By Pelf Nyok
Before you proceed to read the rest of the post, I’d like to make myself clear on certain points. Now, “blogging for money” may not be the most appropriate phrase to use because we all do things for money — we work for money, we sing for money, we stay home for money — but until I think of a better way to bring it out, it should stay as it is. My definition of “blogging for money” refers to anybody who earns some revenue by blogging, particularly by writing sponsored posts.
I’ve mentioned not too long ago that I do NOT mind reading paid reviews on blogs because I think it’s like watching a movie on TV and whether I like it or not, the TV stations will still air the advertisements. In fact, I take it as a way to learn about a new product or service that I otherwise wouldn’t hear about or learn of.
But whenever I read about somebody blogging about a place I know she has never been to, or a personal loan I know she had never taken, I feel cheated. I am especially turned off by bloggers who write sponsored posts about how she “would like” to go to Mexico or Hawaii for a vacation. I get turned off by bloggers who fake a review and make it sound like a genuine one. I get turned off by bloggers who recommend a particular service before he used/tried it. I didn’t graduate with a First Class Honours but I certainly can tell between a genuine and fake blog post after almost 2 years of blogging!
I have gone a full circle from thinking about “blogging for money” to actually doing it, to doubting myself for writing those sponsored posts because I sometimes tried too hard to blend it into my blog, to empathizing with my readers, to thinking about the directions I wanted my blog to head to, to not writing those sponsored posts anymore.
You see, I joined the thousands of bloggers who “blogged for money” in January 2007. My blog was approved and I excitedly took and completed my first few offers. I am even guilty for blogging about a credit card though I swear to God that the story behind the post was a genuine one (I am still a poor student who does not own a credit card). But that was during a time when the offers were aplenty and most of them were pretty relevant to myself.
And before I knew it, I was accumulating funds in my PayPal account but since I am not a shopper myself, I spent them on things that are close to my heart. And that was a turning point in my “blog for money” journey. I realized I actually enjoyed giving much more than receiving. So I slowed down. I became extremely picky when it comes to writing sponsored posts and eventually, I stopped writing them. These days, I would only write about things that I would REALLY recommend, things that could benefit my readers in at least one way (but unfortunately such offers don’t come by often).
So, from my personal observations, blogging for money MIGHT work for you if you fall into any of the following categories:
- You have had a lot of experiences dealing with mortgages and personal loans and home loans. And you’d like to apply for more credit cards and student loans for your unborn child.
- You are either expecting a baby, or you are a mother with a toddler or school-going children. Advertisers are looking for mothers to promote their drinking bottles and baby showers and what-have-yous.
- You are a carpenter or an interior designer who are constantly looking for furnitures to fill your showrooms.
- You have a family member or a friend or colleague who needs to go to a drug rehabilitation centre.
- You are into Thai dating and inter-racial romance. Dating sites are especially popular these days.
- You live in the United States. When you stay in the United States, almost anything and everything can be blended into your blog without sounding like an “out-of-nowhere” post. If somebody from Malaysia blogs about a drug rehab centre in the US, now doesn’t that sound fishy?
So have you tried to “blog for money”? How does it turn out for you? What is your experience like?
Pelf, the author of pelf-ism is contagious, is a grad-student who is trying to save the turtles, the environment and humankind. Charity, conservation and volunteerism are things that are very close to her heart. You may subscribe to pelf-ism is contagious via the RSS Feed.