The other day when I wrote my post over at MomCrunch asking what y’all see as “selling out” when it comes to the bloggers you read, I obviously had this topic on the brain for a reason. And the reason is that I am trying to figure out how to accept some of the terrific opportunities I sometimes get offered to create and publish sponsored content here at Mamapundit – defining “terrific” as an offer from a company or brand that I actually like, and one that would pay me so that I can better provide for my family – in a way that doesn’t seem icky or tacky or sellout-ish to all of you. And that MomCrunch blog post I wrote and on which a lot of people commented offered me some legitimately useful feedback – very specific thoughts on what readers do and don’t find obnoxious with regard to bloggers and sponsored posts or videos.
The bottom line is that I want to give it a go – I want to try to include a small amount of sponsored content in the overall mix of what I do on my blog, and I want to see how it goes. To be perfectly frank, we could really use the financial boost because, well, to be EXCEPTIONALLY frank, we have one hell of a lot of medical debt from everything that’s happened in the past few years, and we are paying it off month by month (go Dave Ramsey debt snowball!), but it surely would be a stress reliever to add some extra income to the budget that could go straight to the noble “Kill Hickju Medical Debt” cause. And there’s college coming up for J….and….and…and….
You get the idea.
But as I expressed in that post at MomCrunch, I feel legitimately anxious about whether I can write even a small amount of sponsored content here without seeming desperately commercial or obnoxious to readers, whom I respect more than most of you probably realize. If I get paid for writing a few of my posts, can I still remain true to what I’ve always done on my blog- keep my voice honest and my point of view real and everything? Or will y’all decide that I am a phony corporate shill, and stop reading or commenting?
These are my worries. But I would like to at least dip my toe into these waters and see how it all works out. Before I do, though, I want to get some even MORE specific feedback from those of you who read my blog on how you would prefer that I let you know that something I write is sponsored. To be clear, I am not suggesting that I would EVER, EVER,EVER not let you know. That’s not in question. I will ALWAYS let you know. My question is regarding HOW y’all would prefer that I let you know. And there are a couple of options for how that could go.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way for a blogger to disclose that her post is sponsored. It’s really just a matter of what her readers would prefer. So that’s what I want to ask; since I want to try doing the occasional sponsored post at Mamapundit, how would y’all prefer to find out that that a particular blog post is one of these?
Here are the three primary options:
1 – Always include the word(s) “(Sponsored)” or “(Sponsored Post)” in the actual titles of sponsored posts, with the info about who sponsored it, and a link to that brand or organization or event right up at the top.
2 – A quick nod and wink to the sponsorship up top with more complete info and advertorial link at the end.
3 – Very organically and with no fuss thank the brand for sponsoring the post at the end so that readers aren’t interrupted in an intrusive way.
So yeah, these three seem like the main ways I might handle disclosure with a sponsored blog post, but maybe there are other possibilities that y’all would prefer, but I haven’t thought of.
So will you tell me? Will y’all let me know in the comments below how and in which format you would be least bugged by the information that a particular post is one that’s sponsored? I want to make sure that YOU ALWAYS KNOW, but I also don’t want to make it more intrusive and in your face than it needs to be. I want to find that balance that really respects all of you, because I truly appreciate that you take even a few minutes now and again to read my blog, and without all of you, nobody would be offering to pay me anything, ever. So I want to be sure that if I am going to try this to even a limited degree, y’all help guide me in how I do it.
So chime in on this one, will you? And never stop keeping me honest, like you always have. I’m counting on it.