To Sponsor Or Not To Sponsor

Steven Hodson of discussed an interesting issue over the weekend regarding blogging and hypocrisy.

It seems that unless you are a part of a blog network or some big name blogger the idea that you would even think of stepping beyond the bounds of ad networks and god forbid go looking for deals of your own then you are stepping beyond your pay grade and need to be put back in your place. The most common method of slapping forward looking independent bloggers back into place is by calling their ethics into question.

Being an up and coming blogger myself, my opinion has been that if a blogger is going to monetize their blog through the use of sponsored posts, they should always give out a disclaimer. Many of the resources out on the web which help you to become a better blogger have stated that once your readers lose trust in what you write, it’s incredibly difficult to get that trust back and I agree. Therefor, if you remain transparent and clearly label a sponsored post as being one, I have no qualms with bloggers creating sponsored posts.

Here is one example of where there are potential problems with sponsorship.

Let’s say a blogger writes a number of reviews about a particular product and or service and most of those reviews are in a positive spotlight. It’s then later discovered that the blogger was being paid for those reviews by the same company in which he/she was reviewing calling not only to question the ethics of the blogger, but also question their trust. This situation would of been easily solved had the blogger publicly identified as being paid to write a particular post.

This idea of blog sponsorships is still a sticky subject. On one hand, bloggers need to make money and sponsorships are one way of doing so. On the other hand, independent bloggers have the freedom to say whatever it is they want without the influence of cash. It’s like one of those situations where you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

So my question to you is, how have you handled sponsorships either through posts or paid reviews? Have you had to deal with an onslaught of negativity from your readership because of the way you handled sponsored posts either presently or in the past?

5 thoughts on “To Sponsor Or Not To Sponsor

  1. according…and like mazda i consuder a must inserting a disclaimer page on the blog (like in mine) to wanrn visitors about contents you can find on the blog itself. Sponsored post? for now work…but it is near the death

  2. personally, i’ve taken the mentality that the only money worth taking online is money that is sustainable and reliable. sponsored posts are a single influx of money (a small influx at that) but they do not continue to make money.

    Focus all your efforts online on things that will *continue* to make you money, not just the things that make you money today.

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