I am going to have to tread lightly, or else come off like a hypocrite. Again.
See, the other day, I tweeted this, mostly as a joke, because I like to laugh, and when the news broke about Twitter having promoted tweets, the funny people of Twitter were having a field day over on the Favstar leaderboard, and I was laughing along with them. Again.
But then the voice of reason, Loralee Looneytunes made me think about what I had just said. Again.
I mean, *I* work with brands, right? Am I a douchebag?
The answer is: probably to some people.
We all find our balance, what we are willing to do, and who we want to work with as we enter the blogger + brand relationship world. A lot of it is who you choose to work with, and who you choose to continue working with.
Example. I have been lucky enough to be a Ninendo Enthusiast for a few years now, but that mainly comes into play on my blog when they have a product launch, and we throw a launch party to accompany it. However, I will admit, I am also lucky enough to receive new games and such out of the blue from them every now and again, BUT! With the understanding that *I* choose when and *if* I will mention them on my blog. And how.
Like, right now. I am thinking when they sent their new Endless Ocean game, that they didn’t think it would end up in a post about brand relationships. But while I was at SXSW, this huge box arrived, and my hubby texted this photo to me. A dolphin the size of my son from Nintendo – and oh yeah, the game.
How did they know I would love this, both the dolphin and the game? I won’t reveal their trade secrets, but it’s because they know me.
I also won’t get into the gentle nudge I also received lately regarding the fact that we go out to eat to much but did you know the DS has a Personal Gourmet Cooking game?? – which they sent complete with protective onion chopping goggles. HUMPF! We *all* can’t be Pioneer Woman, OKAY???
But seriously, this is an example of a long-standing relationship with a brand who knows me well. And I *still* take pause before I post things about them, because what comes first and foremost?
I have been a speaker at a few conferences or events lately and invariably the question comes up.
“Do you make money at your blog, and how do you do it?”
I invariably answer, “Yes and no, and don’t be a lifestyle blogger.”
I removed ads a while back to allow me more freedom with the contests I run, specifically my Greeblepix photo contest, which I love dearly. Whether ads will ever come back, I do not know.
But the yes part of the question is all the experiences, and yes, swag, that comes along. Whether through Mile High Mamas, or my former Savvy Source gig, or directly through Greeblemonkey, I get to *do* a lot of cool stuff.
For example, in early May, my family will be going to Puerto Rico on a partially sponsored trip. A trip that *I* pitched, so the engagement does work both ways! Clearly, that is going to be one hellofa awesome experience. Something I wanted to do way more of after our (unsponsored) Ireland trip, so I decided to go for it.
Had I not had such positive feedback on our adventures in Ireland, I wouldn’t have pushed for Puerto Rico through my blog.
Like I said. This is a place for me. And for you. I like the community here and never want to lose it.
How do you find the balance with brand engagement and your blog? Or even if you don’t have a blog, what kind of balance issues do you see elsewhere?
On a semi-related topic, my post over at Mile High Mamas today is “When Is It Ok To Edit? Even When Your Are Editing Yourself?” Check it out!