Today, I published a guest post from TD Bank. I was not paid to post this guest post. But I’m a sucker sometimes, and when someone promised something from major bank, I agreed to run it without question, on the assumption that it would be from a higher up or something.
This assumption is hilarious because I know how this sort of thing works; I’m sometimes paid to provide this sort of stuff for use on other blogs. (Although, in my defense, what I write is usually a little longer, a smidgeon more useful, and of slightly higher quality.)
I know better.
But we all do silly things sometimes.
I’ve allowed guest posts on this blog in the name of “free content” because sometimes it’s easier than writing something that I’m not getting paid for anyway. But recent comments from readers have me re-thinking this policy. Emails from true friends and loyal readers indicate that they do know the difference — and they rightly point out that if I’m going to put up this content, which could draw Google’s ire, even though I’m not getting paid for it, what is the point? While Google isn’t my be all and end all, if I’m going to be penalized by the search giant, I might as well get paid for it. Just having free content to put on my blog is no longer enough. If I’m going to sell out, it’s going to be on my terms, and it’s not going to be for free.
The post and recent communication from readers have reinforced what I’ve been thinking for a long time: Moving toward the “sponsored post” thing. In which I write the post, and if you want some specific topic included, you can pay me to write the post. It’s the way many mommy bloggers and others do it and, honestly, that approach makes all sorts of sense.
Because if I’m going to put publish a true guest post, it should be a truly useful guest post from someone I consider a friend.