One thing I’ve noticed about the blogging industry is the passion bloggers have.
Bloggers are eager. They are (mostly) go getters. They work hard and do all they can to push towards their dream.
From what I see a lot of bloggers dreams are the same – to go full time, and for those that are already full time they want to make it “big”.
Now I’ll admit that what “making it big” means to everyone is very personal and it will vary from one blogger to another, but either way I find that passion infectious and encouraging.
With the popularity of blogging rising and opportunity to make a living from it, we’re finding that some people start blogging with the very intent to make a career out of it, and if you can, then you go girl! I’m all for people aiming high and following their dreams.
But when does the inclusion of money start meaning that the integrity of blogging is lost?
It’s a very fine line and one that I see crossed a lot. In my opinion.
My moral standpoint on sponsored posts is that if I wouldn’t organically talk about that product or service without being paid, then I won’t accept a sponsored post on it.
I’ve been offered paid jobs to to talk about a mattress, feminine hygiene products, contraception and food to name just a few. I turned them all down. In fact I turn down more jobs, than I take.
Here’s how I see it….I would never off my own back buy a mattress and then decide to take loads of photos of it and write a blog post on it – so why would I accept a sponsored post on it? I would feel like I’m selling my soul and for what.. a bit of cash… Nah, I’m not about that life.
Every day my social feeds are full of bloggers who predominantly write about fashion and beauty (as an example) posting paid ads for squash, cereal, washing powder, razors, deodorant, sweets and other products that stand out from their normal content. I strongly believe that we would never have seen a post about that bottle of squash or disposable razor unless they were being paid for it.
Then there’s the fashion bloggers who post nothing but fashion content on their Instagram and blog and then suddenly a post pops up for a hand cream, that you’ve guessed it…. it’s been sponsored. Unless it’s being paid you won’t see another beauty post on their feed.
People follow us beacuse they trust us. They trust our opinions, our values. They trust us to influence them. We are seen as their gal pal who would only talk to them about products that we really like. So when we start shoving a cereal in front of them (that let’s be honest… you probably don’t eat) on their Insta feed should they continue to trust us…?
I’ve been thinking about why some bloggers accept these types of jobs and I have a few theories….
Maybe they need the money….. Maybe they hadn’t had any big jobs recently, they had bills to pay and needed to feed themselves to stay alive – you know, which is kinda important stuff.
Blogging is a hobby for me and it’s not a means of making a living so I don’t have that dilema to face, which I’m really pleased about as I can see it’s tough decision to make.
But I don’t believe that’s why everyone takes these jobs…. I also think there is an element of being excited to be offered a paid job. I remember the first time I was offered a sponsored post and I thought “Someone likes my blog enough to pay to be on it!? WOW!”. It’s like a pat on the back, a reward and a stamp of approval that you’re doing something right.
Plus there could be an element of wanting to show off…. Look at me getting all these paid jobs, type of attitude. I’ve heard people say that some bloggers put “Ad” in posts which aren’t actually ads, just to try and look cool/ big/ whatever. I don’t get it, but seriously guys…. it’s not cool.
I also don’t think these apps like Takumi and the like help….. You can log on and based on your follower count they will give you a price for an Instagram ad. When there is money being waved in your face some people will find that quite hard to turn down.
The integrity of my content is very important to me. I don’t want my paid ads to stand out like a sore thumb. I want my sponsored work to be a natural progression of my organic work and for it to be a seamless transition. I want my readers to enjoy all my content and find it engaging whether its being paid for or not.
In a flooded marketplace integrity and authenticity is more important than ever.
Choosing to focus on chasing brands and trying to get every paid job you can will only get you so far…. Spend your energy on creating unique and interesting content. Know your worth, know what you stand for and hold on to that. Choose to focus on brilliant content and the sponsored work will follow…..
I’d just like to add at this point that this is solely my opinion of paid work and if someone reading this accepts these kinds of posts then that’s cool. There is no right or wrong here. Just an opinion 🙂
I’d love to hear your feedback on the integrity of blogging.
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