Blogging and the Sponsored Post Conundrum

Last Modified: February 24, 2016 at 10:48 am by Tianna | Leave a comment


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!

Do You Love/Hate Sponsored Posts?

If you’re a blogger, do you do sponsored content on your blog or avoid it altogether?

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23 thoughts on “Blogging and the Sponsored Post Conundrum

  1. March 2, 2015 at 7:13 AM

    I don’t know why some people have problems if someone does a sponsored post. As long as it is honest and doesn’t decive people I’m OK with that. I do think some people don’t realize how much of free time bloggers put into making new posts, how much money is spent for new products to review for them/us to read.
    AnjaO recently posted…Liebster Award 2015My Profile

  2. March 2, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Great post! I don’t do sponsored posts and pass on products I know I’m not going to finish to a friend who divides them up among 4 of her friends! It’s nice to share x
    Sandra recently posted…Fairfield Gardens Lip BalmsMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 8:57 AM

      thanks Sandra! I’m glad you enjoyed. I definitely like sharing good products that I believe in – isn’t that why we blog ? lol.

  3. March 2, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    I haven’t had the opportunity to do any sponsored posts yet – and I wouldn’t be opposed to it as long as I was comfortable with the company and their ethics. I 100% agree with you that you shouldn’t ever have to compromise your honest opinion and I’m glad that you don’t! I don’t blame bloggers at all for taking on sponsored work – like you I’m not rolling in the dough either! Great post!
    Savannah (@ItsOhSoSavannah) recently posted…Bumpdate: 34w2dMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      Definitely I think it’s so important to back the ethics and what the company stands for before you agree to anything. It’s big for me to keep my opinions honest for readers and for myself so I would never sacrifice that. yeah exactly. We all need to make money somehow and I am happy I can get some extra income from something I enjoy so much ♥

  4. March 2, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    Just like Savannah, I haven’t had the opportunity to do any sponsored posts yet. If I honestly liked the product than I would share it. I don’t know why people would give their untrue opinion because in the end it is their blog & should be full of their opinions. Also, I’m down for reading about a brand I didn’t know about or a product I didn’t know worked as good. I’m a sucker for reviews! (I’m also trying to do some of my own now!)
    Tatiana Cunningham recently posted…My Favorite Drugstore BlushMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM

      Exactly! I am all for sharing my opinions on things I already love and things I’ve tried and I do my best to be as honest as possible. I don’t like blogs that come off as fake and I’ve worked hard to maintain an honest, true voice that is true to me. I love reviews also haha and I love sharing products I enjoy with others so my blog is a great place for me to do something that I already do in real life ♥

  5. March 2, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    I’ve always felt positively towards sponsored posts. I already blog about the things that I do accept sponsorships for, so I don’t think it’s dishonest to do them. It’s really nice for me because I put the money I make back into my blog which benefits my readers. It works out really well because getting paid to do something I already enjoy is awesome! I think controlling the content and making sure it fits with your blog is really all that matters.
    Autumn | It’s Autumn’s Life recently posted…Four Ways I’m Saving Money in 2015My Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:02 AM

      Me too – as long as the post is relevant and makes sense to me and seems natural, I’m okay with it. I understand bloggers need/want to make extra income from their hard work and I think if it’s a great post in the process, then why not? I also put money I make back into my blog with giveaways and other fun events so I do think it works out! As long as we maintain high standards about what we share, I think it works out well for everyone as a win-win you know?

  6. March 2, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    As a blogger that’s just started taking this whole thing seriously, I haven’t done any sponsored posts yet, but it’s something I’ve thought about. There’s such a strange line to walk with them. I think you are handling the sponsored posts well from what I’ve seen and read above. As long as you stay true to your voice and your content I think readers and especially others bloggers will understand, even when you have a few that seem a little random. It’s the bloggers who every single post is sponsored and it’s totally opposite of things they said or did before they had those opportunities it turns readers off. I hope one day soon I can have more first hand personal input on this subject.
    Kati Rose recently posted…The Secret to Writing? A Good Playlist!My Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:04 AM

      It is such a strange line to walk and it’s difficult because you have to accept that some people will hate them even if it’s a good post lol. Some people out there just really hate sponsored content. I hope that by maintaining honesty and sharing my true opinions as well as being transparent about what’s sponsored and what isn’t, I can keep my blogging and self-respect, offer readers something valuable and worthwhile, and also earn a little extra income doing something I love. that’s definitely my goal.

  7. March 4, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    I haven’t done a whole large heap of brand work yet, mostly because I turn down way more than I accept, but I don’t mind sponsored posts, as long as they aren’t the majority of the content. If they are, I’ll just tune out, because I might as well buy a shopping magazine or turn on the shopping channel on TV.

    Alex – Funky Jungle
    Alex recently posted…Milan Fashion Week – Favorites and ThoughtsMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      I do the same. In the beginning, I turned down nearly every single sponsored post opportunity that I came across just because they didn’t fit my blog, the company was unethical, etc. It’s actually so hard to find sponsored content that I want to do lol so I know what you mean. I definitely agree they shouldn’t be the majority of the content and I love shopping magazines haha, but definitely agree with you. No point in reading if it’s all a sales pitch! thanks for sharing your thoughts Alex ♥

  8. March 4, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    As a blogger, I’ve not yet written a sponsored post. It’s something I’ll consider carefully when the opportunity arises.

    As a reader, nothing makes me leave a blog faster than a sponsored post that seems forced and fake. If I’m going to take a sponsored post seriously, it needs to be more than flowery adjectives and annoying hashtags. I need to believe that the blogger is being honest and her opinion of the product.
    Abby recently posted…mug brownieMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      Definitely agree. I think a lot of seriously screening should be done before accepting sponsored content. so much is just crap – so I definitely try to create content that’s worthwhile and unique that fits with my blog and if I can do sponsored content for things I would already do, then awesome, you know?

  9. March 4, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    Sponsored posts need to be honest and written in your authentic voice. Just because you are showcasing something or writing for a certain campaign, does not mean you have to lose your voice and blogs focus. You can make it work and once you do one or two, you start to understand what sits well with your readers and yourself. You can also read other sponsored posts and write down what you personally like, don’t like, etc, to help you along the way! And ultimately, I think it is 100% GOOD to do them, just not EVERY day like so many naive bloggers fall to.
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Key Lime Quinoa FlakesMy Profile

    1. March 10, 2015 at 9:16 AM

      I agree completely. I definitely think you can make it work when you know your style and you are writing about something you already enjoy you know? I definitely agree – some bloggers do them way too much. I try to space everything out so my blog is more content driven and not sponsored post driven. I blog because I enjoy it and to share what I love you know? So it’s definitely been my goal to keep that. thanks for your thoughts ♥

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