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Why Bloggers Write Sponsored Posts – and Why it’s Good

For every blogger, there’s a different reason to write. Some write to create a memoir, some to inspire. Some are primarily focused on one topic – say, parenting or books – and some, like mine, are all over the place, depending on what’s on our minds on any given day. Here are some thoughts about bloggers and what we do.
blogging, bloggers, writing sponsored posts, make money blogging, professional bloggers, writers, earning money

1. A blog is only as interesting as the person writing it. There are blogs others love that I don’t care for, and blogs I adore that others find boring. THIS IS GOOD. With over 152 million blogs, it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone. That’s a lot of people with a lot of things to say.

2. If you don’t like the language a writer uses on her blog, don’t read it. It really isn’t something you should concern yourself with – the best thing you can do is click away from something that offends you. The same goes for those who write about sex, or religion, or politics. Or, if you’re a blogger, here’s an idea – write a rebuttal to whatever it is you don’t like. Create a dialogue. I’ve had some of my most successful posts that way.

3. There are some who believe that bloggers should keep their blogs pure and free of ads and sponsored posts because sponsored posts and ads take away from the blogger’s authenticity. There are some who believe that writing for a few measly dollars isn’t worth losing the purity and integrity of their blogs. There are those who say that writing sponsored content turns blogs into advertising machines, taking away the value of the original content created by the blogger.

 This is bullshit. 

Many blogs successfully integrate commerce and creativity. I have enormous respect for bloggers who can write interesting and entertaining sponsored posts. It’s not easy to do. 

4. For those who say it’s a shame to write a sponsored post and “pimp out” your sacred space on the Internet, I say it’s none of your business. Whatever bloggers want to do with their blogs is up to them. And if it bothers you to read a blog because sometimes there are  sponsored posts, bear in mind that a blog is not just a pad of paper. There are expenses that go into it such as hosting, spam-filtering (my service has protected me from over 200,000 spam comments since I started using it), newsletter services, legally-sourced images, and more. If you like a blog, give the writer a break if every so often there’s a sponsored post. She’s just trying to keep her little slice of the Internet afloat, more often than not – though some bloggers are quite successful at creating income, and they work their butts off doing it.

5. For most personal bloggers, earning a living from their blog isn’t why they started writing – it was because they wanted a place to express themselves. And 90% of the requests they get to write sponsored posts, whether for money or a box of energy bars,  are not worth their time. However, I’m always happy to see my blogging contemporaries have a sponsored post – it means they’re making some moneyEven if it’s just enough to pay the aforementioned fees to keep their blog up and running, it’s good.

6. Along the same lines as sponsored posts, many blogs have sidebar and banner ads (look to your right…there they are). These can be a steady source of income for the writer, depending on the blog’s traffic. There are also often Google ads on a blog, and if you pay attention you’ll notice that the Google ads will mysteriously be for things you may have just been looking at online. This is because of cookies that follow you all over the Internet. If you see an ad and are considering making a purchase, click on it from the blog. The blogger will make a little money if you do. Ditto Amazon links – you can buy anything through a blogger’s Amazon link, not just what they may be featuring.

7. A note about subscribing to blogs – if you like a blog, subscribe. When advertisers and sponsors consider working with a blogger, the number of subscribers she has is a big factor in whether they are interested or not. If you don’t want to read a blog post that comes to your mailbox, just delete it. It’s that easy. And you can always unsubscribe if you are really unhappy with a blogger.

8. Most writers have blogs because it’s a creative and simple way to connect with readers and share our ideas, lives, and thoughts. Most of us aren’t making a living at blogging – some are supplementing full-time jobs, some are hoping to write a book, some are selling something (a service, for instance), some are making enough to have coffee each day – but I doubt there are many who are writing personal blogs who are in it for the money or thinking they’ll be able to retire on earnings from their blogs. And yet, when the opportunity to make some money comes, a blogger would be foolish to pass it by if she thinks it’s a good fit for her – after all, no one wants to work for free. And as much as most of us love writing and being  bloggers, it’s also a lot of work.

So give bloggers a break. We’re working hard. A few dollars doesn’t hurt.

And remember, if you don’t like a blog, you don’t have to read it.

Sharon Greenthal

Sharon's blog, <a href="http://www.emptyhousefullmind.com">Empty House Full Mind</a>, focuses on observations of the world from the midlife empty nest. Sharon is the Young Adults Expert on <a href="http://youngadults.about.com/">About.com</a>. Sharon writes for the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-greenthal/">Huffington Post</a> and <a href="http://purpleclover.com">Purple Clover</a>. Sharon is the mother of two grown children - a daughter, 26 and a son, 24. She lives in Long Beach, CA with her husband and their perfect dog, Lambeau. Instagram: sharongreenthal

Louise Douglas

Thursday 1st of January 2015

I just want to say that this post is right on point, Thanks for writing this as I found it by using the keywords sponsored posts because I was wondering if it's worth it to allow sponsored posts on my blog. it's a nice thing to be able to make a little bit of money on a blog because it takes time to write posts on blogs. Thanks, Sharon, for that info you gave about the program availability

Sharon Greenthal

Thursday 1st of January 2015

I'm so glad you found it helpful, Louise.

roz warren

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Thought-provoking and entertaining. I enjoyed the read. Thanks!

Travels with Tam

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

I would love to be able to write a sponsored blog! You are so right about it being okay to do!

Carol Graham

Monday 10th of March 2014

I've been on the fence regarding this issue because I am so new to this arena. At first I didn't like the idea or the look of the ads, but they can be done with taste, as you pointed out. My question is, where do you start? Where do you find the ads that would compliment your blog or?? Very informative post. Thank you

Sharon Greenthal

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

There are programs available to bloggers including Massive Sway, Tap Influence, Sverve and more. As your blog grows, PR companies will begin to contact you directly. Also, you can apply to be an affiliate on Amazon.com or at www.cj.com. Good luck!

Tarana

Monday 10th of March 2014

I'm still figuring my way out as far as sponsored posts go. In fact, I was one of the few who used to snub blog advertising! I now realise the power of blogs. Why shouldn't we use that to our advantage, right? I love so many blogs who also do sponsored content.

Sharon Greenthal

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

I'm glad to hear you've "seen the light" :). Your hard work is worth a lot.

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