℅ Citizens Eco Drive watch; Old Navy sweater; Blanknyc pants; Target shoes (option) and hat; Logo layering tank (my fave!)
Often in blogging you find yourself being approached by a lot of different people who wish to work with you in some capacity. Being a blogger can be weird, because after awhile you become valuable to those that wish to use your readership for their benefit. It’s a circular relationship, they you give something (money, physical items), to get something from you (notoriety, attention, pageviews, etc.) Bloggers can often end up being business owners when often they meant to just share something of themselves for fun. I know I didn’t really know that I would need the skills to negotiate daily with large corporations and small business owners. Luckily I like it, and have worked out a way to still be myself and keep this blog exactly where I need it to be.
When I first began blogging nearly four years ago, I was always very flattered when any company approached me. I remember my first email and how proud I was that any company thought I was GOOD ENOUGH to advertise with. I initially chose to work with companies that didn’t really fit into my vision for my blog, mostly because I was afraid to say no, or to ask for more. It took me a long time to work out how I felt about sponsored posts and what I wanted this blog to look like.
Here is how I approach sponsored post opportunities today:
1) I get a lot of emails daily that ask two things mostly: they wish to pay me to write content for my blog, or they want me to create free content for them that include images and text that they send me. My first stance on this is that I don’t want content on my blog that is not written by me. It just feels weird I guess? I don’t knock it if others go this route, I just know it isn’t something I want for this space, so I never agree to it. The same is true for content that is asked for with specific parameters (collages, ad words), that I won’t be getting paid for. It never benefits me, and makes me feel as if I am begin taken advantage of.
2) I have a media kit, and any time I get an email that looks interesting, yet still seems ambiguous (are they looking for free content?), I send it out with a quick email asking them to look it over and let me know which options excite them. My media kit gives my stats and is a resume of sorts, and also has various options for advertisement with my price points on it.
I find that by sending this out, it sends out the message that my blog and the things I post are worth something, and that I do not work for free. I think sending out an email stating that I am a professional whose blog is a space for mutual benefit is important to me, and says that I cannot be swayed by free product or a promised social media shout out. Part of charging a certain amount for a blog post or business opportunity is believing that you deserve it. My time and the effort it takes to create a sponsored post is valuable, and I know I deserve what I am getting paid to create. If you truly believe this, you will only post things that are meaningful to you, and walk away from those that aren’t.(And get paid for it!)
3) Lastly, one of the most important factors in how I approach sponsored posts is this: I am always willing to walk away if something doesn’t fit or feel right. I often get emails to work with larger, really well known companies that want me to create collages or posts for nothing. While I am always honored to be asked, nothing is worth “selling out” in my opinion, to appease a company that you admire. I have a set of standards of what I think my readers will respond to, and what I will respond to. I can’t create something “just because”, I have to have my heart in it and feel it makes sense for this space. I am also willing to say no to posts that offer money, yet don’t fit what I believe is the heart of this blog. I say no probably 75% of the time, and while this isn’t getting me richer, it IS something that I feel makes my blog something I can be proud of.
At then end of the day, I have to believe that the reason I started this blog (having an outlet, being able to write and connect, sharing my personal style), are the same reasons I continue to blog. While the opportunities have often poured in, I still have to keep the heart and soul of this space alive, and at the end of the day I need to feel happy and content when I hit that”publish” button.
Tell me, how do YOU approach business opportunities, either with your blog OR your life?