Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sponsored Posts

As Christmas is fast approaching I've been busy making my presents .. but then the New Year will also be upon us and I have been wondering about the future.  What will I be doing next year?  I suppose my thoughts got concentrated as I had to fill in a box on a form last month.  It asked me what my occupation was.  I hesitated.  What indeed?  I hate labels and I suppose I wanted to write I am Vanessa.  Then I thought I am a professional blogger.   I waited with my pen poised .. is there such a thing ?  You know  you get professionals, doctors, solicitors, accountants, hairdressers, dentists, builders.. why not a blogger? I know I am a food writer and yes I've written a recipe book  but I am so proud to be a blogger.  There are some incredible blogs out there that are equally as good as anything a newspaper can write!

Well I know the answer .. of course it is because most blogs are written for fun, for passion and not for money, and yet for the past 18 months I am approached by PR agencies and companies several times a day  to see if I will write about their products and people in order to promote their commercial offerings on my site. I sometimes feel that I want to write about these products but often a post will take me the best part of day to write and I feel I do a really professional job ..  we bloggers just being naive and doing all this work for free because we don't believe in ourselves?   well I guess PR agencies and companies wouldn't be asked to be featured  on your site if you were't doing something of value.. right?

And so I've been torn for some time on how to go forward.  It's been so hard not to compromise that I feel the need to write a post about the way in which I've decided to go forward.  As many of my fellow bloggers will tell you I've been reluctant to monetize my blog, and I've had long and heated debates about the ethics of it all. Perhaps an honest way to go is putting adverts on  but then  I hate hate hate adverts popping up as I am reading a blog for something utterly irrelevant and totally annoying. 

So it's taken quite a while to work out how to make Goddess on a Budget continue as my full time job beacuase writing it is something I absolutely love . The freedom that comes with writing your own blog is incredible.  With a blog you can just express and create as you like. It’s my voice.

The time and effort to keep this site fresh, informative, beautiful and relevant is high.  I work on this in much the same way as a full time job and like the rest of the world I have to live. So I’ve decided to take things in a slightly different direction and for the first time will be writing sponsored posts.  In case you are wondering what this means a sponsored post is a post on a website or blog which is paid for by an advertiser.  Certainly for some people these posts are viewed as a legitimate advertising method, and yet others believe that they can be misleading, and compromise the integrity of a blog.

So I want to reassure anyone reading this that it won’t really change allot.  If you look back over almost two years of writing you will see that I always avoid writing about things I don’t like.  I’m not one to slate a product, bitch about a restaurant or criticize outrageously for the sake of writing something contentious.  There are plenty of sites that love to stir up a stink elsewhere I was brought up on the basis of if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. I’m sorry if this less than scandalous way of approaching life bores you to death  (Zzzz you can leave now) because I am looking for a gentle way of life that brings love, laughter, fun and happiness to my family and readers, and improves the day to day life with a little of what is good.  I’m approached several times a day to write about products, places and people and I will be very careful to only choose things that are appropriate ..  and I feel that that this site is professional enough to stand up to questions anyone might have about integrity.

If I don’t like something I won’t write about it and because I shall be incredibly selective in my choice of content. I shall stay with food, lifestyle and I promise  not to go overboard with it.   So you can expect a good honest review or feature to be written, in the style that I normally write when I write sponsored posts and integrate them into the normal content. 

I've designed a logo so its clear when something is sponsored and hope you will continue to enjoy. 

There now.  I feel so much better now I've got that off my chest. 



Vanessa 
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9 comments:

  1. This is a really difficult topic isn't it? Am sure you must have really thought through this hard and it's something I'm debating. I think the important thing is identifying the post so I think creating a logo indicating this is a good thing. Good luck Vanessa. You're doing a grand job keeping us all inspired lovely x

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  2. Pak job Ads and advertisements for Karachi,Lahore,Quetta,Peshawar,Multan,Hyderabad,Rawalpindi,Islamabad and http://allpkjobz.blogspot.com all cities of Pakistan.

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  3. I guess its all about finding that balance and I think it's very good of you to create the 'sponsored post' label so that we all know (although we'd be stupid not to realise) and like you say, if you want to make money out of what you love then you have to do it this way... just try to be honest and not ram it down our throats too much x

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  4. Thank you so much for the comments .. it's been a difficult decision !

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  5. Interesting post...I agree with everything you say about not writing about it if you don't like it and that's what I do as well.
    It's easy to feel you will loose people's interest if it becomes an 'advert' of sorts, but truth is people do admire you and want the philosophy etc.
    I often feel I have to say in posts I was NOT asked to write about something, as I feel I over promote things at times and I have to say NO I don't get paid either!

    Still love your blog whatever!

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  6. To be honest, I think it's a good idea to accept sponsored posts. It sounds like you get enough offers that you can choose only the things you like and appeal to you - and chances are, those things will appeal to your readers too!

    With the economy the way it is, some people can't get any kind of job, let alone one that they love. If this allows you to carry on doing what you love, I think it would be very almost wrong to NOT to seize the opportunity and run with it! You are being very honest and making people aware when a post is sponsored, so it's not like anyone will be in the dark.

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  7. Good luck!
    I think there's nothing wrong with sponsored posts as far as you are free to decide on which products to write and which to ignore.
    All of of have opinion when we come across a product or service and I think is pretty fine to express it!
    x

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  8. I must say I agree with the comment by Alex R - you've been honest about this and that's what is important. Good luck.

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  9. Hi Vanessa, how are you? Didn't get a chance to talk to you at Dan's party...we could only stay for a short while.

    I'm in the middle of finishing writing second part to Why Should You Start a Food Blog? And Can You Make Any Money Out Of It? post...and knowing that you started a blog in order to bring out a cookbook I came on here to use your blog as an example and then saw this post.

    I think it's about time bloggers should stop being apologetic for getting paid to produce something. :)

    Good luck with it, like the new look!

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If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.