There’s a new trend in blogging that seems to be increasing. The SPONSORED POST. For those of you who don’t know what a sponsored post is, it’s a post that is commissioned by a brand or agency. The blogger receives compensation for either writing original content in a post or publishing provided content all of which have specific links and keywords for search engine optimisation. Above all, bloggers MUST disclose this arrangement either through a disclosure at the end of a post or beginning of the post (which is the least popular of the disclosure options) or attach a sponsored post badge on the post.
It’s a pretty simple and painless arrangement actually. You’re paid to write a post or publish content which is sent to you. Seems like a no-brainer really; why wouldn’t everyone take the opportunity to do this? Well, this is where I am conflicted. Am I a sponsored post snob or am I just stupid?
Ages ago I wrote a sponsored post for ebuzzing. It was far more complicated than most of the sponsored posts of today. I had to use loads of provided images with links attached, I had to submit the post for editing in html format before it was approved for me to cut and paste into a post on my blog. For all of this work (and it was a couple hours of work) I was “paid” £40. However, in the fine print, I read after the fact, that you couldn’t access your earnings with ebuzzing until you had made £50 or more. Thus I would have to write at least one more sponsored post to have access to the money I had earned. I felt dirty when I published the post. It wasn’t something I would have written on my own. To me it SCREAMED “I was paid to write this! I’m a fraud”. I buried the post with another hastily written post and never accepted another opportunity. My £40 is probably still sitting somewhere waiting to be claimed.
I don’t begrudge any blogger the opportunity to be paid for their hard work. I think it’s great that bloggers are being sought out in this way and are finally being compensated properly. I know some bloggers who have received good payment for several sponsored posts and can’t deny that our bank balance would be improved dramatically if I simply accepted some of these opportunities. However, I have not received many requests to write or publish sponsored posts lately, in part because I have ignored them in the past.
Am I being a snob? What would you think, as a reader, if you came over to one of my posts, read it and discovered at the end of the post, that I was paid to write it and more than likely wouldn’t have written it if I hadn’t been paid? Would you rather read posts about me, my life, Ella and Sam and the adventures we get up to or would you rather read posts about car insurance or storage solutions? Am I daft? I could be paid anywhere from £40-80 for a sponsored post! I run advertising for products and/or brands that I support and am generally paid for that so is there any difference to running the odd sponsored post? What are your thoughts? Are Sponsored Posts the work of the devil or a necessity in today’s society? Should I be so precious about the content on my blog or take opportunities as they come? What say you??