Is personal blogging dead?

Is Personal Blogging Dead?Over the weekend I attended a blogging conference – the one I recommended people wear clothes to (which was a reasonable call by the way).

It was large and noisy and exciting. Filled with people, ideas and inspiration. There was a palpable energy that comes with collecting 700 passionate people in the same place.

But, like anything, blogging has its share of the jaded. Those that have burnt out, that ache for days gone past, that fear blogging has become so far removed from where it started that it’s unrecognisable. There are so many things that people have to do now to get their blog going and some people worry that it could make blogging expensive once they start getting more serious about it. But blogging is great and it can be made easy. One tip I do have for anyone wanting to start blogging is not to have the idea of money at the forefront of your mind. If you do start making money from your blog/website, this is a bonus. But you shouldn’t have a blog just to make money and get free gifts. What is important is growing your site for yourself, as you had this vision in mind initially. You could do this by looking into top canada hosting platforms to get started in making your blog a success. A lot of times, it is important to keep in mind the idea of your passion being more powerful than the idea of financial gain, as this cannot be guaranteed.

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Heather Armstrong, of Dooce fame, spoke at the conference. She was one of the first mommy bloggers in the US. Her blog rose to lofty heights and she was able to make a very good living from it. She also attracted an amazing amount of vitriol. Comments so nasty that they do not bear repeating and are impossible to delete once read. She has recently stopped blogging, not because of the trolls, but because she feels she can no longer blog with heart. She can no longer write sponsored content. In a crass kind of nutshell, she can no longer write in the way she wants and be paid for it. You can read more about her story here.

At one of the sessions she declared personal blogging dead. She said no one she knows finds joy in it anymore. You can imagine the stunned response from a room full of eager bloggers. Whilst it’s not a new message, we were not expecting the very thing that brought us all together – the joy of spinning words – crushed under the foot of a very high profile blogger. I think Heather’s disillusionment with personal blogging makes perfect sense given her experience. It brought her an incredible amount, but it also cost her an incredible amount. It ended up costing more than she was willing to give. For her, personal blogging was no longer an option.

But in declaring personal story telling through blogging dead, she was telling her own story. Not mine. Not yours. That statement is inexplicable tied up in her own experience. An experience she shared through telling her story. A story she will continue to tell and be paid for it. Story telling lives. In her life and ours. Dooce’s story may have moved beyond blogging as a medium, but that doesn’t automatically apply to every one else.

Story telling is a strong human tradition. It has always moved between the oral, the written and the visual. I believe that blogging is an important part of the modern written tradition of story telling. We all have a desire to express ourselves and to consume other people’s expression. We all want to feel. That will never go away.

Dooce’s statement, in context, was that you could no longer be an authentic personal blogger and make money from advertising. That brands were demanding the heart and soul of her blog and she was no longer willing to sacrifice so much of herself at the alter of the sponsored post. I think this is an interesting warning for bloggers and brands alike. But it takes a very narrow view of personal blogging. Not everyone blogs to make money. Many writers make their income beside their blogs. Some bloggers sell the things they make. It is not all tied up with brands and sponsored posts. And those that make money from their blogs do not breath rarified air. Making money from a blog and it’s value are not necessarily aligned. However, it is worthwhile noting that if you do have a blog then you should use something like WordPress Hosting – daily backups. This will help you with your blog and keeping everything save. If you are serious about blogging (even if you do it free or for an income), then this should help you out a bit.

But let’s look at the vexed issue of brands and bloggers. Story telling has always been part of how we are sold things. Testimonial has always been powerful.

We find affinity with a brand or product through the telling of a story that resonates with us. But we don’t find affinity with inauthenticity. We don’t like being tricked. We don’t like being a sold an advertisement thinly disguised as someone’s personal story. And, as bloggers, we don’t like being told what to write within a beautiful space that we have created. We don’t want a place once soulful to become a graveyard of lifeless sponsored posts. And herein is the tricky balance of native advertisement within blog posts. But I still believe it can be done. With transparency, with grace, with integrity and with respect for readers. I think it’s entirely possible to sell without selling out.

As for personal story telling, I treasure words. I need to read. It is through words, weaved together and creating a story, that I find resonance and connection. I know I am not the only one. I know that story telling lives. I know that personal blogging is not dead. I know there is still joy in both.

Arrow 3

What do you think?

66 thoughts on “Is personal blogging dead?

  1. Maxabella says:

    Fab response, Robyna. I totally agree with you. The first presumption is that every blog is a sponsored blog and that is just not the case at all. x

    • Robyna says:

      Not AT ALL – and I think some of the most talented of our writers (yes, I am thinking about Eden) have decided NOT to go down the sponsored path. So many different and valid options for us all.

  2. The Hipsterette says:

    Hi Robyna

    A thought-provoking post, and as a fellow attendee at the ProBlogger presentation, I can say that parts of Dooce’s presentation resonated with me. But, I as I said at the end of the Fox in Flats presentation about monatising your blog “Every one sells something” a famous quote by Robert Louis Stevenson – writing for money or product is not something new. The post I attached has some contemporary examples but you don’t have to go far back in history to find more. It’s an interesting ethical dilemma. I certainly understand and respect Dooce’s choice and wish her well in future endeavours, which undoubtedly will be centred around writing but, for me, I am going to move forward in the hope that one day I can write a blog that pays the bill.

    The Hipsterette
    PS Nice to meet you in “real” time

    • Robyna says:

      Firstly – it was SO lovely to meet you beautiful lady – I can’t wait to hear more about that book! It would be lovely to pay the bills with our words. I am sure we can find a way.

  3. Shari from GoodFoodWeek says:

    Thanks for this post – I didn’t attend ProBlogger, but am keen to read everyone’s ‘wrap up’ posts. I think this is an awesome response to Dooce’s talk. I don’t think personal story telling {via blogging is dead}.

  4. Lyndal says:

    I completely agree! Dooce’s talk left me feeling quite flat and to be frank, wondering why she’d attended Problogger at all. It’s unfortunate that her experience has been tainted but I too believe that story telling will prevail <3

    • Robyna says:

      I don’t know if her experience has been tainted or if it’s just that she can longer make the income she once did, doing the things she once did, and she isn’t comfortable with the shift. I think the aspect of personal blogging she referred to as “dead” is actually very specific. I think perhaps things have just changed. We can all lift each other up I think 🙂

  5. Michaela Fox says:

    Oh that’s so disappointing. I only wrote 200 words and it disappeared :-(. The brief version: a considered and thoughtful post that has given some context around Dooce’s comments. I think she was careless with her message and I was left wondering why she had been chosen to present on this session. After so many inspiring sessions and speakers with empowering messages, I felt her comments were disappointing. Regardless of why people blog (and for some it’s for passion, for others it’s to connect and there are some who are hoping to generate an income stream), I feel her statement that “personal blogging is dead” was potentially damaging. Personally, it won’t deter me. I live to read and write personal stories. I don’t agree that it’s dead. But many people I spoke to after her session were left feeling deflated and confused. Robyn, please keep writing the way you do. I love your style and honesty and I know I am not alone. And again, so fabulous meeting you, and other inspiring and engaging writers xx

    • Robyna says:

      I really hope it won’t deter others as well. You are so lovely and meeting you in person was so wonderful! Keep telling the stories.

  6. Renee Wilson says:

    Well said, Robyna. I completely agree. Story telling is not dead. I love telling stories and I love reading them. Who doesn’t? 🙂 It sounds like Dooce’s presentation was fantastic. I’m kicking myself for not being there.

    • Robyna says:

      It certainly was different to every other session! But you know what, she’s clearly all about the real, and she was sharing her reality.

  7. Tracey says:

    Hi Robyna, thanks for your post, I was hoping that someone would address it. I was doing a Olympus workshop and missed Heather’s contribution, but when I heard about it, felt a bit of a chill. Probably wouldn’t have been so struck if she announced it during her talk on compassion (that would have made sense) … anyway, whilst I was initially het up, realise that I enjoy listening to Problogger podcasts to reading the blogs (irony plus). Having said that, like your post and forward to reading more.

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks Tracey. I actually think it’s not a bad thing that Heather did make us all pause and think. Sometimes that pause to reflect can be just as powerful as being completely inspired.

  8. surelysarah says:

    Excellent post, and I am very glad to see you came to the same conclusions I had privately. Personal blogging with the intent of making money is now very difficult without “selling your soul” (or exploiting your family) but there will always be a place for storytelling and the sharing of personal experiences! It was so nice to meet you at the event too 🙂

    • Robyna says:

      It was SO great to meet you. I think that there are some bloggers that can do sponsored content with personal stories incredibly well but it is a very fine line and everyone needs to make up their own minds. It’s all shifts – we just have to figure out how to negotiate those shifts.

  9. dorothykbiz says:

    I don’t think personal blogging is dead. Maybe sponsored personal blogging is dead and we will see the return of honest, raw, real life story telling that is not interrupted by commercials. I only read personal blogs (not parenting blogs) and I will keep on doing that.

    • Robyna says:

      I think what Heather was really saying was “personal blogging, making lots of money from side ads, where I can talk about exactly what I want and get paid nicely” is dead. And I think you’re probably right about the return of story telling – I think it’s all evolution, human mistakes and learning. The blogs & bloggers I feel I have a relationship with also tend to be personal blogs and then there are blogs I know I can go to and find exactly what I need in a certain niche.

  10. toniazemek says:

    You know this already but I reckon your Dad is a great story teller too. His art made an incredible impression on me. So glad I got to meet you this weekend.

  11. Lauren @ The Thud says:

    I’m glad someone wrote about this Robyna. I’d love to but think maybe it would be weird for me to address it seeing as I was the moderator… ??
    I think it’s really important to note Mrs Woog’s response to Heather’s thoughts (important also to note that Heather didn’t say personal blogging is dead, just that making money through sponsored posts was soul destroying for her and many of her friends which is why she’s stepped back) but Mrs Woog pointed out that in Australia you can still make money from personal blogging and that we are some years behind the US in this area (to our benefit). Also she said that if you can write a sponsored post in the same way as you’d write any other post, then it keeps your authenticity in tact and will keep your readers happy (and won’t make you feel like you’ve sold out). I think it’s up to every blogger to decide if they want to write sponsored content (it’s not compulsory!) and if they decide to go down that path, they need to be comfortable about it, not apologise for it and stay true to their natural storytelling voice.
    I actually think Mrs Woog’s message was far more relevant to the Aussie blogosphere. I just wish her message hadn’t been drowned out by Heather’s 🙁

    • Robyna says:

      Firstly, you were so great at moderating that session Lauren. Bit of a hard one! I think what Heather described as dead was a VERY thin slice of the wedge of personal blogging and perhaps a US centric one. Mrs Woog is the best example out there of a personal blogger who does sponsored content with integrity and without losing the essence of her voice. I think everyone was just a little stunned at Heather’s rawness and air of finality. It sort sucked the air out of the room for a moment. BUT upon reflection, I am not sure it was a bad thing. Perhaps it’s good for us to be challenged and given a dose of that kind of personal reality at conferences like ProBlogger. It certainly made me think and hopefully others think as well.

    • Zoe | A Quirky Bird says:

      Like I said yesterday at breakfast (the “stranger” who came to congratulate you at your table) you did really well. Don’t worry we didn’t listen to her because 1. She’s American 2. Americans voted for George W., oh, wait some Aussies voted for Tony Abbott. So there was talk that you’re the missing Minogue sister, too cute with that baby bump.

  12. sue elliott says:

    As a newbie, I am definitely hoping that it’s not all dead before I even get into second gear. I think Heather was explaining her choice to go in a new direction. If you are telling your yarn about quitting a job that had become very problematic, then it’s highly likely that you aren’t gonna leave people with any real desire to ‘go there’. So I reckon she was doing a bit of venting.
    I thought the session was a refreshing comparison between blogging in OZ and the US.
    It is possible that the cash from sponsors in the US is so huge that the spenders can rightfully demand anything they like. ‘We want you to put all your kids and family and half the street into a cage filled with angry chimps and a ton of chopped up watermelon and when the melee is done, don’t worry about the blood just get to and clean up using our paper towels. And then we want you to write 1000 words about how good our product is and hope much you enjoyed using it.’
    Heather has exercised her right to choose. But it sounded to me that the sponsor demands just kept getting more and more extreme.
    Mrs Woog seems to have hit an excellent balance.
    The wonderful thing about writing for yourself is exactly that, you are the boss.
    It’s all about making choices you can live with.

    • Robyna says:

      I don’t think it’s dead here and I think our brands probably pay less but give bloggers more freedom. Which is fine by me! Like you, I think Heather used it as a bit of chance to vent. I think it gave us all food for thought, which is a good thing.

  13. Christine says:

    Yes yes yes!!! I totally agree with you. I was so sad to hear about what happened to Heather, but I think there is always a place for storytellers for the exact reasons you stated. I will always be a storyteller, even if that is just a platform to let me express myself or showcase my skills and doesn’t make a single dollar. I missed that session and am eager to hear the recording.

    • Robyna says:

      I thought it was really interesting that what stopped her from blogging wasn’t the excessive hate levelled at her, but the fact that it stopped being a business model should could live with. Partially because of all us newer bloggers who are happy just to write for love, I guess! Like anything, things shift around but I think the heart of story telling stays.

  14. Zoe | A Quirky Bird says:

    Definitely not dead here (insert own current personal blog post plug, cough* cough*) I think Dooce was just washed out as many people in many industries would be doing a “job” for over 13 years. She needs time without blogging mainly because she hasn’t had that at all since she first left home.

    I think we have the advantage to see what has crashed and burned in the US with. Yes, there will always be the “newbies” willing to push their kids into a “car” to review it. We can prove to the brands that it’s authentic voices the readership wants. After all an authentically written sponsored blog post is really revamped word of mouth.

    I loved meeting you too Robyna. Zoe xx

    • Robyna says:

      I think she definitely was disillusioned – which is a lesson in itself. I LOVED meeting you. And you know if you ever want to link up a blog post within these comments – go right ahead. I encourage conversation cross blog 🙂

  15. Jody at Six Little Hearts says:

    Totally get this. What a great read. It’s up to each to decide how far they will allow their blog to expand under sponsored content. Personally, I have pulled back from offers lately. My policy is, if I don’t love it, I don’t blog it.

  16. Jasmine @ Pretty Chuffed says:

    I love this Robyna – I felt the same (however you’ve put it much more eloquently than I ever could). I think it was an interesting choice having her speak at the conference, however in saying that perhaps it has given us more to think about and to fully appreciate why we blog and what we want from blogging? If you don’t feel comfortable doing sponsored content, don’t. Make money other ways. If you want to blog for personal reasons, do it. It’s a creative outlet and a fantastic one at that. (PS loved chatting with you at the conference!) x

    • Robyna says:

      Firstly, SO lovely to meet you after lusting after your style via your IG account and blog for so long 🙂 I do think that she has given way to thought and discussion and that’s no bad thing.

  17. Wanderlust says:

    Storytelling will never be dead. It’s a fundamental human need to tell and hear stories. I think the medium of personal blogging has taken a big hit because so many ran off after the dollars that in the public consciousness, blogging and monetization are now inextricably tied. I’m not sure what this will do for personal blogging. I think for it to make a comeback that a number of strong, high-profile storytellers will need to use it as a medium to simply tell stories. No selling, no aligning with brands. If enough people go in that direction, it may regain some credibility as a storytelling medium. I hope so. I miss the energy of voices speaking from a place of pure expression, and not to sell something. Thanks for the post.

    • Robyna says:

      I can just hear Heather now – But I need to pay my bills! I do think there has been, and will continue to be a shift, in how personal bloggers can make income with their blogs and still retain the story telling. I also think it’s interesting that a number of novelists are starting to blog, to build their author profile. We might see a resurrection in story telling in that area as well.

  18. Lydia C. Lee says:

    Interesting post – I think there’s a fine line, but once you cross into celebrity, that’s not the blogging that’s at fault, it’s the celebrity…and all the issues that come with that. (I’m safe…hee hee)

  19. Carly Findlay says:

    I don’t believe personal blogging is dead. As you write, storytelling is alive. There’s room for everyone. Perhaps monetised personal blogging is dead.
    I am careful not to place all my eggs in one basket and diversity a very small income In addition to the day job. I run Nuffnang ads. I so about two sponsored posts a year. But I make money away from my blog – writing for paid publications. Thats my preferred way of monetising. I write for the love of it.
    Great post x

    • Robyna says:

      That’s how I I’d like to roll as well Carly. I think there is a danger point (probably where I am right now TBH) where your blog grows and you start to be approached by sponsors. It’s so flattering that you are tempted to say yes to everything. I think negotiating that stage would be a good topic for discussion.

  20. Dawn Rieniets says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Robyna. I read both articles you posted on FB and then yours and I could not have said it better myself. I think you nailed it when you said that Heather speaks from her own experience and that experience does not apply to all personal bloggers. I’ve surprised myself because her words did not scare me one little bit- I have my own reasons for blogging (which I believe in, strongly) and I’m not looking to earn a fortune from it. I read recently that the more successful an artist becomes, ironically, the less time he or she will have to create art- it seems like that is what happened to Dooce. Burnt out. I do think we should pay attention to Heather’s message about sponsorship and make sure the machine does not take us over. It’s probably beneficial to stop and reevaluate every once in a while to make sure we are striking a balance and being authentic. Personal stories are far from dead- as you said they are a historical and time-honored tradition. Let’s just all make a pact to stay true to ourselves! (PS I love reading about ProBlogger and I’m super interested in going next year!)

  21. Min (@riteofthemiddle) says:

    Fantastic post Robyna! I have to admit that I did find it a bit deflating to hear Dooces thoughts on the future for personal blogs – especially because we were there to learn how to monetize a personal blog! I understand how she feels that way though and as you said – what she said is based on HER experiences. I chose to listen more to Mrs Woogs thoughts as they are more relevant to us here in Australia and definitively provided a more positive and hopeful message. I don’t think personal stories told on blogs will ever be dead and as you say some bloggers will choose to monetize their personal blogs and others will choose not to. Those that choose to monetize would not always be doing that only by sponsored posts – diversity of income streams is key (don’t put all your eggs in one basket and all that). The important thing is to remain authentic, continue to speak in your same voice, be open with disclosure etc and then all should be ok! As for me – I’m still up in the air as to whether I try to monetize my blog or not. Wonderful to meet you at PB Robyna!! 🙂

    • Robyna says:

      SO great to meet you Min. I honestly believe that personal blogging has a long and bright future. Opportunities to make income from it are always likely to change over time. I think we just need to be flexible, open minded and hopeful!

  22. Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions says:

    Great post! Having blogged for over 6 years it’s been really interesting to see the way the area has changed in that time. When I first started nobody did sponsored posts and it was purely about story-telling and connecting. These days everybody keeps telling us that we have to have a purpose, or we have to give the readers ‘answers’ but I think that’s bullshit. To this day my favourite bloggers are the ones who simply tell their stories and write well, even if it’s just about their own lives with their kids. None of it gives me ‘answers’, but it gives me perspectives and different ways of seeing the world through other people’s eyes, and that’s what I love the most about it. Lately I have noticed a small shift back to what blogging used to be, simply a place where a person recorded their thoughts and life for themselves & their children or other people to look back on one day and I love it.

    I myself do the very rare sponsored post but I’ve never really enjoyed it. I also found myself getting caught up in all the “rules” and “right ways” of blogging and I lost the reason why I started in the first place – to practice my writing, get my words out of my head and record the things that were happening in my life. I’ve moved back in that direction now and I couldn’t be happier having taken that pressure to “succeed” off myself.
    Long Live Personal Blogging!

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks Kylie – interesting that you are seeing it all come full circle. I find the rules very confusing and a lot of the time they contradict each other. I get enough of that from parenting advice! So I just take what works for me and go from there. I was having a little giggle with an online friend about the whole Value! Add Value! Value! thing. When I think about myself as a reader, I am not searching for the answer to life’s purpose in a blog post – I just want to laugh, or feel or think.

  23. Collette says:

    I didn’t go but totally have FOMO. Maybe next year! Not having heard the talk it’s a bit harder to comment, but from your post it sounds to me like she forgot to check in with herself. And things went off in a direction that she didn’t want to go in, before she realised she was already there.

    As humans we are hard wired to communicate and blogging is just another medium for that. Blogging can be what ever you want it to be – so to say that story telling through blogging is dead is not accurate. The freedom of blogging allows it to be what ever you want it to be – it’s about what you let in to your orbit. If you want to monetise your blog, you seek out those opportunities. If you don’t, you don’t engage with it. Story telling is part of the human instinct to communicate – we’ve done it from the beginning of time. Perhaps one day blogging will be outdated, but story telling will never be dead.

    • Robyna says:

      I do think she meant quite specifically that a certain business model around blogging is dead, but the way she said it sounded more general than that. I agree that blogging is so wonderful because it is so open ended.

  24. Zanni says:

    This is a really lovely and thoughtful reflection on this topic. I wasn’t at the conference, but I hear you. In my mind, storytelling is everything – I personally opted for not doing sponsored posts because the $300 here and there was not worth the sacrifice to me. My blog though is part of my brand and my business as an author, and therefore I am conscious of what I post. But I do miss those days of blogging purely for the sake of blogging – sharing stories will little thought about how they could reflect back on me. (I’ve always been conscious of how I portray others. ) I really hope, and think personal blogging is not dead. So much sponsored content does leave me a bit cold, I have to say. Of course I think bloggers deserved to be paid for what they do, but it’s nice when it’s balanced, and the authentic self still shines through.

    • Robyna says:

      I think we will always see shifts in the ways that things work online and we will always see people trying new things. The heart of story telling will remain. But I recognise what you are saying regarding the shift from very real, raw honest blogs to ones that are used more as commercial vehicle, quite aside from the sponsored posts issue, everything has gotten a bit glossier hasn’t it?

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  26. kirstyrussell75 says:

    I attended the personal blogging session and thought it was the weakest session I attended at pbevent. I didn’t come away knowing any more than I started and while I was interested in Heather’s opinion and experiences they are hers, not ours, as you so rightly pointed out. I don’t think personal blogging will ever go away. People have told their stories since the dawn of time and will do so until the end of time. In the very specific sphere of monetised personal blogging, yes there are not many options if you are not interested/willing to work with brands (I’m not including other bloggers who create products, etc, as most personal bloggers don’t – their story is their brand). I did agree with Heather’s comment that as a personal blogger you are intrinsically tied to you blog/brand – it’s not like you can outsource your posts or sell your website once you’re finished up. I’m proud to be a personal blogger and find the challenge of creating engaging sponsored posts very satisfying but it’s not something I do lightly or do all the time. Thanks for your very thoughtful and considered post Robyna.

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful and considered comment, Kirsty. I think it was an interesting session. I didn’t come away with any action points or anything useful in that kind of tangible sense, but I did take it as a cautionary tale. I think it’s important to provoke discussion and thought, and Heather certainly did that!

  27. Karin @ Calm to Conniption says:

    When Heather announced this I was thought that was nice and easy for her to say after she has made all the cash from her stories. Also note she said she had a “few more books” in her yet. I completely enjoyed her sessions and how she openly shared her story with us but it is exactly that HER story. Writing for the love of it doesn’t feed my kids so transparent sponsored content that suits me and my blog is currently helping me along.

    • Robyna says:

      I think the same way – and I do think sponsored content can be done well and in a respectful way. I think it’s a bit like property – definitely missed the 1980s boat to buy something beachside for less than 10K and make a squillion on it – BUT that doesn’t make the modern property market a poor investment.

  28. Suzanne Holt says:

    I have used my blog as a way to present my business. While it can be product oriented, those items are what have positively impacted my family’s life. The company is such a part of my story that I am still telling about what made a difference in my life. That is kind of sad that she could not separate herself and could not simplify her platform instead of eliminating writing. Can’t there be an in-between?

    • Robyna says:

      I think there are so many different ways to blog – but way the Heather preferred to make money from her personal blog doesn’t really exist anymore. That seemed to be why she was putting some distance in between herself and her blog. I think she will still write and she is still sporadically blogging, but the intense rate of sponsored posts isn’t something she is interested in anymore. I think she feels that’s really only possible within a niche like craft or beauty to make money from sponsored posts and not possible within a purely personal blog.

  29. Janet Camilleri says:

    Great post Robyna. I love personal blogging so it’s not dead in my opinion anyway! I do the odd sponsored post, and enjoy the challenge of crafting content to a brief, yet still MY voice, and interesting. I don’t always hit the mark – there are some of my sponsored posts I cringe at now – but I’m learning all the time 🙂

    • Robyna says:

      Aren’t we all just learning? I think there can be a bit of a stigma attached to sponsored posts, but everyone is just trying their best. I too quite like the challenge of a sponsored post 🙂

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  31. Bronnie - Maid In Australia says:

    Great post. I wasn’t there, so I can only comment on what I’ve read. But American blogging is very different to Australian blogging – and companies are here too. As a lot of people have pointed out, I think what Heather was getting at was that sponsored posts and personal blogging might have had its day. But I’m also thinking if she was speaking for Australia, she’s mistaken. Bloggers likes Mrs Woog, who have their own voice and are very clear about the way they will write and promote or review products, still get to write sponsored posts in a way that resonate with their readers without compromising their ethics or their family’s privacy. Or their unique voice! And the brands are okay with that, because you start out how you mean to finish. I don’t do sponsored posts as such – although I’ve experimented in the past – but I do a lot of giveaways, and when a well known company I’ve worked with off and on for years recently tried to impose copy and photo approval on me prior to publication, (for a giveaway I was getting nothing out of personally mind you), I just said sorry, but no. I self censor a lot these days because of personal reasons and because my kids are older and I am conscious that friends, teachers, step-family may read my blog and judge/remark and that will affect them. I also think a few of us have been caught out by innocent posts or photos and are becoming wiser … but that doesn’t mean personal blogging is dead. It’s writing, and if it’s good, people always want to read it. If you want to go the sponsored road, or do reviews and giveaways, there is still a way to do it – you just have to be firm about how you will do those reviews and what you will and will not do. I’m always honest, and sometimes that has lost me follow up opportunities. I never promise that my kids will be in anything (although I may pimp out my pets!) In fact, I don’t promise anything, other than to review a product honestly and sometimes, to run it and/or a giveaway by a certain period of time. I rarely even do the time-frame thing, because my blog is a hobby, and I get to it when I get to it. And most companies/brands are fine with that. If they aren’t, then they aren’t the right fit for me. And there are plenty of other things for me to write about anyway. Just my thoughts.

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks so much for your considered comment. I think the Australian blogging landscape is definitely different (from what I have seen). I reckon Heather’s views were actually really interesting as a cautionary tale to new bloggers – particularly on how to approach working with brands if they wanted to do that. I am still trying to find my balance. It sounds like you have figured yours out.

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