Friday, 15 September 2017

When Readers' Comments DO Hurt My Feelings #SaturdayShareLinkUp

When Readers' Comments DO Hurt | Not Dressed As Lamb

As many of you know I've received my fair share of trolling - nothing major, but stuff that would seriously hurt the feelings of someone who's quite sensitive. Personally, I don't really give two hoots about what people think about what I wear as many of you know (and, thankfully, you share the same sentiment about yourselves)!

I do, however, get cross about people criticising others for absolutely no reason. It's unnecessary, hurtful and encourages others to do the same (and to do worse). And I'll defend others to the hilt when it comes to women putting other women down - there's no room for it in my space of the blogosphere.

On a similar-but-slightly-different note, this week I received a comment from a regular reader that really upset me. For starters, it was probably something I didn't need to know (in the same way that I don't ask for critiques of my outfits, I didn't ask for this opinion). Secondly, it just didn't make sense - the comments were somewhat contradictory.

The comment was:

"I don't know if you want any feedback on this [I didn't ask in this instance, this comment came out of the blue] but personally I'm not keen on the blog posts that feature collaborations with brands. I appreciate that you are trying to make a living but I don't like the commercialism involved. I do still enjoy seeing your personal style, reading your musings and checking out your other blogger recommendations so I'll just opt out of reading the collaborative/sponsored posts (it's easy as you do declare them). The I Will Wear What I Like link up is still one of my favourites."

To cut a long story short: That comment hurt. On so many levels. To me, that comment is basically saying, "I don't like the commercialism of your sponsored posts, whether they're well-written or not. So I'm just going to boycott them full stop."

The contradiction

Her whole reasoning was contradictory because the highest proportion of my sponsored posts are also personal style posts, yet she said she would continue to read those (I'm confused). I don't hide sponsored content - the very first thing you see on any sponsored post of mine (after the first image) is a banner that reads "SPONSORED CONTENT" (see this as an example), with full explanatory disclosure at the end of the post.

She also said the #iwillwearwhatilike posts are one of her favourites - but as those are always outfit posts then they, too, may be sponsored (as was the post from last week). Umm... so is she going to pick and choose which #iwillwearwhatilike posts to read and which ones she won't based on whether I collaborated with a brand each time? Apart from the disclosure about the posts being sponsored, there is NO difference in the way I write/approach them. Of course I will mention about working with the brand, but it doesn't affect the way I write or what I write about as a general rule.

To give you an example, here are three posts I wrote this year.

- One is sponsored, where the brand paid me to write whatever I wanted on a pre-agreed theme (that I suggested).
- One is written on a pre-agreed theme (that I suggested) but with gifted items only. It was not sponsored because I did not receive any extra payment.
- One was not in any way sponsored (meaning the brand had nothing to do with it whatsoever) and I bought the clothes myself.

Can you, dear reader, say one was "commercialised" had it not been for the disclosure, and what does that make the one with gifting only? Decide for yourself...


As far as I'm concerned my sponsored posts are well-written. The overall quality is no less and the content is no less interesting than any non-sponsored post. Or one with gifting only. As I explained when I first went full-time with the blog four years ago, I don't write my posts any differently whether they are sponsored or not. I received a really positive response to that post - my readers were truly happy for me, and since writing a post explaining to distrusting readers why not all sponsored posts are bad, it seems that most of my readers really are supportive of what I do to make a living and - most importantly - how I do it.

I approach all sponsored posts in the same way as regular posts: With honest thoughts and opinions. With the same level of care, keeping both what my readers want to read in mind and what the brand has asked me to talk about.

Plus, I don't consider them as "commercialised".

Why my posts are sponsored, not commercials

In its truest sense, commercialised means "prepared, done, or acting with sole or chief emphasis on salability, profit, or success". My collaborative posts are written for my readers to read and enjoy (and hopefully gain some sort of insight, inspiration or usefulness), not with the sole intention to sell stuff*. If they were I wouldn't even bother writing them, I'd simply publish pre-written content from the brand.

A commercial is an ad, and a post (whether blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) is an ad if the brand has control over what you write. Otherwise, if they commission you to write something and you are simply working to a brief (and in most instances I create the brief myself), then it is sponsored.

My posts are not ads. Therefore they are not, by definition, commercialised. They are first and foremost written to offer some sort of insight, inspiration or usefulness, not simply to sell, sell, sell. Surely the posts where I'm giving examples of AW17 pieces to buy based on past autumnal outfits of mine are more in the "hard sell" arena? Those posts aren't sponsored or collaborations. They do, however, have affiliate links, where I may make a small commission if my readers click through and buy. Will she be boycotting those too, I wonder...?

*Usually brands collaborate with bloggers with the intention of raising awareness, increasing their visibility and the association that comes with working with a particular influencer. Any brand that thinks their sales are going to rocket as a result of collaborating once with a blogger (unless you're Chiara Ferragni or Nicole Warne, which I am not) is sorely deluded about how marketing works.

What I do and don't do

To make things clear: I do not publish pre-written content, ever. It's stated in my Work With Me page that I don't do that. As far as I'm concerned, that's just advertising and doesn't belong in a blog post - not mine, anyway. My blog is a personal blog and it shall stay that way.

When I do write and publish sponsored posts, what you read is 100% my own work and 100% my own opinion. To prove it, I recently took down a post that I wrote with my own point of view, but the brand wanted me to change it to something they wanted more control over content and opinion-wise. We came to the mutual decision to take it down - I don't (and won't) work that way.

I have a rule that I stick to with the percentage of sponsored content that I produce: I stick to no more than 25% of my total output. In other words, I do not publish more than one sponsored post a week as I usually post four times a week. Sometimes there are none in a week, but that's my maximum (and a recommend industry guideline).

When it comes to the actual content of my sponsored posts, some may say that I'm gushing over a brand - if I choose to work with a brand I truly love and believe in and they send me products that I love, of COURSE I'm going to gush about them. There may be some bloggers who feign love for a product or a brand simply for the money, but I'm not one of them. I've turned down plenty of offers of (paid) work because I either didn't have anything to say about the brand/product, or I didn't support, love or believe in the brand/product.

When readers resent bloggers making money

The comment about "I appreciate that you are trying to make a living" is the one that grates the most.

I'm not "trying" to make a living. I AM making a living. I am making a living doing something that I love. I turned my hobby into my career, and I'm proud of myself for doing that and now running my own business.

I'm sure that most people would choose to turn their hobby into their career if they could. There are many, many professions where people get paid to do something they love, from artists to actors, from doctors to tree surgeons, from dog trainers to decorators.

I no longer consider myself "lucky" to be doing something I love as a career. I've been working damn hard for the past six years to make this blog into a business - despite that not being the intention at the beginning - and about 90% of what I have produced over the years has been free content for my readers. Granted, I have maybe had a little luck here and there along the way, but it came my way because of the hours I've put in.

I MEAN, HOW DARE BLOGGERS PRODUCE ALL THAT FREE CONTENT FOR READERS AND THEN HAVE THE CHEEK TO MAKE A FEW PENNIES OUT OF WHAT THEY CLICK THROUGH AND BUY, AT NO COST TO THEM?

For a little while now there seems to have been a bit of a backlash about bloggers who monetise their content, and there have been discussions in various online forums and social media about boycotting bloggers who monetise their platforms. I even heard that on that heinous platform Mumsnet there was a thread discussing bloggers' affiliate links and that they were warning each other not to click on those links and buy, because Did you know bloggers make commission out of those links?!

I mean, how DARE bloggers produce all that free content for readers and then have the cheek to make a few pennies out of what they click through and buy, at no cost to them?

Whilst this is a slightly different tangent to what my reader was talking about, it's all in the same ball park as far as I'm concerned: Women resenting other women making a success out of something.

So there you go - a reader hurt my feelings. Criticise my outfits all you like, it's water off a duck's back to me. But tell me that my content, the stuff that I slog over until 1am every morning 5-6 days a week is not worth reading because I've found a way to pay the bills with it, IS hurtful.

If I didn't think readers would enjoy my sponsored posts or find them interesting, I'd be too ashamed to publish them, it's as simple as that. I get that I won't please everyone all of the time. But unjustified boycotting for a reason that has nothing to do with whether or not something is to someone's taste or interests (or to my quality of output), now that's a punch in the gut.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ABOUT BLOGGERS WORKING FOR MONEY? DO YOU SEE A DIFFERENCE IN MY SPONSORED POSTS? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Not Dressed As Lamb - CLICK HERE to receive posts by email

When Readers' Comments DO Hurt | Not Dressed As Lamb
So all that's left to say is - I've shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it's time to share yours... LET'S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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Thank you for joining the #SaturdayShareLinkUp! Designed to allow you to share anything you like on ANY topic, it goes live every Friday at around 8pm UK time and will stay open for a week. You can share blog posts or Instagram posts, old posts or new posts, and link up as many as you like.

PLEASE be kind and leave a link somewhere on your post, and share your post using the hashtag #SaturdayShareLinkUp - if you tweet your link with the hashtag and tag me in @notlamb I'll even retweet it to my followers for you :)

A hot tip for linking up:

Use clear, bright images (crop in close if necessary) and add a relevant, descriptive title (you've got 75 characters to use). These sorts of thumbnails and text always get the most clicks, so don't waste the opportunity to increase traffic and engagement on your best work!



Catherine


Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts, Fake It Until You Make It
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50 comments

  1. Wow. This is really an eye opener. I've run across a few blogs that vibe a bit on the commercial side but yours is not one of those. I think you've done a remarkable job of achieving a balance between personal and profitable without forcing the latter on your readers. More than anything, I've found your advice to bloggers pieces the best around on those topics. I even gleaned a couple of useful tidbits from this post. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

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  2. Hopefully this comment will go through because I'm trying to comment through my Wordpress and not Google. So lets see how this works.
    First of all, I could only wish I could make money through my blog. When I see that blogs I read are able to make money, I'm happy for the bloggers. On a selfish note, I'm hopeful for me, that if I keep up with it, I may be as lucky.
    Now--here's the thing. You know you are doing a great job. Your regular readers know you are doing a great job. Some people don't mind ads. Some people do mind ads. Some readers give great comments. Some readers give comments that are completely "WTF"ish. And some readers give comments that seem downright nasty. You gotta move on and take those comments with a grain of salt--or just delete them.
    I've had a couple of "WTF" comments that I can remember and one was from a regular reader. I just took a step back and reassessed her past comments and they were always good. I wasn't going to allow one comment make me that upset nor was she being a troll. She felt comfortable enough with me to add a comment that had me shaking my head--that's all.
    You are a fortunate woman to have a successful blog and don't let anyone take you down. Best of luck and remember my motto Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité. Beauté. Namasté!

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  3. Hi Catherine, I love your writing and your professionalism that shines through every post on this blog. I admire your ethics and the fact that every sponsored content is clearly marked and advertised. It's called transparency!

    I write a sewing blog and although the sewing community is much much smaller and obviously more niche, there are still superstars who make a living out of it. And I never thought any less of them.

    As you point out, if the content is worth it, whether you wear (or in our case, sew with) someone's clothes (or fabric + patterns), you put your own spin on it, by styling and photographing it. What we readers get out of it is inspiration, and that is the main reason I myself, as many others, read blogs.

    So, as long as you keep adhering to your ethics, are transparent and produce great content, I'm sure there will be plenty of readers who will continue (or start) to follow your work, to replace anyone who does not agree with you making a living out of a creative pursuit you are so obviously very good at!

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  4. This has pissed me off Catherine!
    (Sorry, I know you're not a fan of bad language but I was struggling to find a good enough word)
    For one, you NEVER seem like you're plugging a brand... even when they are paying you to showcase their products.
    I always feel like you have cherry picked the brands you work with and never think " Gee-gawds that's awful!"...which happens elsewhere.... I have been know to shudder and quickly click off the site!
    I never feel like you're pushing sales, or affiliate links or ANYTHING for that matter.
    You have the perfect balance of making your business work and maintaining that "real" feeling.
    Almost like a girlfriend sharing things she has found.... "Check this out, it's cool!".
    It's a real skill and you've cracked it.
    As hard as it is, ignore this comment.
    They're talking nonsense (notice how I refrained from using more bad language there!!)
    Don't change what you do or how you do it..... it works for me and thousands of others too!
    Opinions like that are not helpful (or wanted) at all.
    Just thoughtless.
    Ignore and focus on the others.... like this one!! :o*
    XXX
    Samantha
    Fake Fabulous | Style and fun with fashion, over 40

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  5. It is a mean comment, and totally unjustified. Nobody works for free, yet freelancers and entrepreneurs are often expected to 'do favours' in exchange for nothing. Unfortunately, 'doing favours' does not pay the bills... You don't have to defend your decision to monetize your blog, you're just getting paid for your work, just like everyone else. And you're right: you should be proud of your success. The fact that you are making a living out of your business is an achievement, and you've worked hard for it. So, anyone who resents you getting paid for your work is being incredibly insensitive. I bet they would not work for free...

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  6. I'm Agreeing with what everyone says above. Sometimes I get paid and I do state that it's sponsored. Sometimes The clothes are just gifted. But why would anyone where something, free or paid that they didn't really like and want to tell everyone about? This woman was obviously having a bad day and you took the brunt of it Catherine. Move on I say xx
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

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  7. You shouldn't even have given it a second thought Catherine. One bad comment out of all the wonderful ones you get is not worth the bother. You are to well loved
    Lynn xx

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  8. Thank you once again for a close to the heart post. Realistically a professional quality blog, such as yours, doesn't come totally free as you aren't a charity. I suppose a response to the reader could be 'would you like to pay a subscription to read instead of me working directly with brands.'

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  9. Catherine, don't let it get you down! Some people don't care for sponsored posts and some don't mind. You can't make everyone happy.To me, when I see a blogger styling an outfit for a sponsored post I usually don't think anything of it. I am more interested in the photos of how the outfit was put together. And if it exposes me to a new brand I wouldn't have known about, then it's a bonus!

    Because I have a clothing business and have worked with a few bloggers, I know they don't accept free merchandise unless it is something they love themselves. And I always have left it up to the blogger to write whatever they want. So I know they're writing their honest opinion. Often bloggers will explain how something fits, how the fabric feels,etc. things that normally as a shopper you wouldn't know about before purchasing. That's another thing that is helpful with sponsored posts.

    And as a reader, a recommendation from a blogger I follow is really like getting a recommendation from a friend whose opinion I respect. So what if she received something as a gift? If she tells me its a great product I trust her judgement.


    Theresa



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  10. Hi Catherine, this is the first time I have commented on your blog although I am a regular reader. I just wanted to say that I have absolutely no problem with someone making a living from blogging. Your blog has always struck me as professional and thoughtful. I appreciate that you use your judgement about who you collaborate with and I trust what you say. Keep up the good work is what I say!

    Can I also say that I am impressed by your willingness to offer advice and guidance to aspiring bloggers.You have worked hard to get where you are and have a generous spirit.

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  11. I always find it funny that people (especially those without blogs) have so much to say about people who have the courage and tenacity to make a successful blog. If this reader likes your blog why not support it no matter however she can? If you don't like a blog don't read it. Same goes for the cattiness at Mumsnet or GOMI. Why waste so much time tearing down bloggers - just don't read the ones you don't like! And if you do like them what is the matter with clicking on an affiliate link? Don't you want the blog you like to keep going? Cameras, clothing, trips etc all the stuff that creates blog content takes money. And I find blog much less commercial than magazines even with regular sponsored content.

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  12. You totally deserve - and have every right - to earning a living as a blogger, dearest Catherine...and that means, by and large, through sponsored posts. As far as sounding "commercial" goes?? I've never - not even once - had the feeling that you were writing about a particular brand that you didn't truly love. In fact, I tend to forget that some of your posts ARE sponsored (despite the fact that you always disclose this) because visiting your blog is like visiting a friend who's sharing her latest awesome shopping finds!! Would I ever accuse a friend of being "too commercial" if she raved about a particular store she loved, even if she worked at that store?? Of course not...that's ridiculous!! Let's hope the reader in question was just having a bad day and will come back to her senses asap!! XOXO

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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  13. I want to know where it says that blogging should be done free in the first place. How did that come about, because even the paper we read, the people writing the articles get paid??
    You always have such a way with words, and know how to get to the point---definitely a strength in blog writing!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  14. I've had more meanness and rudeness myself lately and it's def hurtful. U keep doing u, k? I think you stay true to yourself and what you're doing and it comes across :)

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  15. Ok, for the record, I have NEVER felt you are pushing a brand! I love your sense of style and appreciate when you do add links because then I can snag the fabulous piece you are wearing :) Moreover, your blog is the one I come to for advise, style, blogging tips, photography tips, and refreshing fun! You are like a girlfriend on the other side of the world. It makes me sad that this got to you...know it is only words and some people, sadly, are clueless in their words, mean and lack understanding of what we really do in this world!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    xoxo
    Suzanne
    www.AskSuzanneBell.com

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  16. Whoop whoop I love this post. As a blogger who is in the process of turning my hobby into a business I know what incredibly hard work it is. I consider you a blogger guru and learn how to do things right just by enjoying your blog - I don't care when it's sponsored, you're posts are always giving. I think it's appalling when someone feels its appropriate to criticise someone for earning a living. Thank you so much for being an inspiration x

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  17. Hi Catherine, I hardly ever comment though I love your blog but this really makes me angry. I cannot understand anyone who, like all of us, reads and enjoys your posts, gets them for absolutely nothing, yet feels she has the right to be able to criticise what you do. Please cross her off your list and just remember the rest of us who love what you so and will continue to read and enjoy.

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  18. This would really annoy me too, Catherine. To me, this woman is basically saying, "I really like your content, but I resent you earning a living from it, so I'm going to go out of my way to try to damage your earning potential by boycotting posts that I would normally have read and enjoyed." Which is pretty unpleasant, really, when you boil it down. I wonder how this person earns a living, and how she would like it if people decided to try to discourage her from doing it, and to just work for free?

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  19. To heck with people grudging bloggers making a living! It irritates me that there are those who begrudge creative people the right to earn a crust. You produce well-written, readable posts and the sponsored ones are among those - what's to be sore about?

    As you say, it would be different if you wrote about companies whose products you didn't like as the sentiments you then spoke of wouldn't come across in the post. But readers would see through that sharply enough. Personally, I like reading sponsored posts if they're by a blogger I like. And if it's helping them make a living then I'm all for it.

    I belong to a Facebook group called 'Stop Working for Free' and there are plenty of stories of creatives being expected to do art/produce writing, music, etc for that useful currency 'exposure'. As a creative artist myself, I'm responsible for not only producing work but marketing, building a website (a long task if you want to do it properly!) and my all own accounts. I would never begrudge doing that, but I am annoyed if I get told I'm charging too much or I should be doing work for nothing.

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  20. Your sponsored content is absolutely no different from your unsponsored content; anyone who has read more than five of your blog posts can see that. You have total transparency about which posts are sponsored or gifted as well.

    I will admit that I feel exactly like the lady who made the comment about some other blogs though. I don't mind a blogger making money; I DO mind being lied to. There are blogs with OBVIOUSLY sponsored content that are just ridiculous. For instance, a blogger who is a heavy smoker/drinker promoting fitness gear (I mean, come ON) or bloggers who generate faux excitement about a trend (a red biker jacket, for example) and then you never ever ever see them wear that item on their blog or Instagram after professing it to be an absolute must have item in their closet. To me, THOSE blogs are commercial in the worst sense because they promoting things which they don't love or have any interest in.

    You are safely far far from that genre of blogger, thankfully. Keep doing what you're doing, babe, which is being successful and genuine. xx

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  21. I don't know why making money from my business it would be offensive to anyone. I began my blog with this exact intention, does that make me unethical? I think the business of blogging has changed enormously in the last couple of years but some readers haven't caught on. I suppose they equate being paid with being disingenuous? I can't state unequivocally that neither you or I would ever promote a brand we didn't genuinely like. Furthermore, I know for a fact that you've turned jobs down for that reason. Nuff said ;-)
    xxx

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  22. Catherine you were the first blogger that I followed and you inspired me to start my own. I agree with what everyone else has written. You are awesome. Keep on doing what you are doing and thank you for your honesty and your helpful tips (particularly to us new bloggers) You rock

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  23. I saw that comment and your response on Facebook and I just don't get what her problem is. You've always been transparent and honest - why shouldn't we make a little money and be gifted things for review? I wonder if that person who criticised you buys magazines and newspapers...turns the TV off when the adverts come on? If you like the content you can still enjoy it but don't have to click on the links or buy anything. Given that we're all trying to support each other (well most of us) I've thought that it would be a nice thing to do if we actually tried to buy things via an affiliate link, as it doesn't cost the buyer anything but it helps bloggers with running costs, and every bit helps. In the long term we'd all benefit from that.

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

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  24. Hi Catherine I started my blog same as you for the sheer joy of sharing, I didnt intend to make money but now I do! It is hard work but I still love it and the bonus is making money!
    You are an inspirational blogger and you stuck up for all of us with this brilliant post.
    You rock !
    keep on doing what you do best
    lots of love Ashley xxx

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  25. That is crazy! Does she think you're supposed to do this all for free? Also, your sponsored posts are related to what you do, they are things that you would wear. There is one food blogger who started doing sponsored posts for almost every single post. I didn't enjoy reading them, it felt like one big commercial after another and she lost her original voice. That is not the case with you at all!

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  26. I just don't get the comment, AT ALL. I LOVE helping my irl friends out - why would I not want to do the same with the bloggers I like? I've bought books and shoes and clothes and a subscription to Blue Apron through affiliate links on blogs. Sponsored blog posts by folks who do it as well as you do are like the longest, most in depth reviews ever! I like being introduced to things and brands I wouldn't have known about otherwise. And you know what my success rate is on things I've bought from clicking through on sponsored posts? Loved everything except one shirt- that is a phenomenal success rate and I chalk it up to knowing the bloggers and being able to weigh their opinions and how my own style intersects with theirs.

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  27. This makes me so mad. It's like saying I want you to work really hard to produce content for me to read and enjoy but I don't think you deserve to get paid for it. How dare she presume that you would do that? The reason you get sponsored content is because of the work you put in styling, shooting and writing both that particular post but also the unsponsored posts. The paid posts enable you to blog full time and produce all this wonderful content. I certainly appreciate it all and your transparency on the subject too.

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  28. Sponsored posts don't bother me at all. What bothers me is when I can't even read the article because there are so many ads and pop ups that I have to keep "x" ing out of just to see the article! I even had to stop reading one of my favorite travel blogs because she had ads OVER her pictures! It was so frustrating. I had to close every single ad out just to see the picture. UGH! Your blog is nothing like that.

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  29. Knowing for a fact how carefully you choose who you work with, this comment left me seething! I have absolutely NO idea why on earth some people begrudge bloggers making money from their BUSINESS.

    We are not pushing items that we don't believe in or love, not allowing brands to put words in our mouths, turning down work because a brand doesn't fit with our style or our ethics and STILL some readers resent us paying our bills.

    My mind boggles!!

    Michelle xxx

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  30. This is like saying we can pay nurses (and other healhcare professionals) less, as the job is reward in its self! People still need to earn a living so that they can house and feed themselves!
    I have always found your blog to be totally transparent in terms of disclosure, and totally genuine in terms of content. I don't find any difference in either content, style or on any other level, when comparing sponsored posts to non sponsored ones. I wonder why people need to comment in this way, I don't expect to get the same out of every single post a blogger posts, they are catering for many people with differing opinions, tastes and styles, but neither do I feel the need to comment in a negative way - it's just not constructive especially when it's unwanted!

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  31. This is an amazingly well written post Catherine - I am so glad you wrote about this topic a it's so hard. Esp as people love reading our well written posts with great pictures and yet we are not allowed to make money from them. However if we didn't we wouldn't be in a position to provide the same quality content as we would have other jobs taking out time...
    Have a wonderful weekend dear Catherine
    xxx
    www.funkyforty.com

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  32. I don't know why this commenter felt the need to diss what is clearly your blog style instead of just quietly attending to the blogs she does enjoy. We are the gods of our own blogs and reading lists - what's not to get about that? What I don't get is how she still wants to benefit from your blog by doing the linkups.

    Your sponsored posts are seamless because you are personal and unique in every post. And your writing and photography are professional and authentic.

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  33. I'm not a blogger myself but I think that this person failed to think critically about ALL of the valid reasons for blogging. Her judgemental attitude is unfortunate and her power to be hurtful (as a regular reader) thoughtlessly unrestrained.
    I believe you were more a victim of borish behavior than actual malice.
    I'm very sorry you were hurt Catherine. I'm confident that you are greatly admired and appreciated by most of your followers. Jude Gramith

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  34. Catherine, you are the nicest, kindest blogger I know in our ever-growing world, and it makes me sad to hear that some readers try to bring you down You are transparent, authentic & always provide great content, whatever the reason behind it, and I have never found a difference in your tone if it's a sponsored post. I have just starting to make money for something that started as a hobby & wrestle with my conscience before saying yes to a brand and that's all we can do. If I don't LOVE the product and can't put my own spin on it, whether it has a health angle or won't go down well with my readers, I walk away. And yes, only Sponsored, never Ads. Having a brand telling me what to do is far too much like a stressful job,. And that's thanks to you for all your sound advice during my "help, what do I do?" phases! Keep up the great work and..... just to make you laugh..... I recently had an email from a reader (a MAN!) who asked me to please let him know, by email, if I was going to post a blog about vaginal mesh operations & women's bladder problems. He didn't mind the fact that it was sponsored, btw! I laughed & ignored it! Much love, Suzi

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  35. I'm sorry that you had to experience this. But, as you point out, her attitude doesn't make sense. If she enjoys your content, why does it matter if it's sponsored? I know that you take great care in working only with companies that align with your vision and your style and it shows. I never look at your outfits and think "Oh, that's not her at all. That must be sponsored." And your posts are always extremely well written and your photos are amazing.

    Thanks for the link up & I hope you are having a great weekend!

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  36. Dear Catherine, some people are just mean. I don't care if your (or any other blogger's) posts are sposored or not. I think you are very professional, you work hard and you should be proud of yourself that you managed to monetize your blog. Well done! And actually, you don't have to explain anything to anyone. This is your blog, your place in the Interent and if someone doesn't like it then hey, this person should go to hell;). Renata xox

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  37. You do a great job. All your posts are really interesting, being sponsored or not.
    Don't worry about what a person may think, it's obvious that there is a lot of people that like what you do, just in the way you do.
    Ester

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    Replies
    1. By the way, i love the shirt you are wearing in this photo.

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  38. I feel that you do a wonderful job. Some people are just haters. Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week.

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  39. Awe, my heart hurt when I read this. It made me sad. You are so kind and open and you stuck up for me when others treated me poorly. I will never forget that. But I have to remember as I know you do, haters gonna hate. You provide so much wonderful information to other bloggers and to your readers. I hope you get f--king RICH!!!!
    Peace!
    Cheryl
    http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

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  40. This really annoys me too. Like you're just supposed to blog for free. And the people saying don't click on affiliate links ... they're just annoying. At the end of the day, you need to earn money to continue producing great content.

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  41. Just want to add my voice to the condemnation of this lady's attitude, Catherine. I can't add anything that hasn't been said already, your blog is an inspiration and I simply cannot understand the issue with the sponsored posts you do, because you are completely transparent and genuine. And you are a professional blogger, how the heck else are you supposed to make a living? By banking fairy dust?! My partner is an online running coach and encounters daily a freebie-seeking mentality, people love his advice but they don't want to pay for it. Although a completely unrelated niche to yours, I think the mentality behind it is the same, not acknowledging financial worth.

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  42. How sad that people can't just enjoy your great blog and leave it at that. You've done an amazing job over the years, always been totally honest - and always given back! I imagine the commenter will get pretty embarrassed when she sees the support you've got from your readers in the comments above. We are so many who really appreciate you and your work, and thankfully some companies so much that they're paying too!

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  43. I think the person was very misguided! Some people just like having an opinion on everything even things they are ignorant about. I never felt that way about your blogging or any blogger I am following! If I did feel that way I would not still follow you! Keep doing you and do not listen to the trolls or haters.

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  44. I love this post and hope it goes viral! You have nothin to apologize for. Your content is exceptional, you work your ass off, you are such and inspiration Catherine! Thank you for educating your readers about these important topics!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

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  45. Wow - I can't believe how selfish (and senseless) some people can be! I actually particularly love your sponsored posts because they're almost always with brands that you're passionate about. I think it's totally cool that you've achieved so much in the past six years and are able to make a living doing what you love. Believe me, that readers is most definitely in a minority here. It's clear that most of us LOVE what you do, Catherine. And we look forward to see what else you have in store for us - sponsored or not!
    Suzy xx
    Suzy Turner at Yogadocious

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  46. You stay true to yourself and your style in all posts. You don't "sell-out" for the $$.

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  47. It's truly amazing that in this day and age people really think that bloggers should happily spend hours of their time writing posts without getting paid. It's amazing that you've made your hobbie your career and I admire you greatly for that. It's astounding that people still think we should create all this content for them to read, but should do it out of the kindness of our heart! You keep doing what you're doing, and ignore any negativity. It's not worth bothering about. #brillblogposts

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