My friend Tracy pulled me aside last week and said “You know, your blog was just a whole bunch of sponsored posts last week. I think it was too much.”
“I knnnnoooooowwwwwww!!!! Trust me, I KNOW…it drove me crazy too!!!”
I’ve mentioned before how bloggers get review items/sponsored posts/etc. But a quick re-cap, particularly in regards to working with blogger networks, is that you are part of a network…they send out mass emails to their thousands of bloggers…this is the program, this is what you need to do, this is what it pays, etc…if you’re interested, you fill out a little form and hope for the best.
SOMETIMES they tell you within that first email what the dates you’d be required to post are. Sometimes they just say “in February-March”.
SOME agencies will tell you that they will select bloggers for the campaign by such and such date. But most of them do not tell you when they’ll be notifying bloggers. And none of them contact you if you haven’t been selected. (I understand this, no bigs.)
So, here’s an imperfect illustration of what that can look like:
Say you see a drawing for a Caribbean cruise to be taken sometime in March. Because there are literally thousands of little tickets in that big drum, and you want to increase your chances of being selected for a week of coconut suntan lotion and white sands, you put your ten tickets in the big spinny thingy and walk away. But…you don’t know when they are having the drawing. You guess soon. Right? They tell you at the ticket counter that they’ll call you if you win. So you go home hoping your phone rings sometime…soon. One week? Two weeks? You don’t know. The next day, you see another drawing with a prize for a weekend at a Ski Resort. That sounds fun, so you buy some raffle tickets. In this case, they tell you that the Ski Resort vacation must be taken on March 9th, and they’ll be pulling a winner on March 1st. You put your tickets in the drum and walk away hoping your phone rings on March 1st.
Now imagine your surprise when your phone rings on February 28th…you won the CRUISE!!!!! WOOHOOOO!!!! The raffle organizers inform you that you must go on the trip on March 7th. Alright, cool. It’s not ideal with other stuff you have going on, but hello?! Caribbean cruise!!! Now imagine that your phone rings on March 1st…you won the Ski Resort vacation too!!!!! The one that’s on March 9th. So, you’ll be packing for a beach trip and a snow trip all within one week.
Now obviously this analogy totally sucks in lots of ways. Firstly, because being selected to blog about kids clothes at Old Navy is fun, but it ain’t no cruise. Also, because this silly example really only affects you and your family…and not your sweet readers that you love dearly. No one is going to accuse you of selling out because you take two vacations back to back. (No one has said that to me either, but I worry every time!) But I think it helps make sense of all of this.
Typically, I’m used to tossing my name in the hat for a variety of opportunities…and being selected for maybe one of them. Maybe. I’m a part of 3 blogger networks. Emails came through with different post options and I applied for any that sounded interesting and that would make sense for what I blog about anyway. No one, and I mean NO ONE, was more surprised than I was when email after email came in telling me I was selected. The groan heard round the world came next when I looked at a calendar and realized that they were all required to be posted within the same two week period (most with specific ‘you must post on this date by 9am’).
Now, I could have emailed a couple of them back and politely declined a few of them now that I had seen it all on a calendar…but the people pleaser in me felt bad. Here I was all “PICK ME! PICK ME! MeeeeeeeEEEEE!!!!” And then, they pick me as one of however many bloggers out of likely hundreds/thousands of bloggers, and I’m all “Oh, just kidding. I don’t want it anymore.” I just feel like that’s kinda rude, and I’m secretly worried that they’ll blacklist me or something. I can imagine it’s a ton of work to go through all of the interested bloggers and cherry pick the ones that are the best fit for the campaign, and I don’t want to be annoying.
Anyway, all of that to say a few things:
- I have two more sponsored posts coming up in the next week or so from that same round of campaigns (!), but after that, I’ll be much more careful about what I apply for. Believe it or not, they are a lot of work, and I in no way intended to bombard you guys with so much all at once.
- I will continue to do sponsored posts because this…but I promise to always try to write in such a way that keeps with my typical style of writing and hopefully doesn’t feel super forced and like a giant commercial. (I hope you guys see that!)
- And honestly, I really do try to write about stuff that I love and believe in…so even if I am being paid for it, know that I turn down and/or don’t apply for campaigns that aren’t a good fit. You know, like the sweet folks who offered that I review their new workout gear. Bahahahahaha!!!!
I hope that makes sense and that you’ll hang tight as this blog evolves a bit and I learn how to best balance all of the different aspects of it. It’s a process.