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Sponsored Articles, Videos and Conversation

March 12, 2010

Let me just start this article off with a disclaimer. I work for a company, ebuzzing, that specializes in this sort of thing. But whatever I say here are my own thoughts, not necessarily those of ebuzzing ūüôā

So currently, there is a lot of debate over whether bloggers should be paid to write articles for advertisers. Basically, there are a few schools of thought on this

  1. It is totally fine, I just want to make some money online
  2. It is only OK when you are getting paid to blog about what you normally would blog about
  3. It is only OK to receive product incentives, not money, for writing articles.
  4. It is not OK at all, and sponsored articles threaten the blogging community, word of mouth, and buzz

So I fall into the second category, as does the company I work for. I honestly think that it is fine to pay bloggers to write articles, as long as it is something that they would normally blog about and something that their readers are interested in. In addition, being fully transparent (informing readers that the article is sponosred) is a great thing. Being fully transparent means there is nothing to hide: no one is trying to trick readers into thinking that the article they are reading wasn’t paid for.

Image by Intersection Consulting

I had a conversation yesterday with a PR blogger, who thinks that sponsored/paid articles¬†contaminate¬†word of mouth and buzz. But what I said is that its not really possible to contaminate word of mouth. Sure, you can pay someone to inform their readers about something, but if it isn’t interesting, and isn’t worthy of buzz, it isn’t going to be spread!

I can definitely see other points of views though. That soon maybe blogs will be crowded with sponsored posts and it will be difficult to see the real content. But I really don’t think this will happen. Sure, maybe more people will be creating blogs just to make money, but there will still be legitimate bloggers, ones that write because they love it and have a passion for it! I will link to my friend Sarah Merion here, because I think she is one of those bloggers. She believes in what she blogs in, and when she writes posts, they are quality and informative! But that doesn’t mean that she won’t experiment with sponsored posts in the future (maybe I will convince her ūüôā )

And as far as video broadcasting goes, I think it is a better alternative to¬†Google¬†AdSense to have banner videos in your sidebar or somewhere in your blog. Sure sometimes the videos aren’t¬†going¬†to be things your readers are¬†interested¬†in, but when was the last time you yourself were interested in a¬†Google¬†adsense link? At least videos are entertaining!

So in all, as long as you are being honest to your readers, and what you are blogging about is relevant, then why not make some money and get some cool products?!

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