*Jane discovered the joy of taking under-the-chin photos of me. I discovered the joy of finding them on my phone and thinking, "Eh. Here comes the turkey gobble."
I follow several women that are self-sustaining, employed bloggers. I stand up and clap for that. I really do. I'm not sour-graping anybody for making money for their creative efforts. From time to time I get emails asking why I allow ads on my blog. Because they make money. Not a lot, but a little. Enough that every now and then I think, "Hey, I'm going to buy a pair of shoes at Target with this. Take that Donald Trump."
Lately some of the women I follow online have bombarded their readers with sponsored posts. I'm not going to be all vague about it. I'm speaking specifically bout Natalie Jean and the Love Taza. I've been forced to read about Pantene, and some food place in New York called Sweetbottom or Sweetgreen or something. It's been a lot. A lot. And after a few posts like that I started thinking about television commercials.
I thought about all the times I've been joyfully watching a tv show and suddenly the commercial break happens. The volume goes up 400 notches all on its own and I find myself being screamed at about paper towels or female products. All I want to do is watch lovely English people find medieval rings in their backyard on Antiques Roadshow, and instead I end up being yelled at about a cleaning product called Kaboom.
I feel like that's what these bloggers are doing to their readers. We want to read about their cute kids, or see their fun photos, and instead we get peppered with giveaways and posts where even going apple picking is a family is a sponsored event.
O.K. With that said, I'm all for them making money. They put a lot of effort into their blogs and amen, they should get a paycheck for it. We all should. But what we shouldn't do is strangle our readers with things that aren't genuine. Even if we allow ourselves to be sponsored, it should still be a topic that's authentic to our interests, and to that of our readers.
Told you I was feeling complainy today.
I realize that it's easy for me to say these things. I'm not "a brand." I blog because I like it, because I'm mouthy, and it's a great outlet. I blog because I've made great friends online, and it's a fun way to keep in touch. I don't struggle with the ethics of whether I should subject my readers to two or three sponsored posts in one week (but in my opinion, more than one it too much). I get that. But this, like all things, is about balance.
What are your thoughts? Am I being too cranky? Do you have any specific feelings about showing up to your favorite blog and finding a sponsored post by a company you don't care about? I'd love to know.
Sometimes I have to ask Matt, "Am I being too grumpy?"
He's a good barometer for that. And fortunately, so are you ladies.