4

I notice a user frequently links to their own site for articles they have written. They also sell gardening materials and make money from advertisements on the site.

Although there is nothing wrong with the content I am a teeny tiny bit uneasy about someone making money by answering questions here that could route traffic to their site. There are many extension programs, universities and other garden forums with free content much of which is backed up by research.

Is this a concern or should I have a nap instead?

5

The help center has this to say about self-promotion:

Avoid overt self-promotion.

The community tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

Addressing each of the points in the rules:

  • "Post good, relevant answers": as far as I can tell, the posts do answer the questions, and the links are given for supplemental information.

  • "if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay": as I write this, that user has written 15 answers, 6 of which link to their personal blog. I also see some links to other non-commercial sites (e.g. University websites), so it's not exclusively to their own site.

  • "you must disclose your affiliation in your answers": I didn't think this was perfectly clear in all of the earlier posts, so I edited them to make it clearer and left a comment explaining why I did so. The user agreed to make the affiliation more explicit in future, and in the newer posts, has held to that.

tl;dr: At this point, I don't think there's too much for concern. Enjoy your nap!

  • nap starting now! – kevinsky Jul 4 '13 at 20:59
3

Since this question is about me I guess I should respond.

I started my blog to put information about the topic of organic lawn care as I'm learning and experimenting with different products and methods.

I don't directly sell anything on my site but I do place affiliate links to products I am discussing and I do have other advertising on the site. Doing so helps offset the time and effort I put into presenting the information online.

I participate on SE to learn and to share what I've learned. When I respond to a question I do my best to answer the question based on the knowledge I have gained over the years. If you read some of the articles on my site I have a bad habit of being very thorough and wordy. I read a lot of information online including many university studies which help me form my opinions on certain products and practices. I like to cover all bases. When I link to my site it's to provide additional information that may not be totally relevant to the asker but does reinforce my answer for those interested in reading more. It also makes it easier for me to participate here because I don't have to write the same long answer multiple times.

I posted a lot when I first joined probably due to initial enthusiasm. As I understand I'm not violating the site's terms but if I am please let me know.

Basically what Niall C said except tl-er:dr-ier which I'm trying to work on :)

  • 2
    A belated welcome to Gardening & Landscaping! You seem to have discovered Jeff's secret on your own. I would suggest that you could reduce the appearance of self-promotion by using a different username and avatar. Most people on the SE network are recognized as individuals even if they prefer to remain anonymous. Your posts look like they are signed by a corporation. I'm not saying you need to do that, but it might prevent misunderstandings in the future. – Jon Ericson Sep 6 '13 at 22:37
  • @JonEricson TY for the greeting. I didn't reply earlier because I couldn't figure out what you meant by Jeff's secret. I still don't. I don't like giving a lot of personal information online. Don't know how to link to chat but see :11170821 for a good example why. I'm no good at picking names and I think this one makes it clearer the affiliation I have with my site. It doesn't seem that many people read profiles here so I save them a step. – OrganicLawnDIY Sep 13 '13 at 1:27
  • Jeff's secret is that answering questions on Stack Exchange often helps one become a better writer. Honestly, it's no big deal if you want to leave your identity as is. – Jon Ericson Sep 13 '13 at 14:15

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