I’m Writing This Post for Free! (Instead of $400)

Last week an advertising firm approached me and asked me to write a sponsored post for their client (who shall not be named). They offered to pay me more than my asking price, a lot more. They offered me $400 to be exact. Sweet!

You may have noticed that I do occasionally sell sponsored posts on here, but in fact I have very strict guidelines to prevent my site from being over-run with spammy crap. My demands go something like this: You give me a lot of money, I write a post (usually something I was going to write anyways), you get a link in the post, and I disclose at the end that you pay for it. Everybody wins. Surprisingly this doesn’t go over well with too many advertisers…

The disclosure at the end is key. I always insist on that for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I think bloggers are made and broken on their integrity. You guys read this site either because for some reason you see value in what I have to say (thanks for that, BTW). If I’m going to link to something that I don’t have experience with or can’t endorse myself, I want you guys to know that.

George is Keeping an Eye On You!
photo credit: peasap

Anyways, these corporate guys want to pay me $400 to write a post- on a topic I’d probably write about anyways, just to include one link to their company. $400! That’s a hell of a lot more than I usually make per post ($0). It was pretty tempting I admit, and you’d probably be reading that post right now if it weren’t for one thing: they insisted I leave off the disclosure at the end.

Now, I really wanted that $400. It’s kind of a lot of money for me. It’s almost twice the cost of my plane ticket to Colombia! I wrote back, are you sure we can’t squeeze in a disclosure? Just a tiny one? Pleeease?

They were insisitant that this collaboration be hush hush so in the end, I had to say no. I’ll admit it wasn’t the easiest decision, but it sits right with me.

So why am I telling you my sob story? It’s not so I can brag about the purity of my blog or my moral superiority or any bullshit like that. I rarely ever talk about behind the scenes blog writing stuff on here. I don’t care much what other blogs do, I just have to do what seems right to me.

The reason I wanted to tell you guys this is actually kind of the opposite: I know you guys see the ads on my site, the sponsored trips I’ve been lucky enough to go on and yes, the occasional sponsored article. I do these things because I need to make money to you know, live, and keep doing this website. I’m sure you guys understand my desire to like, eat and stuff. So I will continue to sell ads and do things for money: but I will always try to be clear with you guys about what is sponsored and what isn’t, because this site is about nothing, if not honesty.

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Those decisions are always the hardest to make…but then again, not really. It’s almost like you know where the line is drawn in the sand and before the situation presents itself, you already know your decision subconsciously. I’ve had to make many similar judgement calls at work. No big ethical connundrums that serve as great examples of how to/how not to handle a situation. I’ve found those decisions that sit well with me at the end of the day are far more valuable than the reward, in your case $400. Values like that are priceless, unfortunately though it’s money that… Read more »

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