I’m cringing writing this, but I feel like it’s necessary. I worry that without saying anything, I’m making it more conspicuous because it could appear that I’m ignoring something which – come on – is pretty glaringly obvious. So I’d rather explain to you guys, and hope you’ll continue to support me.
Have I sold out?
The short answer is no. But allow me to elaborate: in terms of what I do, nothing has changed. If you previously never realised I was being paid for some of the posts I write and share with you, then it could be argued that I do my job well; conversely it could be argued that there was a lack of transparency – and that’s exactly why things have changed.
Essentially, CMA (Competition and Markets Authority, a part of the government that regulates advertisements and such) have ruled that there must be clearer labelling of relationships. It shouldn’t be something you guess at or presume – it should be something we’re explicitly telling you – upfront.
Prior to the new ruling, I’ve always ended posts with ‘this is a commissioned post’ or similar where relevant, and tagged brands on social media if their settings allow it. And while I’ve genuinely never attempted to mislead my readers, according to the new guidelines my old practices are no longer sufficient.
So I’m updating the way I do things to comply – just like all bloggers and influencers should be.
Sponsored Work – What It Is and Why I Do It
Most of you will have some idea about this, but I often get asked questions so I’m going to lay it out clearly.
My blog has become my job, it’s how I make an income to contribute to the family budget. I love what I do and all it affords us, particularly in terms of the wonderful experiences I’ve been able to give Pixie, and hope I’ll be in a position to give Elfin as she gets older too.
In order to keep my website free of adverts, I accept sponsored posts instead. That means sometimes working with brands in some capacity, to promote or review a product, service, or event. Sometimes I receive an item or service and no money changes hands; often I will be compensated for my time.
Every time this happens, I do my utmost to make the sponsored content relevant to you guys.
One of the things I actually most enjoy is being asked to weave a specific link into a post, which may be about a subject I wouldn’t ordinarily cover. My challenge is to write a post around the topic which will still be beneficial to you in some way, and won’t stick out like a sore thumb. It’s not always an easy task, but it allows me to get creative!
Embracing the New CMA Guidelines
I have concerns that a lot of people will see that something is paid for and immediately assume the content is somehow less – perhaps I’ve been paid to lie to you – and that you’ll therefore never read those posts. As a cynic myself, I don’t blame, particularly since the reason for the new ruling is that too many high profile influencers were misleading their followers.
Given above, people are understandably sceptical about adverts and endorsements. But you can be certain that if ever I say I’ve trialled something, I have. If ever I mention that I’ve been impressed, it’s true. If I see a fault in a product, I include that in my review. I’m never dishonest, and I hope that’s earned me your trust.
I want you to know that I spend just as much time crafting the posts I’m paid for as I do ones like this. And despite my fears that some of you may switch off, I welcome the ruling calling for greater transparency.
- What Everybody Needs to Know About Blogging
- “Blogger’s Curse”: Social Media Addiction
- Why Your Life is Mediocre – and That’s Okay (Unless It’s Not)
I hope this gives you a little insight as to how the industry works and why you’re seeing more ads, not just here, but (hopefully) across the whole industry. I also hope you’ll appreciate that I’ve no choice but to accept paid work if I’m to keep this blog going, and that you’ll continue supporting me.
For me, there are so many facets that add up to making this blog a success: a lovely online community; experiences my family would otherwise never have had access to; working for myself; writing! Plus, of course, the occasions when somebody reaches out to let me know that something I’ve written has helped them.
I cannot put into words what turning this blog into a viable business means to me, and I’m so thankful for every one of you who, through reading my words, helps to keep it going.
Because ultimately, without you guys reading, my little corner of the web would not exist.