Authenticity And Your Blog

I recently read a blog post written by David Shaul who writes a blog with his wife called David & Donetta. The post in question was called, How I Sold Out My Authentic Dad Blog. The post was about not writing many organic or authentic posts, and basically just making money from sponsored posts or link placements etc. I’m sure you get the idea. The post inspired me to write this because I think we are getting it wrong with authenticity.

While reading it I had the overwhelming thought that bloggers are getting it wrong when it comes to being organic and authentic.

The meaning of authentic according to Oxford English Dictionary is as follows. “Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine”

I often read that bloggers won’t read blog posts that have a paid link or a review and I for one cannot understand why. Many paid posts are as interesting as blog posts that are not paid.

More importantly many paid posts are as authentic and original as anything else. Personally when I’m writing a post that is a collaboration with a brand, I try my best to make it feel natural and more often than not it is directly related to my life or something that may have happened to me, or something I have experienced in my life, and it will quite often try to be raising awareness of something that I am passionate about such as mental health or online safety in regard to my children.

Yes, it’s ultimately an ad for a brand, but there is a message from me personally and it’s completely authentic and original and most certainly is not a copy. What I can’t work out is why is that wrong? Why is that not acceptable to the blogging world? Why do bloggers feel the need to slate those posts as not readable, because I have being lucky enough to have been paid for my time. Well I have my suspicions.

A couple of years ago I remember seeing many dad bloggers collaborating with Xbox. This was at a time with my own blog, where yes, I was getting some interest from brands, but it was minimal. The truth is I was a little bit jealous, but it spurred me on to develop my blog so hopefully I would get these opportunities. I read all of these Xbox posts and learned from them all, so one day I could create authentic and original paid content that also had a natural feel, because that is the secret; creating a paid blog post that has that natural feel. I might add it’s not easy, but it’s certainly achievable.

I recently did a post for the Post Office about life insurance. Yes it was paid, but it was raising the importance of life insurance to protect your children’s future. Surely that’s a good thing? So I got payment for the post, and there is of course a reason for that. I have worked hard to build up my brand for the last four years and brands rightly or wrongly consider me an influencer capable of getting their message across, which I might add I am totally ok with, after all blogging now makes up a large percentage of my income.

If you are writing a paid post or a blog post about your life without payment they are all original and authentic content. All blog posts if written well have a message and it’s really not relevant if you received money in return for your time.

For me personally I’m tired of reading blog posts saying that because it’s paid or a review post it’s not authentic or original. It is.

I would love to know what you think . Are paid blog posts authentic and original or not? Let me know your thoughts.

22 thoughts on “Authenticity And Your Blog

  1. IMO They can absolutely be authentic, as long as the blogger is not ‘selling out’ to any company. By that I mean they are only promoting services/products that they are or could genuinely use/be happy with. Something they can genuinely write about in connection with their theme.

    If it’s a forced post to promote something they don’t even like, then it wouldn’t read as authentic.

    That’s my thoughts anyway 🤔🤷🏼‍♂️

  2. As always another thought provoking post. I absolutely agree that if written in your own voice then why is it not acceptable. After all the freedom that making a living from your blog is brilliant and we are not a charity. I imagine jealously plays a large part in the negative comments!

  3. I think that it’s unfair for people to feel like their blogs aren’t authentic because it’s paid. If you actually enjoy the product or brand and want to share why that’s the best way to be authentic while being paid for your time. I just don’t understand that statement at all.

    Not to mention a lot of us really do need the extra income but still love what we do. I agree with what you are saying.

  4. I’ve read this post twice now. I agree with you. I too have some paid posts on my blog, but I make sure to choose ones that fit my theme. I also try and use my own photos where possible too. I do feel that maybe I would be judged if I was more open about those posts but I’m becoming more relaxed about using them as times goes on. Frankly, I’m just happy that if nothing else the blog hosting gets paid for this way!

  5. I totally agree! I say ‘no, thanks’ to 80% of opportunities because I wouldn’t be able to be 100% authentic about the product. So, I only work with brands I really love. I could be making much more money than I do, but I want my blog to be honest and trustworthy. However, I’m not in the business of slating brands either, so it might seem as if I love everything and therefore disingenuous, because no-one loves everything, right? My blog is my job and I am trying to pay my share of the bills – I could never warrant spending full-time on a blog as a hobby! It’s time for bloggers to stop judging each other and let the numbers do the talking. After all, if our readers think our content is too inauthentic – they will leave us. x

  6. Yes I totally agree. All posts are authentic. I think the only time they aren’t is if you accept payment or on a gifted basis for something you don’t like and are only accepting it because you’re getting something for free Len payment. It’s when to know when to say no. I’ve been there when I started. Accepting something because it was free and writing about it was hard and forced and I think it does come across in a post. Now I’ve learnt to email brands back if it doesn’t suit my blog or I am not passionate about it

  7. I have to be honest I never read posts that are commercially driven, no matter how authentic. I don’t dispute your right to do them — I know what it is to write commercially (have had many newspaper articles published) — but I’d rather read about people’s thoughts and experiences, ie personal blogs. #ThatFridayLinky

  8. Good food for thought. I think some new bloggers…and I fell into this…only gave 100 percent positive review of a product for fear I would not get any more offers. Mostly Amazon reviews. I think as long as you are honest and have well thought out points and it comes from YOU then it is worthy. #thatfridaylinky

  9. I don’t know why a blogger wouldn’t comment on a sponsored post when I do it all the time. Other link party hosts even put their own sponsored posts as their contribution to their own linky party. How do these “bloggers” that don’t like to comment on such posts think we make money? It isn’t easy and I have yet to see my account go up with revenue. On another note, I think you can make a sponsored post organic, especially if it’s something in line with your blog such as products that cater to what you are already writing about. Thanks for sharing this! #ThatFridayLinky

  10. I agree with you. I think, as long as you are not biased in your commercial/sponsored posts, there’s no reason why they can’t be called genuine and authentic. Unfortunately, over the years, to keep up with financial demand, I’ve written more sponsored features than I wanted to. But, I’ve made sure that these articles are 100% factual and honest, so that I can still produce quality content for my readers, whether they are paid or not. #ThatFridayLinky

  11. I think you can be authentic in a paid post. It’s entirely possible depending on how you write it. People can tell if it’s a realistic view of things or not. That’s what keeps a reader.

  12. some of my favorite posts have actually ones that I was paid to write. I think there is a trap that can come from accepting every offer that comes along, but to be honest, I’ve found opportunities to have really dried up in the past year. #thatfridaylinky

  13. I agree with you. I have no problem reading a product review or paid post if it’s written well and with some personality. If done well, they can be as entertaining as a regular post. I’m only put off if they read a bit like a catalogue description of a product. #thatfridaylinky

  14. I have to agree, there is nothing wrong with reading reviews or paid posts. If I read them and it feels forced and not honest then I become disinterested for sure but I’ve read some really good content that is sponsored and as for reviews, they can be very useful if it is something that you are thinking about buying. I’ve found some great gifts and items from reviews. #ThatFridayLinky

  15. I am fairly new and still building up my blog, so haven’t had much opportunities to work with brands, however, I would like to think that everything that we write about is genuine and authentic. We all blog for a reason, whether this is for personal satisfaction or money, it shoulnd’t matter because unless we are “real” with what we are writing, then surely it’s not going to be something someone wants to read, right? I love reading reviews, because it forms part of my own decision making. Without them, I think I would be pretty lost and woudn’t actually find out about new things as much either. #ThatFridayLinky

  16. I think if an ad or sponsored post is something of interest to , maybe local restaurant reviews or a brand I’m a fan of I’d certainly read and actually hope for more authenticity from a trusted brand than a tv ad for example #ThatFridayLinky

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