This year I decided to stop apologizing for certain things in my life. For example, a few months ago I wrote a post on Why I Take Selfies--please read it if you haven't. And this time around I'm talking about sponsored posts. I feel like there isn't enough discussion on this. If seeing the phrase, "this post is sponsored by___" makes you roll your eyes, please allow me to share my perspective.
My Blog is Free:
Daily I get bombarded with Instagram accounts or emails wanting me to "try that crazy wrap thing," to shop their closet, buy this miracle skincare product, buy that mascara, purchase their homemade jewelry, or whatever the hot product is at the moment. And that is perfectly fine--it's a business and they want to earn money. But when I share a post on my social media, I'm the bad guy because I'm promoting my blog? Not fair.
I have a blog that is FREE! You don't have to pay to see it. I'm not asking you to buy anything--just to take a few moments out of your day to read/watch. I've had 2 readers tell me they started businesses using my DIYs or based on one of my posts. I've shared over 100 FREE beauty DIY products. I've shared how to get celeb hair or makeup at home--for free. I do many giveaways as a means to say "thanks" for reading/following my blog. But I'm supposed to feel badly about sponsored posts? Not anymore.
I have been blogging at Elle Sees for almost 4 years. I easily spend 10 hours a day blogging (that includes anything that concerns the blog), and that's whether it is a paid post or not. I put the same amount of time in, and I don't see anything wrong with getting paid for it. I admit in the past, I've had anxiety on doing sponsored posts. Would my readers leave? I had to let the anxiety go because I deserve a reward for that hard work. I've put in a lot of time and money, gladly, and my readers trust my opinions. I do wish I could choose the scheduling of when sponsored posts occur--sometimes they end up back-to-back, as posting dates are decided by the brands. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
I Get Paid for My Hobby (now a job):
Here's another way to think of it: What's your favorite hobby? Charlie's is sleeping! ;)
Now what if you could get paid for that hobby? Wouldn't that be great? To get paid for something you LOVE to do and have FUN doing?? I am blessed to have had that happen. I get to truly do what I love, and what I have done for years: play with beauty products and share those recommendations with my family/friends. But now it's on a larger scale (I think of y'all as my friends obv.) and I get paid for it. How awesome is that??
My Reviews Are Honest:
This post had been sitting in my draft folder for months. But when a commenter said she didn't trust sponsored reviews, I had to finish this post. I can only speak for myself, but I take my product reviews seriously, regardless of whether they are PR samples, sponsored, or purchased by me. And most of them are purchased by me. They all undergo the same thorough testing. I try to show demos to prove the products work/how to use them. Read more about my Review Policy here.
I don't accept every offer for free products or sponsored posts. And of those I do, if the product is bad quality, the company is difficult to work (I've had companies that wanted me to not state the product was free or sponsored), the company wants me to try a product once and call it a review (um NO), etc., I don't do the post. Yes, it realllllly sucks turning down money, but I refuse to lie about a product that I wouldn't purchase myself. I don't want you wasting your money and losing your trust. Now is there a miracle product that will work for everyone? No, but I stand by what I share. In fact, one of my style blogger friends jokes that if she sees a lot of beauty bloggers doing sponsored posts on a certain product and I'm not, then it must not be good! ;)
Sponsored Posts Have Always Been There (and are here to stay):
Bloggers have been doing sponsored posts for years. You just didn't know it. This was before FTC guidelines, of course. Bloggers were sent products for free or for pay, and they never had to say a thing. Luckily, around 4 years or so, the FTC saw a means to put an end to all of that, with the rules changing all the time. Did you know that you need to have a disclosure at the beginning of the post? Yes! I still see it on the bottom from some of the Big Bloggers. Anyway, back to the story:
Having ads on your sidebar was THE way to earn money on your blog a few years ago, since most kept the sponsored product placement to themselves. But brands quickly caught on that no one looks at the sidebar ads (these are still profitable, but not as popular as they used to be), and they wanted a way to stand out and focus the attention on their product(s). Enter the sponsored post. And sponsored posts aren't going anywhere.
Now, not everyone follows the rules. Some bloggers/vloggers still don't. YouTube has a button to click for "paid product placement" and apparently there needs to be no mention in the video or the info box. I find that misleading. But I believe in being 100% transparent with my readers on sponsorship. If a post or video is sponsored, you know right from the beginning. And you know you can believe me.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog. Your visits are my favorite!