As a writer long before I was a blogger, I dreamed of earning a living as a writer. When (many years after I started blogging) sponsored posts appeared, it seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down: here was a chance to get paid to write, on my own blog, with full editorial control.
Every writer’s dream.
Except blogging is a community, even if the blog is the writers. Readers resisted sponsored posts; they worried that bloggers were selling out, and that the stories being told – because, yes, the best sponsored posts are still stories – were colored by the brands paying the blogger.
I turned down a lot of posts because of a variety of reasons; I hated the product, the pay was too low or the requirements too high. But I have taken sponsored posts – upon occasion – that required I compromise my ethics because I needed to pay the mortgage. Because now I do earn a living with my writing, and like any job, sometimes I have to do things I don’t enjoy that much.
I’ve reconciled my personal sponsored post dilemma, and hopefully so have my readers. But I still read Heather Armstrong’s latest post responding to her reader’s reaction to a sponsored post. Be sure to read the whole post – it’s brilliantly done – but here’s a bit.
If you ask any professional blogger about what it’s like to run their business, I’m willing to bet that every single one of them will tell you that the amount of work and the hours spent making sure that their content is fresh and compelling and entertaining (plus bookkeeping, back-end work, and the mountain of administrative minutia required to keep things up and running) is all far more intense than they ever imagined it would be. I’m not saying that any of us are asking for a pat on the back as I’m sure that other small business owners in any other industry would say the same thing. Working with brands and writing sponsored posts are now what makes it possible for me to continue to spend these hours developing this product for you. These posts keep me in business and allow me to continue to tell stories.
What do you think? Have you made peace with the sponsored post dilemma?