what are sponsored reviews?
Yesterday we ran a “sponsored review”. You see more of these around the web now, called sponsored posts or paid posts. I thought I’d be totally transparent about what these are about for me, here.
In a shell of a nut, they’re posts that are supported in some way – in $ or in kind – by a brand or service. The concept is derived from what’s known in magazines as “integrated advertising” (you see pages that look like editorial, but are actually an ad and usually have a banner at the top saying ‘advertisement’ or ‘promotion’). In newspapers and on TV, travel features and car reviews are mostly paid for by clients (an airline, a hotel, a tourist bureau). A line generally runs at the end: Sarah Wilson traveled with XYZ Llama Treks (or whatever). Since I’ve worked across all media, I know this dance intimately and I know how to tread the line…I’ve also seen how it is often crossed very tackily and dishonestly, especially online.
Why am I doing sponsored reviews on this blog? Two reasons
1. I’ve been writing posts six days a week now for almost two years. My blog costs money to run. A little bit of revenue will help me out. I don’t write for the money. It’s not why I started this blog. But I have rent to pay!
2. I get approached by a lot of great brands and services wanting me to experience their stuff so I can share it with you. These are brands that fit with the vibe of what I do here – they’re about making life better in some way. But I’m personally not comfortable reviewing or promoting products without disclosure that I didn’t just “stumble” upon [insert cool product], but that I was invited to give it a whirl. A sponsored review creates that distinction and allows me to share with you all about my Llama Trek (or whatever), where previously I’ve turned down the offer.
And just so you know…
1. We will only be reviewing stuff that I think readers of this blog could benefit from. And I will be honest. I’m not interested in getting grubby.
2. I’ll be clearly specifying when a post is sponsored. The font will also be different. A soft grey, in fact.
3. These reviews will not affect anything else I feel like ranting about on this site.
Now, as you were…