This post WILL come off as a ramble, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the advertising hype...
Think of your blog as real estate. You have a piece of property on the internet that collects traffic. Some of us have more traffic than others, which makes some of our "real estate" more valuable than others. That's not meant to be rude, it just is. There are plenty of bloggers out there that get WAY more traffic than me, and so their blogs are "worth" more. I'm not talking about content here, I'm strictly talking business and blog traffic. Determining how much you charge for advertising goes hand in hand with your traffic. I know this is all very simple and I'm sure you're rolling your eyes (if you've even read this far), but I needed to clarify this before moving on.
Now back to the stigma thing... I've noticed that blogs that have advertising/sponsorships get a lot of flack ***cough GOMI cough***. It's as if these high traffic blogs are "selling out", when in reality, it's just the blog evolving, getting better, yadda yadda yadda... and no you don't have to have advertising and sponsorships to prove that your blog is getting better. We've all seen blogs grow into powerhouses. Instead of being hateful and jealous and comparing ourselves to them, we should put that energy into our own blogs. These higher traffic blogs (and when I say "higher traffic", that's up to interpretation) are being presented with opportunities to work with companies and to make some money. And honestly, I think most people would do it if they were in the blogger's shoes.
Sponsored posts come with the territory of a for profit blog. Blogs that do sponsored posts have to really work hard on them. It's definitely not something you can slap together in 5 minutes. If you want to be paid, you have to put your time and effort in. I don't want anyone to think that being a blogger is a cake walk, BECAUSE IT IS NOT. Yes, I do get to work from home, but did you know that I schedule my posts ahead of time? I spend hours on my blog, and it DOES take time away from my family. Yes, boo hoo. But that's what work is. It takes your time. I'm still not complaining, I'm just explaining that to keep a for profit blog making money, they have to have what I like to call "commercials".
Most of us read blogs for entertainment. And like most entertainment, companies are trying to cash in on your time being spent being entertained. They're willing to pay decent money for a blogger to blog about them, or to post an advertisement permanently on your blog. I think that this comes to a shock to so many because they started their blogs with zero intent on making money (I know I did). I think that some of us don't understand the for profit blogs because blogging is such a personal thing. The reality is that blogging has changed. Of course it's still personal to us, hell, I'm not making as much money as some may think I'm making, so I'm obviously doing this because I love it. Not to be rich. But, yes, blogging has changed. Companies know it too. If you hate commercials, then don't watch tv, check out youtube, listen to pandora, etc.
From personal experience, I am so happy that I have advertisers and sponsored posts. I will probably always have them and I consider the opportunity a blessing. I am able to stay home and hang out with my kid, and also bring in a little extra cash too. The fact that I can do that doesn't make me a bad person or whatever, I think it's just something that causes others to be jealous. Who wouldn't want to stay home? But I also spend a lot of time on my damn computer. Just like someone who works 9-5 (except it's terrible, longer hours). It probably would make more sense for me just to go to work, but I love my little blog and I love being able to stay home with Wyatt.
Okay, so here's the bottom line that if you take anything away from this post, it's this:
STOP HATING ON BLOGS WITH ADVERTISERS AND SPONSORED POSTS. If you don't like it, stop reading, and move on (and for God's sake, don't spend your time bashing these blogs on sites like GOMI... that's just weird that you lurk over a blog you don't even like just to report back to that site). But hopefully since I've explained the importance of advertisers/sponsors are to a blogger, you'll realize that these bloggers are just trying to make a little extra money on the thing that they spend so much time on.