Blog Sponsorship and Advertising

I’d like to talk to you about the monetization of blogs, and specifically of my blog, Making it Lovely. I announced a new sponsored project earlier this week and the responses were mixed. I feel that it’s important to address the negative sentiments that were expressed.

I am approached daily with offers of items for reviews and giveaways, free trips, sponsorships, and various advertising opportunities (such as text links). I politely decline nearly all of them. To imply that I am thoughtlessly and greedily accepting every freebie that comes my way is hurtful and insulting. I have always taken great care to be ethical, honest, true to myself, and true to my readers. I don’t publish anything that I’m not proud of, and I hold myself to a high degree of integrity and accountability. This blog would be very different if I were only in this to make money. I have always been very selective, choosing only to work with companies that I have used or would use personally regardless of compensation. And now that I’m able to work with a sponsor to share a new project with you that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise? I think that’s wonderful.

Many have lamented the fact that so many blogs are being monetized, and they would prefer to see them remain free of advertising. I respect those individuals that blog without any form of payment, but I also have respect for those that have been able to be fairly compensated for the lovely sites that they have created. It takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and money to keep a blog like Making it Lovely going. I pay for childcare so that I have time to write and edit original photos for the blog. I have upgraded my web hosting to ensure that the site loads quickly and without problems for every visitor. I am always taking time to file away ideas, thinking of new ways to share inspiration with you, and documenting projects for the blog. I’m honored and amazed everyday that Making it Lovely has taken off the way it has, but you must know that there is a lot of work involved.

I am lucky to be able to earn an income via my blog. I have been working toward it for years, and I’m proud of all that I have accomplished. I will continue to accept advertising and explore new sponsorship opportunities in a mindful and responsible way, and I thank you for your support.

301 Responses to “Blog Sponsorship and Advertising”

  1. jessica May 12, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Aaaand, this is why I don’t have comments. Bookmarking just in case I ever need a reminder for why I have them turned off. Lovely comments, polite questioning comments, out and out angry comments – all of ‘em stress me out. :)

  2. dai May 12, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Nicole, I love you blog, and thank you for all your efforts! I believe that yuo’ll make the sponsored project very YOU that we all feel comfortable.:)

  3. Lynne May 12, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    Sorry, I hit reply to someone and it posted here instead of as a reply (and I can’t even find their post now) so my comment is completely out of context. As I said earlier though, you have become successfull, and unfortunately you are experiencing Tall Poppy Syndrome. Ignore the negativity and carry on doing your thing because most of us do not have a problem with the way you run YOUR blog.

  4. Abby May 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    You handled this very well, Nicole. I think you should be able to take your blog in whatever direction you see fit. Congratulations on your new sponsership, it is well deserved recognition of your hard work! Your blog is gorgeous and inspirational, and so are you :)

  5. kim May 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Well said! Researching and creating original content is very time-consuming. Readers need to remember that similar professional bloggers are making $50+/hr. With that in mind, you also deserve to be compensated for your expertise in driving eyeballs, clicks and sales to everyone you write about and advertise.

  6. Ez May 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Well said Nicole! I couldn’t agree with you more. I think that it’s important for us all (blog writers and blog readers) to keep in mind the massive quantity of time and thought that goes into creating such a lovely blog as yours. Those who have been featured on your pages have surely benefited from all your hard work, and you absolutely deserve compensation…just as any business woman does in her chosen field. Blog on sister…blog on. : ) xo Ez

  7. gia May 18, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Love your blog! Keep up the good work.

  8. Shannon May 22, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Just catching up to this post; I am perplexed as to why anyone would gripe. Making it Lovely and Pink Loves Brown are your work, your business, your brand. End of story.

  9. nina {nina renee designs} May 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    You absolutely deserve to be compensated for your TALENTS… not everyone can do what you do {the way you do it}! How much time do you dedicate to your blog/business??? 1000 hrs a day? Yes, get paid.

    :-)

  10. The Design Boards June 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I’m so sorry that you have received negative comments and feedback about your new sponsorship. I am always so happy for other bloggers when I hear about the opportunities that have come out of blogging. Blogging is a lot of hard work and you do a great job at it. You deserve to be compensated for what you do!

  11. Rebecca September 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    A little late,
    but I love your blog,
    your ideas,
    your style…

    And I *love* the fact that you’re able to make a living from it. You are not a sell-out.

    Keep on keepin’ on, Nicole.

  12. Robin January 6, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I think you do a fabulous job! Keep up the good work!

  13. Alisa (mrsbcs) January 6, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Thank you, Nicole, for what you give to us daily. You are an inspiration to me and I appreciate what you do.

  14. Alisa May 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    It’s a shame that anyone would try to make you feel badly about sponsorships you choose to accept. Clearly you put so much of yourself into your blog. No one should reasonably expect you to cover all the expense that goes into the maintenance and creation of such great material out of your own pocket. That’s ludicrous!

  15. The Evolving Blog July 13, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    This was a great post, glad we ran in to it this morning! We love honest + true blogs :)

  16. Dave August 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Ya know?… I started blogging again not only to get my message out but to make new friends AND see if I could make some money on it. I’ve got a job after being laid off in construction as this recession set in, didn’t apply for extended unemployment benefits, couldn’t get a job until after I had to move out from my wife of 24 years (with our youngest daughter who knew she needed to be with me, finances the major breaking point)at minimum wage until I secured the job I have now. And I am thankful. But I ain’t satisfied! I’m not making nearly what I’m worth. I’ve been looking for over a year almost on a daily basis. I’ve sent out and followed up as best I could over 100 resumes with one response. As soon as I could afford a laptop and ISP I started blogging again with the intent on getting my message out and see if I could be compensated for it. Although… making friends is a great side benefit the way I approach it! I don’t believe my sites as lovely as yours (!) but I like it and think you handled this issue well. It does take a lot of effort. If there’s a demand for something that’s worth monetary compensation in an honest business arrangement what’s wrong with that? There will be bloggers that are sponsor free, but as their talent and audience develops why can’t they get paid for being good at entertaining, informing or serving their audience? My site launched 9 weeks ago and its gotten 1,500 hits as well as international readers. It takes effort to get results. I’m all self taught at this puterin’… writing, marketing, seo, site design, images, layout, html… Honestly, i’d be dream come true for me! Makin’ a living doin’ what I love? Making friends, sharing laughs, learning together! Is America great or what?!

  17. Dave August 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    My site… btw is http://www.TheHolleringStump.com I didn’t add it to the above in case this seemed somewhat distasteful to you Nicole. You could delete this if you don’t like it or don’t like my message. Either or both won’t change my mind about what I said but this way you can just delete this! Some other web sites were showing on some posts. I thought they were automatically added.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. Link Love: 5.13.10 | Nubbytwiglet.com - May 13, 2010

    […] Nicole Balch brings up some really great points in Sponsorship and Advertising. In part, she says, “Many have lamented the fact that so many blogs are being monetized, and […]

  2. Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Honor Roll - May 14, 2010

    […] Let’s talk money and blogs. And then let’s think a bit more about the subject. (Clearly this has been on my mind lately.) […]

  3. 7 Links Challenge « eye see pretty - July 17, 2010

    […] posts that I remember most clearly was written by Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely entitled ‘Blog Sponsorship and Advertising‘.  She had taken on a project sponsored by American Express and received many negative […]

  4. Shelter Media Watch: This Bedroom Brought to You by American Express :: The Studioist - July 22, 2010

    […] caused some reader outcry and accusations that there has been a shift in tone on the blog. Nicole defended the collaboration and many supporters have argued that it is a triple-win: Amex receives exposure; Nicole is […]

  5. 2010 Recap: The Blog | Making it Lovely - January 6, 2011

    […] I discussed my thoughts on blog sponsorship and advertising. […]

  6. What’s Next for Us | Making it Lovely - February 27, 2012

    […] some new ideas with my team at FM.Sponsorships are a tricky subject for some, I know. It’s something that I’ve written about before, and I’ve done a lot of sponsored content since then. There was one campaign in particular […]

  7. How My Blog Went From a Hobby to a Job | Making it Lovely - January 16, 2013

    […] have written about this before, back in 2010. Since then, I have continued to explore new ways to work with sponsors, while still maintaining my […]