I mentioned recently that I’ve started using Blueprint Social to participate in some sponsored posts. I’ve done my first of those posts today over on Crochet Concupiscence.
Blueprint Social offers bloggers the chance to work with sponsors who provide them with products/ payment in exchange for posts about what they have to offer. I have chosen to work with them because I think that they do a reputable job of selecting bloggers that are going to give honest, fair opinions of the products and not just write BS. That’s the only way I’d be willing to do these posts.
The Crochet Blog Post
Here were some of the personal rules that I followed for myself when writing this post to make sure that I wasn’t writing something spammy or overly promotional:
- I only signed up for the campaign with this blog because I already have a series of DIY crochet wedding posts on the site so it’s appropriately matched to my existing content.
- I made sure that the post incorporated crochet since my blog is, after all, a crochet blog. I challenged myself to come up with a crochet tutorial that my readers might actually use and enjoy.
- I focused on showing how to use the product, rather than saying that I loved the product. The truth is actually that I thought it was a pretty cool product (a battery-operated LED branch to be used as a table centerpiece inside of a vase). But I wanted the post to be about how to use the item, not just a review saying “blah blah blah I liked this”.
In Another Writing Life
The reason that I’m being so careful to take this non-promotional approach to working with the Blueprint Social team (which is what they want; I think) is because years ago in my writing life I wasn’t always so careful and I regretted it. I’ve been writing online for ten years or more. In the beginning, I was just trying to get a foot in the door. I was learning the ropes. There wasn’t nearly as much information about SEO and blogging as there is now. Heck, when I started blogging, nobody I told about my job even knew what a blog was.
And during that time I did things like write paid reviews for products I never used, link to products I didn’t even like, etc. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken those actions. I regret them but am gentle with myself because I know that I was a young writer who was still learning and I’m not the only one who made those mistakes. But now that I know better, I’m more careful.
I think it’s fine for bloggers to get paid for their work. I think it’s great, in fact; we work hard. I also think it’s fine for companies to work with bloggers to promote specific products. However, it has to be done in a context like this one where you utilize the product, share a fair opinion about it and are hoenst in disclosing what you’re doing. I think I’ve achieved that with today’s post on my crochet blog.