Sponsored posts. It’s enough to make you roll your eyes and click the ‘x’ button, right? I get it. I am a blog reader too. However, I have the advantage of seeing the other side of the coin as well.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about the subject of sponsored posts and want to do away with the secrecy, shame and uncomfortable silence that goes along with them. I figured the best way to do that is to talk to you guys about them.
First, for those that don’t care that much about blogging and just swing by to check out what is going on- hi! And you probably won’t care much about this post. For those that read a lot of blogs and understandably get annoyed seeing every other post sponsored by XYZ, this is for you.
First, a sponsored post (by my own definition) is a post I am commissioned to write for a brand or product. Usually it’s very open ended in terms of what I’d like to do with it and I am NEVER compensated to give a specific (positive) opinion. Wonder why the products I talk about all seem to be pretty great? Because if I try a product for a sponsored post and don’t like it, I contact the rep and tell them I did not have a positive experience. I give them the choice for me to post honestly about it or to cancel the contract. Obviously they usually go with the latter. If I do like a product but maybe have a few small issues with it, I will post those in my review. I do my best to be completely candid.
Bloggers each decide for themselves how many sponsored posts to do, which ones to take and how to present them. Why are so many bloggers doing them? Because honestly it’s the only way to make money with blogging. OK, not the only way, but from my limited knowledge, it’s one of the main forms of income. Now I’m not going to get all preachy about how I DESERVE TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE I PUT TIME AND EFFORT INTO THIS BLOG. I certainly do do that, a lot of time and effort, but I also get so much out of it personally and love the community we’ve built here (that means you guys). However, blogging does cost money. Between domain registration, hosting, tech help (I’m so bad at that stuff), equipment, blog design, etc, it can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year to run a blog.
So, it’s nice to make some money to support my hobby and if the income outweighs the expenses, I’m great with that too! Still, I believe there is some integrity to maintain in doing so. And in that vein, I’ve put together a list of promises to you about what you can expect from sponsored content around here.
1. Sponsored posts will be limited. I usually try to keep sponsored content to 2 posts a month max. That’s less than 10% of my blog writing. To do that, I’m REALLY picky about what I agree to. I get a lot of pitches each week in my inbox and say no to 99% of them.
2. All sponsored posts will be about products I am genuinely excited about using and fit my lifestyle organically. Sometimes I wonder how some pitches find their way to me. People want me to write about marathon training (um… the furthest I’ve ever ran is a 10k) and cookie diets (I’m not that big on cookies and write almost everyday about how crazy diets aren’t for me)? Have they read my blog? But health foods, fun drinks, fitness apparel and gadgets, baby/kid items, travel opportunities, household helpers, fashion help, anything family related— YES. Let me check ‘em out!
3. I will be transparent when a post is sponsored. I promise I’m not trying to pull a fast one on anybody. I won’t be sneaky. I’ll tell you if I was sent a product to try, I’ll post clearly if a post is sponsored and I’ll answer questions you have honestly. I will stick to this to the absolute best of my ability and if you ever wonder if something is sponsored or an affiliate link, ask! I’m happy to be clear about it all.
4. I’m always trying to get something for you guys too. In all my sponsored content I inquire about a giveaway. After all, if I like the product, I want you to be able to try it too!
However, there is something I’d like to ask of you in return.
Please give the sponsored post a chance. I try really hard to make it something useful or entertaining for you and like I mentioned above, I only work with brands that I’ve researched, talked to and like. If you like the product, say so! If you have a question about it, ask it! Feel free to engage. When I do post a sponsored post, I’m not trying to take a day off of blogging and put a billboard in your face, I promise.
And at the end of the day, if you just plain hate sponsored content, that’s OK too. But please keep in mind that I’m not getting rich off of them (though I’d be lying if I said I’d mind that). Again, I genuinely like the products/brands/people I work with and they do help support this little internet space of mine. So by reading the post, clicking over to see the product’s site or leaving a comment with feedback, you are supporting me and I can’t tell you how grateful I am of that from the bottom of my heart.
At the end of the day, I hope this post was presented in a good light, as it certainly was my intent. My goal is to be transparent with you about some of the behind-the-scenes action. If you ever have a question about how I’m doing things, ask me. I am an open book!
To sum it up, I respect you guys and consider you friends (whether you find that creepy or not is up to you…) so I promise to treat you as such.
Now as my heart pounds as I push publish…
As a blog reader, what do you think of sponsored content?
If you have a blog yourself, how do you handle sponsored posts?