Sponsored Posts on Wedding Blogs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This question came up on the Think Splendid Formspring account a few days ago and I wanted to share it here since sponsored posts are becoming a more popular form of online advertising. I've also expanded a bit on my answer:

What's your take on sponsored posts? Is it worth a vendor's money to pay someone to write a post about them? Is the average consumer savvy enough to understand that a sponsored post is a paid advertisement? Do credible sources write sponsored posts?

I feel that sponsored posts are okay as long as they are disclosed as such (which is now the law, per the new FTC regulations that went into effect this past December). I'd also like to think that the average consumer knows what the word sponsored means.

As for whether or not it is worth a vendor's money to pay for a sponsored post, that all goes back to their advertising and marketing goals. Some questions to ask bloggers when determining whether or not this will work for you:

*When does the post get published?
*What is traffic like on that day?
*How many unique RSS subscribers will see the post? (This is an advantage sponsored posts have over blog ads - the subscribers see the posts; they don't see any non-feed blog ads.)
*What is the average click through rate on links for a sponsored post?
*How many other posts get published on the same day - is your post going to be live for an hour or two before a new post replaces it and pushes it down further on the page or in Google Reader?
*Who is the blog's demographic - who is reading their blog? Is your product or service a good fit for them?

As with any online advertising opportunities, it's always wise to ask the blogger to provide screenshots of the analytics that are relevant to your decision making (traffic, click-throughs, etc).  There are many credible blogs who operate with the utmost integrity who offer opportunities for sponsored posts, and, again depending on your goals, I do believe it can be a smart way to get your company in front of targeted buyers.

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