Disclosure is not a dirty word.

When people ask me what I do and I tell them, there is always one question that gets asked first.

“How do you make money from that?”

Being a professional blogger sounds amazing. But the truth is, it is bloody hard work. You have to show up and write stories or “create content” as they say these days, to a hard earned readership that can rival the numbers similar to magazine circulations. The difference is that you are the editor, the features writer, the mailboy, the secretary, the book-keeper, the photographer, the graphic designer plus dozens of other hats.

Which thankfully, I love doing.

But it is a total hustle. I supplement my income by writing columns for main stream media and sexy copy-writing jobs for things like accountancy websites. When I started out, I did it for the pure joy. Even when no one was reading it. As it grew and became more consuming, there came a point where I had to justify the time I was spending on the website and so a decision was made.

Go pro or go home.

Enter sponsored content.

Now going back five years or so, sponsored content was a dirty word. “Oh you are such a sell out!” was bouncing all over the internet. But as small blogs grew into huge entities (such as The Organised Housewife and Styling You both amazing stand-up chicks) it seemed only sensible that brands wanted a slice of the eyeball pie. BECAUSE IT IS SMART. When you have been kicking around the internet for years, you will inevitably gain a loyal readership, Sure, you get the occasional asshole reader, known as a “hate reader” but that is just inevitable. But the thing is, these readers are smart. And when bloggers who are upfront and honest about any work they publish which has been paid for, most readers do not really care.

How to you feel about sponsored content on Woogsworld

So why am I telling you all of this? Because some operators are as shady as fuck.

Like in the first quarter of 2012, EVERYONE was talking about how awesome Kangaroo Island was….

Even I was included on the brief. But the difference was the disclosure.

Disclosure is the action of making new or secret information known. And as of this month the Australian Association of National Advertisers have developed guidelines to make sure that any paid for content in any of your social media feeds have to be disclosed as such. So if you see a bikini instagrammer gushing about how effective a new organic dissolving g-string is, you can pretty much bet your bottom dollar that she gained some coin from that photo. And she should let you know.

The thing about writing sponsored content, is that it is hard to do well. It has to be better than your everyday writing. When I accept a job, I have to approach it from the readers view first. What are they going to get out of it? Am I going to entertain them, make them laugh, teach them something or make them think. Of course, the main thing is, DO I BELIEVE IN THIS PRODUCT OR CAUSE? Would I be prepared to be that  person in the supermarket on a Saturday at the end of the aisle, spruiking this product happily to shoppers? Which is why my blog is not littered with #sponsored content. I am a fussy lady.

Readers turn to blogs for different reasons. I suggest they are a great alternative to magazines, where all you seem to learn these days is that Jennifer Aniston is expecting octuplets, and the reason that you are fat is that you are not using the latest magnesium enhanced vaginal douche. After years of treating readers like idiots, the tide is turning to digital platforms which are more authentic.

Anyway, I have probably bored you enough with this topic by now, but the new laws are a good thing for the “influencer” (fuck I hate that word) market. Now I am off to book my ticket to Kangaroo Island, just after I visit my new, super convenient  MYPOST locker at my favourite local Australia Post. #notsponsored.

What do you think about sponsored posts and disclosure?

Do you agree with the new laws?

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Maggie

    I hate the word “influencer” too, just as much as I hate the title “Divisional Therapist” when you are really the Bingo Caller at the local retirement village! I am quite fussy about which blogs I read and I choose to read yours Mrs Woog because it is NOT full of sponsored content. I think blogs promoting sponsored content often come across as “fake” (sorry to conjure up any image of Trump). Keep up the good work. Your blog is a couple of minutes of joy in an often dreay day.

    • FAKE NEWS! I love it. Most bloggers are very fussy about who they work with. Thank you for reading along and a great comment xx

  • Lauren Russo

    Can’t believe there was a new magnesium enhanced vaginal douche out and I didn’t even realise! ?

    Love your blog and your sponsored content, lady!

    • I will review it and let you know about it!

  • Sue Denham

    I have no problem with sponsored content as long as its made clear to us readers. I don’t read many blogs but yours is one of the Chosen Few, it’s funny, well-written, thought provoking, a breath of fresh air in the sea of negativity that is social media. I ditched mainstream magazines years ago as they just didn’t cover anything that interests me. Blogs like yours have taken their place. So “influence” away!

    • Why thank you Sue. I only read BREATHE and Womens Weekly, which should be named Women’s Monthly, but I totally understand why that is not an attractive option!

  • As a relatively newbie blogger I feel very strongly about this and hope the new laws are acted on, not just put in place as window dressing. I see so much gifting which is not disclosed on IG and it gets up my nose. Even if the only ‘payment ‘ is the goods it still should be clearly disclosed and I don’t think a buried hashtag is enough. Rant over?

  • Wendy

    Hey Mrs Woog,
    I have no probs with your sponsored content as it is interesting but these ads that now appear on your blog are a PIA! These r was theee of this same one just getting to and reading. The comments 🙁 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ada02f72e76bc7cb9d07f09d05244a41f0dd24316f3a711467a1f79d7034bd3a.png

    • Oh they are SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS! I have to pay some huge fee to my commenting system to have me exempt from them.

      • Wendy

        That is BS – I knew there had to be a reason – don’t pay it I just scroll past them 🙂

        • I am now considering changing systems but technology is scary. xx

          • Wendy

            Totally! Just got hubby onto Insta- that was a huge effort!

          • Tracey

            Not quite as bad as the naked lady riding a jetski behind Richard Branson ad I had to warn Mrs Woog about recently… 🙂

          • Wendy

            oooh how did I miss that?

  • Chris

    Interesting, I definately think readers/followers should know if something is being sponsored, eve though sometimes it ridiculously obvious.

    I wonder how this applies to Facebook etc. I have a friend who is in marketing and I quite often see her posting to our community Facebook pages with things like ‘ so and so just did some furniture removal for me and was awesome. Highly recommend’ it shits me to effing tears when I see it. I know she’s doing the ‘review’ for her client but presumably no one else knows she was hired by them.

    • Yes, but I think people are very cluey these days and can smell BS a mile away.

  • Tracey

    I have no issue with sponsored posts; we all have to eat! Also teenage boys eat a LOT, from what I understand. As long as your readers know and you’re not deviating from your usual style of writing, I say go for it! I think the new laws are a good thing and a few people might just get caught out.

  • Donna

    It took me years to work out those cosmetic and gadget reviews in magazines were actually sponsored content. So I’m suspicious these days. I have no problem with disclosed sponsored content, people gotta eat. And the blogs I follow are great.

  • Nellie

    I feel strongly about this Mrs Woog. Endorse away, but for goodness sake declare it. I have stopped following some bloggers because it is utterly obvious they are being paid to endorse something but are not honest about it (oh hello beauty bloggers, I may be looking at you). We are not stupid and can smell a fake post a mile away. Trust is hard earned and easily lost no? That’s why we luffs you.

  • I feel I have to #notsponsored anytime I speak about anything these days. I like shouting from the rooftops when I like something too so it is hard. Not much sponsored coming my way these days while I nest and bake but who knows after the new baby arrives. I think the new laws are great!

  • I think it’s great. Sponsorship should be disclosed. Though I find myself disclosing #notsponsored more often these days! I think that’s more a sign of the distrust people have for spontaneous recommendations thanks to others NOT disclosing sponsorship.

  • Agree. Agree. Agree. My kitties get more than me for my blog but I disclose every little tin of cat food. I do a bit of travel writing and I know for a fact when people get trips, flights, etc for free and it is not always disclosed on paper. I’ve actually had one case where I disclosed I received a media rate for a hotel and this was edited out in the final cut of my article. So sometimes it is the editor’s responsibility too.