As a blogger, there are lots of little pieces to this whole puzzle… the ones that get the most attention are obviously the creative ones: photography, styling, design, writing… But there are other ‘behind the scene’ things at play that I don’t talk about as much: website design, advertising, analytics, sponsors… This last year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible brands. And I want to share with you what I’ve learned about sponsored posts and why I choose the brands I do! I wish I could tell you that I have millions of page views a month and can pay our mortgage thanks to the income generated from all those eyeballs seeing the ads on my site. (One day. I’m coming for you Google Ad Sense…)
Here’s the truth… I LOVE creating these projects and sharing the process with you lovely readers, but- even on a budget- it all adds up. So if a product that I’d be using anyway is offered to me for free in exchange for a dozen images, rave reviews on social media, etc… then I welcome the chance to work with that brand.
I often have to stop myself from telling a brand “I was planning to buy your product anyway…” Not the best bargaining line! But that’s the truth and I hope that you aren’t turned off when you see that disclaimer at the beginning of one of my posts… Looking back at some recent brand collaborations, I’m proud of how each of those posts turned out! My goal is for the product to speak for itself in the space I create with it… no need for salesmanship or an ‘infomercial’ tone.
In fact, some of my most favorite projects from the past year are a result of the wonderful relationships I’ve developed with brands. I first met Kate with RugsUSA in our old house and without so much as a ‘huh… who are you?!’ she sent along this gorgeous graphic rug for the kids’ shared room.
Most recently, we had the chance to work together again when I used a pair of their amazing runners for the back staircase in the new house.
Remember the Restaurant Redesign?! Megan with Build.com deserves a medal. I reached out to them for a possible sponsorship and she couldn’t have been more generous. Fast forward a few months and the restaurant manager informs me that Phase 2 of the redesign has been put on hold indefinitely… meaning half of my beautiful light fixtures can’t be installed or photographed. Megan understood completely and couldn’t have been more gracious about it all. Meanwhile I’ve been silently muttering under my breath about all the “After” photos I’d been dreaming about for Phase 2.
Both our killer master bedroom headboard and Eleanor’s fuchsia curtains were made possible because of my friend Christie at Lacefield Designs. Nothing like seeing your favorite brand comment with emoticons on a personal Instagram post to make you love your job and the folks you meet as a result!
Again… I’m not sharing all of these because I have some obligation to these brands, but rather because I am SO proud of the spaces that were made possible because of this one aspect of blogging. In most situations, I’ve spoken to these brand reps in person and have gone back and forth over email chatting about things well beyond their product!
Don’t get me wrong… I’ve made some bad decisions in the past and accepted sponsored opportunities that didn’t make as much sense for my blog. But lessons learned. In this new house of ours, there are projects coming out my ears. Which is exciting and great and I wouldn’t change a thing. But… our budget is stretched thinner with this bigger house and there’s not as much wiggle room for upgrades. Moving forward, I just wanted to assure you that anytime I mention a brand or share a sponsored post, it’s because I know and love their product and wouldn’t be able to take on a project without their support.
Blogging is a DIY labor of love for most of us who do it. Every beautiful image you see on your Instagram feed or invaluable hint you stumble across on Pinterest is a result of lots and lots of work and money spent on things like fabric or hardware or web hosting or camera equipment or caffeine. I’ve been joyfully posting away every week since 2013 and… I’ve got news for you. This ain’t paying many bills for us. I’m TRULY blessed to have a husband who can support us and our busy brood and I don’t blog for the lone expectation of making money. But… I spend more time on this blog than I have on any job I’ve ever had in my life (teaching, counseling, PR…). Scary, right? So if one day, this thing I love can actually cover expenses and pay a few bills, then… that’d be a good thing, right?
Thanks for putting up with this ‘business of blogging’ type post… every time I publish a project with that little “Dislaimer” intro, I want to pull you each aside and assure you that it’s not as cheesy as it sounds! I’d love your feedback… how do you feel about my sponsored posts? Do they turn you off? Do you notice? Is there something I could do differently? Like I said, if it ever sounds like a used car salesman, then leave a comment and let me know! As much as this blog is mine… it’s really FOR YOU. You take the time to visit and read my ramblings every day and I didn’t want anyone to feel taken advantage of or dissatisfied!
Don't miss a post! Sign up for email or RSS updates!