A fashion retailer contacted me recently to inquire about the possibility of me doing what is commonly referred to as a "sponsored post." The idea is that I would choose some dresses I like, write about them any way I like and link prolifically back to the retailer's site throughout the post. I would be open and transparent that I was compensated in some way for this service.
I asked if anyone would be offended by such brazen commercialism and most said no. And as Lynne at Any Shiny Thing wrote, at least they didn't ask to secretly embed ads for adult diapers. A little money would be exchanged for my efforts and the use of space to promote their products on my blog, and there is some sense of comfort in being recognized as fashionably relevant. I said yes to the dress.
But something was rumbling around in my brain about saying no to the dough. I had to dig deep and think about big stuff like, why am I here? Not just why am I here in the blogosphere, but why am I here on the planet?
My conclusion was that I am not on the blogosphere or the planet to market other people's stuff. I don't have a problem with bloggers doing just that -- everyone decides what's best for them -- but I traded in a big chunk of my independence in order to earn a living, and I relish my little Klondike claim of a blog beholden to no one.
While I write about fashion and style from time to time, and I share my attempts occasionally, I'm no expert, so it seemed particularly disingenuous for me to peddle dresses. I can totally see someone else doing it with authenticity and class, and I love those sites because they offer something I don't have. I'm only an expert at what I translate from my head and put on paper and am not at all troubled by cashing in on that.
I can see it now. Donna Pekar, word whore.
The truth is I'm not quite sure what I am doing or where I am going. Sometimes I don't know what I think until I write about it and engage in interesting follow-on discussions with brilliant readers. I can't say that I won't change my mind some day, but right now it seems to me that if I ever make money blogging, it is likely to be through writing, speaking or developing my own products and services. So I said no to the dress.
This was not a sponsored post.