Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thoughts on Sponsorships

I've been thinking about this here blog lately...what I choose to post about, what I choose not to post about, my reader's response, my sponsor's response.

I've been having a great time with my sponsors lately. They've been giving me a lot of positive feedback, which makes for a rewarding experience all around. But the truth is, I've been wondering if continuing to offer sponsorships is right for me. I go back and forth.
I try really hard to control and limit the content on my blog. I turn away ads I don't find fitting for JAA. I don't write product reviews and I make it a point to not paste sneaky affiliate links all over my posts.

It just doesn't feel right to me. 

I think because of this, the content that I do share is more valuable. I think that's the reason why my sponsors have been pleased. You guys know I'm not going to spew some crap to you for money. (Thanks for trusting me.)

My relationship with a lot of my sponsors has continued far beyond the month they spend on my sidebar, and that is definitely the most beneficial part of offering sponsorships. If I do end sponsorships that is the part I will truly miss. I like supporting handmade businesses and creating friendships with other business owners.
But ah, I just don't know if sponsorships and/or side bar ads, are right for me anymore.
Do you over advertising on your blog? Why or why not? If so, do you ever question it?

17 comments:

  1. I don't. And (to be honest) your sponsor spotlight posts are my least favorite. (sorry!)

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  2. I just took all mine down and stopped sponsorships. It was a hard decision, but I found that I was spending a lot of time on it and my content was suffering. I started my blog as a way to remember my life, something for my kids to go back on, not to make money. When my focus shifted, I didn't feel like I was being true to my blog or myself. I am so much happier now.

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  3. I tried for a while but it just didn't fit me. However, I do love to advertise on blogs and support bloggers I love. I think if it feels like work and a lot of trouble, then it probably isn't right for you....

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  4. I think it's a back and forth. Art not ads...focusing on yourself, your work, your story versus spending your time featuring others. BUT advertising/sponsorships are sometimes a huge income for bloggers. Like you said, you build some pretty special relationships with these people you meet.

    I personally don't mind reading sponsorship posts. I find a lot of great artisans, designers, and good bloggers through those posts at my favorite blogs.

    It's definitely a personal decision. Your blog is one of my favorites and I know whichever way you go, it will be fine! Do what makes you happy!

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  5. I have thought about taking ads on other bloggers if I really like them, but I don't know if I would offer them on mine. There are a few reasons but mostly I don't really know if I want my blog to get big enough to support them. I ideally like to get back to every person who comments or asks questions and right now even with my limited scope it gets difficult.

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  6. I think there's still a way to support others without the ads. Just buy writing a post about "that awesome thing I saw/bought", or something like that. I think it can be done. But it's great that you still have focus even with the sponsored posts, and I definitely enjoy your blog.

    I don't have ads myself, because 1) no one would probably want to advertise with me since I'm so "small" 2) I can't have ads until I transfer to a self hosted blog.

    Will I ever have them? Who knows, maybe, I'll have to decide along the way. :)

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  7. I do love the sponsors you have on your blog. I have found some very wonderful little online shops because of the people you have on your blog. That being said, I have never done the same on my own blog and I can imagine it's a huge time commitment for you.

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  8. I don't like when people go overboard with sponsorships. I try to keep mine very minimal and make sure the offer (at some point) something to my readers. I just try to be as genuine with them as possible and upfront about what my part in the sponsorship is too so readers don't get mad. I think you do a good job, it's not overwhelming and they are from businesses that are related to yours so I like that. I don't like the shift that's happened in blogging recently with bloggers focusing on making money off of it, if you're not blogging for the sake of blogging, you're just in it for the money aspect, you shouldn't be doing this. But I don't think that's what you're doing, which is greatly appreciated as your reader.

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  9. Great topic! I too go back and forth about this. I feel like when I have people paying to advertise on my blog that my topics and content have to be great. I feel so much more pressure! Instead I decided to just offer free advertising on my blog every now and again for a limited number of people. :) Good luck - whatever you do, you'll do it well!!!

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  10. Sponsor spotlights can be great to find new people in the blogosphere! But I agree, there's a balance between what's helpful and what's too much. From what I've seen you've got the balance right!

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  11. I don't do sponsorships because my blog isn't worth anything. Personally, I really like the way you do sponsorships compared to other blogs. And it shows that you're careful about who you take on to sponsor you. Usually they're the kind of people or products I'd be interested in looking at, so if you're looking for my opinion I think you should keep at it :)

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  12. Anonymous10:41 AM

    I don't mind the side sponsor ads, you have good sponsors that align with who you are. It gets trickier when it's a blog post.

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  13. We enjoy sponsoring your blog. Because you are selective, the traffic we get from you is our type of audience. I also understand the pressures of trying to please sponsors, readers, and being true to your own voice. At our blog we just exchange with blogs that suit us for free. This way your name is still out, yet there is no pressure... BC its free. Something to think about. I will say I would miss being on your sidebar, but you have to do what is best for you. <3 Tamara

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  14. I love your sponsor spotlights and I've found many great shops from your sidebar ads! I would be bummed if you stopped the sponsor spotlights, but I understand how you may feel about sponsors. I love reading about shops and people's stories. Most blogs I see have sponsors so I don't think it's anything that takes away from your blog, I think it's normal.

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  15. I'll confess.
    I don't read your sponsor posts. And I think what I've noticed with my own blog is that most people read via a phone or reader device (like Bloglovin') which doesn't take you to the blog's full site to even SEE the sponsors on the sidebar so it's not really worth it.
    I think I'll probably be removing mine soon and not spending more money on sponsoring because I don't feel like it helps much. You get a short bump in traffic and then it dwindles. The readers stay when you form a relationship (ie. comments on blogs, twitter chats and IG).
    I don't think it's wrong for you to have those feelings.
    Do what you think is best and it will be fine.
    Ps. Can't wait to see what the new "concept" is going to be!

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  16. I do have sponsoring on my blog but I just don't know if I like anymore either. I mean I love having others on my blog and I LOVE featuring them in a group feature where we all talk about a subject but I don't like the feel of being cheesy. I do it because I love to share. I don't make any money off of it, although I would love too! I just don't know how I feel about it either. I would love to sponsor your blog but I don't have the money for it, which is one good benny about having sponsors: you can make money off it.

    See, I don't know how I feel either. I don't mind blogs that have them, just as long as they aren't horrible. haha.

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  17. It's hard to decide. I ended up having ads. I feel funny about affiliates and I don't think I'd ever be big enough for sponsors. But if I did, I think I would have the same angst - it takes away the freedom to blog just for yourself. When did blogging get so business like? Truth be told I generally skip all the ones i know are sponsored blog posts. Hope you find the decision that works for you. Xxx

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Thanks for the comment! I read them all and reply when I can. Please be sure your blogger account is linked to your e-mail so I can do so! (Tutorial on how to do that here: http://tinyurl.com/c6gh9fk) xo JA