Written by Stephanie Glover
Congratulations! You begun accepting sponsored content on your blog and you are making money doing something you love. While it can be exciting to make money blogging, you learn quickly that there’s a fine line that you must walk between satisfying your sponsor and your reader.
You start to worry that you are taking on too much sponsored content and that your readers will think you sold out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still post sponsored content and be authentic. You just have to follow these rules.
Be picky. It is easy to find yourself caught up in the thrill of the payday. However, you do have to limit yourself from time to time. If you have a specific niche, such as gluten-free, your readers would become suspicious if you start posting about gluten-filled bread. When you stray from your niche, your readers will become leary and you will no longer be seen as a trusted authority.
Tell a story. There are many brands or products that you will be naturally drawn to. Whether it’s a childhood memory or your kid’s current favorite, there is a story there somewhere. Tell it. By adding personal insight into your posts, your readers will be drawn to your story.
Be honest. Most blogging networks or PR agencies will stress how important it is to disclose up front with your readers that your post is sponsored. Not only is this required by the FTC but, again, will build trust with your readers. From the bat, they know this is a sponsored post and that you were compensated whether monetarily or with product. When you don’t disclose up front, your reader will feel duped when they get to the sponsored portion of your post. This will make you look dishonest and will turn your reader off, maybe for good.
Use your own photography. If you are not a good photographer, it can be discouraging using your own photos. Using stock photos will scream “sponsored” and make your reader doubt your authenticity. Sometimes it may be difficult to use your own and that’s ok, too. By taking your own photographs, you get to be creative and share your story! Think about it: that’s why your readers read your blog. When you give a little bit of yourself to them, they will want to come back for more. Photographs are an easy way to give them an inside peek into your life.
Your readers enjoy your opinions. As long as you stay true to yourself and them, they won’t mind a sponsored post from time to time!
About the Author: Stephanie Glover is the blogger and photographer behind A Grande Life. She lives life with her two boys and husband, taking it one latte at a time! You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.