their policies are.

Andy R 10-13-2011 09:43 PM

Keep in mind there are some FTC rules that need to be considered
FTC: Bloggers Must Disclose Payments for Endorsements | PCWorld

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