Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Few Thoughts On Sponsored Posts




I've been doing some thinking lately about this whole blogging thing, and how my feelings about it can change on an hourly basis. Lets all be honest: It can be a LOT of work, am I right? But at the end of the day, I will forever love this space and the people I've met and the relationships that have been formed because of it. The blogging friendships that have grown through this space and all of your spaces make showing up for blog class worth it, day in and day out. Truth is, I'd be a little sad if I wasn't here, sharing my life with all my "online friends" and catching glimpses of your life as well.

Today, I want to chat. I want you to feel free to share your opinions, your thoughts and beliefs and tell me what you think. I've been thinking about what sometimes is the elephant in the room: Sponsored Posts. There are undoubtedly a lot of opinions about sponsored posts, so tell me, what do you think about them?

If I had to guess, I would bet that many of you have spent significant money and time investing in your blog. I know I have. This hobby of mine has turned into so much more than just a place to word vomit all my thoughts. And I am in the camp that if you can make a little bit of money doing what you love, then why not?

Here are some guidelines I use when working with brands and participating in campaigns:

1. I try and do a maximum of one sponsored post a week-my goal is to have no more than 20% of my blog be sponsored content. I know that as a reader, we all want fresh, original content on the blogs we love so I try very hard to deliver that.

2. I ask myself "Would I really use/buy this product?" If the answer is no, then I am not going to promote it on my blog. I want to be authentic and real, and I want you to know if I tell you something is great, I REALLY think that something is great. I think as bloggers, its easy to start seeing dollar signs and not step back and evaluate whether a product/service is a good fit for our blog.

3. I try and make every sponsored post have a fresh, original and relevant tie in to my life and blog. I definitely evaluate this when I consider doing a paid opportunity on my blog: Does this even make sense for my blog? For instance, I probably won't be reviewing any baby toys or products designed for mommy bloggers considering I'm not a mom! I think its totally do able to still write fresh, original content while promoting a certain brand or product, you just have to be creative!

What do you think? Do you have any rules or guidelines you follow when you work with brands? As a reader, do you hate, love or tolerate sponsored posts? What makes them more bearable for you?


12 comments:

  1. Love this Brittany! I think it is hard to decide what to do about sponsored posts, but as someone else who does them I totally get where you are coming from. I really view it as an opportunity to be a middleman, and connect my unique readers to unique products that I love and think they will too. And like you said, if you can make money while blogging (without that being the ultimate goal) then why not! Thanks for sharing your thoughts friend!

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  2. Those are great guidelines! My pet peeves are when I see the same post over and over again because a company reached out to a lot of the same types of bloggers who have a similar audience. I don't need to see the same cheesy line over and over again, I honestly won't even click on a link that is overdone.

    I love it when sponsored posts are fresh and you can tell the writer actually enjoyed the product and is speaking from the heart :)

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  3. These are great guidelines! Most brands ask that your blog be only 20% sponsored content anyway, so that is definitely a good one! Sponsored content is sometimes a tough thing! I know I struggle with making sure my ideas are something that I would typically write with the product/business kind of woven in (if that makes sense). I, personally, don't mind reading sponsored posts as long as I can tell that they aren't just like "oh, yeah, this is super awesome go buy it" and have actually tried to come up with a good idea, etc.! I don't know if that makes sense, but I hope it does, haha!

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  4. Great post Brittany! I love your 20% rule and I think I'm gonna start sticking to that as well. About a year ago I definitely fell prey to how easy it is to accept all of the sponsorship opportunities that come your way. Recently, I've gotten a lot better about only saying yes to the ones that are a perfect fit!

    It can be really hard finding a balance, but I know that as a reader, the less weird/cheesy sponsored content the better! (unless it means you're writing an extra cool post because you were given the resources to do so)

    I love how much your blog has grown even since I created the design, keep up the awesome work girl! I love it!!!

    xoxo
    Whit

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  5. As a reader I hate seeing sponsors post all the time. Once in a blog moon is okay. There a blogger who I follower who has 3 sponsor post a day. Which I just look to see what it is and leave.

    As a blogger I do couple sponsor 2 or 3 times a month. Some times less then that. I also make sure the items work with my blog.

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  6. I totally agree with all of your guidelines! It can totally turn me off to a blog if most of the posts are sponsored. Great post idea!

    www.madeintheshadeblog.com

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  7. I definitely turn down products/companies if they don't align with something I like/believe in. It would be easy to accept money and free stuff every chance you get, but then my blog would just be crap, and not a real reflection of me.

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  8. I agree!! I think you tastefully do sponsors well, sometimes I don't think it's even noticeable. I've recently stopped following a few blogs because every single post seems to be sponsored and half the time it's stupid things like clorox wipes or something.

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  9. I think those are some good guidelines to follow. Sometimes we get really silly offers (tampons, toilet paper) on campaigns, and I think it's okay to participate in those sometimes. You just have to put your own spin on it. But I've had to turn down a few opportunities recently just because it didn't fit with my blog. Ultimately, that's what's important.

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  10. This is really helpful! I've just started getting offers for sponsored posts and I'm really stressed about what to do as more keep coming in and how to decide how to approach them. I like your guidelines for yourself a lot!

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  11. I agree with all of these :) As I've been growing my blog, I feel the same way!

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  12. I love that you've found that 20% works best for you. I've personally agreed to a lot of sponsored content over the past few months since I'm unable to work/maintain a "real" job outside of the home since we travel so much, and blogging and freelancing have become the only way that I can contribute to our monthly bills.

    Have I blogged about silly things like toilet paper? Yep. That post paid our car insurance and a weeks worth of groceries that month. But I always make sure to weave sponsored content into a story with real thoughts and opinions and I think that's the most important thing to remember when choosing to write a post that you're being compensated for :)

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