Let’s talk 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.

Thinking about starting a blog – Week sixteen as a PhD student

Early this week I had a strong urge to publish my journaling of the PhD experience; I thought I would make a WordPress site and just publish them on a weekly basis anonymously.

How would you know whether it happened or not? If you stumbled across this before this post, in your timeline, I would have made the site earlier. If you stumbled across it today, then you would assume I made the site a while back as there are some posts before this one. Well, I planned to make it on the weekend, and of course, I didn’t. Maybe next weekend? As I don’t have anything to lose, I will commit to getting it done by next weekend. The worst that can happen is that no one reads it and I don’t get any better at writing than I would have, had I not published this stuff. I assume that I would improve much better if other people were critiquing the writing.

What have I been working on this week? Well, I have to give a three-minute thesis at an internal conference. So I have started to write and make the slides for that. I attended a course on ‘presenting your research in three minutes’ presented by a very high-quality presenter; she is a science communicator and a stand-up comedian so you can guess she was comfortable with public speaking. It did help give some structure to my presentation, and it brings me up to seven out of five of the courses I need to take this year. Next week I have my eighth, which is about writing a literature review; I will probably register for more of them in the summer as I can’t turn down free education it would seem.

Most of this week was work, as usual, hedonic adaptation deeply rooted in at this point. A grinding situation has started to develop. I have been thinking that I need to create another stream of income as I want to increase my savings rate, and hopefully pad out my C.V. with respectable commendations. Ideally, it will be something I can do with flexi-time as I don’t want to detract from my primary objective. Another income stream will be another goal of mine added to the ‘Life.txt’ document I have. The reason I have been thinking about this is that I calculated how much money I could theoretically have by the end of my PhD; If I could increase that by roughly ten-thousand, I will be in a much more stable position. I noticed that a lot of my peers are doing some form of part-time work while doing their PhDs; I am sure they need the money more than I do as most of them are living in the typical student fashion, however, if they can do it…

My two biggest time sinks this week has been random Twitch browsing and playing video games, combined, they probably took twelve hours from me. I am unsure what I am going to do about this.

P.S This was written on the 28-1-18, and it looks like I did make a blog.