Article by Wendy McCance
I have offered advertising, sponsored posts and the like since I began self-hosting this site. I have had some strange experiences along the way. If you are thinking of monetizing your blog through any sort of advertising, you need to be extra vigilant about who you choose to work with.
The way I handle a sponsored post (for example) is by making sure the post fits in well with the topics covered on this site. An article posted about hunting equipment would make no sense here.
After I approve the topic, I need to see the actual article before I will approve its use. I don’t want a poorly written article and I will not be editing any material. I must also have the name of the company, a way for readers to contact the company and I will expressly note in the article that it is a sponsored post.
If everything is in place, I will bill the company through PayPal. I won’t accept checks through the mail and payment must be made before a posting date is issued.
All of this information is under the page marked Sponsored Post.
So recently, I received an email from a person showing interest in doing a sponsored post. The email went like this:
I’m interested in publishing an article on your site Searching For The Happiness.
The article would be of the highest quality and it would be perfectly suited for your website meeting any requirements/guidelines you might have. I would want to include one link in the article to my client’s website. This is a spiritual guidance website and is highly authoritative.
I thought an article on how to decide when a career change is right for you could be a good fit, but I’m open to suggestions!
I am also happy to pay for publishing. Would this be at all possible? Please do get in touch.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
I then wrote back and asked to review the article before making a decision. I also went over the rules about how many words the article could be and how payment and posting of the article worked.
This was what I got back:
The article will of course be written to a high standard and will not be promotional in nature.
It would be great to be able to work with you so just let me know if you’d like to go ahead.
Now, at this point, I haven’t read the article, I have no idea who the client is and this person is unwilling to pay upfront.
I wrote back explaining that our website is like anything you order online. Payment is made before you get the product, or in this case, an article presented on the website.
I was feeling uneasy by the fact that I had no knowledge of who this company was, what the article would be about and the fact that they were unwilling to pay upfront. I have done numerous sponsored posts and no one has ever blinked an eye about paying ahead of time.
At this point, I was going to walk away from this potential client.
This was the email I got back:
This was the email that cinched the deal. Forget it, I am not working with this person. Maybe you will read this and think, they were willing to pay, what’s the problem?
The problem is that I can’t accept payment for any post unless I clearly let the reader know that I have been compensated. I am not willing to break a law for a little money (or even a lot of money if it were the case). Who wants to put all of their hard work into jeopardy for a sponsored post?
This is what I wrote back:
I’m sorry, but I don’t think this arrangement will work out. By law we have to clarify when payment is made for an article we publish.
I haven’t heard from them since.
The bottom line is that when you have a blog, you essentially have a business. Even if you aren’t monetizing the blog, you still have a reputation to uphold. Take your time thinking through any offers and make sure that what you agree to make sense for the blog. If you don’t feel comfortable with any arrangement, the offer is not right for you. Don’t worry, there will be other offers and they will be terrific.
Have you ever had an experience like this? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
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To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: email@example.com
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