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Should I start using “sponsored posts?”

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I’ve been blogging for five years (here’s my first post). That’s a long time. Ask anyone who’s started a blog. It’s a lot tougher than you might think to start a blog–and keep one going.

In those five years, I haven’t made one dime from my blog. Well, I mean, I’ve started a business that’s partly predicated on blogging and online marketing, so I guess you could say I have earned money indirectly from my blog.

But in terms of advertising directly on my blog–not a cent. No affiliate links. No ads.

Nothing. Nada. Not a penny.

And that’s been completely by design. Advertising on my blog has always felt off to me. I didn’t start my blog to make money. I started it to share my opinions–and to facilitate discussions around issues I thought others like me were thinking about or having.

But lately, I’ve been thinking differently about my blog.

Each week, I probably get in the neighborhood of 10-15 “pitches.” Some of those pitches are legit. Just got one last week from a PR person for an influencer engagement platform–and, as a result, I had a conversation over the phone with the company’s CMO this week.

But, for the most part, many of those pitches are either: 1) Complete garbage and I don’t even both responding, or 2) “guest post” ideas from folks looking for linkbacks to their site/blog.

It’s that second camp I’ve been thinking more about lately.

To date, I’ve been turning each and every one of these requests away. Now, I’m starting to noodle on a different idea.

When I started this blog, I was working for a company named Fairview. My blog was not part of my business. And again, I made no money from it.

Now, my blog is the centerpiece of my business. The place where I drive all traffic. The one place where people can find more information about me–my credentials, my thoughts/opinions and how to work with me.

As a result, my blog is now a business tool. And, as a business tool, I started thinking about ways I could potentially make money directly from my blog.

One of those ideas: Sponsored posts.

Those pitches I get each week? I would give those folks the opportunity for a “sponsored post” at a certain cost with certain parameters.

I certainly wouldn’t get rich off this–but it would provide me with some passive income. And it would give me a way to move some of these pitches I get into a dedicated spot on my blog.

But, as I think about this, my mind goes to you, the readers of this blog. I’m not going to pretend I have a legion of fans out there who read my blog each and every day. But, I also know there are a number of folks who subscribe and my little PR blog does get upwards of 20,000 unique visitors a month. So, someone’s reading 😉

So, my question to you: How would you feel about sponsored posts on my blog? Would that make you less inclined to follow my blog? Would it decrease your trust in me? How would you feel about it?

I would not accept any sponsored posts that weren’t on topic with the premise and mission of my blog. That’s kind of a given. So, the idea would be that they have to add value.

But again, how would you feel about sponsored posts on my blog? I’m a bit conflicted about this, so I’m very interested in your thoughts. Please share below.

Photo courtesy of imfti via FlickR Creative Commons.

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Should I start using “sponsored posts?”

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