The debate rages on in the blogging community. What is a sponsor? What is a sponsored post? Why would any blogger stoop so low?
It’s a simple question that is easy to answer. Money.
As the gridwide shopping calendar fills with new events, blind boxes, sales and release days it is easy to watch the cost of blogging rise with each passing month.
A blogger is taken more seriously if they stay ahead of the trends, blogging the major events as soon as possible. Take Luxe Box for example. The bloggers and vloggers who are considered major players are those who can offer in depth coverage within the first few hours of release. This can often mean staying awake into the early hours to get the post out on time.
The other end of this spectrum is the creators and event owners who need timely coverage to build their customer bases. Advertising can become expensive. Therefore it makes sense to create a list of willing, topical bloggers who can help reach an audience.
It is only natural that these two parties would come together to support each other. Bloggers receive products for free, and often before release. Creators receive targeted publicity and access to a larger audience.
But when does this mutual support become sponsorship? When is the line crossed?
This blog is not sponsored.
I apply to become an official blogger for some stores and events to simply offset the costs of doing the thing that I enjoy. I am not paid to blog. I don’t allow stores/events to tell me how I should present their products, now how I should review them. If I want to post negatively I reserve the right to do that.
In ‘real world’ media this would be considered a review. A company sends their product to the media outlet and in return they get an honest review. The onus is on the company to ensure their product is of adequate quality to gain a positive one.
A sponsored post works differently. A company sends their product and notice of what they would like the ‘review’ to say. These pieces are usually marked as ‘sponsored’ reviews and are paid articles along the lines of advertisements.
In SL, in my opinion at least, the line is crossed when one of the two parties attempts to hold a higher level of control over the other. If a store was to rule that only their items were to be used in a post, or that a blogger must blog every release sent their way. This would be sponsorship. As with everything it comes down to the people involved what they are willing to accept.
Regardless of the mechanics it is this relationship that keeps the shopping community up to date. As long as bloggers keep their reviews honest there is no way that this can be a bad thing.
What are your opinions? Throw them in the comments. I’d love to hear them