As a blogger you have now become a public figure of sorts. With this new “power” comes responsibility (yeah that was a spidey homage) in the form of integrity. Blogging with integrity means to be honest, ethical and forthcoming in your posts because the reader is putting a level of trust in you and your work.
The first issue of blogging with integrity is the link back aka the ping back (when you were in school this was known as a work cited or bibliography). If you see an article that sparks an idea to write a blog you should reference the original link to give proper credit. To take it a step further when mentioning a business or service you should link their website/twitter/fb so that others may further reference. This is most important part of blogging with integrity as there is nothing worse then seeing someone rip-off your idea without giving you the slightest nod. I give a lot of link backs and shout-outs but there are times when I do not, like if I am being critical of a practice but do not want to single out a certain person as to cause drama and detract from my original point. So when I mentioned that long term protective style challenges irritate me, I could have provided a link to my girl and fellow blogger Glamswagger‘s page as she is doing a protective style challenge. I did not because I was making a general comment and not trying to attack anyone. Side note: Glamswagger’s hair is awesome so perhaps I might want to look into more protective styling if I want hair like hers.
Another part of blogging with integrity is providing a full-disclosure. That is when doing a product review you should reveal whether you paid for the product, it was a gift or you received it free from the manufacturer. Your readers have a right to know where the product originate from so they are allowed to take that in to account. In general people to tend report more favorably on things they received for free or as gifts versus things they purchased with their own money. That is not to say that you cannot be honest about a free gift, just that their may be extra sway or influence. Also when reviewing a product you should support your opinions with sound reasoning. For example, I am protein sensitive so when I review product that contains protein, like Giovanni Smooth As Silk Conditioner, I take into account that my hair doesn’t normally behave well with protein. To simply call the product horrible would be biased, so instead I say that it didn’t work for my hair and I state why.
In the end your blogging integrity will help build your reputation with fellow bloggers, your readers and even product manufacturers. Your words represent you so choose them wisely.