Wednesday, July 30, 2014

some thoughts on sponsored posts



Recently, I got several emails and comments with some very candid feedback about my blog. It's nothing I hadn't read before on/about other people's blogs, but for it to be said about mine -- it bothered me. I assume that people know my heart and assume pure motives when they read this blog, but in a world of pinterest and such...maybe people hop on and choose not to hop back on. 

This is all in regards to sponsored posts. I just wanted to offer some thoughts on it to maybe have y'all think about these posts in a different way. If it comes across as feisty, it's not :) 

"We get it. You have awesome opportunities showing up at your doorstep." 
First of all, I work really hard and reach out to companies and brands that I feel I have a connection with and which a genuine partnership would be mutually beneficial. A lot of times, brands don't reach out to me. Sometimes, they do. But these partnerships and sponsored posts are usually a product of me pitching my blog, coming up with a project that I have in mind including their brand or product, coming up with a recipe, testing said recipe, photographing the end result, typing out the post,  editing photos, pumping them through social media outlets, etc. These opportunities are not just showing up on my doorstep. I'm working my rear off for them. 

"I click away anytime you do a sponsored post. They rub me the wrong way and I'm uninterested in reading about whatever you are being paid for."
I only do sponsored posts when they are genuine and applicable to my existing content. If I'm in a season where I'm doing mostly outfit posts, a sponsored post about sausage biscuit sandwiches would be  a waste of everyone's time. Give me more credit than that. I'm not going to accept a measly $150 to break up the flow of my content. Promise!

Furthermore, I do think readers should consider that sponsored posts can be and are sometimes (or usually, in my case) the best content. We have a reputation to uphold and expectations to follow through on. We are going to put our best foot forward because we want to represent that brand well and have them come back for more. Do you stop watching a tv show because a commercial comes on? Do you not purchase a magazine because half of the pages are full size ads?  I'm just saying, try and hold out. Continue to read. I promise I'm not posting crap content when a brand pays me. The disclosure up top or on bottom of those posts is simply for me to be transparent (and to uphold to legalities and such). Don't let them scare you away :)

"Stop doing sponsored posts. I realize bloggers need to get paid, but I don't want to read them. Your ((media agency)) posts are not my favorite."
Y'all. Saying you realize we need to get paid, but get frustrated when we do? That just feels like you don't value our work. And furthermore, I have only done 3 posts for this mentioned "media agency," EVER, so please don't think or believe they are a bulk of my content. They work hard to bring us campaigns and we only apply for what we want to post about. They don't assign anything we haven't requested. I can't speak for everyone that is a part of these type of groups, but I CAN say that as mentioned above, I'm not going to talk about dog food or toilet paper or frozen sausage biscuits because I know y'all could care less and it's not what you come here for. 

I consider my blog like an online magazine, of sorts. People that write articles in magazines....get paid. People whose projects are featured in print...get paid. People who take photos for those gorgeous spreads...get paid. You are coming to our spaces online and are absorbing, pinning, reading, imitating (meaning: trying diy projects or making recipes), and commenting on FREE content. Please just realize that there are worst things going on in the world than bloggers getting paid to partner with a brand every now and then. I stopped pushing and working (as hard) for my sidebar ads because I felt that genuine posts were a better way to show what brands and boutiques had to offer. It's not a crime. It's business. 

"Can you do an outfit post without a c/o item? It feels like you only do outfit posts because you're getting free things. How do we know you really wear these things?"
One: I do. ((here's one))

Two: One of the things I pride myself in is rewearing my closet. You will see items repeated over and over and that c/o (courtesy of) is sometimes, again, just me being transparent (NOT showy) that I received it for free. It could have been 6 seasons ago, but I still want to represent that brand or boutique well and be honest with y'all. I also want to show that I don't just receive items from stores, style them, and then never wear it again. I only pick items that I know I'll wear and love and be able to style multiple ways. 

I hope this helps you know my heart behind sponsored posts and free items. I hope it helps you look at these posts a different way and that you don't just write off your favorite bloggers when they work with brands. 

Love y'all! And even though it's hard to hear sometimes, I appreciate your feedback :)

love.

14 comments:

  1. people are always going to find something to complain about. No matter what. Don't worry about it! As long as you continue to keep to your heart and your goals, you're good! I think it was A Beautiful Mess's Blog Life that talked about her transitioning into a more paid blog and how she lost readers... but gained so much more in community and readership after that... after following her heart and her dreams. So just remember that. They're YOUR dreams, not those negative readers... and I bet those people are only a small, but loud, few!!

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  2. I read your blog (all of the time!) and just have not commented as much as I should or would like to! But I definitely had to comment today! I (and am sure so many others) have NEVER minded any sponsored posts that you have ever written. In fact (as you stated above) I see it as a simple extension of things that you value and are sharing with your readers. I agree with Meg above that people are always going to find something to complain about but I hope that you know that it truly is just a small number of people who feel that way! :) I would say the LARGE majority feel like I do= we appreciate your thoughts, your creativity and your posts! Keep doing what you like to do and write about lady! SO many of us are blessed by your blog!
    :) Rebecca

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  3. I always read your blog. I don't mind sponsored posts, people deserve to get rewarded for their hard work. I agree with the other comments, people are always going to have something to complain about. I love hearing about great shops and great opportunities. Keep it up! I love your blog!
    xoxo
    Allison over at Allison's Eye

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  4. I do think some of the blowback you're getting here isn't really at you - some of the frustration in those words you quoted would be WAY more applicable to lots of other blogs I used to read that were sponsoring every other post, working with brands that made no sense, etc. So I feel like you are, unfortunately and wrongfully, getting blowback that isn't even really directed at YOU so much as at a trend in blogging in general that is frustrating people.

    Your C/O's have rarely bothered me, because it doesn't really seem like you're wearing anything that is out of your 'style', so to speak, and you're not head-to-toe C/O all the time. There are bloggers I used to read who will routinely do an outfit post that is all C/O from one brand, and it's not even remotely the style they wear in their everyday outfit posts, and that rings terribly false to me. Your style posts, with C/O's or not, don't.

    I appreciate this post quite a bit - it's always nice to see bloggers respond to the criticism/frustration of their readers so candidly. honestly, my biggest frustration with sponsored posts on blogs has been with the BRANDS, not the bloggers themselves - many brands require certain words or catchphrases to be used, which takes the 'voice' away from the blogger and will pretty instantly turn a sponsored post into something that is stilted and false, jarring to read as we realize there's some turn of phrase that the blogger wouldn't really say on her own - or sometimes that NOBODY really ever says on their own. I think brands will start to realize the problematic nature of this pretty soon, though, so I do hope to see it go away.

    Again, good post. I appreciate your honesty/candor!

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  5. Your honesty is so refreshing! If I ever skip a sponsored post (by anyone) it's only because it's about a product that doesn't apply to me or I have no interest in (like a baby product) not simply because it's a sponsored pos. I love your blog!

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  6. I'm in a public place or else I would be clapping. Truly, I think writing (and ALL that goes into blogging - aka a whole ton of work) deserves recognition.
    You're doing a good work.

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  7. Nadine took the words right out of my mouth–here, here to you both!

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  8. Girllll, I love this!! :) I couldn't agree more!!

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  9. I agree! This is your job! I remember telling my husband a few years ago that I thought blogging might replace magazines someday... And we pay for magazines, right?? All I can think is that maybe these critics don't and never have had a blog and have no idea the amount of work that goes into it?! Keep up the good work!

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  10. WOAH. This is a thoughtful response! There are some bloggers out there who make sponsored posts icky and unapproachable because it's obvious they don't believe in what is being sponsored. I really appreciate your honesty and hard work with brands and other businesses you believe in.

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  11. Hi Kim - I am not much of a commenter, but I love to stop by your blog from time-to-time for ideas and inspiration. And this topic frustrated me so much on your behalf, that I wanted to echo the comments above. I think we've gotten so used to getting everything for "free," that we forget to recognize the effort and brain power that goes into generating quality content. I also appreciate you sharing products and brands you like. It shows me new things and makes them accessible.

    Knowing you for the short time I did in college, I know you are one of the authentic and genuine ones. Keep sharing your gifts with people, despite people's need to be negative, and know it is appreciated by many!

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  12. I LOVE what you are saying here - every bit of it!! It has really saddened me to see the backlash towards bloggers making money rise up in the past year. Making money through blogging is a touchy subject and I admit that it has definitely been a learning experience for me. Overall, the opportunities I've had through my blog have been wonderful and have meant SO much to me. I try very hard to only accept opportunities that fit in well with my blog and I hope that my readers will be able to share in the experience with me. I wish that overall women would stop being so judgmental of each other. Even if a blogger I love has some "breakfast sandwich" posts here and there, I try to look past it. Because it's true, we ALL have to make money somehow and what we may not see is how that breakfast sandwich blog post came at just the right time in that blogger's life and helped provide for their family. :) At the end of the day, these are just blogs and it kind of drives me crazy to think of people taking it to such extremes, you know? Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, keep being you!!

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  13. I think #1 is a really important point for people to understand! There is a big difference between you changing your content and tailoring it around offers being "given" to you (what seems to be the general view of bloggers who sponsor content and the view of people who are complaining about it to you) vs. YOU being selective to see what brands already exist in your content and pursuing business relationships. Like you said, you're the one doing the work, and that is very assuring for readers!

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