I laid out how bloggers can often get giveaway/review items the other day and I told you I would then tell you why I do it. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I want to be extra careful and open with everyone since my blog is more than just a “personal” blog…it is a vehicle for fundraising and hosting the beautiful stories of women around the blogosphere. I feel the need to put it all out there so that you understand where I am coming from as I continue to make decisions about this space. Your continued trust is important to me.
Here’s why I do it:
Blogging isn’t free. Sure, you can have a free blogspot account, and google around for some really cute free design templates. That’s how I started out. Free fifty free. All of it. But as your blog grows and matures, the free services don’t quite do everything you need them to do and soon enough you find yourself wanting to move to WordPress…which means you also need a domain, and a web host, and a designer to make it all pretty, and someone techy to fix whatever you managed to break because clearly you have no business goofing around with the back end of your blog. Ahem.
Add to that, going to conferences and paying for linky party hosting things…and this bloggging gig can actually start to creep up on you monetarily. You may have noticed ads in my sidebar recently. That was a really hard decision to make, but at the end of the day, if I can even just break even on what I’m spending out of our own personal bank account…then I’m happy. I’m not looking to be the next Pioneer Woman and be a mutli-bajillionaire blogger…I just want it to cover my costs and be sustainable.
The same goes for free product. While my ad revenue may be mediocre, if I can score some cool gear to review (that makes sense to my content of course!), then it at least helps offset my costs. I love this space. I love blogging. But it’d be nice if it was at least sustainable. And let’s be real here: if I do become a multi-bajillionaire from it, I wouldn’t be mad.
Because I want to forge partnerships that ultimately end in philanthropic collaborations. Okay, so free stuff and some ad revenue to cover costs doesn’t hurt a girl. No question. But my real reason for working with brands and companies is because my super secret ulterior motive is that I hope to someday have partnerships with them for future fundraisers. Every single time I decide if I want to work with a company or brand, it is filtered through two lenses: 1) does it make sense for my content without sounding super random to my readers? and 2) might I possibly be able to eventually take this connection and leverage it for some kind of future fundraising opportunity?
My dream, from the very ittiest bittiest beginnings of Life Rearranged was always to someday find a large(ish) company that would come alongside our fundraisers and help out in some way. Possibly by matching funds, or donating product, or…I don’t know…something. To take our grassroots efforts here and make them bigger.
In fact, it happened with our fundraiser for Xander. I had worked with Barn Light Electric on my kitchen remodel. I was given lighting in exchange for a (honest) review. BUT…my relationship with the company was great. The people there were kind and incredible and I saw from their Facebook page that they had just participated in a 5K benefiting Reece’s Rainbow. I emailed them about our big Christmas fundraiser, and because I already had a relationship with them, was able to have them match the first $1,000 we raised!!! THIS is what I am talking about! This is the whole reason for brand collaborations. Sure, the stuff is fun. No doubt. But at the end of the day, I want MORE of this. I want to see donations to women’s shelters in our name. I want to see matching funds. I want to see corporate America partnering with a blogger for something more than a review post.
So…that’s why I take ads and why I work with brands. I don’t have expectations of making a living off of blogging. I don’t want to change the content of this space dramatically. I’ve actually been wanting to write this post for the last year but for whatever reason, never did it. I just thought you should know what I’m thinking from my end. That’s all.
Speaking of fundraisers…have you donated to our well yet? Please. Pretty please.