Sunday, February 24, 2013

Be honest | Be yourself | Get paid for your work

Yesterday on Facebook, I asked a few of my fellow bloggers a simple question to find out how long a sponsored post should remain live on your blog (i.e. a month/3 months/a lifetime). It raised a lot of interesting, passionate answers and while at first, I felt like I had opened a can of worms, one thing that stroke a chord was the notion of integrity and trust. 

{So...Should you get paid for your work?}
Well why not!? Not everyone who writes a blog wants to be a professional blogger but if you do, if you love blogging, if you love sharing and you want to make a new career out of it, then getting into the right frame of mind and having the confidence to get paid for your work is important. 
However, let's be realistic there...Blogging is a game of patience. Even the most successful blogs have not become a success overnight. There is a lot of hours put into generating unique, interesting content . You also need to be consistent and most importantly BE YOURSELF.
I have seen this worked powerfully with my shop which is now an Award-winning concept store and is regularly featured in top UK & International magazines. I've never really followed trends and never listened to friends & family who told me it wouldn't work. I had faith in my vision. It took years for other people to see it but now we're there to stay.

{Would sponsored posts on your blog undermine the trust you readers have?}
For me the answer is long as you're being honest and upfront. 
I think we all know that rich, handsome millionaires are a pretty rare affair these days and I'm pretty sure, like me, you want to be financially independent. I couldn't stomach having to ask Steve for money every time I want to buy something but it is important you make everything clear to your readers.
It's also important to maintain your passion but passion should not be incompatible with drive. I started my blog out of passion 8 years ago and it's only since last year that it started generating some income and hallellulia to that!
Photo via Mechant Design

{What is a sponsored post?}
A sponsored post will be very different from one blog to another. On some blogs, it is an article written by a PR agency or SEO* agency, anyone but the author of the blog and is meant to push a specific brand by the means of an advertorial with hidden links to the brand. Personally, I'm not a big fan of those and I have turned down a lot of brands and income because I simply refuse to have a brand on my site I don't like.
However, I set up my own rules and made this work for me in a way that enables me to maintain my integrity and editorial style and on this page, I have explained how I do it.

If you are blogger and have been struggling about what to do with these numerous sponsored requests you get, you may find this interesting.

If you are not a blogger but have a shop or just want to understand the difference between a sponsored post and a normal post, then it will explain everything.

*Search Engine Optimization

{Useful links about the business of blogging}
 As blogging is a fairly new industry and yet, already a force to reckon with, it is not always easy to know what to do or how to do it. I wish someone had told me what I'm sharing with you today about sponsored post 8 years ago because I could have made this work for myself a long time ago but here a few things worth reading...

{Sharing is caring}
Once thing I noticed over the years as a blogger is how rewarding it is to get some feedback and comments and while I can see from Google Analytics that you keep coming back for more, GA are fairly boring and it's a lot more fun to get a comment and some interaction with a real-human being than stats & figures.
So I know, we are all busy with our lives, work, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram but I've introduced a little feature at the bottom of each post that allows you to rate my forthcoming posts if you don't have time to leave a comment.
You have the choice between Inspiring | Interesting | Could be better that way, if you really don't have the time to comment, at least I get an idea of what you enjoyed reading or what sucked. That was my bracket on the business of blogging ;-) Will revert to posts about inspiring interiors from tomorrow. Have a great Sunday xoxo



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