Transparency is a good thing! I can’t believe that has to be said, but especially in the media sphere, it does. Doing something you like to do and getting paid for it in one capacity or another is generally a good thing. Obscuring important details about that compensation from readers is not a good thing.
If I use “c/o,” I use it to mean “courtesy of.” This means I did not pay money for the thing.
If I use “sponsored” or “ad,” it means the post itself was paid for. This usually happens in conjunction with not paying money for the thing.
If I use affiliate links, I will tell you.
If I don’t think something is good – whether it’s an experience or a product or something else – I will not tell you that it is good.
I make an effort before agreeing to work with companies to research them. If something about their values or product doesn’t feel right to me, I won’t work with them.