The Life of Bon: If you accept sponsors on your blog: The customer is always right?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

If you accept sponsors on your blog: The customer is always right?



About a year ago I wrote this post on sponsoring blogs.  I had been sponsoring for about six months and I had figured out a thing or two.  Now, with another year of sponsoring under my belt I have learned even more.  Unfortunately, a lot that I have learned about how to be a good blog to sponsor I have learned through negative experiences sponsoring other blogs.  I figure now would be a good time to share it with y'all so that A. it doesn't happen to you and B. you yourself don't do these things.  Ready?

A GOOD BLOG TO SPONSOR DOES THE FOLLOWING:

1.  A good blog to sponsor treats their blog like a business.  This means if they say they are going to post five times a week, they have to post five times a week.  If they tell you a post is going up on a certain day, it needs to go up on that day.  If there are changes, they need to let sponsors know.  I map out the beginning of my month all my sponsored post.  I know what days are the guest posts, what days are the giveaways and what days are the group posts.  Then I email all my sponsors and let them know.  If I have to make changes to the calendar, I email all sponsors before the change happens.  It's a business and the people sponsoring my blogs are my customers.

2. A good blog to sponsor offers refunds.  Some may disagree with me on this one and I'm interested to hear what you think.  If you are extremely disappointed with a blog sponsorship would you ask for a refund?  What if you weren't given everything in the package that you were promised?  If your button wasn't put up on time, if the post wasn't put up the day it was promised, if you felt you had been lied to about numbers?  What constitutes for asking for a refund?

To me, asking for a refund is nothing.  I take lots of things back to the store.  The watermelon wasn't ripe, the toy broke after two days, the hemline on the skirt was shoddy.  Take it back!  Exchange it.  If the whole store is pot, just get my money back and be done with it! I think this should be the same with sponsorships.  If you are going to offer ad space and accept money for it on your blog, than you need to accept responsibility if people are unhappy and be accountable when you mess up.

Out of the 30+ blogs I have sponsored, there have been two times when I have asked for a refund.  One time I felt that I was purposely lied to about the numbers.  The day my guest post went up I got 26 hits from that blog even though I had been told that the blogger's traffic was up to 100,000 pageviews a month.  I felt that the blogger had been dishonest about pageviews so I asked for a 50% refund.  She said no. I dropped it.

Another time the giveaway I was participating in didn't go up the day the blogged had said.  I was counting on the giveaway for traffic and posted something special that day to catch new traffic.  The post didn't go up and no word from the blogger.  A few days later, when I had a guest post on my blog, the giveaway randomly went up.  I felt that I couldn't take full advantage of the giveaway because I didn't know the day it went up.  In addition to this, traffic from the blogger's site was extremely low as the blogger didn't post as frequently as normal because it was a very busy that month and there were many stressful things going on with her family.  While I certainly am sympathetic to the situation, I didn't believe I should have to pay full price if she wasn't able to give the sponsorship her full attention.  I told her my concerns and asked for a 50% refund.  She complied, but followed it up with a rude email saying that I had walked all over her.

Both experiences with these bloggers bothered me a bit.  They both replied to me that low traffic was not their fault, and that I take a "risk" when I sponsor a blog and basically I need to deal with the consequences.  While I certainly agree that what traffic comes to my site isn't completely their responsibility, they have made it partly their responsibility by accepting my money.  The blog is now a business, and part of that should be keeping me happy, right?

I suppose this is where I have a bit of a problem doing business with bloggers and small business owners (i.e. Etsy).  You ask for a refund and the way they react you'd think you threatened to kill their whole family.  They can get so defensive and mean.  I feel like yelling to them, "Hey!  It's not that big of a deal, girl.  I still like you!  It's just you sold me a product, I was not satisfied with the product, and now I would like some of the money back that I gave you.  No biggie!"  Businesses understand this.  Wal-mart certainly doesn't get all up in arms when I take back their pants that don't fit.  Neither should a blogger.

I have had a handful of times when sponsors have told me they weren't happy with sponsorship.  In July, I completely spaced putting Jenn's name down as my feature sponsor.  Consequently, I didn't put her ad up.  Halfway into the month she asked me where her sidebar ad was.  When I realized what I had done, I apologized and said I would put it right up.  She said she wanted a refund and I should take better care of her money. I agreed and said I would be happy to give her 100% refund or two months of free ad space, whichever she preferred.  She was much kinder to me in the next email, we worked out a compromise that made us both happy, and we are on great "blogging terms" now.  Anytime a sponsor has complained to me I have offered a refund or free ads.  To me that's just good business.  No need to get offended or defensive, just admit wrong and try to fix the situation.

This month I had one of the best sponsoring experiences with Heather from Just Love.ly.  She has a huge readership, but I wasn't getting views from her site.  She told me straight up how many people were clicking over to my blog versus how many people normally click over on the blogs.  My number was very low.  She explained to me that she didn't think our styles match up. She focuses on DIY and beautiful homes and recipes.  I focus mainly on making fun of seventeen year old hoodlums.  We didn't match.

I was floored when she apologized for the traffic and told me she would offer me a 75% refund.  I didn't even ask her, she just offered it.  To me, this is excellent business.  Not only was I happy, but now I am eager to recommend her blog to others and will certainly recommend sponsoring her to those who have similar blogs to hers.  This is a woman you want to do business with.

3.  A good blog to sponsor tells you their monthly pageviews.  When it all comes down to it, this is the only number that matters.  Twitter followers, GFC followers, Bloglovin, etc is all useful only in that it should contribute to your monthly pageviews.  Some tell you their pageviews right out on their sponsor page,  but some don't.  If they don't, I ask them straight up.  You'd be surprised how many bloggers have 4,000+ GFC followers but aren't even getting 20,000 monthly pageviews. The big giveaways that took over our blogosphere there for a minute greatly inflated "follower" numbers and quite frankly, now they can't be trusted.  Ask monthly pageviews to really get a good idea of how many eyes will see your post.

4.  A good blog to sponsor tells you the day your post is going to go up.  As soon as I have paid my money, I want to know what date the guest post or giveaway will be.  I have had sponsors tell me before just to send the post and then they'll fit it in whenever works for them.  Nope.  Give me a date and I will send the post before the deadline.  I like to know when the post will go up and know that that day has been set aside for me.

5.  A good blog to sponsor is not shady.  I suppose this could go a lot of different ways.  I get that the term "shady" is totally vague, but I can't think of a better word.  Just be upfront.  Don't lie.  Return emails on time.  Explain exactly what a sponsor is getting.  If you say "social media love" then what does that mean?  Do you #ff them with a group of a bunch of other bloggers?  Or do you link to a specific post of theirs three times a month?  Because those are very different things.  I feel like with sponsorship, the vaguer a blogger is, the shadier a blogger is.  What time will the post go up?  Don't post a guest post at 3 in the afternoon.  Post it early in the morning.  I was pretty frustrated this spring when I paid for a guest post and waited all morning to see traffic coming from that blog.  It didn't come and it didn't come and it didn't come.  Finally, at noon, the blogger put my guest post up.  At 2:00, there was another sponsored post up.  She gave me two measly hours and I paid for a full priced sponsorship.

I would say that most people when they are doing a guest post on your blog expect the post to be up for 24 hours or close to that.  This month I have been emailing Jenni about doing a guest post.  She said she would be happy to let me BUT there would be a high possibility that there would be two posts that day.  She couldn't guarantee me 24 hours.  I respect this so much.  Instead of just taking my money and then posting two or three sponsored posts that day without letting me know, Jenni was upfront about it and told me exactly what the jig would be.

As I'm finishing this post, I realize it sounds a bit more bitter and negative than I meant it to. I'm sorry. This wasn't my intention. I just think that bloggers who operate this way with their sponsorship need to stop.  I think they need to be called out on it.  Sadly, there are  bloggers out there who are just all about making a buck.  They have discovered the wonderful fact that their "little corner of the web" can bring them in a pretty penny and their minds start racing.  I don't think they're evil in their intentions, I just think they get a bit carried away when they realize how much money they can make and I think us, as fellow bloggers, need to tell them to cut it out and treat the customer right!

And wow.  What a rant!  Excuse me, it's my grumpy time of month.

Peace.  Love.  Sleep.

82 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post! I just bought my very first ad about 2 weeks ago and I was expecting a lot more traffic with it than I'm getting. The blogger said that her ads got around 52,000 clicks a month yet I've only gotten around 10 so far. Very frustrating!

    Reviews Until You Drop

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    1. Yes! Exactly! It is hard to not feel totally robbed.

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  2. I thought this was really interesting - I personally sponsor a few blogs a month (all on the lower monetary end) and I had never thought of it as this much of a business. Though, I blog on a much smaller scale and still do it mostly for fun. Almost every experience I've had with sponsorship has been positive. I only had one incident where my button wasn't up for ten days. After two emails (and a lot of not-patience on my end), it went up, and stayed up for thirty days, so at least that was solved. I'm sorry you had those two negative experiences and I wish it was possible to be able to see pageviews on a blog...that's why I still usually trust bloglovin' followers. (I've never trusted GFC since I feel as though most people still use those for giveaways.) As someone who is just beginning to open up her blog to sponsorship, this was good to see! I will take it much more seriously now. Thank you!

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    1. I agree that is the downfall of asking someone for their pageviews- there is no proof and they could easily lie about how many monthly pageviews they are actually getting. That's how I felt about the one blog I sponsored who said she got up to 100,000 pageviews a month. Looking back I know it was a lie because I've sponsored much smaller blogs that have given me WAY more results.

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  3. So NOT a ranting post! I found myself nodding thru the entire thing and agreeing, and not just because I've got a crush on you ;) When I first started out I jumped right in sponsoring big named blogs and paid a pretty penny with NO results and hurt feelings. Seriously left a bad taste in my mouth and I vowed never to be like that big or small. I wish I had the balls then to ask for a refund but didn't want "backlash" if there was even such a thing as that ;) Now I WANT my sponsors to be completely honest with their experience because I want to make sure I'm doing exactly what they're paying me to do, since that's what I expect when I sponsor blogs. Again amen BonBon amen!

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    1. Well I have a crush on you too so looks like it's mutual! And yes, I agree, it just leaves such a bad taste in your mouth and you don't know what to do about it. I just feel like people shouldn't get away with dishonesty just because they're "popular". Feels like high school all over again!

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  4. I'm still pretty new to all of this and found your "rant" to be fabulous, thanks for the info!
    Lauren

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  5. You are so right on with this one! Thanks for keeping the standards high in the blogging world! I love what you said about the number of page views per month, it's so true. I don't care if you have 15,000 Pinterest followers if my post or ad isn't going to be seen.

    I did a post similar to this a few weeks ago - one for sponsors and one for blogs who are looking to sponsor. Your blog is on my list of "excellent bloggers" that always get mentioned when people are looking for great blogs to sponsor.

    Thanks for this post Bonnie!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie! I appreciate that! And yes, I totally agree about the pinterest followers thing- it means nothing if those people aren't looking at the blog consistently!

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  6. This is such a great post.
    I think a lot of it comes down to the 'professional' blogger versus the 'blogging on a whim' blogger. Both are great but as soon as there's money involved, I think you need to be 'professional' blogger.

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    1. "Blogging on a whim"- what a great way to describe it. I agree completely!

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  7. This is so good. I would love to for this to be a guest post on my blog! Right now I am having a very bad experience with a sponsorship myself. For the entire time ( we are at the last week right now ) my guest post has not went up.. even with nice emails back and forth. I really don't want to say anything but it does upset me. And btw..can you explain more about the 24 hour rule in re to guest posts. Does that mean its your post only for that entire day? Or is it, 24 hours before they will post another guest post? I hope you understand what I am asking! This is a great post and I wish more bloggers would follow suit.

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    1. in re to the guest posts: in my book it means that the post goes up and no other post goes up for 24 hours. What good is a post if it is one of four or five posts in a day? It won't get nearly the attention or traffic from my post. Now I understand not all bloggers work this way, but if they don't keep it up as the main post for the whole day then I want to know before I fork over my mulah.

      And I would love to guest post this on your blog. Just let me know when and we can arrange it!

      And I think you should email her and be just a little tiny bit mean. That usually gets a quicker response! :)

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  8. love this post and as someone who sponsors several blogs a month, i totally agree! I have sponsor spots on my blog but I am really upfront that I don't promise anything. My blog doesn't get amazing traffic and I am more about swapping. My blog is a supplement to my main business which is my jewelry and accessories line. i have an etsy shop and i do not do refunds. when someone asks for a refund, I don't act offended, but if the customer reads my policies, they will see that refunds are not allowed. however, i am open to doing an exchange if they pay for shipping. I know that might sound cheap, but I am a very small company....and I just cannot afford the constant exchanges/refunds that I am afraid might happen if I allow them in my policies.

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    1. I appreciate your take on the etsy refunds. That does make sense and I love that you have it in your policies that you don't allow refunds. Then if readers buy and want a refund it is their own fault because they should have known ahead of time.

      And I can see how refunds with an etsy business would be a total nightmare with shipping and what not. With an ad on a blog, it's a bit easier to refund money.

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  9. This post is great. I totally agree that as soon as a blogger starts taking money, they need to be completely professional. This is people's hard earned money, and they can't just faff around. There's always a possibility to force the refund by going through Paypal - assuming you didn't send the payment as a gift. But that will definitely result in sore attitudes.

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    1. Oh I didn't know you could FORCE the refund via Paypal. That's very interesting and kind of scary. That's the hard part too about asking for refunds, it creates bad feelings when it shouldn't.

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  10. I appreciate this post so much. I agree that once money is exchanged, it's a business.

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  11. Loved this, Bonnie! I have had some amazing experiences and some horrible ones (thankfully the good outweigh the bad.) I think I am guilty of the ambiguous "shady" stuff, where timing changes and post dates change and I realize how important that is! I also agree about being specific. I want social media love that is specific and posts that are posted in the morning and last 24 hours...at least. Great post!

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    1. Being specific definitely takes some practice but for me at least the more specific I am the much more in control I feel. There's no panic of "When am I going to do this for this blogger?" It's all planned out and I can relax a bit.

      and thanks for all your sweet comments on my blog. You are one of my faves!

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  12. Thank you so much for this post. I had two really bad experiences with sponsoring two big blogs, who promised way more than they actually gave.

    First Situation: I paid for a two month ad where the sponsor had assured me that I would receive about 10,000 clicks (I believed this due to the massive following and about daily posts), a guest post on a topic of my choice, social media "shout outs", and a giveaway of one of my pieces of art. I had followed the blog for about three months and it seemed to be the right type of blog to follow in relation to mine. My ad then went up two weeks after it was suppose to. In the two months that I sponsored, I received 8 clicks...how incredibly insulting. When I contacted the blogger about my guest post and giveaway the second month she never responded and moved my ad to the bottom of her page. I no longer follow this blog. Highly unprofessional, I wish their was a site where users could rate their sponsorships so new bloggers could be aware!

    Second Situation: Very popular blog, I had followed for about three years and seen it grow. I decided to take out the second largest ad option for the month even though it was kind of costly because I knew their was a good amount of traffic, lots of commenting going on, and the blogger had promised social media shout outs, a guest post, and some other perks. In that month, not only did I get under 20 clicks...but the "social Media shout outs" were non existent in fact I tweeted her several times and once she wrote back " <3 you". SERIOUSLY. The guest post was a joke, she wrote two sentences about my blog instead of asking me what I wanted that did a poor job of portraying what my blog was about. For a blog this big, who clearly is making hundreds and hundreds of dollars every month just off blogger sponsorships alone...I was disgusted.

    I have had some very good sponsorships as well that have sent over some wonderful followers. I'm just more cautious now as to who to sponsor because of these particular situations.

    I myself don't want to accept sponsorships until I have more time to dedicate to my blog and more followers who also interact, sponsorships are to help bloggers grow and many bloggers seem to be forgetting this lately.

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    1. Oh my goodness those situations are ridiculous! On the first one I don't know how anyone can guarantee that you will receive a certain amount of clicks. That's just bad business to make such a cray guarantee. Never responding to an email is one of my huge huge pet peeves and unfortunately the big bloggers do it ALL the time. I can't tell you how many of the huge bloggers I have emailed and not gotten a single word response from. HOW RUDE!

      Laughed out loud at the "<3 you" response. Way to avoid the problem for her, huh? And I agree... the bad experiences just make you a bit more cautious!

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  13. This would be the reason why I don't do any blog sponsoring, etc. I'm just not in the mood to get into a lot of that mess. Maybe one day but not at the current moment.

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  14. I've done the group giveaway thing where the giveaway is posted dayssss later than it was supposed to be. I already had my post to link to it scheduled. Annoying.

    Also, I sponsored a "big" blog once (this girl was someone I traded comments with quite regularly) and got truly nothing out of it. I haven't sponsored since.

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    1. That's the saddest thing about it- a bad experience like that leaves you not wanting to sponsor anybody ever!

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  15. This was really good. I recently won one of those mega giveaways only 3 out of the 40 prizes ever contacted me and the when I contacted the blog host she never responded I was bummed not really about the prizes by about the fact that it seemed like a huge scam to get followers in order to get paid sponsors :)

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    1. Wow! That is terrible! Shame on the sponsors and shame on the host for not getting their butt in gear. I have to admit I wonder the same thing sometimes.... how easy would it be for lots of these giveaways to just never announce a winner and keep the goodies or money for themselves.

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  16. thanks for this post! I paid $35 for a tiny ad space and it hasn't gone up yet and is about to expire. I never even got an email from the person saying thanks for sponsoring, like I have from all the others. Asking for a refund crossed my mind but I didn't know if I should, now I'm thinking it's ok to do so. It's a bummer because I probably won't sponsor much again in the future, this left a bitter taste in my mouth and it's already uncomfortable enough trusting people with your money. blah..

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    1. I would DEFINITELY email her and ask what is up. I know for me sometimes I just make mistakes and forget to put something up so it could just be an oversight. You should definitely let her know and if you don't hear back then I'd ask for a refund for sure.

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  17. This post was great and not negative at all! I think of my own blog as a business and do my best to be honest with my sponsors, but I never thought to think of who I sponsor as a business. I don't pay attention too closely to what they do for me or if it is benefiting me. There are two blogs I sponsor on a regular basis because of the traffic I get on the days they feature me, but you made me realize that I don't know the days they will feature me which means I can't utilize it to my benefit. I am glad that I do do some of the things you say good sponsors should do-- I email a schedule right away and I am always honest if I messed up, which I did last month. And at the end of the sponsorship I always ask for feedback and offer a discount for future sponsorships as a way to show my appreciation and love. A post on how you schedule and organize yourself would be awesome too!

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    1. Love the idea of asking for a feedback and offering a discount for future sponsorships. Totally good business in my book. Way to go!

      And yes, I agree on a post about scheduling and organizing yourself would be useful. I will keep that in mind!

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  18. This is totally right! I just sponsored a blog where she has lots of GFC followers and apparently lot of traffic. She posted once a week, and I didn't gain one follower, or get more than 50 clicks from it. What a waste of 35 dollars! Another blog, she said she would do a FREE sponsorship button if you posted on your blog about her new film company. I did that, sent her a link for the post, etc. Never heard back from her, never got a button. *le sigh* after those two experiences, I don't think i'll ever sponsor again. Or if I do, I'll sponsor you because you know what you are doing!

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    1. The first one I don't know how much you can do about it, but the second one I would definitely email her and ask where the heck your free sponsorship is. She just used you basically for free advertising and that is the terrible thing is that it makes you never want to sponsor again

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  19. So not negative bitter or a rant, I think we've all had a bad sponsorship experience here and there. I totally agree that it is a business and that you should just be upfront with your sponsors. Who knew blogging could be so complicated!

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    1. I agree! Way more complicated that you would ever think!

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  20. Good blog post Bonnie!

    I have been a sponsor on your blog for three months now and you by far, are the most professional person I have done ads with.

    I sponsored a really big blog sometime last year and my side ad button never worked. I asked for a refund or another month with the right working link, and never got a response. Definitely left a bad taste in my mouth.

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    1. Thank you Ashlee! That means so much to me! So your link didn't work the whole time and then you never got a refund or a month of your working link up? Frustrating! That's the stuff I think is totally wrong- she needs to be held accountable!

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  21. I really love this! I am new to blogging and all of the posts that I have read about sponsorship have been really positive, but nobody talks about what can go wrong and how to handle it.

    Natalie from At Home with the Hinkleys does a really great job letting you know what you are going to get for your money. She lists exactly how many social media shout outs and what type! I have yet to sponsor a blog, but she is somebody I am considering because I feel like I know exactly what I am going to get!

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    1. Natalie sounds like an awesome person to sponsor. I will definitely have to keep her in mind. If you sponsor her and have a positive experience make sure to let me know so I can recommend her to others!

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  22. This is a great post! I recently started offering sponsorships and purchasing ad space on other blogs. This is helpful to me! Thanks!
    Our Fairy Tale

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  23. I bought an ad that promised social media shouts out, a giveaway, and a sponsor spotlight. I got NOTHING but an ad on a sidebar and I paid $20 for the ad!

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    1. Ugh. See that's what drives me so crazy. The "Social media shout outs." What does that even mean?!?

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  24. WOW I totally LOVE this post! I am feeling slighted by a blog that I am currently sponsoring & thought it must just be me that feels this way... glad to hear it's not! I just feel like some bloggers get too big for their own britches & think that the little measly bloggers (like myself) who are working really hard to try & make their blog & are spending money that we don't have with "hopes" of getting the traffic "promised" are just kinda stepped on.... it makes you feel like they think "oh we'll price our ad's too high & not deliver what's promised & it's no big deal cause they're a little tiny blog & whatever"... I hope that's NOT the way it actually works but that's how it seems.
    Thanks for the insight!!
    Jules

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    1. Yes I agree completely! That's when the size of the blog thing drives me crazy- to me it's just as bad as discriminating against race or religion. Give everyone an equal sponsorship regardless of the size of their blog and BE HONEST. Drives me crazy.

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  25. I don't accept sponsors and have only done button swaps or won add space thus far so this was a really interesting read for me just to get an inside (non sugar coated) look on what it's like from both sides. I don't have near enough traffic to justify accepting sponsors so chances are I won't be doing that anytime soon but it gives me something to think about if I ever decide to sponsor.

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  26. Really great post! You are spot on that some bloggers are shady and that if they want to accept money, they need to treat it like a business. You are very wise:)

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    1. Ha! Well I do what I can but the wisdom unfortunately is mostly because I do a lot of stupid stuff and learn along the way.

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  27. Bonnie this is a great post! I wrote something similar as a guest post once and got a lot of good comments. I think as a blog that offers sposorships should be willing to put the tine in to reading and promoting the blogs that sponsor them.

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    1. I agree completely! It's now a "job" and you have to put the time in for your job. I would love your link for the post that you wrote on the same subject!

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  28. Thanks for this post! I'm kind of new and seriously, the first time I read on a blog about accepting sponsors, I was thinking "what the what?!" This post helped shed some light on the point of sponsorships, and I will keep these tips in mind when I'm ready to make the monetary commitment.

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    1. LOL on your response to posts about sponsorship. Yes, I think we have all been there before. Oh, the blogging world is so WEIRD!

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  29. I really appreciate this post, thank you!

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  30. I think this is a really important post. When you purchase something off Etsy for example there are shop policies. When it comes to blog sponsorship there is no accountability. I don't mind if a feature post goes up later or my button has a glitch, I care that the person I am sponsoring communicates with me. I just like to be kept in the loop. And I think the big problem come sin when people are afraid to speak up because they are usually sponsoring a blog with a bigger following than theirs and they don't want to ruffle any feathers.

    This post is definitely very eye opening and I will be very interested in what comes of it. I think you raise some great points!

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    1. I totally agree Callie that there should be "shop policies" for sponsoring a blog. I want to know what the blogger will or will not do for me. And yes, unfortunately people with bigger blogs may intimidate the smaller blogs and then no one says anything about the problems.

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  31. It's so sad that as a blog that has paid to sponsor other blogs that we are afraid to speak up even though we are using our hard earned money. I have been lucky and only had one bad (actually awful) experience. It definitely put a bitter taste in my mouth about sponsoring. I shared about it here: http://crosbiecrew.blogspot.com/2013/02/do-you-do-sponsorship-on-your-blog.html

    I think this post needs to be shared and we need to stop being afraid to speak up. The only problem? Some of these women like to bash people publicly for speaking up. So sad.

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    1. I'm excited to read your post about your bad experience because I think you're right- it's all about standing up for yourself and speaking up.

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  32. Agree entirely. I offer sponsorships, but very few, very cheap, and i'm honest about what I can promise. I am too busy to be designing lots of sponsor spotlights and what not, so I make it clear I offer guest posts and I will tweet out posts on social media.

    I have had a few sponsorships go really wrong, but for the most part I base my sponsors off of page views and other bloggers saying they have had good experiences. I always make sure that I tweet or post about my good experiences as well!

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    1. Getting recommendations from other bloggers about who has been good to sponsor is one of the best routes to go. Love that you tweet or post about the good experiences- sharing the love.

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  33. Love this, it's sad to say....but I've had some bad experiences too, where I ended up feeling taken advantage of.

    Carly
    www.lipglossandcrayons.com

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  34. Three months ago I sponsored a big blog that promised a giveaway. It never came and she's had two giveaways since. I reached out once and she said I would be included next time, but it's been three months! Ahh

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    1. I would email her again and express that you are a bit frustrating and don't feel that you have been treated right. That usually gets their tails in gear!

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  35. Now I found this post interesting

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  36. I don't accept advertising on my blog (I also refuse to call it sponsoring because I think that's silly), but I do occasionally buy ads on other blogs. I've been very careful about who to choose. My concern has been less about overall traffic and more about gaining a few genuine followers. I've worked with three bloggers now (including you!), and I've been very happy with the results. I also have ads and guest posts in the works for two other bloggers in September.

    One thing I would add about a blogger presenting her page views. In the future, I plan to ask for the page views via Google Analytics, NOT just stats from Blogger. I've had a huge increase in traffic recently thanks to reddit, but it only proves the great disparity between the numbers. My Blogger stats show a full 25% more page views than my Analytics do. I've read several blog posts in regards to SEO for my job, and I've discovered that Google Analytics are much more accurate of true readership.

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    1. I agree the term "sponsoring" is a bit silly. I mean, we're not snowboarders here. Very interesting point about Google Analytics- I wonder how many bloggers actually use Google Analytics and base their page views off of them?

      And you are one of my favorite people to promote mostly because you are always so good about responding and your blog is on such a unique interesting topic that it's easy to promote!

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  37. Ok so I realize I'm not a big blogger (and not even a medium sized one either) but reading this post made my head swim. I guess the DIY niche is a little different in that it seems that most bloggers 'over here' are more interested in getting sponsorship from household brands than other bloggers. At any rate, I just spent 2 weeks screwing around with not one but 2 HGTV reality tv winners and fell behind in my blog-abilities. That said, I'm not only exhausted but playing catch up. SO, if any of your lovely readers would like to capitalize on my numbers - I'd love to offer up free guest post spots for the rest of August (one per day max). They can just shoot me a message at dee@deeconstructed.com and I'll pimp them out free 'o charge. Unless, of course, they want to give you money Bon. I'm sure you won't say no to that. :) ~ Dee

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    1. You are the nicest! I hope lots of readers see this comment and hit you up because that is a great opportunity!

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    2. I've had one so far and she asked if it had to be a DIY post. Heck no! I'm all about diversification so send those guest posts over people. Btw - I wanted to add that imo guest posts shouldn't be stand alone posts rather teasers that get my traffic over to your site. This took me a while to understand. I was giving all my tips & tricks away to other bloggers (nevermind how many 'pins' they got from my content). It takes a while to understand how all of this works. Live & learn I suppose. :)

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  38. Thank you for this!

    I've been contemplating sponsoring and never even considered that I could be totally wasting my time and that I should ignore the amount of social media followers if the page views are low.
    The thing is, as a new(ish) blogger I've been getting SUPER frustrated lately. I'm noticing a lot of "Do as I say, not as I do." advice from more popular bloggers and a lot of whining about what their followers aren't doing for them.
    I can't imagine the fit I'd have if I sponsored someone and they didn't hold up their end of the deal.

    LittleBirdBlogs

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    1. Whining about what their followers aren't doing for them? Now I'm intrigued! Tell me more!

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  39. I greatly appreciate this post! I'm going to add it to my Blog Workshop tab (http://feather10.blogspot.com/p/blog-workshop.html) because I think it's so unique and useful! I have been contemplating doing sponsorships, but it scares me a little because I definitely want to be a great blog to sponsor! Some of those stories horrified me - that people could be that ridiculous or cruel when they didn't hold up their end of the deal. I definitely agree it should be treated as a business! Thanks for these tips and I look forward to using this as a bar to set for my own sponsorship once I decide to send my blog in that direction! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Heather! I'm honored to make it to your blog workshop tab! And yes, the stories are pretty horrifying aren't they! Luckily, most bloggers aren't like that, it's just a few that need to be called out for not being honest with their sponsorships.

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  40. You are spot on about providing the appropriate services for sponsorships! I've had several horrible experiences with big blogs that I basically felt took a massive chunk of my money and then ran. It's the worst feeling ever! I also have had two bloggers promise traffic in return for samples of my work. One blogger reviewed my Valentine's Day cards. She had a large group of followers and boasted a certain number of page views. My review went up on her blog and not one single click to my shop happened. I was so angry! I didn't want to seem like a jerk (yes, I'm one of those types that is too nice) so I didn't email her about it. Recently, I was in contact with a big blogger about doing something on her blog with two notebooks from my new line of notebooks. She said that she would post on her blog and possibly on instagram. Well, the IG post happened, but still not blog post which is what we initially agreed upon. I've been thinking back and forth about what I should do. I also sponsored the same blogger this month and now she wants me to participate in a group giveaway with a minimum of $30. So now what? I'm supposed to pay out money to sponsor, plus send you $20 worth of product that you never posted about AND pitch in $30 of product for you giveaway??? Ugh. I want to email her, but don't know how to word myself to sound nice on this one.

    In terms of Etsy shops accepting refunds, sometimes I think I get defensive when people request a refund. It's really difficult to compare Etsy shops to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a HUGE corporation that makes billions of dollars selling manufactured items that cost very little to make and take very little time to make. Etsy shops are small businesses that take a lot of time to make items by hand and many people still don't sell their items for enough because they know people won't pay that money for them. It's like comparing an elephant to a mouse. Too many people purchase items on Etsy assuming that they are purchasing straight from a bit corporation (Etsy) and not an individual seller. They don't realize that most Etsy sellers are a one man business that do everything. And if a customer requests a refund on one of my notebooks because the pages squeak when she turns them, then yes, I am going to get defensive. True story too. Sorry for the rants today! Phew! :-P

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    1. Heidi I love this feedback from the other side! First off, I would totally email the girl you're currently working with and just say it real harmless like, "Hey, didn't see the post... did it go up? Can you give me a date so I can plan around it." and pin her down like that. I definitely think it's excessive to charge for a giveaway and expect product yourself and expect product for readers. That's quite a big giveaway!

      Second, in response to the etsy refunds, I can totally see how that could get out of control very quickly. (The pages squeak? WHAT?!?) I definitely think though that having a policy and being upfront with customers is key. Also admittedly giving a refund for a blog sponsorship is a lot easier than giving a refund for a product that you sent in the mail. It doesn't cost me anything to accept a sponsor but it does cost you to make and send a product.

      Ah, it's a weird internet world, isn't it?

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  41. Wow, this is all really good information for new bloggers! Thank you for your insights. :)

    xo,
    Ana Paula
    {Visit me at Mommyhood, PhD}

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  42. i thought this post was really interesting and i don't have much to add as i don't really do the sponsorship thing so I don't really know a thing about it, BUT i will say that even if I love love love a blog, like to the point where I don't need it on a reader because I'll type the address right in to see if there is anything new....I never click on guest sponsorship post links.

    It has to be a really great guest post rather than a "hi i'm ___ an here's some stuff about me". I guess I'm like that because I KNOW it's a business and I see sponsored posts as the annoying part of blogging. Plus even when a blogger does a little introduction, it's really the same regurgitated generic adjectives like "she's so fun! "she's so stylish!" "she's a busy mama of 5023!" I don't get annoyed with them, but it's not my thing.

    Usually if i want to find new blogs to read, I will seek out blog buttons, on the side of blogs I really like when I want to, I'm just not into it as a post setting. Other ways i'll find blogs is if a blogger incorporates it into her actual blog as in " i really enjoyed this post the other day" with a little snippet of it and a link, when it's genuine and relevant.

    I really hope that didn't come off as rude, but I just wanted to share a reason why you might not get the traffic you'd expect: some people will just always tune out sponsorship posts.
    xo




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  43. Thank you so much for this! I have learned so much that I have done wrong and can do better to help make myself a better blogger and sponsor.

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  44. Blogs is very helpful for that person who wants to share their knowledge through blogs and want to share every one through internet. There are some other online ways where you can share your knowledge and can tell people about your products and services.
    online advertisement

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  45. This was implausibly helpful! I couldn't have patterned this out on my own! many thanks most for writing this! fastened it! :)
    blog money.

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  46. hey there, bon. i'd read this post when you'd first published it, but somehow i missed that bit about me and the slip-up with the sidebar ad from july. yes, i was disappointed. yes, i handle disappointment poorly; plus i've worked retail far too long, and have acquired a pretty high standard when it comes to customer service because of it. i'm temperamental. i also don't make a lot of money, so when i give it out, i like it to be cared for... and yes, i felt a little slighted; it's gonna sound crazy, but in my youth i got overlooked by a lot of people... and those who did see me (classmates and teachers, alike) let me know that they'd rather not... and there are times when that still affects me. i've been blogging for a long time, and i'm proud of picky (my blog); there are a lot of posts on there that i feel deserve attention. so i was looking forward to the boost in traffic. i will admit, i could've handled myself better, and i apologize for having been so curt.

    but once we got things straightened out, i DID enjoy the increase in page views and whatnot. and i appreciate that we've become blogging friends. thank you.

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  47. This post was extremely honest and VERY helpful! Thank you so much for posting about your experience sponsoring other blogs and taking on sponsors. I have always been curious as to how refunds work in the blogging world, and I agree with you. If someone is unsatisfied, then I would not want to hang onto their money. I would feel like I cheated them and therefore am cheating myself. I'm also a person who has a hard time being dishonest, which I suppose is a good thing. Anywho, thanks again for the post, I really enjoyed the insight!

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  48. This was a really helpfull post. I have never been sponsored before, but now I have some tips if that's ever going to happen. I didn't realize that there is so much to think about and to plan, but if I ever gets sponsored I will definitely have this post on my mind. Thank you!

    http://industrialbarbie.blogspot.com

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