Monday 3 November 2014

Thinking about sponsorship (again!)

I've been thinking about blog sponsorship again (if you're interested, you can read my initial post on blog sponsorship and my subsequent follow-up).

My thoughts were prompted by a number of things, one being the series Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts is running this month on blog sponsorship - you can read her first post here.  I'll be contributing some thoughts of my own to that series, and I can't wait to see what Alyce's other contributors have to say.

I'm pretty happy with how I've done sponsorship so far.  My goal was to introduce my readers to some of my favourite quilting-related businesses, and I have a great group of sponsors on board who I am proud to associate with.   I also wanted to make sure that I didn't compromise my original content or my own point of view, and I think I've achieved that as well.


Those two goals will still absolutely guide me in making decisions about sponsorship.  I still think it's a shame when sponsored content outweighs genuinely inspirational content, and it's still something that makes me un-follow blogs.  However, this bloggy world of ours is constantly changing.  Even in the short time I've been blogging, things have evolved.  The rise of instagram is one aspect to this, as is people saying blogs are dead (obviously, I don't agree with this, but I do think the role of blogs has changed).

I have asked my sponsors to tell me what they want to get out of a sponsorship arrangement, and what they think is the most effective way to achieve this.

I'm looking to re-vamp my sponsorship arrangements, in a way that is good for my sponsors, and good for my readers. 

I've been thinking about the type of sponsored content that I enjoy, and the type of sponsored content I don't enjoy.

I would really like to know what kinds of sponsored content you enjoy, and what kinds you don't like.  I have a few potential options in mind, but I'd really like to hear what you have to say.  Maybe you've seen something on someone else's blog that you absolutely love.  Maybe you've seen something that just leaves you cold.  Maybe you have a new idea that you wish someone would run with.  Let me know!

Last time I posted about blog sponsorship stuff, I was really delighted with the insightful and considered conversations it generated.  I'd really like to keep the same tone with responses to this post.  If there's a type of sponsored content that you don't like, I'd really appreciate it if you could describe it in a general way, rather than specifying the blog that it appears on.  I personally wouldn't like my blog used as a negative example, and so I don't think it's fair to do that to other bloggers.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me - I really appreciate it.  Thank you also to my sponsors - your support is amazing.

Finally, it's time to announce the winner of the giveaway from my newest sponsor, Southern Fabric.  The random number generator picked comment number 175, which was Sarah from 123Quilts - yay!

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mac said...

Clearly identified sponsored posts are OK. If it is about fabric - great, especially if there is a giveaway. If it is something I have no interest in, I can skip the post. I have only stopped following blogs that do not make it clear when they are promoting a sponsor.

Heather said...

What I dislike: product reviews where they send you the item for free. Because frankly I never trust the content of the review in those situations.

What I like: I enjoy posts where bloggers feature favorite items from a sponsor's shop, like "I'm really excited about this bundle they offer!" In some of those cases I have actually gone ahead and bought the item the blogger featured.

I have mixed feelings about giveaways. Blogs I have unfollowed are blogs that just do a million giveaway posts. Obviously I like giveaways as much as the next person but I prefer posts with content, and as the blogger the comments you get on a giveaway post aren't particularly useful either. So not sure how I come down on those.

Thanks as always for your thoughtful post!

Quiltdivajulie said...

I am a non-sponsored blogger so I cannot speak to actual arrangements.

As a blog reader, I look for content worth reading. Giveaways are fine - particularly if that word is in the title (like Heather, I can skip it if I'm not in the mood). However, giveaways with a lot of strings are a pain.

And if it is a sponsored post, that should be at the top of the post and not the bottom.

Schulz Family said...

What an interesting subject. I have specifically chosen not to monetise my blog in any way. I get really annoyed when it is product review after product review, BUT I really like seeing what is new and how you would use it.
Totally agree though that it should be labelled at the top.
Unlike the others I do not mind if the products were free to the person, I think lucky them and wonder what they really thought. Most people seem to be pretty real about whether they like something or not.
I guess I want to see how you use whatever it is and what you really like.

Unknown said...

Here's where I sit on blog sponsorship both as a reader and a blogger; I think it's fine as long as the creative content outweighs the sponsored content.

I think of blogs like magazines. Your favourite magazine only exists because of advertising and if you want your favourite magazine to keep publishing then someone needs to get paid.

(Good) Blogging takes time and effort and resources and at some point those that are good at it and are generating a readership need to get some cash in to help balance the amount of time and effort that they're using to produce that content.

So I think it's fine - it just has to be well identified as sponsored, it can't outweigh the original content and people need to be able to ignore it if they want to. Simple.

But that's just my opinion ;)

pennydog said...

I agree with Angie above. What I really don't like though are blog hops. I find the host blog posting about where the next stop on the book tour, etc is every day to be really boring and I automatically don't read blog posts labelled as blog hops as a result. I have read posts though where the content has been generally good and then I discover at the bottom that actually it was a project made as part of a blog hop for example. That works for me.

mary mulliken said...

Hi! Is there a tutorial for the splashy stars quilt?? i can't find a link. I'd really like to make it!

Rachelle said...

I dislike sponsored posts where it's not obvious that it is one till the end.
I do like it when people are putting projects up and they say where they got the fabric from, or that amazing tool that they never knew they needed, and of course special offer sponsor posts are always appreciated!
I also like seeing nice bundles, particularly ones that mix different collections.
Giveaways from time to time are nice, but I've unsubscribed from a few blogs recently that are just giving away small voucher amounts, I prefer real fabric as a giveaway as it inspires me much more.
Also only one step to enter, none of the "follow everyone on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter" rubbish, that really turns me off.

Tamie said...

One blogger I follow highlights every week or two any specials her sponsors are having or new lines that they have in.

Leanne said...

Well, I have sponsors so I am on board with having them. I like to know what I am reading so like others I like a good informative title to a post and I try to do that too. I also agree that balance is important, I read blogs for their quilting content mostly. I will be interested to hear what you learn.

dutchcomfort said...

I think you have found a nice balance between creative posts and sponsored ones.

I like it when the blogtitle gives away that it’s about sponsorship, so I can choose to read a post or not.

What I really don’t like are bloghops.

Elise Lea said...

I don't mind sponsored posts that are identified as such - like a few others said if I feel like reading them or doing a giveaway i will, but if i don't, then i can skip it.

Sponsorships are a great way for blogger to earn a little income and there is nothing wrong with that.

One thing I don't like about giveaways is that if it has strings attached to enter - like sign up for a newsletter, share something via social media, etc. I don't mind if they are an optional second entry or something, and i don't mind if you have to be a follower for a second entry, but i think for a first entry it should be available to anyone without having to do something other than comment (or something similar).

Another thing that bothers me is when a blogger has sponsored content in every post - tI can think of a couple blogs that started taking on sponsors and in almost every post they mention their sponsors and the products - I usually stop reading those blogs.

Serena @ Sewgiving said...

I must admit that blog hops are wearing thin with me too - even though I've participated in a few. I like it when a blogger/quilter is given some fabric or notion and uses it to create an original design or even uses it in an already known pattern. Some fabrics lines don't 'shine' until they are chopped up and created with :) I also like to see how other bloggers interpret the fabric, it's great to see their spin on it and it might just inspire me to buy some :)