Let’s talk sponsorship!

Let's talk about Sponsorship

I need your help, I have come across an issue that, until now, I have never thought about seriously. Last week an email arrived in my inbox with the title “Let’s talk about sponsorship”. The email was from a representative of a software company that I had never heard of, asking if I would like to do a sponsored post.

My first thought was that it was a scam. It’s perfect for a scam; from the moment most people start blogging we are waiting for this email. Please pay me for doing a relatively easy job. There were links in the document and English was clearly the second language of the sender.

Obviously, the first course of action was to google the company. The website didn’t look too bad, but I could not decide if it was legit based on this alone.

I decided to converse with my would-be sponsor a little further, as this was a new experience to me. I was more than curious.

Here is a heavily redacted version of the email I received:

Hi Louis,

Thanks for your reply! ProductX is a editing software which can help you to edit, annotate, convert and OCR your PDF files.

I think you can write review our product from these aspects:

1. What is ProductX?

2. How is ProductX?

3. Introduce the features of ProductX, or compare with other products;

4. Add anchor text: ProductX (https://thierwebsite.com)

5. Word: about 700

What do you think of this review? What’s your budget to do that?

Thanks,

Employee X

Here are my honest thoughts that occurred after receiving this

Dear reader

  • I suppose this could be a good excuse to try and write in a different style. I have been finding it tiresome writing in the same style and this could be interesting.
  • How much should I charge? How would I take payment? I am not a business; I don’t know how this works, do I pay tax? I need to speak to someone who has experience in this. I don’t know anyone who has experience in this. Maybe I will ask them to cover the cost of this blog for a year?
  • I should just do it for free; then I won’t have to deal with the questions I have posed above.
  • Yes, I should do it for free, then it will be an excuse to do an interesting piece of writing and get my foot in the door of sponsored work.
  • How could I Justify writing one solo piece about this software? That would be extremely out of character. Maybe I could shoe-horn it into a post about all the different software I use for my studies.
  • Hmmm, writing for money is the last thing I expected.
  • I don’t think this is right for me. But maybe selling out is fine?
  • I need to find out more about this company.
  • Oh dear, the reviews of this company on trustpilot are the worst I have ever seen.
  • I will just ignore the email and carry on with doing what I want.
  • Note to self: develop and ethical stance on such matters, and have a plan in case this happens again and I actually like the company.

What would you have done?

How much would you charge?

I am sure that, like me, most of you have thought about this only in your dreams and do not actually have any legitimate plan for what to do if they actually became a reality.

I have been searching through WordPress, and have not found anyone who has written about this subject. To me, this is like the first time I was asked on a date. I feel awkward; I don’t know what to say ; I have been hoping it would happen at some point. What the hell do I do!

Like the idea of that 1st date, my answer is ‘I would love to, but not with you’.

Note: If I had left in the company’s name in, this piece would have been a post-modern anti-advert, which happened to be the exact word length the company was asking for.

Author: Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

14 thoughts on “Let’s talk sponsorship!”

  1. That’s a tough call. Scams can get so detailed sometimes, but I’m unsure what the benefit of this particular kind of scam would be. I’m also very sceptical and paranoid, so it’d likely be a hard no from me- but it could very well be real. I don’t think it’d make you a sellout to try something new. As you said, it may not be for you, but one way to find out for sure would be to test out said theory.
    Hmm, I’m not so much helping lol but whatever your decision, if I do see a post on PRoductX, there would be no judgement on my end 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoughtful post, Louis. I’ve had a few approaches over the years–people suggesting I do blogs about their companies/products on my blog and I’m with you on the date analogy. I’d love to, just not with you. The minute writing software or a cat food company asks, I’ll jump on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Emma, thanks for sharing. I think If this would have happened to me a few years ago I would have sold-out immediatly. Luckily I have had some time to develop some ethics!

      Like

  3. I wouldn’t have even bothered to research the company. The fact that the sender of the initial email didn’t appear fluent in English would have raised a red flag for me. Some of the questions in the second email were quite vague. You did the right thing. Next time, trash the initial email. Although the idea of writing for money sounds appealing, accepting offers like this one isn’t worth it.

    Like

  4. Me ? Give positive response. Then do nothing .. if they come back it could indicate genuine commercial interest. If you then tried it for a while – you could just as easily drop it. I would definitely be wary of ‘contracts’ .
    Hope that helps ..

    Like

  5. Hi Louis. I do sponsored posts quite often. Companies from all over the world contact me, and I´m Spanish so if the email is not written in perfect English it´s ok, in my humble experience. If the company looks legit and you think your readers would like the product, go for it.
    I also work with publicity companies that want to build some backlinking to their customers publishing “guest post”. The regular fee is $30.
    Hope this helps and you get more offers in the future 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s sounds exciting, however I’m the perpetual skeptic 🙂 but chape does it and seems secure. I email a positive response, get payment up front! Of course into a PayPal account. Good luck! Will be watching for the end game.

    Like

  7. My take is that the company is trying to promote the idea that artificial intelligence should be helping challenged humans complete their sentences. If you truly want to be a better writer, you’ll have to learn the hard way. But, as some of the previous commenters pointed out, sponsorship can be lucrative and I did notice the company was selling other services, such converting files. If you have the time available–investigate further.
    Good luck!

    Like

  8. Oh I’m not easy at trusting people .. that I think I would have so many questions and doubts … I too would see scam all over this . Okay sorry this may have not helped you . Just giving my opinion . Please look into it further .

    Like

    1. Hi Louis
      I definitely think any paid work or anything new that is of interest is worthy of consideration. Once you have investigated and know more, you can always re-evaluate your own thoughts or solicit further opinions and then determine what you think. I have in the past worked for non-English speaking employers. I am certain my foreign language skills are not great but this does not prevent one from appreciation of great works and others have appreciated my work despite not having any skills in their language. Shakespeare admired many Italian plays as can be seen by what he wrote. I admire writers from all over the world. Working on one’s ethics is the key and you have arrived at this really important conclusion and already engaged in this aspect. I think the key is that they are your values and as long as you are comfortable with them, this is and must be the main criteria. I think everything in life is worth investigating even if it is just to determine if it is right for you. Naturally this is my own opinion so please take what makes sense to you and leave the rest. Other than that, good luck with this and everything.

      Liked by 1 person

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