Should You Publish Sponsored Content?
When you’ve had a website for a while, you might get to the point where you are offered the chance to publish sponsored content. Depending on your site, and where your focus is, different companies might find it worthwhile to pay for specific content on your site.
Deciding to publish sponsored content can provide you with a boost if you’re a freelancer, but you need to consider this decision carefully.
How Will It Impact Your Credibility?
The first consideration is how your credibility will be impacted if you publish sponsored content. The first piece to this equation is properly disclosing your content if it’s sponsored. While your readers might not be thrilled with that sponsored post, at least you’re being as transparent as possible when you disclose that the content is sponsored.
When deciding to publish such content, find out how much freedom you have to publish what you want. In many cases, you can still write about what you would normally write about — just with extra pay. If you can do it your way, with your voice, and without being too unnatural (other than the disclosure), you are less likely to lose credibility with your audience.
Do You Want Sponsored Content as a Revenue Stream?
If you think you can publish sponsored content and maintain your credibility (and I know many freelancers and bloggers who do), you need to consider whether or not you want to try and make it a revenue stream. This is a personal choice that not everyone is comfortable with. Once you accept sponsored content, you need to have rules about how you will proceed.
Once you accept sponsored content, you need to have rules about how you will proceed. The good news, of course, is that it’s your website so you can figure out what works for you. Do you want to limit the number of posts you accept? What is a rate you can charge that makes it worth it for you to publish the post? Which types of businesses will you not accept when it comes to publishing? Put together guidelines so you feel comfortable.
Also, don’t forget to consider the interplay between sponsored posts and what could happen with your traffic in Google.
Can You Make Your Sponsored Content Engaging?
Finally, don’t forget to make sure that your sponsored content is engaging. You don’t want something that your readers will gloss over; you need something that they can remain interested in and engage with.
This means that your sponsored content needs to look somewhat similar to your “regular” content. It’s a fine line to walk because you need to make sure that your content is identified as sponsored and properly disclosed, but you also need the content to speak to your audience because that’s why someone pays you for the sponsored content.
In the end, whether or not you publish sponsored content is up to you. But before you take that plunge, consider what makes sense for you, and how it fits into your overall content and revenue strategies.