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Friday, October 25, 2019

About the Sponsored Posts On This Blog



I wanted to have a word with you about the sponsored posts on this blog.

First of all, I wanted to say that I started this blog in 2010 because I saw another frugal blog who was making decent money from her blog, and I hoped I'd be able to do the same. We were in a position where we were really struggling so much, to the extent that I really couldn't even afford the $10 for the domain name, but I spent it anyhow hoping, somehow, that it would help change our financial situation.

For the past 10 years, I've been working really hard to keep this blog running. I've had nights where I stayed up till 4 am writing blog posts. I've had periods of time where I wrote one or two blog posts every single day.
My goal? To not let down you readers. To share information with you that will hopefully allow you to live better lives, to help you improve your finances, be better parents, feed your family delicious meals, and hopefully to inspire you as well.

And for all this, I ask for nothing in return. Some people told me that I should work as a coach in this, working one on one with people to try to help them better their lives, but I really feel tremendously guilty taking money  from people who are struggling.
So instead, the way I make money from my blog, to make it worth it for me to run this, is through sponsored posts and the occasional sidebar ad.
In my culture, we have a phrase that means "This one benefits, and the other doesn't lack anything." Meaning I benefit, the sponsors benefit, and you don't have to pay a cent.


Some people are irritated with me at the frequency of sponsored posts on my blog. You know what? Until recently, my blog was making very little a month, the pay off for my time was pennies on the dollar. I made pocket change. But fortunately, since getting separated, the amount of sponsored post requests have increased. Not that I'm reaching out to find sponsored posts, but more and more potential clients reach out to me, and that has been a blessing to myself and my family, allowing me to provide for my family. I'm so glad that I now am making more than pocket change from my blog, without costing my readership a cent.

Some people have been upset at me and reached out to me that they can't believe I'm promoting certain things on my blog, that I'm a sell out, that my blog is no longer authentic, etc... So I first wanted to share that the reason people post sponsored posts on my blog is nearly never because they want you to buy their product. You readers aren't the average clientele they are trying to reach. However, they pay to have a post on my blog with links to their company's website because of something called SEO. The more "big" sites (and for this, my site is considered big) link to your site, the more likely google will direct people searching for things to your website. So if you're bothered because you think I want people to buy from them, that isn't my intention. And that is why such posts have the comments shut off on them.
And I always make sure to have a post written by me come after every sponsored post, so that sponsored posts are never the most recent thing on my blog. And I typically don't share links to sponsored posts on my Facebook pages.


Oh, and if I do like a company and want you to buy from them? Then the comments aren't shut off. Easy as that. And usually then I'm the one who is writing the post, not "by a reader".

I wanted to explain to you about my sponsored post policy. In the past, I judged people for their consumerism or spending money in ways that I didn't approve of. I've since grown up and become less judgmental. At this time, my views are that you should live within your means, and spend your money consciously on things that are important to you, and not let money slip through your fingers on things that don't matter to you. If your means are larger and you want to spend it on buying a lot of new clothes because that makes you happy, go right ahead. If you want to spend it on technology, go and do that. If you want to spend that on eating out or traveling the world or anything like that, go ahead and do that. Its not my place to judge you for how you spend your money, I'm just reminding you to not spend more than you have, and to be mindful of how you spend it, so you don't regret it afterwards. And also give tips on how to save money, so that you will have the money to spend on things that matter to you.

For that reason, when it comes to sponsored posts, I am pretty open to websites that people want to link to in their posts. My rules about what I will not link to are things I consider unethical, things that are illegal, and things that I believe are dangerous. So I will not have any links to essay writing companies (as that is cheating and immoral), multilevel marketing companies (because I am very opposed to them and believe they have zero redeeming value), or tobacco or vaping things since I believe those are dangerous. And no matter what the link is to, I require the article be on the topic of frugal living, parenting, natural living, or recipes.

The article in question that specifically caused a ruckus and had someone saying that she was never coming back to my site was talking about gambling. To be honest, I am not a gambler, its not something I want to do. I have bought a few lottery tickets in my life but that's it. However, just because I don't do something doesn't mean I think its immoral. If someone enjoys it and wants to go to a casino, as long as they budget it in as fun money, and don't go over the budgeted amount, I don't see it as any different from someone who, for example, decides to spend $300 going skydiving, for the thrill and risk taking. I personally would do neither, but judge no one who does it. I just make different choices with my money.
An argument brought up was that gambling is based on the psychology of addiction, but that doesn't make me think its immoral. My dad "plays the stock market" and that also is a type of gambling, and people aren't opposed to that, even though people often lose larger amounts there than in a casino. Not all gambling is addictive, an addict will get addicted to gambling or addicted to alcohol, but I don't have a problem with alcohol used in moderation (as long as its not by an alcoholic, who should be sober) nor gambling done in moderation and budgeted. And yes, I have articles on my blog about homemade alcohol, etc...

So tha'ts how I do things. If you see a link to this article in a post it means that the post is a sponsored one, but I'm not necessarily linking every single one. However, if you see one closed to comments, that's how you know its sponsored.

If you have a problem with that. that's your call. I need to support my family, and I do it in a way that goes hand in hand with my moral beliefs, but if you don't like that, I'm not going to tell you how to think. I have no regrets for what I do or how I run this blog.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for your hard work. I appreciate both what you write and the effort it takes. We don't live in a world that people can work for free. Keep up the good work and you earn every penny you make.

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  2. Penny, I've been a follower from the very beginning and I still love what you do here. Yes, it's changed some but you have changed too. So have I. I'm grateful to have watched those changes as you have progressed on your journey.

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  3. I agree with Eilat. Thank you for your work, for sharing your life and your philosophy. Thank you for keeping it free. Personally I've read many of the sponsored posts and learn something from most; a few times I've wished I could comment.

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  4. Penny...

    I have no problem with the articles that you re-publish. Most of them do not interest me, so I just delete (sorry). However, I do read every one of your own stories, because you have the courage to speak truth (e.g., sometimes you get tired.) Please keep it up!

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  5. You don't have to apologize.

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  6. You owe no apologies, no explanation. Love your blog, have for a long time. Those with issues should click off.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.

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