Scattered over the last couple of months you would have noticed the sponsored posts I’ve written for Nuffnang as well as the advertising blocks and banners. I’ve received a few emails/questions/opinions about my involvement Nuffnang and why I’m hosting advertising at all. So, I thought I would write a post about it all, explaining why/when/how. I suggest you grab a coffee and brace yourself for a long one…
I really want to encourage a discussion (note: NOT a debate) about this, so if you have any questions at the end please leave a comment or email me. Please be mindful that I’m just sharing what I’ve learnt and experienced personally and that this post was in no way suggested or sponsored by Nuffnang, I’ve just found my involvement to be a positive experience. This is my web space and I have the right to delete any negative or harmful comments. If you haven’t got anything nice or constructive to say please keep it to yourself. For those who want to know more about this topic, I hope you find it insightful x
ME & MY BLOG
I started blogging in April 2006, not for a large audience but for my friends and family who all lived interstate. I’d just moved to Sydney with Steve (who was my fiance back then) and we were completely and utterly isolated. Blogging was easier than email and I found myself sharing small bits and pieces of my life that I probably would never have emailed someone about… like this.
People liked what they read and shared my site with others. I also commented a lot on other blogs as well as emailing the writers. It wasn’t just networking, it was making new friendships, being genuinely interested in what they had to say and share. I’ve met so many lovely people online, been lucky to meet some in person and my blog even introduced to me another best friend who I would never have met otherwise.
I really do share myself on my blog. I don’t feel that I conform to any particular blogging theme and I certainly don’t try to, you could say I like to keep my options open. I was asked last week what my blog was about and the only answer I could give them was “Vanity”. I try and write everyday, or publish at least a minimum of five posts a week, it’s like my own form of therapy. My life changes and adapts, so does my blog content, it’s just the way I roll.
At the beginning of 2010 I decided to take my hobby to the next level. I’d watched so many others build beautiful blogs and write brilliant content and I wanted to be one of them. So, on my blogs 4th birthday I bought the www.danimezza.com domain name and revamped it’s look, essentially creating a brand. I started submitting guest posts to other blogs, joined networking blog sites and organised giveaways. As soon as I started seeing myself as a professional blogger, others seemed to as well… that included marketing companies.
Essentially these posts are paid for with product only, no cash or currency is exchanged at all. It’s up to you if you think the item is worth your time posting about. These can be with large commercial companies or private sellers. I’ve done a couple of these simply because I loved the product or thought it would make for an interesting post. It’s a great way to practice your content writing skills as well as get a little reward which you can keep for yourself or forward onto your readers as a giveaway. I’m a big believer in blogging karma.
I’ve turned down more jobs than I have accepted. I didn’t want Danimezza.com to become an online advertising alleyway full of flashy, expanding graphics with annoying music which was completely unrelated to the content. It would have made me a lot of money but I cherished my blog to much to ruin it. When I found Nuffnang I was really excited that they would organise everything for me and cover any legal aspects that I just wasn’t personally equipped to handle.
To make it clear to my readers I always have the line “Sponsored by Nuffnang” in the top left corner of the related post. The posts I write are 100% original and the Nuffnang team and I work together, going to a lot of trouble to make sure it suits my overall content, that it’s informative and covers any aspects the company needs me to cover as well as including my personal opinion. If I don’t believe in the product or service, I don’t write about it, it’s that simple.
This is how it works, I get sent notifications or a phone call from Nuffnang that a company wants me to write a post for them, they provide me with all the related information/media kit and I have the option of accepting or declining. I don’t have to worry about being blacklisted if I decline several sponsored posts in a row, they respect bloggers and their decision about content. The sponsored posts I prefer to write are those that gives back to my readers, either in the form of a discount or a free giveaway, kind of like advertising karma but that’s just my personal choice. The pay rate for these posts can differ, depending on your blogs traffic and the company’s marketing budget.
ADVERTISING BLOCKS / BANNERS
Before writing sponsored posts I just started with the Skyscraper Block which you can see on my far right sidebar. I was worried that I would be shunned by some of the blogging community for “selling my soul” but the way I saw it, any money I did make could cover my domain name each year, contribute to my internet bill and maybe once in a while cover the cost of a cool giveaway item. For awhile the Skyscraper only generated about $4 a week into my Nuffnang kitty but when you times that by the possible 52 weeks of the year with running ads I’d earn $208pa and it would certainly help.
Since my readership has grown, the rate I get paid has dramatically increased but it can also depend on the company I’m representing. The larger the block/banner can also reflect the amount you earn as well as whether or not it’s placed in a prominent position. There is also no guarantee that your ad space will be filled each and every week, it’s at the company’s and Nuffnang’s discretion. I understand commercial advertising isn’t for everyone and a lot of lucky blogs are able to sell advertising space privately without the need for an agency, I just prefer having all the details handled by someone else.
I try and make all my giveaway items Australian, Handmade items which support the stay at home working mum or artistic individual, another of my personal advertising karma decisions. For the wholesale cost of the item and postage direct to the winner, they receive excellent exposure on my blog over several days or weeks depending on the giveaway campaign as well as updates on all my social networking tools not to mention all the retweets and related status updates from those entering.
I really see it as an opportunity for you to be rewarded for being such faithful readers and friends. I organise two major giveaways a year, one on my blogs birthday and one just before Christmas. It’s also great for the giveaway sponsors generating proven sales and additional traffic flow, followers and likers. I currently have a few sponsored spots left for the 2010 Xmas Xplosion due to start in a few weeks so just send me an email if you’re interested in being involved, but be quick!
I’ve only just started doing giveaways on my facebook page but I have plenty more under my belt. 99% of the items I giveaway there will be chosen and paid in full by me. My way of thanking and rewarding my “likers” for going that one step further and accepting me on to their facebook wall for daily post updates and other fun tidbits I like to share.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS
I’ve worked really hard to write a blog that is entertaining, fun and give you an insight into my life. My blogs traffic has exploded since it’s 4th Birthday and I’m really grateful to have so many readers who care about what I have to say and love all the photos that I share. Blogging has become a solid part of my life and I’m slowly working out how to balance all the elements of owning and creating a professional, yet personal blog. I hope you found this helpful if you’re thinking of taking the next step too and that it has answered a few burning questions you had. If you’d like to know more you can email me (I love emails!) or leave a comment below. Please just keep in mind what I stated at the beginning of the post x