March was a quiet month here on Sugar, Spice & Glitter. Our family faced some tough financial issues due to my computer getting (accidentally) smashed by one of my daycare kids, and then we had one of our daycare children leave the daycare due to work changes for his parents which resulted in a 25% loss of income for me.
It was hard and scary but I was lucky to be able to rely on contracting out my recipe development to help make things a bit easier – but as a result, my hard work went on other websites, mostly websites where I am uncredited. The work that I did for those websites was paid at about one-tenth what I would be paid to work with a company here on my own site, and neither I nor my readers continue to benefit from those posts in any way.
With changes to the daycare industry where I live, I have to diversify and be responsible to my family. Can I look my daughter in the eye five, ten years from now and tell her that “not having in-post advertisements” was worth putting our family through financial stress? Personally, I’d rather tell her about how working with one of her favourite chocolate companies allowed me to give her an awesome birthday party, or paid for new craft supplies – or simply just helped put food on the table.
I have no plans to get rich or scheme with my blog.
I truly love blogging – and I think readers sense that. I love sharing our ideas and connecting with you, and for a long time I’ve paid to do so. Paid for hosting, paid for e-mail newsletter services, paid for professional design to make things easier to navigate, paid for Photoshop so I can have “Pinnable images,” and the list goes on – some months I have spent thousands of dollars on this website. I’ve taken my commitment to my readers seriously, waking up obscenely early most mornings just to ensure that you get a fresh new idea in your inbox (or waiting for you here on the blog) every day, and staying up late to respond to all comments, questions, and e-mails.
I’ve decided to open myself up to a new ad company and more frequent sponsored posts. While I know for some people that these things will irreparably effect the reading experience, I have to hope that being honest about why these things appear on Sugar, Spice & Glitter, that my readers will understand and want what’s best for my family. By tolerating the presence of these things (which cost you nothing), you allow me to support my family and continue sharing awesome ideas here with you.
My commitment to you, my readers, is that I will never compromise what I write about in order to make money. I value your trust so I will never endorse or support a product I dislike and I will strive to develop relationships with companies whose products we love. If I write that I LOVE something or that my family uses something, we do – if I hate a product, it won’t show up here at all. And if it’s in that middle “grey zone” of “likeable,” you’re going to see that in my writing. (And hopefully, as Sugar, Spice & Glitter continues to grow, we can focus on a few key relationships and not bother with that “grey zone.”)
I will always disclose when I’ve worked with a company to develop a post. For the most part, the amount I’m paid is smaller than you’d think (they are much smaller than the amounts my friends have guessed) but they are better than when I sell my work to others for them to claim as their own, which so far has been how I’ve supplemented my income.
In working with companies on sponsored posts, I agree to use their product, include it in pictures, and sometimes mention a coupon or a promotion – that’s it. Everything else in the post is coming straight from me and is no different than any other content on this blog. I do not work with companies that want any creative control over the post and I will not include anything that I disagree with.
Working with companies on sponsored posts allows me to continue investing in this blog – both financially and with my time. Working on a sponsored recipe, I can buy groceries for the week for my family… which in turn develops into more recipes for me to share with you!
(Also, did you know that every time I share a recipe here, I’ve tested it at least twice? I make them once for Ella and I, and then adjust and double check measurements for a “photographed recipe” to share with you. Sometimes I set out on a mission to really perfect something for you, so that you don’t waste your own time and money trying to figure it out yourself – whether that’s developing the best chocolate chip cookie recipe or making various versions of slime and comparing them to each other. I love doing this for my readers & working with companies and running ads helps make that possible.)
Also, I occasionally use affiliate links. These are links that show you the specific product I’m referring to and if you choose to buy a product after clicking through on one of my links, I make a commission – usually about 3%. Affiliate links add no extra cost to the cost of the product.
I hope that this post has helped explain why Sugar, Spice & Glitter runs ads, features sponsored posts, and has affiliate links – and if you have further questions or concerns, I’m happy to clarify any confusing aspects. You are valued as a reader and I hope that the ideas that I share here, whether sponsored or not, are of value to you as well.