Many bloggers advocate, even preach on blog integrity. I’m not referring to those bloggers who offer honest blogging advice. I agree with those who condemn blogs created solely to make a buck; the blogs with hidden links, Trojan laced banners, and posts that are unreadable garble. I’m referring to the “holier than thou” bloggers who portray writing paid blog posts and sponsored reviews as dishonest garbage. No matter what or how well the post may be written the author has no integrity because they write for money?

Some of these blog authors go as far as to condemn writing about a product or service unless one has personally used or purchased it. Online research and review does not seem to be enough for many of these blog owners. They warn about being viewed as untrustworthy and not true to their readers.

I remember reading a guest post on one of my favorite blogs. (no names because it IS one of my favorites) The author named several services that pay bloggers for promoting and called them “good companies” only to say later how he would not write sponsored posts, recommend a business or service he wouldn’t promote to his best friends. Upon visiting his blog, there was a review of one of the aforementioned companies. He wrote how displeased he was with that company. I’m confused. Is it blog with integrity or hope to build a blog by guest posting and preaching on integrity? To make matters worse, I learned the same guy moved to promoting affiliate niches rather than blogging. His reason, takes too long to be successful (make money) with blogging.

To have integrity means honesty and uprightness; stand firm in your beliefs and principles, right. I do agree with great certainly, NO blogger should lie about a product, service, or website. Never should content be copied. Never. That said research and review are legitimate in my humble opinion, especially when the writer discloses such research was performed.

Paid links and sponsored posts present not only subject matter but also a means of economic survival for this midlife blogger. And, they pay for the monthly groceries, c’mon we gotta eat, right! Seriously, not being a writer, I find the hardest aspect of this venture to be integrating the topics. This post is an experiment of sorts. While the body is written about online teaching degrees as that was the assigned anchor text, I’m hoping to receive feedback on both my Blog with Integrity perspective and my assignment.

Online Education – One Solution for the Unemployable

Our company’s contracts dropped from one million plus in annual sales to just about one third that number in one year. This was unnerving, even agonizing at times. After working for 35 years, I filed for unemployment for the first time. My friends this was a depressing state of affairs and still remains, minus the checks. While collecting unemployment one must seek employment. It was 2008 when I first applied and I have yet to be hired. For the last 20 plus years, I worked alongside my husband, increasing our construction business. Keeping up to date on employment skills was not necessary.

My friend, who is older than I am, found herself in a similar same situation. She sought but did not secure employment even though she has additional skills and a verifiable work history. Being a rather large woman made it difficult for her to secure work, I am sorry to admit. People do discriminate even though they get around disclosing it. With unemployment being exhausted, she decided an online degree would improve her employability. After being accepted into an online college my friend secured the necessary grants and student loans to achieve a degree. Of course, like so many Baby Boomers she turned 62 during this process, making her eligible for social security thus providing her living expenses.

Inspired by her motivation and determination, I also looked into online education. Perhaps a certificate program might increase my chances of being employed. After all, I do find blogging, web design, and social media irresistible. Researching countless online programs related to blogging, basic web design, and even technical communications, I realized the affordable certificate programs were not the answer. Most schools that offered these programs did not accept federally funded grants or students loans. The curriculums seemed rather unnecessary. Free tutorials, proven reputable bloggers and our public library may well provide equivalent information.

Time was another factor that greatly influenced my decision. Unless one intends upon spending the time to achieve at least an associate degree or specific professional degree programs like online teaching degrees or perhaps a computer science degree, employability would not be realized rapidly enough to carry on. Since reaching midlife, and with more than twenty years invested in our company, I am simply not prepared to begin a new career. Moreover, eventually the construction market will prosper here. The baby boomers are retiring rapidly and Florida is a splendid place for retirement with no state taxes, beautiful beaches, reasonable cost of living, and many affordable senior communities.

While education may not be the answer for me personally, my friend has found it to be most rewarding. With a bit of retirement income, federal grants, and student loans, I am proud to say that she is now a college junior!

Feedback Questions

So my blog friends, is this a trustworthy post? Is it relevant to my midlife blog and the anchor text provided? Did I blog with integrity? Or is my perception self serving?