Today Anne and I are covering the often-discussed topic of how to work with brands. There are a few posts floating around this week on this same topic and the information they share is no doubt better than what I’m going to tell you. My thoughts might be a little controversial, but here we go:
I have no issue with sponsored content. I do sponsored posts from time to time. I’ve worked with a couple of local companies and I’m currently working with Dealspotr (they’re paying me a monthly stipend). I receive several inquiries a week. Some are not a good fit for me. Some I don’t have time to fulfill. I won’t stop following someone for sponsored posts: who can’t use the extra money? I know how hard it is to maintain a blog and you should definitely be rewarded for your hard work. But I will (and have) stopped following bloggers who ONLY post ads. I don’t have a lot of extra time in my day to read blogs, so the time I do have is dedicated to those who actually write. There are bloggers out there who post sponsored content every day, and frankly, I’m not interested. My other thoughts:
There’s no easy way to make a sponsored post “authentic.”
I’ve read some beautiful posts which turn out to be sponsored content. I once read a heartwarming, well-written post that was an ad. And I felt really gross after realizing it. The writer used a very personal story to sell a product. What are your thoughts on that topic?
You should not work for free (unless you’re okay with it).
One of my dearest real-life friends is a fabulous blogger and freelance writer. She is insanely talented. We had dinner last month and discussed how companies want to “pay” you with “exposure.” NO. Exposure doesn’t put food on the table. If you’re a full-time blogger, your income depends on making money from sponsored posts. And if you’re a part-time blogger, you are spending valuable free time writing for a company. You deserve to be paid. If they don’t have a budget for it, that’s on them. I wrote a post for a local company that had just started and took a product instead of payment. I was happy to do it. But that’s not always the case. When companies ask me to write a post for them and don’t offer anything in return, I will send back a polite email saying something along the lines of the following:
“Thank you for reaching out to me! My fee per sponsored post is $___. Look forward to hearing from you!”
Know your worth and accept nothing less.
Join a sponsored content community.
Once you decide you’re comfortable with writing sponsored content, join a community that will bring the work to you. I currently work with Linqia, though I’ve yet to take on a campaign. Linqia does not pay you for posting- they pay per click.
BlogHer (offers social media ad campaigns)
The best advice I can offer is to balance the sponsored and real content. I don’t want to come to your space and read about Coke and vitamins every day, and I don’t expect you to do that, either. At the end of the day, I’m only going to be happy writing what I want to write- otherwise, it’s a job. And get the price you deserve out of it: you know how long it takes to put together a blog post. How much is that worth to you?
How do you feel about sponsored content and working with brands? Check out what Anne has to say on the topic!