As my website has grown, I have started to receive multiple requests to advertise on my site. This certainly helps my ego and wallet. However, I just decided to turn down my first ad placement. The reason for turning it down was because I was unable to confirm the identity of the advertiser with the Better Business Bureau, let alone the advertiser's record with BBB.
I lost out on about $120. I then noticed that some of my previously arranged ads are with companies registered with the BBB. Of those not registered, I intend to let their ads expire without renewal unless I later find that they have registered and have a good reputation with BBB.
The other techniques I have previously used is simply to do a google link search to determine which other bloggers already have advertising agreements with the new advertiser approaching me. You can do this by simply going to the google search field and typing "link:websiteaddress" You'll then get a listing of all sites that link back to the advertiser who has approached you. Of course, this isn't fool proof. It only identifies whether or not the advertiser is trusted by others.
I have noticed that a number of other personal finance blogs may not be applying the BBB criteria. Regardless, I think this is the best course of action going forward.
Does anybody else use other criteria for blogger - marketer arranged ad agreements?