Reconciling idealistic writing and doing sponsored reviews

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Curious, I jumped in!

I joined the bandwagon of bloggers trying to earn some money online. If you are a regular visitor, you might have noticed that I started making sponsored posts. I just started accepting paid posts opportunities last week. I am saving for a vacation trip abroad for my already retired parents. It is costly and I'd like to give this to my parents before I get married; or that was what I thought was the reason for doing so.

I love reading, writing and talking. I am not the talkative type, but I enjoy conversations and reading meaningful thoughts from people; even the seemingly mundane ones.

So, all these blogging experience is making me happy. I got acquainted with people who live both far and within reach, shared my life with people and peeked into other people's minds.

Enter paid post opportunities.

Suddenly, you mind all the statistics - daily visits, alexa rank, technorati authority, etc. You get addicted to checking your email, because there might be opportunities and you have to check often; otherwise other people will be able to grab it before you do. You start dropping entrecards like a master... and endure the time take it takes to load all the pages of 300 sites, you're allowed to drop in a day. You join more and more communities and enter your site into blog directories to improve your popularity and authority.

Now, you're not even thinking of interesting posts to write on your blog because you're so absorbed with the idea of earning and winning more and more bids for sponsored posts.

That's what happened to me... to some extent.

Personally, I don't like getting across a blog with so many advertisements like it's solely put up to generate income. I am sorry but I get the feeling that I am underestimated as a reader. It's the same feeling I get when I watch a television show when 70% of the time, I see a TV commercial. I have nothing against these bloggers, they are just trying to monetize and earn more money.

Since I am into this business myself now, I feel guilty somehow of violating my personal preferences; that's why I have set some rules for myself.

  • No conflict of interest.
This means I will not do reviews related to casino, alcohol, tobacco, or sexually suggestive sites, products, or services or any other related things against my ideals/views
  • Just honest and truthful opinions.
If I need to be more creative, I will look for a way to relate that product/service to something truthful in my life or experience. If I could not find a way to do that, then I should not take that opportunity. Other people might be able to do a better job than me.
  • It should be natural.

I had served as an editor of our student paper for two years when I was in high school. I think even though I've did not pursue writing as a profession (because I got smitten by Physics and all those abstract things), I still consider myself a writer. A simple, trying hard writer.

When my pagerank increased, I noticed people coming to my site from google looking for some answers to their questions perhaps. Were my entries benefial? Sometimes, I feel guilty when I think people might across my page looking for something and they couldn't find any!

I should not be personally be affected by that. I am not. After all, I am just here to share my opinions. Writing enables me to speak the language of my soul. I am here for its mere expression. Whether my posts are helpful or not, I'll keep writing... who knows someday I might be able to share some things that are really very helpful.

P.S. I didn't realize it would be this long. I was just thinking of doing 3-5 lines but whoa! Sorry :-)

12 comment(s):

Me, the islands and the world said...

we feel the same with paid posts but we can't deny its financial benefits so we just find the middle ground and try to stay true to ourselves.

Pastilan said...

That is why there is a need for a different blog where you can post your rants, raves, and everything that might contradict paid posts. My main blog has many ads and paid posts but I strive hard to make its content relevant and not spammy; I like technology so I write about it and earn while I'm doing it. I have another blog whose main purpose of existing is to serve as the canvas on which I could paint the colors of my soul whenever I feel the need to. My Freedom Wall will not have paid posts. I seldom post on it because its getting harder for me these days to write something that comes from within me. I am, as of now, too preoccupied with my main blog to be introspective. In the next few days i may post something in My Freedom Wall that would give a better glimpse of the man behind Techno Techniques.

Tigis said...

hehe yeah I agree with you. At first I didn't care about money and all the pagerank or alexa thing. But months after that I started to think that I can earn some money from my blogs. That's when I started to care about those things. It's normal I guess. And it's no harm to people. Especially if we have most of our visitors coming from search engine. For regular visitors perhaps things will change a little bit. But it's okay :) Unfortunately I was late to use english as my main language on my blog. So i get rejected several times from review sponsored brokers. Hope I'll get lucky next time :)

caryn said...

this is a great post. i've long been agonizing whether to monetize my blog or not; i decided against it with reasons similar to those you outlined. i too think blogging should be more for self-expression and connections ;-)

pchi said...

@Me, the islands and the world

We really cannot deny the financial benefit. It is a big help indeed.

You are right. Primarily, the only thing to do is be true at the same time

pchi said...

@Pastilan

I agree...

your techno-techniques blog is very helpful. I find your posts very informative myself

so that's why, when I am creating my paid posts, I make it as informative and as truthful as it can get

pchi said...

@Pastilan

oh, I forget to say..

Yes, we'd like to know more about the man behind your main blog

pchi said...

@Tigis

You are right in saying that it is not harmful to people and if we can earn, why not?

I think you will get your paid post opportunities in time, I actually got rejected twice or thrice too because I had posts in Tagalog (Filipino language)

we're on the same boat

pchi said...

@Caryn

It feels great to earn money by blogging, you should try it as well

but choose the opportunities you take so it won't contradict your opinions

Gem said...

I seen really good blogs where the reader cannot draw the line between paid posts and unpaid ones - even when they disclose their sponsor. These are usually own by big name bloggers who earn six figures, and a number of top Filipino bloggers whose blogs have some pagerank, have a good social network of bloggers and heaps of traffic.

pchi said...

@Gem

I try to do that... it is harder than I thought but I like the challenge

I think you are able to do that... I wish we could earn six figures as well

how I wish!

Gem said...

Wish... but we have to work had.

The more that I wanted to make that wish come true, the more difficult it is for me.

Totoo, things are not easy when you try to reach the top.

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