“You can’t un-sellout.” | I don't blog, but if I did...

“You can’t un-sellout.”

You can’t un-sellout.” Those are my words, they’re something I stood by for years. Would I sell my blogging soul for some free samples? Would I compromise my integrity for the sake of a few scant dollars thrown my way? Hell, no.

Then a few months ago, I joined a collective called SheBlogs. Together with other Canadian female bloggers, we are represented by the SheBlogs team to advertisers who can then choose to run a variety of ads or campaigns through us. As a blogger who has been doing this for free for more than ten years now, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try out their model. We get to choose which advertisers’ campaigns we would like to take part in when offered a campaign, and the major benefit (to me) is that there’s exactly no selling for me to do. They take care of it all. And I really liked the idea of having some approved ads on my site, to generate a bit of income here.

I’ll be honest, the money I’ve made thus far is little more than enough to cover my hosting costs. But that’s money I wasn’t making before, right? I don’t post about anything I don’t like or support, so it’s a good deal, right? Right?

But.

Those are my words up there. Did I sell out?

This month, with three campaigns running, I’ve felt like I’ve lost direction here. On the one hand, this is my space to do with it whatever I want. But on the other, this space is where I come to write, or share ideas, and not necessarily try to convince you to buy a product. So have I sold out? I’m not really sure. I do know that my wee family appreciates the free samples we’re given, and the chance to give away fun stuff is great! So for now, I’m going to say that no, I have not. And hope that you feel the same.

If I wanted to write reviews exclusively, I’d start a review blog… but that isn’t really what I’d like to do, so I hope you all know that when I don’t support something, I don’t write about it. And if you’d like proof of that, well, I declined a kids’ movie review (which would’ve made me a fair bit of money, for what it required) simply because it wasn’t something I’d ever condone little kids watching. I promise my integrity is still intact. I’d never give a glowing review to something I wouldn’t spend hard-earned dollars on, and I’ll always disclose to you when I’ve been compensated for a post, despite my opinions always being honest. You can count on that.

But damn, it feels nice to earn a little for blogging.

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12 Responses to ““You can’t un-sellout.””

  1. Deborah / Mom2Michael

    You haven’t sold out. So long as you pick and choose what you write about and stay honest and open in your opinions, you haven’t sold out. You’re just making responsible business decisions.

    If you ever start shilling something you don’t believe in or wouldn’t have in your house or recommend to your friends, then I’ll worry about you. And I’ll sit you down for a chat 😉

    • alexandria

      Thanks, Deb. I hear mutterings and it makes me feel like it has to be either writing or reviewing, not both. I don’t think that’s the case, but I do want to find a balance.

  2. Karos

    Do what you want to, it’s your blog. And you said you wanted to make money writing, so it makes sense. After a few of those kinds of blogs, though, I have to admit those words whispered themselves to me. But it isn’t really my business when it comes down to it.

    As a reader, I do get eye-rolly if that starts being the bent of your content, though. So as a reader, it’s my right to not read or pass on commenting, or go find something more interesting. I read blogs for people’s insights and experiences and getting to know who they are and enjoying the diversity out there. Not to read about products. I remember when one of my fave “mom” bloggers, Dawn Meehan, started to gain crazy attention and did (and still does) some paid blogging now and then. I don’t mind with her, because that’s only about 1/10th or less of what makes up her content.

    • alexandria

      You mean after a few of my sponsored posts? Or posts in general? To be honest, I didn’t even know you read my blog, that’s an honour. 🙂

      I don’t want them to be my focus – that’s no fun.

  3. alimartell

    So. I just don’t think there are hardfast rules anymore about selling out—I think in your personal space, you need to do whatever it is that makes you feel good, yanno?

    In my space I’m primarily a storyteller. I don’t do how-tos (even though that’s what brings the RTs and shares), I just like to write about my wacky little life. But..that being said, I do the occasional sponsored posts—I’d say, maybe, one every few months? do people think I’ve sold out? Maybe. Are people skipping my sponsored posts? Possibly. Probably, even.

    But I don’t care, really. Because that’s what I want to put in my space. And it may be different than someone who has mostly sponsored posts, or different than someone who never does any.

    But it works for me. And if you are doing what works for you…then I don’t consider that a sell out.

    xo

    • alexandria

      I hope I’m primarily a storyteller, too. But my life isn’t about just that; it’s about how-tos and recipes and opinions and fun and crafts and opinions (MANY) and more. I hope that’s apparent.

      I’m nothing without my integrity, though.

  4. Kerry

    Not a sell out. It is your blog, you do with it what you like. I like my blog. I still do my personal bit on it, but am open to more….the more my family appreciate with it comes to free samples and review stuff not to mention fun experiences. My style, my blog with stuff I am okay with on it. So who did I sell out against?

  5. Kim

    You know, the simple fact that you gave this a lot of thought and had some misgivings tells me that you aren’t doing this casually and care a lot about retaining the kind of content people want to read while still making you happy to write. To me that is not selling out. I can’t imagine idontblog ever becoming a place where you, your insights, and your family don’t take center stage, and so more power to you for getting a benefit in the process that makes blogging more beneficial.

    • alexandria

      Thanks, Kim. That means a lot to me. It’s important to me that I keep this a real place, you know? As long as I keep my integrity intact, I’m happy.

      It is almost a blessing to not have a large readership to answer to in any way, but each person who stops by here is important to me. 🙂

  6. Shash

    I don’t think you’re selling out either. If you were to start posting about things that we all know you hate or would never be caught dead using because they’re paying you to do so… well, then maybe we would do an intervention. 🙂

    My kids love it when a package arrives, it’s like Christmas all year long.

    • alexandria

      Yes! Mine, too. It’s always so much fun, and really, it doesn’t happen that often around here so it’s still pretty novel when it does.

      Glad you’re willing to conduct an intervention on me if things get outta hand. 😉

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