Saying “NO” to the Wrong Sponsor

A week or so ago I was contacted by a company interested in partnering with my blog for an advertising opportunity. You have know idea how excited I was. I thought, “This is it! I’ve hit the big time now, baby.” I read the first paragraph and felt like I had gotten some kind of congratulatory letter saying, “Your blog is now straight up awesome enough that we want to pay you for it.” No joke, that’s how psyched I was.  Then I started reading the rest of the email and started feeling unsure. The company had no relevance to what I blog about. I had never used their services, and I wasn’t likely to use their services in the near future. But, the company was family friendly, and I really did want a sponsor. Instead of responding immediately to their email with an enthusiastic “Heck yes, let’s do this!” I held off and sought the advice of bloggers wiser and more experienced than I am. I got a lot of good feedback and some important things to think about from these blog friends/mentors/celebs that I want to share with you.

1. Your blog space is like your home and if it’s important to you it will show to your readers. The kind of ads or sponsors you have, do say something about you and your blog.

2. Make sure you research or look into the company/sponsor wanting to buy ad space from you. You wouldn’t rent a room in your house to just anyone, right? It’s okay to look at a company’s reputation and image and decide whether or not they’re a good fit.

3. Don’t sell yourself or your blog short. If you are going to work with sponsors make sure it’s worth your time and effort. You wouldn’t rent your home out to someone who wasn’t going to pay you what it was worth. But also, be realistic on the amount of “rent” you’re charging.

If you’ve thought about all these things and still feel comfortable working with the company, then you can take the next likely step to advertising the company on your blog. If, after thinking about those things, you don’t feel comfortable, don’t hesitate to tell the company NO. There is no sense in losing your blog space and the trust your readers have put in you for a few dollars, especially if you want readers to value your opinions and think of you as a blogger with integrity.

Emails with the company I mentioned earlier, quickly hit a sour note for me. I realized this company wasn’t really interested in honest advertising, and definitely wasn’t a company I wanted to be associated with. The best thing for my blog would be to decline their offer, politely yet firmly. I was really glad I could stand up for my blog, show I had integrity, and let a company know their actions were questionable at best, but I still felt a little sting from my illusions of finally “making it” being dashed away.

I learned a lot from this experience, but the most important thing I gained was the fact that I could say NO to the wrong opportunity. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to get another offer from another company, and it didn’t mean that my blog wasn’t as cool or as awesome as I thought it was… it just meant that I cared enough about my blog’s image and my readers to not sell out for $20.

Jennifer is the talented blogger behind Always in Wonder. She’s relatively new to the craft blogging scene, having started in late 2010 after the birth of her daughter. Visit Always in Wonder for crafty tutorials and the occasional story about her darling family. Jennifer lives with husband Justin, son Levi and daughter Rian in California.
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11 Responses to “Saying “NO” to the Wrong Sponsor”

  1. patricia says:

    Jennifer, thanks for the honest posting, really appreciate it…

  2. Lita Warehim says:

    Thanks for having integrity. I always wondered how these ads got onto the blogs, very interesting, thanks for sharing!

  3. Jen says:

    I was recently contacted about a sponsorship for a blog that I haven’t updated in many, many months. I think that the company just didn’t do much research…or really even just pay attention.

    There are some blogs that I have visited for a time and have been completely turned off by the amount of sponsored posts and really off-topic sponsors. I think some ads along the side are fine. A sponsored post when it is a perfect fit is fine. But accepting every sponsorship becomes so transparent to readers…it looks like you are blogging to make a buck and that is it.

  4. This is a wonderful post! Wish I had read it a little earlier… it gives me the confidence to help my blog be what it I want it to be!

  5. Amy D says:

    I am just loving the Super Woman picture. LOL! Good for you for not selling out! I love honesty and integrity and think more people should show it in every aspect of their life.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you ladies, for all the kind words and support. I really am so glad that so many of us value readership and our voice instead of the mighty dollar.

  7. Wow, this is so timely! I was just contacted this week and was really excited – my first paying customer! 😉 But, the e-mail had so few details it felt a little spam-like. I responded asking for more info, and got just a little info about the marketing company and their client, but it just never felt right. So I declined. Thanks for making me feel better about that decision.

  8. Love the article Jennifer! It’s very insightful (and very true). You gotta be choosy. 😀

    I also agree with the commenter who says you have to be picky about sponsors. Not every paying gig is a good one, even when it’s legit. If you endorse everything, then it’s confusing to readers!

  9. Chrissy says:

    Thank you Jennifer for sharing your experience.

  10. Imy says:

    Thanks for that article. Very useful to see things from other perspectives and sometimes it just helps to stop and think before jumping in.

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