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?