All you hear on the web as of late is how evil sponsored conversations are and frankly, I am getting a little tired of it. If you don't know what a sponsored conversation is, well, watch this video:
Basically, a sponsored conversation is word of mouth marketing. If I like a product, I am going to write about it whether I get paid to do so or not. On my review blog, I own the majority of the products on there — as in, I wasn't given them for free or paid to talk about them. I have two kids, trust me, I have enough toys and books to keep me blogging for years without an advertiser giving me a product. That being said, I have received lots of great products that I wouldn't have even laid eyes on if it wasn't for someone contacting me and asking me if I'd like to try it. And guess what? I have bought from a lot of these companies since! If you have a great product, I am going to be a repeat customer whether or not you give me a product to try!
I understand that there are a ton of unethical people out there. I am not one of them. If I don't like a product, I am not going to write that I do. Most of the bloggers I know feel exactly the same. However, you can't dismiss an entire industry just due to a few bad apples. I am not the blog police nor do I ever plan on telling someone else how to blog.
Have I tried sponsored conversations before? Yes! Did it drive traffic to my site? Yes! Was it worth it? I have to think so. ROI is hard to determine just due to me not selling products, but I like all eyeballs on my site as possible. Would I do it again? Yes!
(And yes, this was a sponsored conversation and 100% my opinion).