Blogging and the Sponsored Post Conundrum
Today’s post is a bit of a rant, but I just want to shine some light on the dreaded “Sponsored Post” because there are so many opinions about it. When I first started blogging, I honestly had no idea what a sponsored post even was, let alone the wherewithal to do them. I just wanted to share all the little things I love about beauty, fashion, books, and all that jazz. Now that my blog has grown, I’ve learned about this I feel like bloggers have a love/hate relationship with sponsored posts; I certainly feel that way sometimes, but I also feel like it’s so sorely misunderstood and it’s been given a horrible wrap because some bloggers abuse it and some brands think that it messes with their credibility if they have to compensate a blogger for a post.
While I agree that sponsored posts shouldn’t just be done for the sake of doing them or getting paid to blog, I do occasionally do them here on the blog. Why you ask? Well, because contrary to popular belief, I am not rich. I cannot subsist of saltine crackers and free beauty products. I really wish I could. AND if you think, by some great stroke of luck, that I’m over here rolling the dough, then you’d be wrong. I still have a regular day job where I work full time. I don’t sell my beauty products when I’m done with them like a lot of bloggers; I actually just give them away to friends and family to pass on the good vibes and let them experience brands that I love because I’m passionate about green beauty. When it comes to sponsored content, I’m incredibly picky about what I opt in for. You see, I used to not accept sponsored content at all because I felt that every company who requested one from me was super shady and I honestly didn’t want to represent or support companies like that. So, for literally years (up until last year), I didn’t do any sponsored content at all.
It wasn’t until I joined Clever Girls Collective that I actually started doing a few sponsored posts here and there and, even then, I did a total of 4 sponsored posts in the entirety of last year. From that point, my sponsored post experiences have become a lot more positive. I’ve been approached by brands I actually already love (THANK YOU!) for sponsored opportunities and I’ve done some pitches to companies and brands I love as well. It’s so nice to get paid to do what you love – who wouldn’t want that?
At the same time, there is this annoying conundrum about it. The first thing is that if you do a sponsored post at all, you risk alienating readers which is why I’ve chosen to limit the amount of sponsored content that I do, keep my standards for said content very high, and be very transparent about what is sponsored and what isn’t. You can also run the risk of ruining a relationship with a brand when you talk about compensation for a sponsored pitch. A lot of brands seem to think you should work for free or have a policy about not paying for content at all which, personally, I think sucks for bloggers, but I can understand why they do it. Sponsored content seems like a dirty word in the blog world at times and I hope that by keeping my standards for sponsored content high I can keep my blog’s integrity and goals intact while also making extra income. It’s nice to be able to buy new shoes, do cool giveaways for readers, and not panic about being able to afford hosting services.
At the end of the day, all I can do is try to stay true to me and my goals for my blog. I do my best to stay honest with all of you guys that read my blog because I honestly do see you as friends. I hope that you can see that behind this blog is just me and my dogs and occasionally my boyfriend, but he’s more like an unwilling hostage. In all seriousness, it’s just me here running the show. I don’t have a PR company or an agency; I write the majority of posts myself and only accept guest posts from other bloggers. I disclaim any time I use affiliate links or if a post is sponsored. I always give my honest opinions about all products that I review, no matter if they are sent to me or purchased by me, and I declare that to all brands who want to work with me for even further clarity.
I’m not saying all of this to prove my worth to you; I think that you’ll be able to see my true heart and voice through these posts no matter if I explain myself or not. That being said, I know I haven’t done a whole lot of writing about this topic and I wanted to see what your thoughts are on the topic. Please let me know what you think of this topic in the comments; I would love to hear from you!