How to give readers the best info?
July 13, 2011 9:58 PM   Subscribe

The best way to promote *accessible* quality products without putting the smaller businesses at a disadvantage or sacrificing site traffic?

Asking for a friend:

She ("V") owns a small blog, and has received free products from companies that she buys ingredients from. The companies are relatively small businesses and provide their products at the best prices on the market. These products must be bought online, as they're not available in regular brick and mortar grocery stores (although some can be found at specialty/health food stores).

A big corporation just released their version of products V buys from a small company. The new product is now being sold in every grocery store (at a much higher price, but way more convenient than ordering online). Since V's mission is to expand access to healthy ingredients/recipes for the average American, should she start using the big corporate product alongside the ones she's used for the past few years? The small companies have generously sent V their products - enough to last a lifetime - for her essentially free advertising, and she doesn't want the small companies to go under since their products are easier to work with and actually taste better.

Another snag is that a certain forum, sponsored by a health food retailer, has disallowed V to link to her site in her posts due to the links on her blog to various retailers where you can purchase ingredients. The forum has been V's #1 source of website traffic (new visitors!) for the past couple years. The problem is that V doesn't know any other way to tell site visitors where to buy this specialty food. She wants to make it as easy as possible for the average Joe to find this stuff online, and all in the same place to save s & h. The health food retailer that owns the forum does not have the best prices, unfortunately, and they don't appreciate the fact that V's site has their competitor plastered all over it, for obvious reasons.

What would be the most ethical/smartest business decisions in these situations?
posted by desertface to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, she should feature BigCo's products and let her readers make up their own minds. She shouldn't feel guilty about getting the free products, that's just how it works and every business knows it. If she has any obligations it's to her passion and readers.

If she cannot put links in her posts, well, what's there to discuss. Their forum, their rules. Personally, I would look into setting up my own forum. Also, I would look into setting up landing pages for each product on the blog so that when people google these products they find the blog.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:36 PM on July 13, 2011

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