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A blog about blogging: Part Two

I blogged about blogging and y’all didn’t run away! Winning!

(Is anyone else still saying that or just me? I admit to being notoriously behind when it comes to proper slang words. But “winning” is maybe the first good thing Charlie Sheen gave us since Major League.)

First, y’all are flattering. Truly. I didn’t write that post as a way to fish for compliments. I don’t ever expect compliments. (Except for maybe about Emma and Joshua because good GOD I grow cute kids and I’m not ashamed to say that out loud.) But really, thank you for your kindness and for telling me that you like what you read here. I don’t ever want to get to the point where it feels like my voice isn’t coming through on this page. It’s a voice I’ve worked hard to develop, and while I don’t doubt it will adapt and grow, it’s my voice and I’m proud of it.

Your comments about growing and blogging in general were so helpful in so many ways. And also slightly internally confusing. But mostly incredibly reassuring.

In the beginning, blogging was just for me to talk about being pregnant and then to talk about Joshua and what it was like to be a new mom. It was a place to come and throw my words out to the world. And then things changed and y’all helped me realize that that’s more than okay.

It’s comforting to know that it’s okay to want people to read my words and to want to find ways to have more people read my words. I’m happy to know that it’s not selfish and stupid to want to grow.

And then in the comments the issue of sponsorship and “selling out” came up and that’s where things get internally confusing.

Take product reviews for instance. There are those who say that if a blogger chooses to publish only positive product reviews of items she genuinely loves, that blogger is being dishonest by handling negative reviews of items she does not love via email with the company instead of publishing them.

There are some readers, not necessarily mine, who believe that monetizing in any way, through selling ads or joining ad networks, makes that blogger a “sell-out.” And there are others who believe that if a blogger runs a sponsored post, then anything said in that sponsored post is false.

And people can’t even seem to agree on what exactly a “sponsored post” is. There’s the camp who writes a blog post about something like going to the grocery store and helping an old lady load her car and then at the bottom says “this post brought to you by Acme Handbags.” The handbag has nothing to do with the grocery store or the old lady but that company bought ad space on that blog and that’s how that blogger chooses to recognize that advertiser. There are others, the kind you’ve seen here, where a company hires bloggers to write about a given topic, “advertorials,” like my recipe for Cheater’s Mousse. It’s an advertisement for a product but it fits within the framework of something I might already be blogging about.

In the spirit of honesty, here’s the thing.

Blogging costs money.

And it costs time.

And despite the fact that I’ve quit my day job, I like being compensated for my time.

So if I can write and share my heart and grow my blog and occasionally get paid for that, in either money or products that I love and genuinely use in my home, why is that a bad thing? If people believe me when I talk about the good and bad days of motherhood, why would they not believe me when I say “this _____ is awesome and I think you’d love it”?

I’m not looking for a book deal or a billion dollars, but I would like for this to be a self-sustaining hobby that maybe affords me a sitter and a date night once in a while.

If accepting sponsors (which I do) is something that helps generate more traffic for both of us and is a mutually beneficial relationship, is that wrong? A disservice to my readers and the community I’m building here?

What’s the point at which things go from “wow, this is an awesome blog” to “wow, she’s a sell out”? Where is that line? Is that line different for every blogger and every reader?

Where is that balance?

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Thursday 6th of September 2012

Look here. I take sponsored posts. I take 'em because I'm a poor teacher who is underpaid and has a lot of bills, mostly medical, and I need a way to help supplement that. I take 'em because during Christmas or when my husband's birthday is approaching that extra $25 here or $30 there helps me to buy presents (even though I know it's not the gift that counts). I take 'em because, because, because...

This is a great hobby (blogging is) and it costs money to maintain this site and every year when I have to renew, I secretly curse on the inside because dropping almost $60 at one time is hard for me. Any time. I think if I spend more than $5 I complain. But I thought about whether or not I could part with my blog and the answer is no. So, if there is a way for me to supplement my income while doing something Iove, writing, why not do that? No one is in your shoes. No one knows how much you need/don't need the money or product. So I say do what feels right for you.


Monday 3rd of September 2012

I agree with you completely. In this day of social media, blogs are an extremely important outlet for many things, one of them being advertising. You're not "selling out" if you're just taking advantage of an opportunity that will keep your blog around longer.


Sunday 2nd of September 2012

I've had this post open for a few days as I wanted to be able to focus when reading it and get around to your other post, too. But I'm slack and busy and real and I'll get to that one eventually but I finally read this one.

I feel you. I don't do that many reviews, but I do some sometimes. It has to be something I'll use and it has to mesh with my ability to be honest, so yeah, that's a huge part of it.

I do read lots of books to review and when I don't get through them I can't really review them so the reviews don't go live saying, gawsh this book was awful and I couldn't do it. Perhaps I should do that, but I have a list of unfinished, so that counts right?

Anyway, you find the balance that works for you, I'll find the one that works for me, and let others do as they need to. While sometimes I read a blog and feel overwhelmed with ads I may judge, but I try not to. I should revise that. I judge when it seems like the ads have nothing to do with who I think the blogger is based on his/her words. That's when it throws me and turns me off. If I'm just getting to know you I won't even notice, and if you're a friend I'll barely notice the ads at all. Which probably isn't what you're hoping for .. not you, but you get me.

AND WOW! Longest comment I've written in a while. I may need to write a post on this. ;) Thanks!


Friday 31st of August 2012

I think with blogging (in my very new and humble experience), the key is to keep your priorities straight. You are blogging for YOU. If you want to make some money and review some products, don't let anyone else make you think twice! I certainly plan on monetizing my own blog someday and I am not going to ask permission to do so. Hopefully I can be awesome enough in between sponsored posts and reviews that people will come back for more. LOL!


Friday 31st of August 2012

I almost hate that it feels like I'm asking for permission, but yeah, I'm asking for permission. Which is weird.

I hope people come back in between it all.


Friday 31st of August 2012

I think the balance is fine. A few sponsored posts aren't really a big deal. I personally tend to not read them, but it doesn't like enrage me or anything.


Friday 31st of August 2012

There are people that it DOES enrage, though, and that's the thing. I don't want to make people grumpy when they come here.

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