Tuesday, September 10, 2013
To People Who Complain about Sponsors: A Rant
There's been something that has been weighing on my mind the past few weeks and I have debated and debated whether or not I should write on it, and when the right time would be to post this, and if I should give it more time to marinate, yada, yada, yada...
And then today I just decided it was time.
I really appreciate my audience, and I cherish the relationships I have with readers. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I think about total strangers who come visit this space regularly and show love and support for what I say. So I want to say thank you for visiting my blog and supporting my sponsors and allowing me to give my two cents to the world on a daily basis. THANK YOU! I appreciate you so much!
Every once in a while I receive a comment or an email that goes something like this, "Hey Bonnie! I love your blog! It's fun! Only I don't like it anymore! I used to like it before a lot more! Now you do sponsorships and giveaways, and I don't like that stuff! Stop doing it! I'll like it more! Thanks!"
I have seen this not only with me, but with other favorite bloggers of mine. I notice comments in posts that say something similar- "I don't like your blog as much now that you're caught up in the blogging world. I want you to just write like you used to- please stop doing sponsorships or giveaways."
A comment like this always sends me into a brief panic mode. "Oh my gosh!" I think, "I've lost my touch. They hate me. I'm a terrible blogger now!" I feel like immediately writing back and saying, "I'm so sorry! I'll stop the sponsorships! I'll go back to how it once was! Forgive me pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!"
Then, I let the comment sit for a few hours or days and I inevitably start thinking this:
"That's not fair."
I understand that some people might not love sponsors or guest posts or giveaways. That's fine. I don't love commercials, and I hate it when my favorite morning talk show cuts to ads. That being said, I accept it because I am grateful to the people who entertain me, and I realize that they must be compensated in some way. They deserve to be paid for their time, their energy, and their talents. I would never call the producers of New girl (my current favorite tv show) and say, "Hey! I love your show! Can't wait for season 3! But I hate the commercials. I'd watch it a lot more if you didn't have them so can you cut that out already?" I don't have to pay to watch New Girl, so to compensate, I must watch the commercials because the commercials pay for all the production costs and make it possible for me to watch for free. I don't complain about that.
Or... how about I request that I can go see my favorite sports team without having to pay for the ticket? Or I complain to the local movie theater that I would enjoy the movie a lot more if I didn't have to pay admission or watch previews? Of course we don't want ads, and of course we want things for free, but it's not fair to the creator of the product.
When I read an email like this what I hear is that a reader would like me to produce high quality writing, entertain her with wit and charm, and develop completely original and funny content five to six times a week for no pay. She would like me to spend in the neighborhood of 20 hours a week (on top of a full time job) writing to entertain her and not receive a penny for it. When I do start accepting sponsors or receiving some money for my time she will inevitably tell me that I have been "carried away with making money" or that I have turned my blog into a "cash cow." What I read is "Can you please go back to writing your butt off every night and making no money like you used to so that I don't have to read your guest posts once a week? Mmmkay thanks!"
I repeat. That's not fair.
I do love blogging, and I get great fulfillment from it sans monetary compensation. Just like athletes love playing, just like actors love acting and just like any entertainer loves entertaining. That being said, it is still work. There are times I would much rather take a bath or go to a movie or go to bed early than I would slave away for two hours on a blog post. A reader who expects me to do this every night for them for no reward of my own is quite frankly, a very selfish reader. You do not have to pay to read my blog, so if I ask you once a week to read a guest post or click on an affiliate link to help me justify the time I put in on this blog and support this passion of mine, it is not me selling out or me being obsessed with money, it's just me trying to justify to a very small extent the exorbitant amount of time and energy this blog consumes.
All this being said, I, of course, understand there is a certain balance that a blog has to maintain, and perhaps readers are complaining to me because they feel like they have lost my blogging balance. No reader should have to be subjected to guest posts and giveaways day after day after day and I understand that. The balance is something very tricky that I am striving toward. BUT if once a week there is a sponsored post, I hardly think we as readers can demand that the blogger stop accepting the sponsors to satisfy our own selfish desires.
If I were not getting paid for this blog or did not see the potential to make money from my blog, there is no way I would be able to justify the time I spend on it. I couldn't justify it to myself, my husband, my students, my family or any of the people who need me in some capacity. I could never justify missing a date with my husband or staying home from a family dinner or handing my students' papers back a day later to work on a post- all things that I have had to do to be consistent in my blogging and deliver quality posts. I am able to post as often as I do and spend as much time on this blog because I receive pay.
There is a weird culture in the blogging world where we expect to read blogs for 100% free. This needs to stop. We don't want to pay, we don't want to look at guest posts, we don't want to tolerate any promotion for the blog. It's not being sensitive to the blogger. I ask that as a blogging community, we change this attitude and be more supportive of bloggers and their sponsorships, realizing that every day we read their blog for free. When our favorite bloggers put up a guest post, we click on it if it is interesting to us. By doing so we are supporting our favorite bloggers. We should click on interesting sidebar ads, too. That's supporting the blogger. If the blogger is doing some random sponsorship with Sears and we really love that blogger, we should click on the Sears link and check it out. As a blogging community we should understand that this is our way of "paying" the blogger for her time and effort she puts into the blog.
I hope that this explains the reasoning behind the sponsorships and giveaways on this blog. I hope those of you who get frustrated can see it in a bit of a different light when I have a guest post or giveaway. I hope as a blogging community we can support bloggers in their sponsorships (within reason, of course!) and "pay" for the free blogs we get to read on a daily basis. From the bottom of my sassy little heart I thank you for reading this blog and for your many comments. I love this blog and the people who visit. It is a great source of fulfillment and satisfaction to me, and I thank you thank you thank you thank you for reading.