Hey Guys, today I am talking directly to you and I need you to talk back because I need to know your thoughts! Lately I've been thinking a lot about sponsorship; I have my opinions (which I'm going to share below) but I need to know yours too because without a happy readership a blog is nothing and I fully intend to keep you guys happy! So read below a fully honest honest view about sponsorship and money- I hope you'll respond and tell me how you feel as well.
When I started blogging seriously in January I did so with the hopes of eventually being a pro-blogger. It is a lofty goal but I figured that if I put in a lot of time, planned carefully and produced good content then it could be a job which suited me well. I put in a lot of effort looking into other successful blogs who have grown gradually and organically and figured that I could probably grow my blog to a successful level in about four years (if I kept up the standard that is!).
Half a year in and so far my projections seem to holding up quite well. I'm so happy that Now That's Pretty is growing and meeting new lovely readers and building up quite a community. But with a growing blog I have started to think about sponsorship more and more.
One of the things that gave my blog a little start up boost was sidebar advertising on other blogs. I fully recommend doing this as it introduces your blog to a different audience. Eventually (probably next year) I hope to introduce side bar ads to my site. Of course it will be nice to make money off them but also I genuinely believe that they are a wonderful way to share blogging audiences. I do want to wait before I offer this though as I want my audience to be large and wide enough that buying my adverts are a real asset to you rather than just a get rich scheme for me.
My main issue that I need your help with is sponsored posts. Now that the blog is growing a little I have started to be approached by various companies asking whether I would do sponsored posts for them and it has really got me thinking. There a couple of blogs that I have been readings for a really long time that have started posting A LOT of sponsored content and it has really turned me off their sites. Though I am all for bloggers making money from their work (because creating engaging and original content is time consuming and, if you're a craft blogger it can also be expensive) it seemed to me that sometimes this can make the content suffer and surely the whole point of having a blog is the content!?
The conclusion that I have reached is this. Over the next couple of months/year I am going to start experimenting more with sponsored posts but with a heavy proviso- these posts have to be as enjoyable to read as the rest of my content. I am going to put a lot of work into these posts to ensure that the quality, relevance and mood remains the same- I never want to just be saying a brand name fifty times and then posting a picture of their product because that's just off putting. My aim is that when readers read these posts the only way they will know they are sponsored is because of the sponsorship note at the bottom, not because of a dip in quality, mood or branding.
But most importantly I want to hear your thoughts on this! What are your gripes with sponsorship and why? What do I need to avoid? What are your thoughts?