Important Information for WordPress.com Users

CBR002938If you have taken a blogging course with me, then you already received an email from me with this information.  However, it’s such an important issue that I want to share it here with everyone.

It was recently brought to my attention that WordPress.com is now outright banning MLM blogs, referring to them as “affiliate marketing” and “pyramid schemes.”  While I disagree with this assessment, and have alerted the DSA who is looking into the issue, it is important that you be aware of this, so that you don’t get your blog shut down.

In my own correspondence with WordPress about the issue, here is their clarification:
“Any kind of MLM blogs – or blogs created to direct readers to external domains for commercial purposes – are not permitted at WordPress.com. If you are creating the blog to make money, WordPress.com is not the place for you.”
However in WordPress’s rules, they do allow business blogs to demonstrate expertise:
“Business: Professionals ranging from realtors to lawyers and stock brokers are using WordPress to share their expertise, and companies have discovered the power of blogs to more directly and personally engage with their customers.”
When I followed up with them asking about this, here is what they said:
Jennifer: “If legitimate direct sellers are only using their blog to demonstrate their expertise, wouldn’t that fall under those rules?”

WordPress: “Yes, but if the direct seller is continually linking back to their own domain to sell things, they will not be allowed. If the blog is purely information (with no intent to direct users elsewhere to buy things), that is perfectly okay.”

You can read all the rules here: http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

If you follow the strategy laid out in my courses and teachings, you SHOULD be OK.  You should not be highlighting specific products or opportunity, but instead should be giving practical, actionable content that people can use right now without spending a dime.  However you will NOT be allowed to include a link to your personal website based on WordPress’ interpretation of the rules.  Instead, you should have a place for people to sign up for your newsletter, and you can share the link to your website there.  Be aware, however, that WordPress.com will shut you down without notice if they decide your blog is in violation of their rules.

Please note that this does not apply to you if you are hosting your blog on your own domain.  However if you are using the free WordPress.com service, it is important to make sure you are in compliance.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email WordPress directly at support@wordpress.com.

What do you think about these rules?  Do you think the actions of a few “bad apples” is messing it up for the rest of us?  Is it fair?  Would love to read your thoughts below.
6 Responses to Important Information for WordPress.com Users
  1. Melody
    November 8, 2011 | 5:51 pm

    This isn’t something new Jennifer, one of my consultants had her wordpress.com blog shut down more than two years ago and she wasn’t overly promotional nor was she continually linking back to her own website to sell things.

    I was already aware of this but she somehow misunderstood and set up her blog there anyways and was terribly upset when it got shut down.

    I wouldn’t recommend wordpress.com to any direct sales consultant, you are far better off to invest in a domain name and use the self hosted version of the software from wordpress.org. It’s just not worth the risk!

    If paying for a domain and hosting isn’t an option there are many places you can setup your blog that don’t have these restrictions. Always read the terms of use very carefully before you start!

    By the way, MailChimp a popular, free newsletter or mailing list service provider doesn’t allow MLM or affiliate marketers to use their service either.
    Melody recently posted..Important Dates To Ensure Delivery For Christmas

  2. Patty Reiser
    November 30, 2009 | 9:27 pm

    It does not surprise me that WordPress is cracking down on this issue. Fortunately I made the move months ago to a self-hosted version of WordPress.
    And I use my blog as a tool for connecting with people and offering useful content. This focus has served me well thus far.

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