At Istanbul Insider I want to inform you, future Istanbul tourists, as good as I can. I try to help you prepare your trip by providing relevant information. This can be an overview of available services or options (e.g. public transportation), a personal opinion (e.g. should I get a museum pass), local advice (e.g. avoid common tourist scams), and reviews (e.g. Istanbul aquarium).
Regardless the type of information, it has always been my own choice to write about a certain topic. Similarly, it always reflects my personal opinion or point of view. I have that luxury, simply because I’m an expat who loves writing in his free time. I’m on no one’s payroll.
Free for You, Not for Me
As you probably have noticed, I provide all the information on Istanbul Insider for free. However, keeping this website up and running costs quite a bit of money. A regular shared hosting account does not accommodate serving thousands of users and pages on a daily basis. That’s why I have to run a small amount of ads and keep an open mind towards sponsored reviews.
Difference Between Regular and Sponsored Review?
When I review something, it always goes something like this:
- I visit a certain place or use the service of a certain company.
- I make notes, take pictures, get as much information as possible, and talk to the owners if possible.
- Back home, I evaluate whether the experience could be useful for tourists like you.
- If the answer is yes, not too much later you’ll be able to read about it on Istanbul Insider.
The big difference between a regular and sponsored review is that, for a sponsored review, I am invited by the owners to review their product or service. However, this does not mean that I accept every invitation nor that every experience ends up with an actual review:
- I carefully consider and evaluate every invitation I get, focusing on added value for tourists.
- Not every experience end up with a review. If it was a bad experience, I don’t write a review.
- If I think the experience is something my readers may like or want to know about, I write the review.
- Every review reflects my thoughts and experiences, unbiased and in all honesty. It’s not because it’s a sponsored review that I will hold back information or make things look better than they actually are. This would compromise my and the website’s integrity and trustworthy. I still write what you want and need to know!
- Every sponsored review, just as any other piece of content on the website, is re-reviewed at least annually.
- Every sponsored page is marked as such. Keep in mind that 99,9% of the content on Istanbul Insider is not sponsored.
Do I Receive a Reward for a Sponsored Review?
Yes, I do. First of all, let’s not forget that I take time out of my own schedule to experience what it is they have to offer. Time which I could have spent differently, certainly if it ends up being a bad experience. Secondly, as a token of appreciation, after writing the review I may receive occasional free use of their service or a small one-time fee.
A sponsored review has the same informational weight and value as a regular review. Both are personally written by me to provide you with useful, truthful Istanbul travel advice.