Sponsorship Q&A

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I sat down to respond to the huge amount of comments generates from yesterdays post and decided a follow up may be better. Here were the recurring topics I found, if you have any further Q’s leave another comment and I’ll try and get back to you individually

1. Lots of bloggers are posting about the same thing, those posts must be sponsored

This isn’t necessarily the case. When you see an influx of tweets/instagrams or posts of a certain product the brand has likely just sent it to a lot of people. I personally don’t consider a review of a PR Sample a sponsored post because I am under no obligation to review. I am sent items that never make it on to my blog because I’m not excited (or annoyed) enough to write about them. I can’t tell you that some bloggers are paid to review these products because I don’t know but I think it’s a common misconception. I’ve also found lots of products I love this way and they’ve made it in to multiple posts and videos that the brand has no idea about.

2. PR Samples sweeten the deal

That’s a tough one because it really comes down to ones own moral compass. As I said in yesterdays post you have to respect your readers or they’ll lose respect for you and everything you say. Ultimately you either trust a blogger or you don’t, I review a lot of products which are sent to me but my opinion is my opinion, I often negatively review PR samples and I have never been contacted and asked to change or take down a post. In fact one brand recently got in touch after a particularly ‘constructive’ 😉 review and thanked me for my honest feedback!! I have only once been paid money to review something – link – and although I was entirely honest it does put you in a strange position and I wont do it again.

3. Sponsored posts are always reviews

Not the case at all. most sponsored post consist of paid links, the post could be about absolutely anything but the company wants a link to their site/product/service within it. This could be a post you already had written on a relevant subject and doesn’t have to be specifically promoting the brand. These are the posts that you may not notice and these are the posts that NEED disclosure. It’s not transparent that there’s a paid link in that post and unless you make it clear to your readers they might think that you are recommending said product/service. I wont tell you I love something if I don’t but most of the sponsorship that I accept comes in this form and is always clearly marked.

4. I hate sponsored posts

Well that’s absolutely your prerogative! Unfortunately blogs are no longer just online journals of our thoughts and feelings but a genuine source of information and INCOME.. for many their SOLE source of income. There are VERY few bloggers who are sponsorship free by choice, of course there’s the odd genuine non-profit blog and if you’re one of them, fantastic but I think most people would consider sponsorship if it was right for them. If you LOVED Cadburys Dairy Milk and they wanted to pay you £100 and a years supply of chocolate to put a link to it in a blog post I think most of use would be hard pressed to say no.

Moving forward I have decided to mark all posts containing sponsored links or content with a *sp in the title so that you can choose to avoid them entirely if you wish.

Miss BB

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21 Comments

  1. Zoe
    26 February, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    How do you feel about the links in the post– my understanding is that links in a sponsored/paid post have to be “no follow” but I have had a company recently tell me because they would give me a gift card, and because what they really want are bloggers who would share the website anyway (and this is just a bonus thank you) it is okay to have a do follow link instead. This whole thing makes me uncomfortable and I am wondering where you stand on it and what you would do.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      26 February, 2014 / 7:40 pm

      I’ve done a little more research on this and vouchers fall under cash so it should be disclosed as sponsored and the link should be no follow HOWEVER apparently any other compensation can be a follow link – I would always suggest you disclose however, for your readers more than anything

      • Zoe
        26 February, 2014 / 7:42 pm

        I’m a little confused. It would be disclosed as sponsored either way, but I wondered if a gift card (not for their company) means it doesn’t have to be a “no follow” link. Do you use no follow links in your sponsored posts? I thought that you always had to (even if the “payment” is an Amazon gift card), but I am now confused and wondering if the company is just trying to take advantage of me, or if I was wrong.

  2. Tubbs
    26 February, 2014 / 8:43 pm

    Some bloggers flag up whether or not a product is a PR sample or a purchase. I prefer it when they do that tbh.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      26 February, 2014 / 8:46 pm

      I mark any review of a pr sample at the bottom in the same way I would a sponsored post

      • Tubbs
        27 February, 2014 / 9:25 pm

        That really helps. I also appreciate the way that you and some other bloggers point out that you have the beauty collections you have are because you work in the industry; that there’s only so much make-up someone needs; that it goes off; how this is a dupe for that and expensive isn’t always best etc.

        It’s easy to assume that all the stuff that beauty bloggers feature is purchased with their own money – like the rest of us – until you do the math and realise that it’s highly unlikely that someone would be able to purchase quite that much stuff each month under their own steam. (Let alone the stuff that’s not in the shops yet!). So some of the stuff will be purchased and others will be PR samples … Flagging up which is which shouldn’t be a big deal! I find it weird that there’s so much reluctance to do this, particularly on some of the bigger blogs.

  3. Lili
    26 February, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    Personally I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I get most of my recommendations from bloggers and you tubers because I don’t have the time to keep an eye on what’s new in the world of beauty or fashion. If I read on a blog or see on you tube something I like, something that suits me or something I just want to try I would rather click the link provided rather then spend time searching for it myself. It is just more convenient for me personally. And it is perfectly fine for them to get paid for that. It’s a job like any other.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      27 February, 2014 / 11:34 am

      not everyone feels that way lol and although I do too I often wonder if I’m just biased which is why feedback on posts like this are really interesting. I’ve had friends recommend things I’ve hated so you have to take every recommendation with a pinch of salt because we don’t all love the same things anyway

  4. Amy
    26 February, 2014 / 9:09 pm

    Hey, thank you for writing about this issue, I feel that readers can sometimes be left in the dark about it as if it’s something to be ashamed of which I think can leave people feeling distrustful. I don’t mind sponsored posts because I know that to be able to churn out the number of reviews that some bloggers do they probably couldn’t do it if they were buying all the stuff themselves. I just think that as readers we just want honesty, and you have been so thank you 🙂
    Amy x

    Kippiroo.blogspot.co.uk

    • missbudgetbeauty
      27 February, 2014 / 11:31 am

      exactly! if you’re not willing to talk about it do you think it’s wrong? Everyone has their own opinion but I’m happy that so long as I disclaim sponsorship it’s cool

  5. Victoria
    26 February, 2014 / 9:18 pm

    We’ll done on being so transparent, so many aren’t. I do feel like it can certainly trust your opinions

  6. Victoria
    26 February, 2014 / 9:19 pm

    Well* (autocorrect!)

  7. 26 February, 2014 / 10:00 pm

    Wow! This whole subject is a legal and moral mine field! Thanks so much for the clarity

    Lucy xx

    • missbudgetbeauty
      27 February, 2014 / 11:30 am

      it absolutely is and this time last year I had no idea about it so hopefully I can help someone else learn a little like others helped me

  8. 26 February, 2014 / 10:46 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve never been really bothered by sponsored posts, in fact sometimes I’ve found them helpful in finding events or new things to look at that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen! One that pops into mind is the Aussie Twitter party that happened recently.

    I am often sceptical as to whether some bloggers are being paid and haven’t declared, but I still enjoy the posts regardless! Thank you though for being completely honest, and clear when you are taking sponsored posts! 🙂

    http://www.ceejayell.blogspot.co.uk

  9. 26 February, 2014 / 10:57 pm

    Useful and informative article! I am just starting out so I don’t have to deal with sponsorship yet but this might come in handy in the future. A personal pet peeve is when bloggers write about a brand or product that they have never talked about and you happen to see several of them doing posts about it. It comes across as very planned and fake at times. I like that you will be adding to the title; it will create an even greater transparency towards your readers.

  10. 27 February, 2014 / 8:37 am

    Thanks for your thoughts on sponsored posts. I agree with you totally. It does make it difficult to know who to trust, but I think a lot of bloggers want to remain honest and build relationships with their readership. I know I do!

    I’m finishing up my February Flake-Away series including my favourite cleansers, moisturisers and makeup along with a few DIYs. Check it out over on:

    http://www.sophschoices.co.uk

    Sophie

    x

  11. Jen
    27 February, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    I think it’s great how open you are about sponsorship.

  12. 1 March, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    Useful post. I don’t mind about sponsored post actually as long as it honest.

    polypolinaaa.blogspot.co.uk

  13. mysteries1984
    3 March, 2014 / 4:13 pm

    Thanks for the follow-up. I’d love to hear other bloggers’ opinions on this too, but I doubt it’ll happen. It makes me feel a bit sad, to be honest – I used to enjoy reading so many blogs and now my cynical switch is automatically flicked on when I read certain posts.

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