The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. Without your trust, the content I create would be absolutely meaningless. My driving force is to build helpful backpacking resources for my readers. That is my first and most important priority for every new video, post, or page I create.
Companies sometimes contact me and offer to pay for reviews of their products. I do not accept these types of deals because I feel they make it hard to provide an unbiased opinion, which is incredibly important to me. If I honestly feel that a company's product is worth a look, I will purchase the gear myself or ask for a sample to test.
Companies sometimes contact me and offer to pay for posting their content on my website (blog posts, articles, reviews, etc). I do not accept these types of deals. I am very careful about what I choose to publish on my website and social media channels. I am not in the business of promoting other people’s content for money. If an organization creates content that I truly feel would be beneficial to my audience, I will share it free of charge.
Sponsorship of Videos
When I first started out, I tried raising money by offering sponsorship on my tutorial videos. I was able to generate a small amount of funding for short ads at the beginning of my videos, but it quickly became apparent that many companies and organizations were not interested. At that point I started offering unpaid sponsorship to backpacking organizations that I wanted to support. I have not accepted any form of sponsorship payment since the release of my second video series and I do not plan to offer any sponsorship opportunities anytime in the near future.
Retailers will occasionally offer to send me gear samples so I can test them out. Sometimes they are loaner samples that I send back and sometimes I get to keep the item free of charge. I also buy a lot of backpacking gear with my own money. Every review I write has a disclosure statement at the bottom where I explain how I obtained the item. It should also be noted that I am very picky about accepting gear samples. I only write reviews for gear that I honestly feel will be beneficial for my audience.
The look and feel of my website is very important to me. That’s why I don’t sell advertising space on CleverHiker. I don’t like the look of websites that are cluttered with rotating advertising pictures all over the place. I find that type of content distracting and unsightly. So I will do my very best to keep CleverHiker free of annoying advertising tiles.
Some of the links on CleverHiker are affiliate links. Affiliate links are a way for me to earn a small commission from manufacturers when products are purchased through my referrals. There is no cost to my audience for this and I am actually able to negotiate lower rates for my readers sometimes. This type of marketing provides me with a way to pay for the expenses of my website without employing the use of unappealing advertising tiles.
CleverHiker.com is a completely independent resource. I have no contracts or paid relationships with any gear manufacturers or trail organizations that would compromise the integrity of my content. The content I create is based solely on my own experiences and opinions.
I hope you found this document useful for clarifying any questions you might have about the nature of my content. CleverHiker is a project I work on because I love backpacking and I expect very little in return. Outdoor adventure is near and dear to my heart and I created CleverHiker as a way to help share that love. I have worked very hard to make a website I'm proud of. I genuinely hope you find my resources useful and inspiring for your backcountry adventures.
Thank you so much for your support! Take care and happy hiking,
Owner of CleverHiker.com