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?
You are so wonderful to post This! I have been reading healthy living blogs since 2008, and boy have they changed! Although it’s fun to see bloggers develop their photography skills and writing skills, it is super Duper annoying when they lose their personality and become sponsored post machines.
Just the fact that you asked us to give your sponsored posts a chance completely makes me want to do just that. I think you are the first blogger I have read who actually asked me to do that, and I really appreciate that.
So glad you wrote about this! I also am really glad that you try to keep your sponsored posts limited. Thanks for writing this post!
Danielle @ LMYR says
Seriously, a well written post. And honestly, a sponsored post for a product you love isn’t all that different than chatting with friends and telling them about a great new find that they should check out. I will admit when there is a sponsored post about something I have absolutely in interest in, I’ll toss it aside and wait until a new post. But I’ve found so many new to me products because of blogger reviews!
I’m always so aggravated by people who complain about sponsored posts. If I were putting so much time into a blogging, I would want to have some sort of compensation too. I appreciate your blog and I’m happy to read sponsored posts!
John J. Stathas says
Well said with transparency and integrity. You are so open which is one of the reasons you are so read and respected – and enjoyed! A few sponsored a month seems reasonable and informative.
I 100% appreciate this post and love the way you worded it. I actually really like sponsored posts as it gives me an opportunity to look at the latest products from the states, I live in Australia and I learnt about food-based multivitamins from you which I really liked.
I was just wondering, and I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious because it’s not supposed to, you have such a wide readership from a lot of countries, I was wondering if you’d ever consider international giveaways?
I love your blog nonetheless though
Brittany Dixon says
Thanks Emily! And I’m still up for a house swap one day haha- I’d LOVE to visit Australia. Thanks for the comment about international giveaways. I will begin asking more companies about it. If they sell product in those countries, I’d think it would make perfect sense. I will look more into it- thanks!
Hello from Queensland, Australia 🙂 Another down to earth, well written post – I’ve read your blog for the last 4 or so years (my two kids are close in age to your girls), and love how honest you are. Being in Australia too, international giveaways would be amazing to enter!
Nikos Mama says
Recently I’ve noticed several of the blogs I read regularly have started becoming more & more about a product review or contest/giveaway rather than about the content & subjects that got me reading them in the first place. I’ve actually stopped reading a couple bc of this & there’s 2 more I’m thinking about dropping from my “favorites” list. I completely understand the need to make $$ but when the majority of posts are sponsored the content starts to feel so much less authentic and honest!
I love that you are aware how your readers may feel about these kinds of posts and that you actually care ha!
Everything you said above is spot on!!
I get sponsor posts and think bloggers totally deserve to be compensated, but I admit that I don’t always enjoy reading the posts and often roll my eyes at them. Especially if it is something I have tried and didn’t like or if the blogger pushes a sponsor post ever other day. I also hate it when there seems to be a blog flash mob for a certain product, with every blogger under the sun suddenly telling me how great a product it. Things like that really make me distrustful of the sponsor and lose trust in their judgement because if you need to push your product that hard how great can the product really be? Kind of like drug advertisement- if a drug is really that great and a blockbuster it sells itself; if there was a drug that cured cancer you wouldn’t need to see it advertised on TV.
Another big part of the sponsor post for me is how it is written. There is a fine line between telling people about a product you genuinely like and writing a post that seems totally forced. I appreciate a little good with the bad and get distrustful when someone never has anything negative to say about the product or goes way over the top praising it. More an issue with other bloggers than you, Brittany, as I do appreciate your open and honest post about sponsor posts.
Brittany- I totally appreciate you putting this out there as well as your honesty and integrity. I do trust and respect you so with that I will certainly give your sponsor posts a chance:)
Brittany Dixon says
Thank you so much. I really appreciate the genuine feedback and I will keep it in mind as I move forward, especially what you said about over the top praising. I tend to get excited and gushy, but I do need to remember I am reviewing something and keep some perspective.
I like reading your sponsored posts. I think your honest and that you review most things im interested in 🙂 I like learning and reading about new products, so dont have any shame in your game! You do a great job with this blog!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables says
I’m so glad you wrote about this! I have the same feelings… I’m super picky about what I post about, yet I want to post to help offset costs. It’s a catch 22, but when you explain it like you did… it really makes it less offensive.
Marnie @ SuperSmartMama says
As usual, I love the honesty of your blog, which is part of why I come back regularly. I have to admit, I don’t really care for sponsored posts, but then again, I’ve never written one on my life (or had the option to), so if I had a chance to be in your shoes, I’d probably feel alot like all the reasons you’ve mentioned.
If the sponsored post is for an item I would have tried out or looked into anyway, I’m very likely to read the post, but, like commercials for things I know I would never buy, I will skip a post if it is about a sponsored product I have no interest in.
I hope my honest reply helps! Thanks again for being so open with your readers!
Brittany Dixon says
Honest, respectful replies always help! I truly appreciate feedback, so thank you!
Parita @ myinnershakti says
So while I don’t get as many opportunities or pitches as you probably do, I still research each and every one that comes my way before saying yes. In fact, I was asked to review a product a few months ago, and after reading up on it, I said yes. Well, I got the product and hated it. It honestly tasted disgusting. I emailed the contact and told her about my opinion and experience (in a nice way of course) and asked her if she still wanted me to blog about it…honestly! She said no so I didn’t even mention it on the blog.
I just feel like your blog should be a reflection of you, so why agree to do/accept things and then write about them if they don’t fit who you are. I guess that’s why I love your blog – the things you write about seem like they genuinely excite you (even sponsored posts!).
Good for you posting this!! I’ve been reading blogs since 2009 and it’s been interesting (and sometimes frustrating) to see how they have changed over that time. I’m the first to say that I don’t mind sponsored posts, or bloggers making money off of their blog but what does get frustrating is when all other content is lost and it seems they take on any opportunity to make money even when it doesn’t fit their brand, lifestyle or opinion even. I’ve seen good blogs all too often go this route and that’s when I stop reading honestly.
But this, this is one of the most upfront, honest and transparent posts I’ve ever seen from a bloggers perspective about sponsored posts and I give you a lot of credit for that. It’s clear that you are picky about the sponsored posts you take on and they truly do seem to be brands and things that fit the lifestyle of you and your family. I think a couple of posts a month is a great idea, provides your readers with new companies they may never have heard about, and allows you to make some money too. I’m totally ok with that.
And as a side note, I’ll add this post and your opinion about this whole subject to one of the very many reasons your blog is one of my favorites.
Katie Harding says
Totally appreciate this, I too struggle with how many sponsored posts to do each month and I think it’s good to set a limit for yourself. I also think its extremely important to be HONEST about your review of said product because our readers genuinely rely on our opinions, I’m with you girl!
Madeline Caldwell says
Great post…said from a marketer no less! 🙂
Brittany Dixon says
Now that’s a compliment! 😉 Thanks!
This post is exactly why you are one of my favorite bloggers!!! You are honest and respectful of your readers, and we appreciate it. I always enjoy reading your blog (even the sponsored posts, b/c I relate to the types of products you post about). I also really appreciate how you are very transparent about whether or not you received a product in exchange for the post, or whether or not you include affiliate links. My #1 pet peeve is when bloggers don’t disclose that they are using affiliate links, and that they will receive compensation if I click on their link. I wish all bloggers were as upfront as you!
I appreciate that you put so much thought and consideration into this post! We all value your integrity and I personally think you should be compensated for your work. What bothers me the most about sponsored posts is when they try NOT to seem sponsored. It’s one thing to have a product fit into your life and interests in an organic way, but some bloggers try to slide in sponsored posts in an organic way and it just feels sneaky. I’m very much for disclaiming the sponsorship at the beginning of the post and not the end just so there’s no feeling of being tricked halfway through reading it. I read your blog daily and will continue to do so, even if I skip over the sponsored posts every once in a while. I think it’d be interesting to do something different with them too – to review not just one product but if you get a few pitches for similar products, try them all and do a comparison post, or a “Better and Best” post, or rating system…something, anything to make it different than the “commercials” in paragraph form we read on a lot of other blogs!
Brittany Dixon says
Thanks so much for the feedback Jessica! I usually disclose at the end of the post, but you bring up a great point about disclosing at the beginning. I will definitely take note of that and apply it to future sponsored content.
Love the comparison idea too. Again, thanks!
I agree with the other commenters. I actually thought of one blog in particular that I never read anymore because 99% of her posts are product reviews. But I appreciate that you have some and only limited ones. I read them and love the way you present them because it’s never just about the product but about how that product has enriched or fit into your life. You’re a fantastic writer and I think the majority of your readers will agree that you’ve done a great job wording your feelings and stance on sponsored posts and on incorporating them into the blog without letting them take it over and hiding your voice.
I didn’t have enough coffee this morning, when I read “pledge” i thought you were going to tell us about pledge cleaning stuff! And I was confused..
Mrs FF says
I love this very honest post. Sponsored post don’t bother me as long as they relate to what the blogger writes about normally. Imagine a guy writing a review about female sanitary products ( you get my line of thought) and it’s not a everyday thing. And on give aways what I don’t like is when you have to tweet, then post, then link to, then follow just to win an item!
Otherwise my thought is if you don’t like what is being said or written close it and don’t read on
Yay! Thank you for this post…no need for a pounding heart! I appreciate you putting your thinking, and reasoning out there. I also appreciate your ratio of sponsored posts to normal blog posts. Anyways…I more than appreciate the honesty.
Thanks for your honesty. I don’t mind some sponsored posts; I know bloggers need to cover their costs and why shouldn’t they make some money? I only have a problem when the majority of posts are sponsored, like three out of five posts. If someone is doing that many sponsored posts, I wonder how much I’m hearing of their true voice or life. Keep up the great work; even though I don’t have that much in common (middle-aged, no kids) with you, I really enjoy reading about your family and life!
Urban Wife says
Well said!! I’m so glad you wrote so honestly and transparently about this topic. It seriously makes me enjoy reading your blog that much more! Blogs have changed a lot since I started reading back in 2009 and there’s a reason I know only have a small (less than 15) handful of blogs I read. I do understand that blogging even as a hobby is having a part time or even full time job so am on board with tasteful and relevant sponsored content. Plus after all, at the end of the day I think it’s the reader’s responsibility to choose whether or not to read a certain blog and if sponsored content bothers them, they don’t have to read! Thank you for all the hard work and effort you put into your blog! 🙂
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says
I usually don’t enjoy sponsored posts at all. As some other readers have said, I’ve considered/stopped reading blogs who have too many or only talk about their cookbooks. Is that super mean? I know they put tons of time and effort into their cookbooks but constantly reading about writing a cookbook is so uninteresting to me. Especially the book tours (I know! I’m a mean person!). Anyway, I’ve NEVER minded your sponsored posts. You always do them in such a way that it doesn’t even feel sponsored. Plus, you do them minimally that it’s not even a big deal. To be honest, I read MOST of your sponsored posts, but if the product doesn’t catch my attention, I’ll skim through it and be done.
Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojo says
Great post! Personally I have never shied away from sponsored posts on your blog because for one, they do not show up every day, but also because you write them so well! I like seeing at the top of the post whether its sponsored or not, so that I know what’s coming, but then reading a little bit about your family or the day you’ve had, some sort of personal anecdote before you get to the product instead of just a “billboard in my face.” All my fav bloggers write sponsored posts with this format, and I don’t mind at all! I do try and click the affiliate links as well, even if I can’t buy what’s being sold. We’re all out there trying to make a living, why not support each other as much as we can?!
I read a lot of HLBs (yours being a favorite!) and My biggest pet peeve with sponsored posts is when the same product makes the rounds over and over (Stitchfix and Blue Apron come to mind.) If a lot of other popular bloggers have reviewed it first, I’m not really being introduced to anything new. And if it’s the 20th time I’ve seen a post for it, it gets annoying. Just being honest!
Totally agree about Stitchfix and Blue Apron. My biggest issues with those two in particular wasn’t so much that they were everywhere, but that the reviews weren’t totally honest. While the bloggers may have liked the services VERY few of them said anything negative and there are negatives, like the cost. Both are pretty pricey. I tried Stitchfix once and while it was fun to try different styles and is cool concept it was very clear that you were paying a huge mark-up on the items. I likened it to buying full-prices items at Loft when in reality everything is always on sale and no one ever pays full price. Same goes for Blue Apron- fun concept and may pluses- but negatives would include- price and waste in packaging. I had huge respect for the few bloggers i read who actually pointed out the things they didn’t like about Blue Apron.
Brittany Dixon says
Yes, great points! I, too, have seen those everywhere. I still get stitch fix boxes and go back and forth on whether to share them or not, so that’s helpful input! I’ll be honest, I really want to try Blue Apron, haha 🙂 I do love your point about pointing out the positives and negatives though. I will keep that in mind for future reviews I do.
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says
This post is one of the many reasons I respect and admire you so much as a blogger! Keep doing YOU!
As a blogger myself, sponsored posts are tough. They definitely have their pluses and minuses, so I think a good balance is key. I know for me, it’s sometimes hard because it seems like they all come due at the same time. So for me, figuring out how to space them out is sometimes challenging. But I ALWAYS stand by the fact that I will never write about something I don’t like or that doesn’t support my way of life.
Thanks for keeping it real! xo
Sponsored posts don’t bother me like they do some people. I’d be much more likely to read a sponsored post (if the blogger really did like the item) than I would a give-away post.
Very well-written post. Personally, I don’t mind sponsored posts if they’re done right. I won’t read a blog in which every other post seems to be a review of an item, and I also don’t like posts that feel sneaky – when I’m reading a post where suddenly – BAM. Poor product placement. I have actually found many sponsored posts to be useful, though. I’ve discovered some good food brands and some great baby products as well. While I don’t have sponsored posts on my blog (it’s just a small blog), if I decide to try and expand my readership in the future, I would take a similar approach.
Joanna @Makingmine says
Great post! Until I started blogging myself, I didn’t realize all of the expenses involved with starting and maintaining a blog. I honestly do not mind sponsored content because it usually introduces me to something new. That being said, I think you’re right about maintaining a healthy balance of regular vs. sponsored posts. It starts to feel a little less genuine when a blogger is only writing about paid topics.
Thanks for your honesty about sponsored posts! I was thinking about this topic a few days ago and how I’ve stopped reading A LOT of blogs lately because they went from fun, interesting, day in the life reads, to almost half sponsored posts. I personally seek out blogs that talk about life in general and are ones that I can relate to. I see enough commercials every day that I just don’t want to see them on my favorite blogs, which sometimes I feel like sponsored posts are exactly that: commercials.
The blogs that write sponsored posts from all natural food companies and then the next day are writing about Oreos are the ones that drive me up the wall. I have a hard time finding authenticity on those types of blogs.
All this long-windedness to say that I appreciate how you keep yours to a minimum and you do really pick sponsored posts that fit into your family’s lifestyle. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts!
Thank you so much for being honest about these kinds of posts. I will say that your blog is one of the few where it is obvious you develop working relationships with your sponsors, and that you use them frequently. And I also appreciate how responsive you are to your readers! I think yours is one of two blogs total I like to comment on 🙂
A question – why not post a negative review, if your experience was negative? I would find that equally as helpful as a great review, since it’s all information that goes into making a decision to purchase. I’d be really interested if you tried a green cleaning product and it was awful, and then I’d know to look more closely at a different cleaning product you might review a few months from that post, you know? Stuff like that. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Thanks!
Brittany Dixon says
Thanks for the comment and great point! For me, I only go back to the rep and tell them about a negative experience if I truly have nothing positive to say about the product. It doesn’t fit my character or feel helpful to write an entire post focused on bashing a singular product. However, you are right, I could totally share some things I’ve tried that didn’t work for me in a candid/respectful way. I actually love that idea, so thank you for bringing it up!
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the sponsored posts but I see the need and purpose of them.
But when YOU write sponsored posts I don’t mind them as much because you have a great way of presenting a product you like while being completely honest about what you don’t like. It’s never a sell, but always an honest review. And I LOVE that you never try to hide when it’s sponsored.
I don’t mind your sponsored posts. Because as you said you limit them to 10 percent of your content. I too, have quit reading other blogs because 50 percent were sponsored posts. I love how candid you are and sometimes I get good ideas of new products to try. If it is something I would never think of using I just skip reading that particular post for the day and come back the next day. I must say that I do agree with some of the other comments that it does get really annoying when a lot of bloggers do a post on a particular product and it gets repetitive, example the Blue Apron and Stitchfix. When that happens and say you are the 3rd person reviewing it I will skip that post entirely because at that point I am bored.
Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy says
Girl, you are RIGHT on! I was planning to write something similar, as I am starting to get more pitches (I decline most of them). I may just link to this with an “AMEN”…LOL!
Blogging does cost money, and take up precious time. And I am not sure (non-blogging) readers understand just how much. So it is tempting to accept some of those offers that are not really your favorite. But! If there is one thing I have learned it is to protect my readers FIRST.
Trust is The Most Important Currency in internet world. Like you say, if it is not something that I love, use or potentially spend my own money on…I am not putting it in front of my audience. Honest opinions are non-negotiable for me too.
Frequency is important too, and I like how you address this. There are some blogs that are heavily sponsored, and honestly I just quit reading. I have never gotten that feeling here.
Most of the time I enjoy learning about a new (to me) product that I might try or look into from your sponsored posts. And I am happy to support your blog by entering give-aways, commenting, etc. Because I SEE and KNOW how much time and effort you put in. Keep up the good work! Right on sister!
I know. I will say it again…. I KNOW that when you review a product you are honest. I know you in real life (in person, at your house, at the park, at preschool) and I know you are being honest. So, with that FACT, I don’t mind your sponspored/review of product posts at all. And I do believe I would be willing to read one a week from you…. Because reviews of products from people I know, trust and love are what gets me to try new things.
Keeping on writing and reviewing, girl!
Brittany Dixon says
You’re the best Al! <3
Thanks for this post! I really enjoy reading your blog, appreciate that it’s not free to run & think you should get compensation for your work!
I have a 4 month old, and like reading sponsored posts that you are able to easily incorporate into your regular routine (foods – especially those for kiddos), and like when you tell about why you chose to accept the sponsorship from that product.
Ashley M (never)homemaker says
Amen, girl. I’ve been thinking all these things, and I like seeing something out there about it. I get that pimping products isn’t cool if you’re all disingenuous about it — but there’s a healthy balance. <3
Sarah S says
I don’t mind sponsored posts here and there and I often find new products this way! But I can not stand when a blog becomes entirely made up of them, which has happened to a few blogs I have followed. It’s sad and the blog becomes very impersonal. More like a commercial than catching up with a friend. Keep doing what you are doing, I love your blog!
Hi! I will admit that sponsored posts aren’t usually my favorites, but I can totally appreciate why they’re necessary for your income & appreciate that you limit the quantity. They can also be informative & interesting & tell your readers about cool new products to try. The only thing that kind of rubbed me wrong about this post, tho, was that you would contact a sponsor & offer to cancel a contract if you didn’t like their product. If you’re being transparent & honest about your sponsored posts & the company hasn’t “purchased a positive rating”, then shouldn’t you be reporting on ALL the products you review? Perhaps your readers would be just as interested to hear about a product you don’t recommend.
Completely agree with this too! If you’re really being transparent, let us know when you’ve had a bad experience so we can avoid something like this in the future! I’ve never seen a blogger do this and I would appreciate it way more than a positive post!
Brittany Dixon says
Hey Julie and Lindsey! Thanks for your comment. Hm, you’ve really made me think about this one. When I’ve gone back to a rep it’s only been when I have nothing positive to say about the product (usually it is a food item like a bar, which I just can’t stomach). I guess I wasn’t able to see how it would be useful to write an entire post bashing a product. However that being said, I do see your point and think I might try a post in the future where I highlight some items I’ve tried and haven’t loved. I definitely see how that may be helpful as well.
In my reviews, I do my best (though I might sometimes fall short and I will work on it) of pointing out negatives I see too. For example, I LOVE my Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller, but did point out that the BOB is a superior jogging stroller if that’s what a person is buying it solely for.
I appreciate your feedback a lot and will definitely keep it in mind for future reviews. I did not realize that negative feedback may serve to be helpful as well, so you’ve given me a lot to think about- thank you!
Well said and thank you for addressing the elephant in the Healthy Living Blogger room. Obviously I trust you and don’t mind sponsored posts because if you recommend something. I know you are doing it in a truthful way. It’s just like a friend telling me “Hey, did you see ___ from Target! I tried it and it’s awesome!”. And I’d like to think that we have similar tastes in things (like Shaklee and chips and salsa).
I understand/appreciate that bloggers need sponsors posts. You deserve some compensation – as you said costs add up!
I do think it depends on how they are written and the frequency of them. I agree with an above reader some blogs have so much sponsored content now it’s almost commercial.
I have to admit I’m never as excited to read a sponsored blog post as I am a regular post however I don’t find your sponsored posts annoying because you don’t do them all the time and they always come across as genuine.
Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! says
I so appreciate your honesty and transparency in this post. As a blog reader, I honestly never mind sponsored posts. I have honestly learned about some of my favorite products through sponsored posts. I also feel like I trust the blogs I read enough (like yours) to know you wouldn’t say you liked something if you really didn’t. I trust sponsored posts about products WAY more than I trust TV advertising or magazine ads.
you took the words out of my mouth. 100% agree with all of this. we get inundated with requests and while it’s hard to say no to a lot of them, some of them are just downright weird! i’m blown away by how many companies reach out that have NOTHING to do with my blog. or those who want me to add an infographic to my next blog posts…uhh what no. delete. most of the companies i’ve worked with in the past are so great, and i continue to work with them for that reason. they are patient, kind, and understand that we are busy busy!! i try to limit mine to once a week MAX. i love new products and sharing my findings, but i totally agree that i only share stuff that i love and want my readers to enjoy. otherwise we lose credibility!
Great post Brittany! Thanks for sharing these details : )
Brittany Dixon says
Thanks Kath! 🙂
Jillian @ Baby Doodah! says
Brittany – as a blogger who writes sponsored posts on occasion, I appreciate your complete honesty in this post. I right there with you, has to be a quality product that I really and truly love and it can’t happen too frequently.
I really am in love with this post. Thank you for writing it!
Lani Yearicks (@armytbonegirl) says
I love reading your (and other bloggers) sponsored posts! Oftentimes it lets me know about a product that I may not have heard of before or gives me more info about a product that I’ve heard of a little but have been curious about. (Now to get myself blogging more and get me some stuff to review. . .)
I completely agree with Niko’s Mama’s comment above. I too have dropped a number of my favorite blogs from my reading list due to an increased number of sponsored posts. I appreciate your honesty and always look forward to your posts, especially the ones on toddler meals since I have a little one year old of my own.
No worries! Do what you have to do to support your family! As long as you keep the sponsored things relevant to your blog topics (which you do) I don’t see a problem 🙂
I agree with what everyone has said here and I also want to thank you for your honesty. Also – I agree that I wouldn’t mind seeing some negative reviews too. It’s helpful to know what products to avoid….
I honestly don’t mind it. Sometimes I discover great new products, sometimes I just skim through it, and see if anything pops out at me. I want to be a full-time blogger one day, so I’m hoping by reading sponsored content, I can learn more about the business end of blogging.
Thank you so much for this post!! I’ve been blogging for a little over a year and have done some sponsored posts, but always get worried people will roll their eyes when they see them. But from my standpoint, I’m excited to work with brands and try out products I’m interested in. 🙂
Lindsey @ SimplyLindsey says
Thank you for being so transparent! I actually enjoy sponsored posts when they are in line with the blog I’m reading. It’s so weird to me when I go to a healthy living blog and find them doing a giveaway for an unhealthy weight loss product! I handle reviews on my blog similarly actually! I only review what I am passionate about and would think my readers would be interested in based on the subject matter that my blog covers. Thanks for sharing how you handle products that you didn’t end up liking, I’ve been curious how to handle that politely!
Heather @ Housewife Glamour says
This is great, Brittany! Thank you so much for writing this. I feel the same way you do on a lot of these points. I hate accepting too many sponsored posts at the same time, but sometimes they just all roll in at the same time. That’s the worst. Loved the pledge! Like you, I only accept a very small percentage of what I’m offered, and I always ask for a giveaway. I try my best to include something else for my readers too… like a workout with workout gear, or recipe with an ingredient campaign (ex: maple syrup), so they feel like it’s not all billboards when sponsored content does appear. Great post!
Danica @ It's Progression says
You said this SO well – I agree with it all, both from a reader’s perspective and a blogger’s!
Megan @ Meg Go Run says
I usually do not read sponsored posts because they just don’t interest me at all. Your post ABOUT sponsored posts interested me though, haha. I have never written a sponsored post. People have contacted me but I don’t feel like reviewing a product. My blog does not cost any money to have, so it’s not like it would offset the costs or anything. I certainly put a lot of time into it, but it is time I enjoy. I know it is a very big commitment to try to make money off a blog and I already have a full time job and a part time job… just can’t do one more job!
I don’t really mind sponsored posts – to a point. I realize there is a time and place for them and I’m sure if I could make money off of talking about things I like too I would. My thing with them is that they are always positive reviews and so as a reader it seems like bloggers just say all these nice things about products because they are paid to. Does that make sense? I understand not wanting to say something negative about a product but that’s what people do – we talk about what we like and we talk about what we don’t like. So when all we read is how wonderful everything is and not knowing about the products you don’t like or turned down than it seems a little more forced/fake – I know it’s not, but I can’t exactly figure out how to say what I mean.
I support your decision to do sponsored posts. You’re honest and fair about what you decide to endorse and put your name to and as there is the practical side of operating expenses for keeping this blog going, this seems like a no-brainer. You work hard to make this blog enjoyable and readable and, like anyone else working for a living, deserve to be compensated as such.