Blogging can do a lot of things. It can provide people with a creative outlet, aid in the dissemination of information, offer advice on a huge range of topics, and even be used by businesses to help sell themselves and their products. This is known as a sponsored blog, and it’s an increasingly useful form of online marketing in a time where people spend hours scouring the internet for quality content.
A sponsored blog is basically when a blogger discusses a brand or product in their blog (in a positive light) on behalf of a company in exchange for something, whether it be money, free products, or anything else. These can take the form of a subtle plug for an app, a really, really, really subtle advertisement for tax agents, or painfully obvious attempts to sell TV shows or McDonalds ice cream (except that last one somehow wasn’t even sponsored, never change Buzzfeed, never change).
Sponsored blogs have been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism, being labelled as deceptive and unethical, condemnations which have credence, as the blurring of the lines between journalism and advertisement is a genuine concern. But sponsored content doesn’t have be a bad thing. If sponsored content is transparent about its nature, is there really anything so intrinsically wrong with this emerging form of promotion if all parties are benefiting? Brands can gain awareness, bloggers can receive remuneration, and readers can be connected with products they may be interested in while still enjoying the bloggers content. Here lies the key to successful sponsored blogs, the generation of value for all parties involved, however, in order for this to be effective the blogs must gain a readership, which brings up the excellent question of what makes a good blog? A question I’ll need to answer if I want to have success with this one.
Quality content is an integral factor in the success of a blog, as the topic of a piece has to incite interest in the reader. From this point on, there are several universally accepted features of a successful blog, with the most common and important points including originally, an understanding of your audience, transparency and openness, high quality and well thought out writing, and frequent updates. So with all that in mind let’s see what this blog can accomplish!