Authenticity Policy

Recently, someone in power (you never know who) created new rules that require bloggers to disclose certain information if they sell, review, or give stuff away as promotion for others people. Most of the rules don’t apply to me because so far I’ve not sold or reviewed or given anything away for promotions.

But I want to let you know what I’m up to right from the start. I want this blog to about serving others, not just about me. So with that in mind, I thought I’d give you an outline of the plans for this blog.

Currently (as of April 10, 2010), I make absolutely no money from this blog and never have. But – and this is key – I intend to. I intend to eventually make millions from this blog.

I plan to do this primarily by selling stuff. I mean, how else does someone do it? I plan to create resources like books, audio and video instruction courses and membership forums (and even possibly coaching). In short, I’m going to do anything I can to create value for the readers here. Most of this value I’ll give away, but some I’ll sell.

Lofty goals for such an insignificant blog? Yes, and I probably won’t reach it for a while. But I wanted to get this out there now.

If this blog is about serving others, the big question is, how does Marshall making money from HIS blog serve others? I have many responses to that, but I’ll just give two here:

  1. If this blog makes enough money to support me financially, I’ll have more opportunity to serve others because I won’t have to split my effort between a “traditional” job and full-time work for you here.
  2. The products I intend to sell from this site to support myself will be awesome. You will want to by what I sell. And even if you don’t, you won’t have to. I’ll always have tons of posts available for free.

Now, this is huge. I’m an avid blog reader. Many of the the blogs I frequent are loaded with advertisements for products no one cares about. That’s not bondChristian – and will never be bondChristian. I will do my best to offer only remarkable, highly valuable products from this site. And like I said, if you still don’t won’t to buy anything, that’s perfectly all right. I know what it’s like. I’ve personally never bought anything from blogs (yet).

Why I tell you

Some people have a real problem with bloggers making money from their sites, especially Christian bloggers. When I start selling from this blog, I’m sure many readers will run away saying I’ve sold out to the devil (maybe some ran already because of this post).

But for the loyal readers who care, I wanted to flat out tell you now so you won’t have any surprises down the road. And while I’m at it, I want to give you the scoop on a few other matters as well:

Affiliations

Assume I’m being paid for everything I talk about. In a way, once this blog starts making money, that’ll be totally accurate. Everything I do contributes to the outcome of this blog.

I’ll try to let you know if I’m getting paid whenever I explicitly recommend something. Also, if I receive the resources I review for free (like I did a couple weeks ago), I’ll try to let you know.

But overall, assume I am receiving them for free and being paid to talk about them.

I’d like to think my opinions aren’t influenced by how I’m compensated for them, but in the real world, I know my selfish desires. Letting you know where I stand up front might help you make more informed decisions about what I say.

Tracking

I have various tracking tools on this site. I love to spy on you. :>) No really, I can see whenever you click on a link or navigate around. Scary? First, while it’s certainly no justification, almost every site worth anything does it. Just so you. Don’t think you’re anonymous.

Second, I track what you do here to learn what works. Some posts get more attention than others, and some sites send bondChristian.com more traffic than others. And sometimes parts of the site break. Knowing this information allows me to tailor my interaction and this site’s features to help you as much as possible.

I reserve the right to share this tracking info with anyone, but this will never personally identify you. In other words, I might tell someone how many people have read a certain post or how long they stuck around. Just so you know.

Your Contact Info

At various places on this blog, I ask you for your contact information. When I do, I usually tell you up front exactly why I need the info (e.g. to send you the newsletter or updates or reply to a question).

The exception might be your email (and optional URL) when you comment on a post (which by the way I sincerely appreciate). I collect this information for two reasons: 1) to cut down the spam and 2) to contact you about your comment.

Overall, though, your contact information (name, email, IP adress, etc.) will never be shared with any third party without your consent. I’ll ask you personally in any exceptions.

Opinions

I almost left this section out. I think on blogs this is implied. But to be as open as possible, I thought I’d leave it in.

Straight up, everything I write here is my opinion. I’ll take full responsibility for anything and everything I say. But also know that it’s just one man’s opinion. Obviously, I think it’s perfectly accurate (to the best of my ability), but that doesn’t mean it is. Please feel free to check and challenge everything I say.

Now, as a result of this checking and challenging, I’m going to have a bunch of different comments here. Other than spam (which I delete automatically), I’ve never had to remove any comments. Let’s keep it that way.

I think of comments as a real time conversation. In real time, you can’t undo anything you say. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. If you want to change something, you make another comment apologizing.

That’s my blog comment policy. I will go pretty far to keep comments on the blog. I personally don’t get offended. Or if I do, I’ll respond in a comment or post instead of just deleting the comment. This just keeps things authentic. However, if I start to see personal attacks on other commenters, bye-bye.

Having said that, while I probably agree with most of the comments left here, they are the opinions of their authors, not necessarily me.

Bible quotations

Thomas Nelson wants me to include this, so here you go:

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.”

Most (if not all) of the Scripture references on bondChristian.com come from the New King James Version (NKJV). I’ll let you know if it’s not from this translation.

Copyright release

All my free writing on bondChristian is released for you to use however you want. Obviously, you can’t use Thomas Nelson’s stuff without their permission or any of the book excerpts posted here. Otherwise, feel free to use it however.

Here’s my first post where I officially released the copyright for you guys.

I can’t think of anything else to include

…but if I think of anything, I’ll add it here.

By using this site, you agree to everything I’ve said in this Authenticity Policy. If you don’t agree with these terms, please stop using this site.

I frequently update the content and design of bondChristian.com and along with it this Authenticity Policy. I post the updates to this page, so please come back often so you’re aware of them. While it’s my primary goal to serve you, you are responsible for reviewing this Policy periodically, and your continued use of bondChristian.com following any changes to this Policy mean you accept the changes.

Feel free to bookmark this page if you’re that interested (that’s a joke by the way). There’s also a link to this page from the about page.

I’m trying to serve you the best I can by remaining authentic. If there’s anything you think I’ve left out, let me know throught the contact form.

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