A Blog Post about Sponsored Content that’s not full of S—t

sponsored content

I’ve turned down $70 worth of sponsored content income during the past two weeks.

Frankly, it’s extremely rare for a sponsored post deal to ever come to fruition.

Just as the case in any industry, there are positives and negatives.

On one hand, there are great partnerships that focus on mutually beneficial sponsored content.

On the other, there are some folks that offer lowball prices for poor quality sponsored content, while doing so in a slightly disrespectful manner.

How Honesty and Transparency Establish Rapport

Recently, I received an advertising inquiry about publishing a sponsored post in exchange for money.

I quickly responded with my pricing structure and a price was soon agreed upon.

To this point, it had been one of the smoothest collaborations yet.

I mean, I was already anticipating moving the funds from my PayPal account to my brokerage account to increase dividend income.

However, just as the deal was about to close, it became clear that we respectfully disagreed on one thing in particular.

Even though our initial collaboration fell through, the conversation ended positively.

In short, my honest explanation helped to create a potential long term partnership.

Success with Sponsored Content

I received my first sponsored post offer approximately 8 months into blogging during my year off.

However, it wasn’t until January 2017 that I actually worked out my first paid deal.

I consider it a successful sponsored post because the client I worked with was great to work with, and the post was about trading, meaning it’s relatable to the content on this blog.

Furthermore, I was extremely grateful to receive any sum of money for publishing a sponsored post at all!

It was proof of concept and provided a window to see what was possible through blogging.

Up until this point, earning income from blogging had been a trial and error experience.

Clearly, I was unsure about the best options to earn income from blogging.

I had been offering services such as social media management, which was absolutely the wrong way to earn money through blogging for me personally.

But when I received my first sponsored post opportunity, it became clear how blogging could work.

Based on my personal approach – relatable sponsored content, sponsored links, affiliates, Google Adsense, and other advertising opportunities are the most appropriate ways to earn income for me.

The Down Side of Sponsored Content

To put it bluntly, the vast majority of marketers are complete jabroni’s. Seriously. For the most part, they are poor-communicators and are slightly disrespectful. I don’t take kindly to the forceful, audacious way in which they communicate.

I’ve literally had 2 or 3 times where they’ve tried to force me to accept their price.

Please note: I can’t stand people that don’t value quality (Ughh).

I prefer friends with goals and values, and I like to collaborate with partners that uphold values too.

Values matter, true character is always eventually exposed, and your reputation will follow you.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently – Warren Buffet.

The same goes for marketers and advertisers…

Based on early communication, you begin to make a judgement call.

If the values don’t match, F—k them!

If you know your values, you always have the upper hand.

Knowing your personal values and knowing exactly what you want is the ultimate power.

Combine those two factors together with an understanding of your strengths and weakness, and you’ll be on your way to reaching your ultimate ambitions.

Nothing will be able to sway you from your inevitable direction.

In the same way, it’s important to understand the advertisers reaching out to you.

It should become obvious after the first 2 or 3 e-mails about what the advertiser values.

How to approach sponsored posts and advertising inquiries

While there is a bit of a tone to this post, I would always treat inquires with respect.

You never know who you might be e-mailing. And of course, you should be grateful and appreciative to receive any interest at all.

Mirror the tone of the inquirer. Make the answer as simple to understand as possible. Be prepared with a pricing structure and understand what value you can offer.

A Blog Post about Sponsored Content that’s not full of S—t Click To Tweet

sponsored content

Concluding Thoughts

Although I do anticipate other opportunities in the future, I’m not focussed on earning income from blogging right now.

Put it this way — I’m focussed on expanding on the theme of the blog by publishing more content right now.

I still have a lot more ideas to write about before this blog is finished.

Trying to monetize this blog now would be like an author attempting to sell an unfinished book.

I plan to enjoy blogging by sharing the entirety of my thoughts on financial independence and dividend investing before monetization is ever considered the goal.

To conclude, I wrote this post in continuation of the documenting what I’m doing theme.

This purpose of this post was to share insight on what an early stage blogger might face with sponsored content.

In a world that continues to squeeze every damn bit of individuality and creativity out of everything, a blog is a safe haven to avoid that.

If the sponsored content doesn’t fit in line with your personal brand, f—k it!

Questions: What has your experience with sponsored content been like? Do you think it’s important to notify readers that it’s sponsored?

24 Comment

  1. Im a new blogger but I’m curious about what the first offers will be for me. Plus I wonder how I’ll react to it since, like you, I’m respectful… but I also don’t like being sold. Especially on BS..

    I like reading posts like these to kinda prepare me for that if and when the time comes…

    Good post thanks!

    1. Hi Gabe,
      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙏🏻I’m glad that the post helped you anticipate what to expect! It’s always interesting to receive offers. It was also strange when offers started to appear in my inbox at first. It was like magic lol. I’m grateful for them and have set up a contact page for them, but it’s still surprising when they come in. They will start coming in for you if you keep doing what you’re doing. Wish you all the best with blogging! Thanks again for stopping by!🌞

  2. I have also had mixed reviews. One or two that have worked out very well and others that fall apart from the start. But I don’t worry about those. At the end of the day, your blog is your brand and you need to hold true to your brand and beliefs. My blog is more of a creative outlet for me as well. Would love to grow it, but monetizing is kind of far down the line at this point. We will see what happens in the future.

    1. Hi Dividend Daze,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! It sounds like your experience has been similar to mine. I don’t worry about the interactions that fall apart from the beginning either. It’s like interviews in that you get better each time you go through the process. And I 100% agree – you definitely need to stay true to your brand and beliefs. I don’t want to start publishing content that makes readers think differently either. It seems like we share a similar perspective on blogging. I’m looking forward to following your journey. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    2. You’re absolutely right Dividend Daze that our blog is our brand and we need to hold true to our brand and beliefs. Content creation is an art. Writing or you may say presenting opinion on a specific topic in front of others with fact and figure specially the topic like finance is not so easy.

      1. Thanks for adding to the conversation, Sophei! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and I absolutely agree that content creation is an art. It’s certainly not easy to cover a topic like finance, and it’s even more challenging to keep it unique. Hope you’re having a great week!

  3. Hah, I don’t even have a contact page yet. Of course anyone really driven could facebook message my page or private message me on twitter.

    Maybe this is why I have limited contact with these guys. I will add a contact page soon though. Gotta stick to my guns, as you say here, though. Thanks for showing me what is waiting. Ha!

    1. Hey Mr Doubling Dollars,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! It’s true that people could reach out to you if they really wanted, but I think people like a call to action. With all your side hustles and writing on the side, I’m sure you would receive inquires if you had a contact page setup. It will be interesting to see how soon you start receiving inquires after you set up your page. On the other hand, I don’t think the lack of a contact page has been holding you back at all haha. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  4. Every once in a while I receive an email from some online publishing/marketing company asking me to use their content.

    I normally treat those emails as spam, I’m really not interesting in outsourcing my blog. Also, at this point, I don’t have any interest in monetizing it either.

    Financial blogging is almost a commodity now, one has to be either very unique or really good at marketing to get the type of attention or traffic needed to generate a decent income.

    Blogging seems too much effort for a very little monetary reward, if any. Instead, I use blogging only as a tool to help me stay sharp with my investing, which is where I make real money.

    Take care,
    Mr. ATM
    Mr. ATM recently posted…My Dividend ParadiseMy Profile

    1. Hi Mr. ATM,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! It seems like a lot of the e-mails that I receive are spam-like as well. Though I do try to answer most of them because I have received legitimate offers from good people. Admittedly, I found it pretty rewarding to receive income for doing something that I’d do for free anyways.

      That said, I definitely see where you’re coming from and my ultimate dream is to be more in your position. I’d prefer to be financially independent from my investments as opposed to having to rely on blogging for income. I like your concept of using blogging as a tool to stay sharp with investing. I guess I’m trying to utilize it as a tool to reach FI faster too. Always appreciate your thoughts! Take care 🙂

  5. GYM says: Reply

    I used to be kind of addicted to sponsored links on my old blog (and even lost track of when to remove links etc.)! It seemed like easy ‘blog money’. But I think things have changed now, maybe they aren’t doing them as much or blogs aren’t hosting them as much. Some of the offers can be really spammy, so if I get the honour of being offered a link in the future, I’m going to just decline. There are other ways to monetize where you won’t get in trouble with the “BIg G” such as with affiliate links.
    GYM recently posted…PF Blog Round Up: September 2017 Dividends EditionMy Profile

    1. Hi Gen Y Money,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I can definitely understand how easy it would be to lose track of the links. I have a few that are coming up on a year that I’ll have to remove soon. In regards to the links, I think there can be some value if the links are useful, from legit companies, and properly placed. But for the most part, you do need to be careful. I still need to explore more affiliate options. If the opportunity ever presented itself, it sure would be nice to earn enough from blogging to still invest and work from home. Have a great week! 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing Graham! A person really has to be aware of a lot of the BS that is out there now. We’ve gotten a couple of emails but have not gone down that road. Still trying to build up a decent sized readership first. Monetizing really isn’t a big priority at this moment. Maybe down the road. I like to keep all options open.

    1. Hi Mr. Defined Sight,

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experience! I think you’re taking the smart route by growing your readership before considering monetization. To be honest, there are only 3 reasons why I even entertain it: 1) To learn and improve at it. 2) To increase dividend income. 3) To explore opportunities that could lead me to working on this blog for a living instead of the day job. And I like your strategy to keep options open. I’ve learned to never say never. I hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

      1. I love reading about your journey and how you are building your brand. Very educational and encouraging for blogging rookies like myself!

        1. Thanks, Mr. Defined Sight! I’m glad you’re finding value out of posts like this. I still consider myself a blogging rookie too. I’ve still got a lot more to learn. Take care!

  7. Thanks for sharing your experience Graham. As a new blogger, it is nice to get prepared for what may come down the road. I am focusing on writing posts right now since there is really no point in trying to monetize a blog without a study number of readers.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, Caroline! I’m glad to provide some insight on what to expect down the road. Although, every bloggers journey is different, so it will be interesting to see what blogging has in store for you down the road. And I agree 100% about the monetization. Even though I’ve been experimenting with monetization since the beginning of this blog, it’s been more about documenting and learning about what’s possible through blogging. I think you’re making the best decision by focussing on the writing. Have a great week!

  8. Wes says: Reply

    Awesome perspective!

    This brings to mind a great quote “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches”
    Wes recently posted…Harness the Power of Positive ThinkingMy Profile

    1. Hi Wes,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing the great quote. I couldn’t agree more with it and I truly believe that good character will lead to opportunities. Have a great day!

  9. I have not had much success with sponsored content. Sure there have been some offers but it always felt like there was a difference in what I am willing to offer and what they are looking for. Most of them feels like spam mails anyway. I like the quote a lot, “it is like an author trying to sell an unfinished book.” Better to focus on growing your content first!
    Terence@TheTirelessWorker.com recently posted…Identify Trending Stocks In 5 SecondsMy Profile

    1. Hi Terence,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! In all honesty, I haven’t had much success with sponsored content either. Other than a couple deals that worked out, the majority of the inquiries I get are mostly spam-like too. I’ve had a lot of offers where the offerer tries to hide the link they’re attempting to promote. Once I eventually get them to show me their previous work, they are trying to promote a fast cash borrowing link – I don’t think that fits in like with the concept of this blog. And I’m glad you enjoyed that line about growing your content first. Bogging is about building your content and sharing on the story/theme of the blog as extensively as possible. I’m at 203 posts now. I can’t wait to reach 1,000. Keep up the hard work on your end! Have a great day!

  10. Ellen says: Reply

    Really interesting blog post! I’m quite new to blogging so it’s good to hear your experience and tips on what to expect!

    1. Hi Ellen,

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I’m glad that you were able to find some value and insight on what you might expect. Btw, you doesn’t look like you’re new to blogging. It looks outstanding! Keep it up! 🙂

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