The elephant in the room

So here’s the thing.

Yesterday was my first sponsored post. There it was! All where a “normal” post should have been! Just when you wanted to sit down with a coffee and see some of my life in pictures and words and escape for 5 minutes, instead there “it” was with it’s product and (for some) nastiness and sell outness! How very dare it.

2 months ago now I wrote a post saying that I would start to work with The Remarkables Group. I have a chance to have someone put my blog out there to brands and companies that I would never normally get the chance to otherwise. I have a chance to make more than the $20-$50 (yes, seriously, that is what I am generally offered from companies in the endless emails that hit my inbox each day) for a post on a product that doesn’t really suit my blog. There have been many offers over the past 2 months and none of them have really suited me…yet. The finance company yesterday DID fit. I worked for almost 10 years in that industry. I know what I am talking about. I liked, and recommended that product & company because it was something I would use. I liked the boys that set it up. Did I get paid? Yes I did. Could I have been paid plenty more times to write other posts for things I might not believe in over the past few months? I COULD have.

But here’s the thing.

I didn’t. I won’t. And I don’t. I will write about things that are connected to me, things I use, or would use. Things that I would tell my friends about if they were sitting around my kitchen table, or in the School playground.

I’m not going to justify my existence to people that won’t even write their name, or make a name in a comment telling me I have “sold out” or that I am a “pathetic desperate housewife”. If I have upset my regular readers with one in 1272(!) posts over almost 6 years then I have to say that you have to deal with this. We are adults. We can tune in and out to things that upset us. I know when a TV commercial comes on I use that time to go and fill up my wine and get some chocolate from the cupboard before Rob realises I have disappeared. If you see those nasty words “Sponsored Post” at the top of a post, click away, move on and come back tomorrow. Or don’t. YOU CAN DO THIS.

I have a penchant for french champagne, for buying art work and expensive bins and for overseas holidays – if I can make pocket money on the sidelines I will do it. I’ll do it so I can keep doing these things, and keep writing about them – sharing them with you. If I can do it in the comfort of my home, with the kids around instead of in long term daycare and rather than working back in finance, I will do it.

I actually thought it was quite ironic, that my first paid gig was writing about my old gig writing about how I wanted to be a writer but ended up in finance but now I am a writer being paid to write about not working in finance. Or something.

Circle of life my friends, circle of life.

Comments

  1. Congrats good on you :)

  2. Love how people tell YOU what they think suits YOU! lol continues to baffle me how people do that. I actually enjoyed your last post… {actually I dont think there is one I haven’t enjoyed yet!}… Keep up the greatness chick x

  3. I trust my lovely blog writers that I follow, like yourself and so I appreciate and trust that you will only write about things you have tried and support because you have found them to be of benefit.
    I believe in my heart you would not try to sell an idea or a product to us that you do not believe in yourself.
    If you can make money doing this then why shouldnt you.Your words take time to write and the product takes time to research and to test.I appreciate your time.
    Goodluck with it all.You deserve it.xx

  4. You can’t please everyone. Keep doing your thing. That’s why we come here :-)

  5. I get it, keep doing what you’re doing.

  6. Meh. So there was a sponsored post yesterday…it was really well written and easy to read, just like all of your other blog posts…and if you want to throw in a couple of sponsored posts to support your love of french champagne, who are we to tell you otherwise?! I say go for it!!

  7. Your commercial analogy is perfect Beth. If it’s something that interests you, read on, if not skip ahead. Not too tricky. It’s a shame you are made to feel awkward about it. Some of your readers are not giving themselves enough credit either. Surely we’re all smart enough to decide whether we buy into something or not. It’s not like your ads force us into submission. But what they do is take you to another level of success and good on ya for that. Just another way to show that ‘normal’ womens voices count and ultimately that means success for all of us.

  8. Amen, girl. It’s not like any of this is a surprise to your regular readers. Write on xx

  9. I didn’t read the post yesterday but I’m totally off to read it now. Your blog. Your family. Your words. Your choice. I bet your first sponsored post rocks.

  10. And yet, here you are, justifying your existence! Don’t do it! Just do your thing, Beth. You can’t please everyone, but they are entitled to their opinion (unless they leave it Anonymously, in which case they should go and get a backbone and a life). x

  11. Well done you. :)

  12. Sheesh! I loved reading about the life you had before the life you’ve got now. Thought it was beautifully woven into the fabric of your blog, ethos and story. Sticking with you dear Beth like.. Oh you don’t need to know what! Love Denyse

  13. Forget about the negative ones and focus on the positive ones. You are allowed to make a living. xx

  14. Good on you Beth. Hope you buy yourself something stylish to celebrate.

  15. Well said, more power to ya! It’s your blog, do what you like! I’ll keep reading :-)

  16. Mr BabyMac says:

    I actually don’t see the occasional negative response to your post as a bad thing. It shows how much they love your blog that they want to try to fight for it! I just don’t think they always have the awareness to realize that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  17. I am with Bigwords, indeed focus on the community that keeps coming back because they love it here and dump the Anonymous of the blogworld…

  18. My first ever comment on your blog which I enjoy reading immensely. Congratulations on your first sponsored post. I read it and filed the information away to show my husband. I believe that you do know what you are talking about and totally agree with your comments today,

  19. I can’t believe how people have said it doesn’t suit you. It’s no different than telling someone you don’t like their haircut or outfit. Rude rude rude! If we were all sitting in a room together I bet they wouldn’t have said that. Remember your manners ladies!!

  20. Your blog your rules…. Keep rocking it x

  21. I haven’t read ‘the post’, but I’m about to. Your blog is still a place where you share your world with your readers, with or with a sponsored post thrown in. I would imagine most established bloggers, who have a recognisable online identity (brand, if you will) will uphold that identity through appropriate choices of the products they write about, even for money. I think that most people understand that.
    Don’t listen to the nay-sayers.

  22. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. You have chosen to make an income through sponsored posts, which gives you the flexibility to stay at home with your girls. Nothing wrong with that. You clearly stated at the top that it was a sponsored post. I read it anyway, there was so much of Beth in there that I forgot it was a sponsored post. Ignore the knockers, as you say, they can go elsewhere at the click of the mouse.

    Love the working Beth posts, love the non-working Beth posts. xxx

  23. Love love love your blog Beth. But I also appreciated this explanation of your reasons behind yesterdays post.

    I read it. I probably won’t read another sponsored post. But I’ll just come back the next day for more of your posts about art and expensive bins. Keep on doing what you’re doing :)

  24. I like your blog a lot. I’m in it mainly for the garden snaps and your amusing turn of phrase.

    If you want to do a sponsored post on your blog, that’s your business.

    If people are Emotionally Confronted, they should click away.

    I see my blog as a sort of Dictatorship. It’s not a Democracy, I’m not there to please the Masses, I’ll post about what I want when I want. Because it’s My Blog. And I get to decide.

    I have increased the sales of parlux hairdryers, Red Phoenix accessories, OPI polish, Hermes scarves, dyson vaccum cleaners and Maitai scarf rings all for free. There are possibly more things, because people trust my endorsements. If I could have been paid for these things, so much the better.

    You are a sensitive soul and criticism hurts.

    You cannot please everyone so just please yourself and for God’s sake go and plant a quince tree.

    Cheerio.

    FF x

  25. I have only just discovered your blog, and, in fact, blogs in general. Perhaps I have missed something, but I cannot understand why readers would be upset with a sponsored post. You have disclosed, up front, that it was a sponsored post.
    I don’t understand why people are so upset, or feel the need to say that they ‘won’t read sponsored posts’. Do those people not buy magazines or watch TV because there are advertisements?

    Keep doing what you are doing, and ignore the naysayers.

    • Actually…I don’t buy magazines, nor watch any commercial or live-to-air tv (if I must, the ads are all muted) nor listen to commercial radio. There’s a whole lot of ABC radio and TV broadcast in this house! And DVDs watched, and podcasts played. I actively avoid as much marketing and advertising as possible. THAT’S why I won’t read a sponsored post.

      I don’t care that Beth has chosen to write one. I’m happy for her that she’s been chosen by a PR agency as a top blog worthy of their attention. I’ll just choose not to read the sponsored posts.

      And the only reason I said anything is because SHE said something ;)

    • Michelle, I didn’t mean to upset you with my comment. My apologies.

  26. The thing about sponsored posts is when they come from a calibre of blogger you are, they are genuinely there for our benefit, if someone in the Remarkables Group recommends something, it has to be pretty darn good, I for one love them. When the time comes I have all the details thanks to you. As an avid reader of blogs, you can tell those with integrity and those without. That’s what sets you apart. Keep them coming :)

  27. The thing about sponsored posts is when they come from a calibre of blogger you are, they are genuinely there for our benefit, if someone in the Remarkables Group recommends something, it has to be pretty darn good, I for one love them. When the time comes I have all the details thanks to you. As an avid reader of blogs, you can tell those with integrity and those without. That’s what sets you apart. Keep them coming :)

  28. I didn’t read the entire post because it didn’t engage me (the words “finance” and “budget” send me screaming for the door at the best of times).
    I think the lack of an image and the length of the post were also turn-offs…perhaps there was some subconscious “I don’t really want to be doing this sponsored post” stuff going on? Or perhas it was just like all the sponsored posts I read….a tad forced (no offence to you as you’re a very clever and witty writer).
    I’m leaving now – hope putting my opinion out there with my name attached doesn’t generate angst from anyone:)

  29. Do whatever you want Beth. I WISH I had a job that let me stay at home with my kids, be there for every school pick up, home all school holidays. Your lucky you can make something you love work for you. Your doing everything right, you told your readers it would happen, you had the disclaimer saying it was a sponsored post, you gave everyone the choice to not read. It’s no biggie Beth. Don’t stress, we still love ya!

  30. Own it, girlfriend. This is your space and we are all your guests.

  31. Hmmm well because YOU wrote I’m definitely going to check it out-we are approaching house hunting so it works for me :-)I love to read your stuff-simple as that, the rudeness of people still amazes me-damm!(don’t read it-whateves!)But from this happy reader THANK YOU ;-)

  32. I was so happy for you Beth, pocket money is FUN!

    I read yesterday’s sponsored post & thought to myself, ‘yep. That’s how it’s done’.

    I think there are a lot of bloggers out there with their knickers in a knot because they’re not a part of the remarkables group.

    And it’s my humble opinion that some of the nastiest anon comments come from our closest ‘bloggy pals’ under the disguise of an anon comment.

    Just puttin’ it out there ;)

    You’re so genuine Beth, & you have the most genuine heart.

    Keep calm, & sponsored post on.

    xx

  33. tell ‘em to get stuffed.

    I can think of many many other blogs that are far less engaging than yours that sell out in EVERY SINGLE POST. “Im wearing this, is from bleh shop, I went here to this event, sponsored by bleh bleh”. Their whole blog is one big ad.

    One of the best things about your blog is that you never pretend to be someone you’re not. All those people who say you have sold out are just jealous that you do something that you love.

    haters gonna hate.

  34. Hi Beth,
    I for one appreciated the fact that it was very clearly a sponsored post because you let us all know about it at the top.

    Too many times on other blogs (that I have just realised that I tend to no longer visit as often as I did) I have gotten to the bottom of a post (and the whole way thinking to myself, “gah, this is reading like an ad”) and then to realise at the end that it was indeed a sponsored post. Always left me feeling a little duped iykwim.

    So thanks for letting us know right up and giving us the option to read on or click away. And I for one, did read on.

    And one last thing – good on you! I would love to be able to work from home doing something that I love so hats off to you. Cheers x

  35. All good. The ones that matter are still here. Actually, your post made me think about $$$ again. So there. If the haters had a pipe, I would tell them to stick it in their pipe and smoke it. Its obviously not a peace pipe. Keep going Beth. You’re good at what you do. You should get something out of it. xx

  36. Bring on the french champagne and time with your kids (one may lead to the other or is that just me?). Sometimes people just don’t like change. I agree with everyone else here, you do it well and I trust your opinion. Oh, and french champagne doesn’t grow on trees…..

  37. Flickster says:

    I love your work, and I think you are brave putting it out there. Once or twice when I have commented on other sites/posts I have been criticised , abused and generally been shouted at by commenters. Its not nice. This “Face mail, Interweb”(as my mum calls it!) amazes me with peoples rudeness every day.

    I can’t imagine the crap you have respond to, its just mean on their behalf. Keep doing your thing, we all love it!

    I love it when your posts pop up on my computer – its a lovely thing…

  38. Anonymous says:

    I love all your post and yesterday I even went to the site you mentioned and we have contacted someone about changing our mortgage. We have been talking about it for months and now thanks to your post we got our butts into gear and we are going to do something about it. It is going to save us money each month, so we are happy, happy, happy!
    Keep doing what you are doing, you rock.

  39. Some people just REALLY need to get a life.
    You keep on truckin’ ladyface. I know I’d trust your recommendation on a product over many others tx

  40. Well written Beth. Your blog, your words, readers do not have to read it. And as I always say, no-one has the capacity to make anyone else feel a certain way. If someone is angry at what you write, they’re allowing themselves to be angry. Not your issue.

    You do what suits you, I for one love everything you write about. Especially the bin. I have worked FT for 23 years and I can truthfully say I am terribly envious of SAHMs, and the fact you make it look like damn good fun with a bit of income thrown in, GOOD FOR YOU!

    Mostly I love your honesty. That is what keeps me going back. xo

  41. God Beth, people can be mean. You know what, I skimmed yesterdays post and deleted. I did. But I didn’t care that you wrote it. I think it is great you are making money from something you love doing. I’ll still read your blog because its bloody funny and I relate to a lot of what you write about. If someone doesn’t like what you write, they don’t have to read it. Simple. So there, my rant for today. Annie x

  42. I LOVE you and your Elephants.
    That. Is. All.
    xx

  43. You stated straight up that it was sponsored.I skimmed it and laughed about your comment on paperwork as I used to work in finance too. It was witty and written as you always do and not forced or irrelevant to you. I didn’t click over as I have no need of their services.But some may. As another said its your space. Write whatever the hell you want!

  44. I think good on you Beth. You are not forcing anyone to sit there and read it, that’s their choice to keep reading rather than click away when they see it’s a sponsored post.
    Write what you want on your blog, that’s what it’s for.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Beth, Don’t worry about them. I love your blog and if I choose to read a sponsored post I will (which I did) and if not I won’t and so should the anonymous posters. I think it’s relevant that you worked in the industry for ten years and wrote about it. Yes, I am anonymous but I don’t have any of those profiles to choose from (and I don’t know what a URL is either). Amber

  46. Gah to them I say! Dance to
    Your own drum! X

  47. I read your sponsored post – I thought it was pretty good and did not really seem like a sponsored post… (I read all, well, most, or your posts actually as I LOVE the way you write and you tell interesting stories)… HEAPS of bloggers do sponsored posts! You rock!

    Now I just need to work out how to set up a profile so I am not commenting as Anonymous!

    Bee.

  48. So anonymous at 11.17 is what its all about. Your job is done. Go girl.
    T x

  49. (yes, I do read all the comments…)

  50. Beth I tried to comment yesterday, but my stupid phone deleted the comment. I liked your post, I understood that the limited space you made for sponsored posts meant you actually believed in the product. I guess I feel like after reading you for a year I can trust your judgement. And if I don’t have the same view as you I can just move on, no biggie. I know you won’t stop the sponsored posts but what I said yesterday was, “don’t stop beth, and don’t worry about the not happy comments, they don’t have to read it”.

  51. I’ve read so much about the ‘evils’ of sponsored posts lately & seriously, I don’t get it. Whats the big deal. If people don’t want to read it, don’t read it. I know I’m not a fan of those blogs that are just full of them but I’m sure there are others that like them. I’ve done a couple of sponsored posts myself & I think that just like you said, if they are relevant to you, fit your blog & you would actually use that product why not! Good luck with it all, why shouldn’t you get paid a little something for your efforts! xx ps like you I’m a writer that ended up in finance but am slowly finding my way back, thank god!

  52. I wrote today about how things would be changing over at 4 kids, 20 suitcases… and within the hour a long term reader wrote “no sponsored posts please”. I don’t like sponsored posts, but you’re absolutely right – we don’t need to read them when we’re forewarned. Loved seeing the pics of your time in Adelaide, it was also lovely to see the picture of you and cousin Bianca. If you ever need to come back, let me know, our place is just sitting around when we head back to Doha xx

  53. Good for you Beth, if you can make a living out of blogging why not?
    All blogs have posts that will interest an individual and posts that don’t. Sponsored or not. So as with all of the blogs I follow if the headline or first paragraph don’t grab me I don’t read. Simple. But I still keep coming back because there is loads of content I do love.
    Just do what you do Beth and no need to justify it.

  54. Geez lady, I’m sorry that you received that kind of reaction. I’m going to be honest and say that I did click into yesterday’s post and saw it was finance based and swiftly clicked out. Just a bit ‘over’ the whole finance type thing… I hear about it every day and it kinda doesn’t interest me… as you would understand.
    I’m stoked for you getting paid FINALLY to do what you do so well, should have been happening for years. And good on you for choosing the things that really do appeal to you xoxo

  55. Hi Beth,
    Unless some comments have been deleted I see 2 mildly negative comments yesterday and 38 supportive. Today on this post there are 58 supportive comment (and if you include mine, make that 59). Methinks the glass is half full (or 97.9% full, to be exact).
    Your sponsored post yesterday was the first sponsored post I have ever enjoyed reading. You did it so well. Keep on trucking.
    :)

  56. I thought your sponsored post was excellent – it felt like you had really taken the time to make it ‘you’ and not just churned out a press release and sounded like it should have been here alongside all the others. I love your blog Beth – keep it going however you see fit. It’s great! x

  57. I read the post and clicked away rather than writing a comment cos the product didn’t appeal to me and I have no experience in it either(being a lucky one with no mortgage and never intending to get one) but I have certainly written comments on other people’s sponsored posts, and have purchased those products too!!! I think it is great that you can earn some cash from your blog, go at it hard I say! Keep up the good work!

  58. all I can say is that I want to slap your bum, cus you’re awesome (not naughty for writing sponsored posts).

    xo em

  59. I thought your sponsored post was well written, and interesting. Don’t care if it is effectively an add -I just enjoy reading your writing. And if you can make some cash from it, why not?

  60. I love it.. Congratulations on a wonderful post and your words that say it just like it is. Plus making a little extra money on the side… Good for you.

  61. I’ve written a few sponsored posts on my little ol blog. I struggle sometimes that it may put some people off, but then again I’m not forcing anyone to read my blog either. Think of your blog as an open party where everyone is invited…your guests don’t have to drink the tequilas you’re serving at the start of the night, but they may want a champagne or two, especially if it’s the good French stuff. Just remember it’s your party and enjoy it. xx
    Good luck with your

Speak Your Mind

*