It has become the trend with quite a few bloggers lately to claim to be “sponsored” by a designer in order to prove their value in the blogging world. As a designer and a (sometime) blogger, I look at this trend with mixed feelings. As a blogger, I understand the drive and need to feel validated and can somewhat see how this trend came about however as a designer it is something I want to steer far away from. My main reason being is that when you agree to sponsor someone or something, then you are in effect ‘hiring’ this person to represent your brand, while lending your own reputation to help promote this person/event. This means in the big picture of things in this situation, that whatever this blogger decides to promote or share (be that an opinion piece or LOTD) is something you wholeheartedly back and are willing to stake your own reputation on it. From my own standpoint, I don’t know these people well enough to risk my own reputation that I have worked very hard to build in something like this. It also goes the other way, a sponsorship implies there’s a mutual exchange of some sort, be that cash, review copies, in exchange for promotion. A sponsor could come to said blogger and request them to take down something they personally do not approve of, with the threat of revoking sponsorship …. which causes the blogger to be beholden to the sponsor. There are many more reasons I could give about sponsoring a blog, but this is my own personal reason why I will not sponsor a blog and will immediately turn down any offers of this kind.
This is not to say that I do not support bloggers. Far from it. I love bloggers and I love the fact that people want to express themselves through this medium. If a blogger strikes my fancy, I will gladly and freely invite them to my blogger’s list. (yes I do have rules for that, as I am a business after all) But I also won’t tell the blogger what they can and can not blog and I will not be held liable for said blogger’s actions either.
I encourage you to rethink this whole concept of sponsoring if you are a blogger who actively uses this system. As long as you keep evolving your craft, you are good enough to stand on your own 2 feet and people WILL notice… YOU, not your sponsors.