Feb 17, 2015

A Story of Blogs, Sponsors, and Lost Innocence

So I just finished writing a post about mind games in social interactions, and something really ironic happened.  I got an email chalk full of 'em!  Let me start at the beginning though.

So my blog is pretty tiny.  A baby blog, if you will.  And that's mostly because I look at it as a hobby and I'm too lazy to pretty up my posts with pictures, or to promote myself.

So I'm always taken aback when I get an email with some kind of sponsor offer.  Like the eShakti, one.  I mean, why advertise through me?  I have barely any hits.  But, hey, free dress, so I'll take it.

I had an interesting one a while ago about a subscription program for cheap razors for men.  I really liked their website and their ad, but in the end it just didn't make sense.  You guys, as far as I can tell, are mostly women and I doubt you want to hear about men's razors.  Plus, I didn't want any, so how could I promote a product I didn't want to try?  I let that one go.

Then, I got an email from an job search site.  TheLadders.  (Hey guys!  You said you wanted me to post about you, right?  Here it is!)  This sounded like something that could directly be useful for me or a friend!


It was a long email, so I reread it several times before I concluded that there really was no mention of payment.  But, not to be discouraged so easily, I responded to the message, indicating that I wouldn't be able to review their service if I hadn't actually tried it and asking this simple question, "What are you offering?"

To my surprise, they actually responded.

But, as I was soon to find out, their response didn't mean there was actually any benefit!  After carefully scanning 6 paragraphs of text, I finally found the line that indicated what was in it for me, "Our social team is going to be shouting-out our favorite posts on our social platforms!"

Ah.  So if I mention you, despite having no familiarity with your site or any idea whether or not it's effective or user-friendly, you might share my post.  Maybe.

Well, you know, to me that just seems unethical.  I'm not pretending we're best buds and trying to get my readers (all 10 of them) to use your website if I don't know whether or not I like it.  And, if you're going to ask me to do something unethical, at least offer payment or something.  Geez!  A girl has to have some standards!

So I guess I finally understand what people are talking about when they say it's annoying to get all the fake sponsor emails.  I'm really hoping that the tiny size of my blog prevents the spam from increasing.  But I know how I'm going to respond in the future.  Jenn over at Hello Rigby wrote a post about the different types of sponsor emails and how she handles it, and the last example is exactly what just happened with [the generic employment finding site that I won't be mentioning again].

One thing I'm wondering... how are they finding me?  Does getting sponsor emails mean my blog is big enough to be showing up on some random list somewhere?  Or in someone's database?  Is my little baby blog becoming a toddler?


Do you get BS sponsor emails?  How do you respond?



Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

6 comments:

  1. Ummm blogger just ate my comment! Anywhoo, I used to get a LOT of fake sponsor emails, usually it was create a mood board for our product.

    I'm sure they find us by seeing our comments on bigger bloggers blogs. (say that three times fast)

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  2. i have had a couple emails that i ignore because the spelling and grammar are just atrocious i just can't believe that a real person wrote it. i also am not down with talking about things we dont actually use. funny you say that about the razors - a company contacted me (no payment or anything, silly me) and i wrote a post talking about them (a small part of the post was about them) but honestly i did it because we actually do use their company (yeah i use 'mens' razors lol) so i didn't mind. if i didnt though, heck no.

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  3. I feel you on this one. I have had several people contacting me wanting to write up a post to promote their product or business for nothing in return. While I don't necessarily need to get paid all the time, free products are usually helpful as well. Why in the hell would I want to spend all my time writing up a post for a product I have not tried an waste my readers time with something they care nothing about either. I don't even respond to those emails anymore. I assume they find us from commenting on the bigger blogs.

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  4. I reply "I don't write sponsor content or give guest blogging opportunities for free." That's if I respond at all.

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  5. Agree with Steph ^^ I pretty much always respond (because you never know) but I make it clear right away, 'here's my rates and here's what i can offer, but you will be paying something.' And social media shout outs just dont cut it.

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  6. I usually reply to see what they have to offer, but its not like they are beating the door down.

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