There have been a spate of complaints on some of my sponsored posts over the last few months. I’m not quite sure why people are complaining (mine may be one of the least monetized blogs I know!) or whether it’s several people or one person with several aliases who are posting the complaints. I’ve tried addressing the comments with comments, and then just deleting them, but since they’re continuing, let’s talk about sponsored posts out here in the open.
I blog for the connection with you, the reader, and for the joy of sharing a view of our lives as I see it. I blog because I love to do it, and if I weren’t making any sort of profit from it, I would still be blogging in more or less exactly the same way I have been doing for the past eight years. But yes, I write occasional sponsored posts. I have a great working relationship (and a one-year contract) with Fisher-Price, and I just finished a set of sponsored posts with Conceivable Dreams. I chose to work with these two organizations because I like them, because I would promote them even if they weren’t offering compensation, and because I think they offer something that may be of interest to the people who read this blog. On the other hand, I turn down dozens of pitches each week for various promotions that I don’t feel I could personally endorse, or that I don’t think would have any value to you as readers.
The negative comments that have sprouted up recently are along the lines of “stop selling out with these sponsored posts.” I don’t see being compensated for my time and effort as selling out, I see it as perfectly reasonable. Aside from the out-of-pocket expenses relating to keeping this blog running (domain and hosting, etc) why shouldn’t I be compensated for my time and effort? Like ads on Google or commercials on your favourite TV shows, the sponsored posts help me keep generating the rest of the content that you might prefer.
There was a time when I felt more equivocal about advertising and sponsored posts, and perhaps because of that I have always tried to minimize the amount of sponsored content I post. I am very selective about the advertising and other paid blogging opportunities I accept because whatever I share here on the blog is the equivalent to a personal recommendation, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. But if an opportunity arises to support a brand or cause that I like, and that opportunity involves monetary or non-monetary compensation, I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t take it on.
Maybe you have a different opinion? I’m open to your thoughts here, on this post, and I am genuinely happy to discuss the issue. But this is my space and like it or lump it, my rules apply. If I visit your place and I don’t like the new lime green sofa, I’ll just choose to sit on it and keep my mouth shut or sit on another chair – that’s just good manners. You are welcome to not read the sponsored posts, or to not visit at all, if they truly offend you that much.
If you have genuine concerns and would like to discuss them, let’s do that – but simply scrawling “stop selling out” on every sponsored post isn’t a conversation, it’s graffiti, and I’ll continue to delete those comments from now on.
What do you think, bloggy peeps? It’s not 2006 anymore; blog monetization is the rule rather than the exception for most successful blogs, I think. And I have genuinely tried to be conscious of balancing sponsored and non-sponsored content so the latter largely outweighs the former. Are you perturbed by the sponsored content or do you think it has intrinsic value of its own?