Sunday, March 21, 2010

What We Love And Hate About Sponsored Posts

Yesterday, when I wrote about the Olympus latest Micro Four Third camera-Pen E-PL1, I received a comment from a fellow friend asking me to make it clear if it is a sponsored post. I was a little sad because it is not a sponsored post and I wrote that post because I love the camera a lot. So far I have written 637 posts and I have ONLY ONE sponsored post, which accounts to just a mere 0.16%! And for that post I accepted the offer not because of the money but because I can get freebies-pearls. You can read about the post-A Website That Evokes My Pearly Memories.

Sponsored Posts
But no hard feeling or course.

After that I have never ever written another sponsored post even though I received a few e-mails every week asking me to write sponsored for them. Obviously I would love to accept all those offers. Why? For the money of course. Who doesn't want to right? :) Ok, now let me tell you what Google and I love and hate about sponsored posts.

Why All (Some) of Us Love Sponsored Posts?
Easy money of course. To be brutally honest I can earn a lot of money if I were to accept all these sponsored post offers in my mailbox. Some bloggers have earned a few thousand dollars from sponsored posts alone. It is understandable especially if Adsense only gives you a few cents daily. So the offers are to tempting to be rejected by a lot of us right?

Sponsored Posts
Who doesn't want them?

Why I Hate Sponsored Post?

1~Search Engine Hates Sponsored Post! Yes, it is because Google hates it too. The big brother hates people who publish sponsored posts. Because sponsored posts are considered as SPAM by Google. Instead of delivering information, some bloggers kept stuffing their blog(s) with sponsored posts. And this will lead Google to penalize those blogs. Some of you might ask, I have written so many sponsored posts but Google never penalize me. Then consider yourself lucky. But once you are being BANNED, you are a goner.

Do you know that at the end of 2007, Google penalized sponsored posts bloggers? Google took away their pagerank and labelled these blogs as spam. After their pagerank were stripped, a lot of blogs noticed that their traffic from search engine had reduced drastically. A lot of bloggers immediately removed their sponsored posts but there are also some bloggers who feel they can earn more money from sponsored posts. But they forget that their sponsored post offers were offered based on their pagerank and unique traffic. So in the end, they suffered the most.

But so far Google hasn't shown any indication that they will repeat that unprecedented slaughtering of pagerank again. Maybe not yet, maybe they are still perfecting their search engine algorithm. So if you are writing a lot of sponsored posts and your not being penalized, the choice is yours.

Sponsored Post
Don't frustrate your readers.

2~Most People Hate To Read Sponsored Post! In case you didn't know, while you are happily logging into your paypal account after writing that lucrative sponsored post, some readers of yours are not happy at all. Some of them might say, "Sponsored post again!" and straight away navigate away from your post. Worse come to worst, these people might not want to read your blog at all! I can testify this as I hate reading sponsored posts too especially the ones that were written just for the sake of seeing the money rolling in. And I have stopped reading such blogs.

Moreover sponsored posts will make your blogs look so WEIRD and OUT-OF-SYNC! Readers are not stupid and they know those are sponsored posts. Readers will then assume your blog as SPAM too. So how do you know people don't like your sponsored post? Well, you receive little or zero comment for that post and you realize your unique visitors have decreased. Don't forget that at the end of the day, we, humans are the ones who are reading your blog.

When readers immediately close your post when they realize it is not a REAL post from you, this will also affect your blog's credibility. Your blog's reputation will suffer as your bounce rate increases. When your blog's bounce rate is too high, Google will assume that the blog lack trustworthiness and will send less organic traffic to your blog. Or worse still, take away your pagerank. Some people said writing too much sponsored posts are like prostitution. Hmm...I leave it for you to decide.

Sponsored Posts
Do you agree?

Final Word
I am not against those who write sponsored posts. Don't get me wrong. It is after all your blog and you can do whatever you like with it. No one is stopping you. But you have to know the pros and cons of it. If you want money, then by all means write all the sponsored posts that you want. But if you wanna build your reputation on the internet, then I suggest that you have a second thought about writing sponsored post.