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Sponsored Conversations: Selling Out or Another Way to Make Money Blogging?


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When I first began blogging five or six years ago, there were plenty of arguments over whether or not bloggers should use ads on their blogs. Those who did were considered sell outs. Then the “make money online craze” hit and everyone was posting ads on their blogs and all of a sudden they weren’t selling out, they were smart. They found a way to earn money without having to ever leave the house.

Enter sponsored conversations. All of a sudden we’re back to being sellouts again.

I’ve been thinking a lot about sponsored conversations lately. A couple of months ago, my blog network announced a partnership with a major online content site. Though I was thrilled for the possibilities, some members of my community were not. I was a sell out and a hypocrite. Why? Because I’m looking to earn more than my measly Adsense income?

I have no problem with sponsored posts. They remind of TV’s golden days when Milton Berle pimped Brill Cream during his variety hour. Really, how are sponsored conversations different from product placement in the movies? Where’s the outrage there? In case you’re not familiar, “sponsored conversatio” is a pretty term for “advertisement.” The sponsor is paying me to write up his ad and post it on my blog.

As a Premium Blogger in Izea‘s Social Spark sponsored conversation network, I earned $800 with only two posts.  I mean, why not? I figure as long as I’m not spammy, I let it be known that I’m accepting coin for my efforts and I choose sponsorships that are of interest to my community. Why is it such a terrible thing to write a post in exchange for payment. It’s not like I’m promoting laundry detergent on my freelance writing blog.

I feel that:

  • As long as I rock the disclosure…
  • As long as I don’t spam my community…
  • As long as I choose sponsorship that are on topic…
  • As long as I don’t offend anyone...actually, scratch that. No matter what I do, there’s always someone who is offended.
  • As long as I don’t make every blog posts an advertisement for something or other…

What difference does is make whether or not I accept payment for a sponsored conversation?

What are your thoughts? Is it selling out, or just another way to make money blogging?


  • Crazyhorse

    I agree with you. As long you earn and happy with that why not sponsor a conversation? Just be careful that you may be losing your credibility if you sponsored the wrong products or services. You may earn but lost followers.

  • Jennifer Von

    Interesting, to me at least. I am a new blogger and have heard only strong arguments against sponsored posts and even AdSense. I was concerned that if I decided to add some or both of these to my content at some point, that I will have fewer visitors. I am hoping to come across some blogs that are extremely successful AND include some ads (relevant to content of course.)

  • Condo Blues

    As long as the blogger who gets paid to write about how great something is, tells their audience that they are being paid money to write about the topic that’s the most important thing to me. Because as a reader I’m going to take the information a person who’s being paid to tell me how great an item is with a little grain of salt (since they are being paid to write about something, they may be required to say specific things about it) unlike the person who discloses that they are writing about something they bought with their own money.

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