Passionate bloggers are the ones who make it big.
They are the ones who get massive traffic, high conversions, and great engagement on their sites.
That’s because their passion drives them to create valuable content and give their readers what they want. They’re willing to write until the wee hours and spend every waking hour thinking of how they can improve their blog.
Eventually, their blogs will become so good people will start to take notice. They’ll get more views, social shares, and subscribers.
It’s during this time when their blogs catch the attention of companies and get proposals for money-making ventures like banner ads, affiliate products, and paid posting.
The realization that you’ve done a great job with your blog…
Companies are on the lookout for blogs they can use to promote their products and/or services.
If someone approaches you, then it’s great news. That means you’re doing something right.
This is when you realize that all the hard work you’ve put in your blog has finally paid off. You can now monetize and make a steady stream of income through banner ads, affiliate links, and paid posts.
Sponsored posts are one good way to make money. Blogging about a product can make you a lot of money. It’s like being a celebrity endorser. Everybody wins in this situation. The company gets the exposure they need. You get paid. And your readers discover a new product they can enjoy.
Then the post becomes so successful the company wants you to do one more. Of course, you’d say yes.
It becomes another hit: lots of comments and shares, which lead to improved traffic for the company’s website, and more money for you.
Plus, your readers are excited with the new products you’re introducing to them.
You start to think you can get used to it.
Soon, other companies are sending you paid posting requests.
You can’t believe the fortune that came your way. During the next few weeks, you find yourself busy writing for these businesses.
The clients are happy with the quality of your posts and your bank account is even happier.
Then you start to lose your readers…
But there’s one problem: you start to notice a decline in traffic and engagement. You then wonder, what the heck just happened?
This is a natural consequence of paid posting, or what others would call “selling out.”
Your readers have grown sick of the paid posts you’ve been publishing. It was fine for the first few times, but when all you blogged about was marketing collaterals for companies, they began to get annoyed and eventually fed up.
They miss the kind of content you used to write.
Your blog, which used to be a great resource of information, has become a portal for press releases and paid product reviews.
You’ve sold out.
You’ve thrown your passion away, ditched your audience, and became a messenger for businesses.
You live and breathe for paid opportunities.
You’ve lost sight of the reason why you blogged in the first place because you got excited with the profits.
Selling out is betraying your loyal audience
Selling out means doing something that’s motivated by making a profit. It’s when you discard your passion—the one thing that fuels you to produce magnificent content that changes people’s lives—and blog just because you’re getting paid for it.
You may have heard of this from musicians. Underground bands that hit the mainstream are often accused by hardcore fans as sellouts.
It must hurt to get accused by your fans of selling out. It’s a form of betrayal.
And for bloggers who’ve spent a long time building a quality blog and a great community of readers, to be viewed as sellouts is tough.
Are paid posts bad?
Just to be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing paid posts. When an opportunity presents itself, grab it. Don’t miss a chance to monetize your blog.
BUT make sure that you know how to balance it. There is a fine line that separates grabbing opportunities and selling out. It’s when you step beyond this line when things get crazy.
Selling out will hurt you. You’ll lose readers and hurt your reputation. All the work you’ve done in building your brand will go down the drain. You’ll be left with nothing.
Sounds grim? Don’t think I’m exaggerating. Picture this:
Your followers will stop reading your blog because all you do is publish sponsored content. They’d find no value in your posts since all you’re doing is promote stuff. The obvious next step for them is to unsubscribe and completely stop reading your blog.
Eventually, companies will notice that you’re no longer giving them results they want (your blog doesn’t have the same amount of traffic and engagement) so they will stop sending you work.
There’s no reason for them to pay you when you’re not getting people to buy from them.
You’ll be left with nothing but a blog full of sponsored posts.
Can you avoid selling out?
So you see how selling out is damaging?
It’s clear that you mustn’t sell out. But what if you want to monetize your site?
The answer here is balance.
If you’re going to post sponsored content, make sure that you don’t do it all the time. Practice the 80/20 rule. For every ten posts, limit the paid posts to just two. The rest should the usual, awesome stuff you provide your readers.
That way, you keep everybody happy.
It helps to always go back to the reason why you’re still blogging: your passion. At the end of the day, it’s still what matters.
Don’t be too focused on generating income because the interesting thing is, the more you concentrate on making money, the harder it’s going to be. Why? I honestly have no idea.
But I know one thing, though. When you focus on quality and providing value to people, when you pour your energy in helping others, things will line up and give you what you want.
So don’t actively pursue money-making opportunities IF it’s going to go against your purpose. Concentrate first on creating value. The money will come later. And when it does, don’t get too overwhelmed and change directions.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this post?
Passionate bloggers are the one who make it big.
Maybe not now or the day after tomorrow, but it sure will happen one day. Don’t rush because that’s one of the reasons you may sell out.