Sometimes I've paid to support other bloggers and to promote my site on their blogs. Most of the time, if I get visits back coming from them, I'll be willing to repeat the experience at some point, but at the same time there's also several practices that will instantly scare me away when I'm willing to put money on a blog.
- Bloggers that are so "super-duper-awesome" that act as if they were doing me a favor to have my button on their sidebar... even if I'm paying for it! You might think that this doesn't happen, but believe me, it happens scarily too often! They'll make you feel intimidated (despite the overuse of the word "dear" when they talk to you) and at the end instead of helping you promote your blog, they'll make you lick their feet... not to mention how good it looks for them to have sponsors in their sidebar and say that all the spots are taken for that month. With that I don't mean that all the popular bloggers are like that (of course not, I've met wonderful ones <3 ) but I'm talking about the small part of popular bloggers that think as themselves as the center of the world, even when you're paying a super expensive prize for a few pixels in their blog.
- Blogs that make me pay to do a giveaway. I know that this option might be unpopular, but I it's something that really "scares me away", specially because the blogger that hosts the giveaway is also getting followers out of the giveaway. I really think is generous when a sponsor on my blog is willing to do a giveaway (it helps my blog besides helping their business, and I don't have to put anything or pay the shipping), so asking for money in exchange is something I don't understand. And there's something even worse: making me pay to do a giveaway, and then putting my blog AFTER yours on the rafflecopter. Are you serious? Not only I paid for the sponsor spot, for the giveaway prize and for the shipping of the item, but you get the first (and mandatory) option on the rafflecopter? That's rude. Plain and simple rude.
- Blogs that only offer me a "group spotlight post" as the main feature, and for a high sponsorship price. Let's be sincere: who reads the group posts? Almost nobody does. But even if somebody does (you never know) they don't cost $15, if that's the only thing you'll offer me. I've learnt the hard way that the traffic they bring me back doesn't cost the money. Way too many times I've put money to sponsor blogs that promise "social media shouts" besides the typical group spotlight post, but at the end, all I get is the second one... and none of the first. I could tell you a scary story of $25 put in a blog that promised to increase my readers, but at the end I only got 3 visitors in the whole month, and the only feature I was offered was a giveaway... with a minimum value of $40. Are you kidding me?
- When "social media love" means "I'll include you in the #FF". Again, really? Of course it's nice to include people in the #FF (I do it most of the weeks), but when you're giving that to me as the only social media promotion I'll get for sure I'm not going to come back. There's lots of lovely bloggers who really take time and effort to promote your site on twitter and facebook, to talk about your items, to make sure that you feel loved... while others make you feel like you're just "homework to do". And it really sucks to feel like you belong to the second group, when you're paying for it!
- When a blogger with several Sponsors suddenly disappears for three weeks, and comes back at the end of the month rushing sponsors to give them information for a Spotlight feature. Really? I have paid you 8$ (to say something), which might not be a fortune, but it's still MY money, and all you do is disappear, not post (which means no people checking your blog, which means nobody will see my Ad button on your sidebar), and then you rush me to send you information? I'm sorry, but no. I've been there all month, if you had taken care of me maybe I'd come back next month. But now it's too late: it doesn't matter how many times you promise that this time you're back for real, you lost all kind of credibility if you've been doing that several occasions with no previous warning. Yes, life gets busy, but if you're not going to have time for your sponsors, don't make the pretty graphic at the beginning of the month to say that sponsor spots are open. It's really frustrating for the person that pays after all.
After this, I feel the need to end this post saying that I've also sponsored (and I'm sponsoring) with a bunch of wonderful people, who really care about blogging and not about the money they get out of it. To all of you: thanks so much for making blogging a fun place to be :)