A few of you may have noticed my latest experiment: sponsored ‘blog posts. Before you get up in arms about being “bought and paid for” let me share with you reasoning (then please post a comment and let me know your opinion).
One of the issues that I have when posting to my ‘blog is coming up with ideas for new posts. The post, in my opinion, should be based on my experiences, be factually accurate and complete, and be of value to you, my loyal readers.
Often times I’ll have an idea for a post that, for some reason or another, doesn’t satisfy one or more of my requirements, and I simply won’t post it.
Other times I’ll suffer from “bloggers block” which could last days to weeks. That’s not good for you, my readers, because you don’t get your information “fix.” But it’s also bad for me, since the longer a site goes without updated content, the more stagnant the content gets, and as a result, the viewership drops. If left unattended this can effectively become “blog suicide.”
But how can one come up with new content?
I try and pull my posts from real-life experiences. This could be political, technological, web development-ical, etc. But often times my life is boring, or, rather, not interesting enough to publish to the world. So the ‘blog suffers.
To help remedy this, I DIGG, yes, using DIGG.com. Not only do get the opportunity to learn while doing this, but often it spurs the creative juices and a post is born.
I was recently referred to a site that solicits bloggers to write articles or reviews about various goods and/or services, for which they are paid. At first I was entirely offended by the idea, but, thinking this could be a good topic for a post, I signed up.
This site is very different from the others that I’ve seen before. They have some pretty strict regulations on what you have to do to qualify (and remain qualified) as an author. That’s a good thing.
- You must disclose that an article is “sponsored” (or post somewhere on your site that your content may or may not be sponsored). I’ve opted for the former to inform my readers which posts are sponsored, right up top, so there’s no doubt.
- You must have a ratio of at least 3:1 of unpaid versus paid posts. This is also good, it should keep viewers coming back to a site because at most 1/3 of the content is “tainted by ‘the man’.”
They also have some features that I really digg! They do not arbitrarily assign you articles to write, rather, they present you with a list of articles that match the topics that you typically cover on your ‘blog. Then you, the author, get to pick which articles you would like to write. The advertiser then gets to review your ‘blog, make sure it’s a match. After that you’ve got a week to write the review.
My approach has been purely academic. I’m trying this out to see how things work, then report my experiences to you. So far I’ve written two sponsored reviews (1, 2) that should pay $21.78 (I haven’t been paid yet, so I’ll report on that later).
Both reviews were written based on personal experiences and opinions, and I primarily used this service to prove me with ideas upon which to write.
But you all are my audience, please, tell me what you think. I’m looking for feedback not only on the two paid articles, but of your opinions on getting paid to blog. Please, take a moment to comment and let me know how you feel.
The Results Are In
I received no complaints (from you, my loyal readers) about including occasional sponsored content in my ‘blog postings. This, I believe is due to a few factors: (1) I will preface each sponsored post with a disclaimer which will indicate the post is sponsored, (2) I’m not “selling out” and writing false reviews, I’ll write each post using my own wording, my own experiences, and will give you my honest opinion about what I’m reviewing, and (3) I won’t accept any requests to write about things that I (a) can’t say something nice about, (b) is contrary to my beliefs and/or morals, and/or (c) is irrelevant to my readers.
That said, I got my first payment for 3 articles written. It totaled $25 and change and successfully posted to my PayPal account.
I’ve got a few leads for writing further articles, but am not working on anything currently. Keep watching, and feel free to comment!