Heather wrote a great post yesterday about why readers don’t like it when bloggers make money. I started writing in the comments, and then I realized I had enough to say to write a blog post, so here I am.
The truth is, sometimes our readers get upset when bloggers get paid. Heather did a great job recapping some of the reasons why. As someone who works at a full-time job and then comes home and blogs, I have to say that I don’t begrudge anyone doing what they love. To me, the ultimate job is doing what makes you happy. I know intimately what it’s like to go to a job and cry because the work sucks – I know what it’s like to ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” I also know what it’s like to come home, blog and connect with readers and think “this is what I was meant to do.” Making projects, writing and sharing with an audience is the ultimate job in my humble opinion. I am happy for anyone that gets the opportunity to do it full time.
Having said that, I have three more points to consider.
1) Remember that bloggers are providing a service. You pay to get your hair done, you pay to get someone to do your taxes. Those are services. You don’t have to pay bloggers (directly) for collecting inspiration because the advertisers do – and I’m okay with that. I want the blogs that I read to keep providing me good ideas, and I want them to be compensated for their time to do so. It’s only fair.
2) Bloggers work really hard to make the sponsored posts take as little of a “hit” to the blog as possible. Most of us protect our readers and ARE selective. I know that I don’t accept opportunities that I feel wouldn’t benefit my readers or just plain aren’t relevant. The truth is, I could make a lot more money that I do. I’m not bragging, I’m simply trying to point out that I don’t want to be greedy, and I think about that before I make sponsorship choices. Any product that I sponsor or write about is one that I believe in and would use myself. Not all bloggers are like this, but most that I know are.
3) Sometimes you might feel that a blog has “sold out” – that your favorite blogger is now a sponsorship waiting to be had. My suggestion? Open a dialog with them! Don’t leave an anonymous comment. Write the blogger an e-mail and express your point of view as politely as possible. There could be a variety of reasons for the sponsored posts. Maybe the blogger simply doesn’t realize that he/she is doing it (to that extreme). I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes we just so engrained in the day-to-day, creating and thinking of new ideas that we schedule four sponsored posts in one week. Give us a chance to explain, and don’t assume the worst. After all, we’re only human.
I hope this helps gives some additional insight into the world of paid blogging. Every day I’m thankful for my readers, and when it comes down to it, I just want to do what I love and make a living at it AND make my readers happy. I think both can be done at the same time.
By the way, we accept guest posts on this topic, whether or not you have the same point of view. I am open to your thoughts in the comments.