Before we dig into this post, I wanted to thank you all so much for the amazing feedback and comments on the first post in this new series, The Business of Being Creative. It feels awesome to know you guys are happy about this new content!
I wrestled with where to go from here and which topic to discuss first, but ultimately decided to start with the basics and build from there. A large part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is curate sponsored content in partnership with brands. Lately, though, I’ve noticed there seems to be a bit of backlash about bloggers posting lots of sponsored content and confusion over what counts and what doesn’t. Like why don’t the Kardashians disclose their sponsored Instagram photos? Totally not ok.
Today I’m going to give you specific examples of past sponsored posts I’ve done here on the blog and on social media so that you can see how we handle sponsored content around here.
The Basics of Sponsored Content
This is an example of a blog post that I did for World Market where I was gifted product. Some brands are very aware and mindful of FCC guidelines and World Market is one of them, so we made sure that all social media promotion was properly tagged and marked as sponsored. My personal preference is to disclose disclose disclose. From day 1, I’ve wanted to be 100% real and authentic in this space, so I make sure you guys are totally informed about the content I am sharing with you. If that means that someone is giving me product, then I make sure to let you know!
And here’s an example of a blog post where I received monetary compensation from Coyuchi. You can see how the disclosure varies slightly and how I disclosed the partnership within the first few sentences of the post, as well as at the end of the post.
Then there’s the social media posts that I use to promote the blog posts. Typically, when I partner with a brand on sponsored content, I tweet twice, post to Facebook once, pin all of the images from the blog post, and post at least one Instagram. It can vary, but that’s my general offering given what the brand pays me for the content.
Per FCC guidelines, these posts are also marked as sponsored regardless of which platform. You can see that it gets tricky on Twitter to squeeze it all into 140 characters!
Some brands also require you to use their hashtags to help mark that you are part of their influencer programs. I like to use these tags to find other bloggers partnering in similar ways and to retweet as a way to spread the love! Gotta keep building that community.
There’s some grey area when it comes to how sponsored content is supposed to be disclosed — some people include disclosures only if they received monetary compensation, but not if they only received gifted product. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing lawyer on my team (hi, Matt) who’s been invaluable in helping me navigate these waters. I err on the side of caution and always disclose, even if I’ve only been gifted product. Matt and I are working on a post about FCC Guidelines and how it all boils down for content creators like myself, so be sure to stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I hope this post helps to demystify some of what you’ve seen on the blog and on my social media accounts.
If you have any questions or want to know more about other topics, be sure to let me know down in the comments! I’m hoping to make this column more and more of a Q&A.
photography by Meghan Klein.