Monday, January 4, 2010

Now Seeking Sponsors!

I have exciting news! I've decided to start a sponsorship program here on this little blog. Starting immediately, I'll be looking to partner with cool sewing and retro-influenced businesses. So, dear readers, I wanted to take a moment to explain my vision for this program to you.

First of all, making money off this blog has never been (and never will be) my impetus for writing it. In that spirit, I've focused solely on content and eschewed things like AdSense and text ads that bring in a little dough, but clutter up the look of a blog (in my opinion). However, I've started to admire blogs that have highly selective sponsorship programs. I've ended up discovering awesome Etsy sellers and lovely websites through these programs. So I'll be using this model to connect with unique vendors that cater to our collective interests: retro sewing, vintage patterns, fashion, beauty, and of course . . . shoes! The way I see it, if a potential sponsor is someone that I would have written about in the course of a post anyway, then it's a good match that will support the content of the blog.

I am beyond thrilled to be at the point where I can consider this sort of move. This blog has grown quite a bit . . . more than I ever imagined when I started it. I now average around 1,100 unique visitors a day - 14,500 in the last month! Thank you all so much for your support.

And, obviously, I won't pretend that this isn't a money-making proposition. A little extra cash for my Bernina fund won't be unwelcome. But I'm lucky to have a wonderful job that negates the need to make a living off of blogging. So if this new endeavor doesn't work out for whatever reason, it will be no big deal for me to discontinue it.

To make a long story short, the Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing sponsorship program is now open for business! If you're interested in participating, please e-mail me at gertie [at] blogforbettersewing [dot] com for details and rates.

40 comments:

  1. Too bad, although I understand the Bernina fund impulse! Good luck, I hope this works out for you.

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  2. I hope this wont ruin the quaint blog you have going. I believe we are overly bombarded with ads these days.

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  3. Congratulations on getting to that point. One can never tell at the beginning whether a blog will be a success or not, but yours has truly blossomed and in less than a year. That is quite an accomplishment. I, for one, am very glad that you will be selective of your sponsors and will choose them carefully. Again, congrats on getting to this point!

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  4. Well I say good on you, it is not your duty to blog for free, and you do have a pretty thing happening. I love the new hair posts :) (who doesn't love hair posts)

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  5. Oops, I meant a pretty cool thing happening.

    I also enjoy that you write rather eloquently. Unlike myself.

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  6. Go for it, I say. Erin on Dressaday has sponsors in the margin that are all related to her interests and sit comfortably there. Same with True Up, the fabric/ vintage fabric blog, which links to various fabric sellers. Neither blog has lost its soul because of such sponsorship. Personally, I always welcome the opportunity to discover new like-minded sites and stores. And if it can serve the Bernina Fund and mean more sewing, then so much the better!

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  7. How amazing that you get so many visitors per day in such a short time. But you have a great blog; so I am not surprised. There's nothing wrong with having selective sponsorship on your blog. It won't take away from the look at all. I know you work very hard to keep this blog going, and you certainly deserve a little kick back. Plus, if it does start to bring in a good amount of money, wouldn't that be nice if you decide to cut your hours down or start working from home when you start your family? Hope it works out for you.

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  8. I think sponsorship is a great idea. Having the types of sponsors you mentioned makes sense on your blog. It would all be tied in very nicely.

    Your blog is one of the best I've come across. I'm not surprised to see how fast you've grown.

    ~Sewjourner

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  9. Boo on the nay sayers! everyone needs a Bernina Fund! I look forward to seeing who makes it. I'm always interested in what creative people do for a living (yes, that includes you!)

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  10. I have already discovered some wonderful resources through your blog so having carefully selected sponsors will probably lead to this happening more frequently. I say go for it!
    Your readers won't suffer unless seeing ads has the same effect on them as thebucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West, and you'll be helping out businesses that would benefit from quite a specific audience. Accepting payment for that means getting some benefit yourself, and considering the amount of time you must dedicate to this blog I would say you more than deserve recompense! Since I started reading blogs a couple of months ago I have learnt things (mainly from this one)*for free* that I would have had to pay for should I have bought books or gone to classes. Also, what I've found through ebay and more recently, blogs, is that I am able to access US companies who sell items far cheaper than, or impossible to find in the UK. Congratulations on the success of this blog - I hope your Bernina fund comes together quickly!

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  11. but please don't let the 'lose 20lbs of belly fat' people sponsor you! I hate them.

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  12. Clare: LOL! I would NEVER EVER have anything like that! I promise!

    Thanks so much for the words of support. It means the world to me! And to those with doubts, I truly believe that this new step will not change the spirit of the blog . . . the idea is that it will enhance it! Give it time and I hope you'll see what I mean.

    I should also have mentioned that I want to do some sponsored giveaways for very cool stuff, if that changes your opinion at all. :)

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  13. I don't mind that you want to have sponsorships for your blog. You must spend so much time on blogging (as your blog is of such high quality) in addition to vlogging and sewing all the garments you share with us. I am very glad that you have so many visitors, and I think we can gain from you being sponsored. And I don't have any doubt that you pick your sponsors with care! Good luck!

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  14. haha!! I know you wouldn't - but what if the belly fat people offered you a bernina in exchange for a month's advertising? could you? would you?!!!!! I'd be torn..!

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  15. @Clare: I'd forgive her if she accepted an offer like that. We all have our price!

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  16. It may seem silly because we've obviously never met, but I'm ridiculously proud of you, Gertie!

    I say go for it - you clearly pour your heart and soul into this blog, and I trust that you wouldn't seek sponsorship from vendors that would jeopardize its integrity.

    Like Clare, I've discovered resources that I might not have otherwise because you've mentioned them here. They're already benefiting from exposure on your blog, so I don't see the harm in making it a mutually beneficial relationship.

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  17. Oh god! A Bernina in exchange for the belly fat ad? What a choice! Hopefully it will never come up. :)

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  18. It's so unfortunate that you decided to go in this direction, Your blog is fantastic just as it is but once corporate sponsors come into the mix things always change. Let's say for example that Colette patterns is one of your sponsors. How will we ever trust that your reviews will remain honest after that. I guess your lovely little blog was too good to be true:(

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  19. Anonymous, I think you're being a little hard on me. The New York Times will give a movie a poor review, even if the very same movie is one of their advertisers . . . and no one questions their right to do so. Granted, I'm not at that point yet! But I'm not sure why you assume that you couldn't trust me to be honest? I'd like to think that the time I've put into building the blog show how deeply I care about it.

    Sigh . . . Jeff always says I get too affected by negative comments. I think he's right! Thank you to the positive ones. :)

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  20. Gertie, I'm just very disappointed by this turn of events, and it was not my intention to cast any aspersions. i recognize that it is your blog and it is your decision to do anything you like with it, but having said that, I also want to say that your blog is so incredibly lovely just as it is. Your posts are intelligent and well thought out and you bring something to your blog that few others have managed to do so. It is quirky, eccentric and girlie all at the same time and I'm just very concerned that you'll lose that if you add sponsors. I don't know anything about the New York Time's integrity or lack thereof, but when you look at fashion magazines for example there is definitely avoidance of articles that could impact their sponsors negatively. The serious consequences to health caused by some ingredients used in cosmetic preparations are rarely discussed and one has to wonder if this could be a result of their fear of losing sponsors. These subtle changes are what I'm talking about and there really is no way around them.

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  21. Hiss and Boo to those who think you are anything less than honest or that a few dollars will corrupt your opinion. Those who know you say "Ignore, ignore, ignore the negative comments. Let goodness triumph!" Good luck with your sponsorship program.

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  22. I've never commented before Gertie, but I do read your blog every day (and I don't even sew.) Go for it! don't let one negative nelly ruin your dream. Your blog is seriously wonderful - and it will continue to be because YOU will still be writing it - and You are wonderful - and that's what is important.

    AND... what a great way for all the independent and creative people to support each other in a responsible way.

    Thank you for writing your blog!

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  23. I don't think I've posted a comment before, but I wanted to chime in. I enjoy your blog, and I highly doubt that carefully selected sponsors will change that. I read several that have them, and it doesn't detract at all. Good for you - and I promise to click on at least one ad, if only to tick of the anonymous people complaining. :)

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  24. tick ofF, that is.

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  25. Lots of positive comments and some negative, I know what you mean about the negative reviews getting to you. Take a deep breath. You should feel good that people are comfortable with you to be honest. It's like when you don't look good but only a good friend tells you.
    I'm not sure how things will be with sponsors but I never for a minute thought you wouldn't be honest with your posts. That is crazy. Having sponsors doesn't mean we HAVE to buy from them either. I have checked out many bolgs with and without sponsors. A good blog is a good blog regardless. Your blog is great. Take a leap into sponsorship and see how it feels.
    Good luck

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  26. I say go for it! Your blog is great and well edited. I still read blogs that have ads. I prefer the ones that are nicely edited. We need to get you in touch with the Bernina people so they can sponsor you. I saw a link to your blog on their new page "we all sew".

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  27. Some of the blogs I know and respect have *very* selective sponsor ads, always in keeping with their theme and points of view (as it sounds like you will be doing). They are not just "space for hire" and because of that, I do follow the links because I know they will be of interest to me. I liken it to following someone's blog role (That's how I found your blog!!).

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  28. My initial gut reaction to this post was "great. There goes another great blog to corporate America" but after thinking about the pleasure reading your posts bring to each of us, I think it's more than fair that you are compensated for your work, and enabled to furthur nuture your blog. I am happy and excited for you. If I had a business, I would want to associate with the caliber of your work.

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  29. I think it's a great idea and I hope you get that Bernina ASAP!

    Just like you, I've found wonderful sites and Etsy stores through blogs that are selective in their sponsors. The internets are a great big 'ol place. Lead the way, Gertie!

    --jm

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  30. I hope you don't take those negative comments too much to heart- you are exactly right that there are lots of blogs that are doing this very tastefully and without it being intrusive or detracting from content at all. Great idea to partner with some etsy shops that we'd be likely to be interested in anyway- sounds like mutually very beneficial relationship! And congratulations on the startling, but not surprising growth in readership!!

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  31. i hope you DO take sponsors!! you should get some kind of credit for recommending us to different sites. i for one have bought more than one pattern based on your suggestions, and could never have made the last couple of shirts i sewed without your help. i can't even imagine how much it has cost you already--in both time and money--between buying patterns and fabric, buying a video camera and making vlogs, and everything else you do to make your blog everything it is. and just from reading your blog for the past month or so, i feel like i already know you, and that you have integrity, and would never let a sponsor's fee get in the way of an honest review.

    don't let them get you down, gertie! that's the only thing that could ruin what you've got going...

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  32. I hesitated posting this, but I find myself agreeing with the minority. This has quickly become one of my favorite blogs and don't want it to change. I'll keep an open mind and hope for the best.

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  33. I think there's a right way and a wrong way to add ads to a blog or the like, and it sounds like you're going about it the right way. Hand picking relevant companies to sponsor your blog is definitely they way to go, I see this as something that can be beneficial for both you and the companies that you select.

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  34. Sponsorship sounds like a brilliant idea :) a lot of the cute blogs that I read do a lot with sponsorship in a tactful way, I've always liked how Keiko Lynn (she's linked to on Burda so I'm sure you've come across her) has dealt with sponsorship, I've always felt that her ads fit in very well with the feel of her blog. As I'm sure yours will!

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  35. Hello Gertie, I am searching your blog right now for some of the GREAT leads you have given me before on hunting down fabric. So I, personally, would love to see some of the fabric stores previously mentioned, like Moods and some others in NYC, with a link on your sidebar. And if you get paid when I click, well then, I'm very happy to have helped support your sewing habit!

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  36. Dear Gertie,

    I really understand the concerns of Anonymous, especially since he / she refers to cosmetic preparations and health, which is in an issue I am deeply concerned with.
    However, fashion magazines make a living of these sponsors. Maybe one day you will rise to fame so that you can make a living of this blog, but I suppose that for now, you won't. And that this means you will be able to keep an opinion of your own.

    I even hope that you will only choose sponsors for advertising that you have a high esteem of, since I expect you to only want to praise what you like, and not have it the other way around (i.e. praising someone because they are now your sponsor). That said, I hope you will have the strength to voice your opinion if there happens to be a product by your sponsors that you don't like that much. And that, if this has an influence on your relationship with the sponsor, you will have the strength to break it rather than to give in.

    My main concern is that you keep blogging, because I love your blog. And if you will have sponsors, I can rest assured that you will keep doing your best!

    So my opinion is: go ahead with the advertising, but do not let it take over. The advertising should adjust to your blog and not the other way around.

    Good luck!

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  37. I love reading you posts, and has discovered some very nice blogs and etsy-sellers through them, so for me personally, I'm excited to see what sellers will meet your standards. I'm sure to find them interesting!
    Just one warning, that has nothing to do with integrety or the form of the blog; when one gets paid for a hobby, it easily becomes a little bit of work, and somedays therefore a must. I have a great hobby (dancing) that I get a small amount for, nothing near eunough to quit my day job. I truly love working with it, but sometimes, being paid does make it feel a bit more like work, a bit more of a must.

    So please, post because you want to, write what you want to, and don't let the small income push you into doing more than you feel like. I love your blog, and would be so very sad if it became one of life's negative "must" to you!

    Take care, of yourself and your lovely blog! And good luck with the sponsors =)

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  38. Go for it Gertie! Get some really great sponsors on board and I hope you get your Bernina very soon. Some of my favorite blogs have ads on them and those ads have been of great interest to me and I have found some other great sites and stores that I would have never found otherwise.

    I support you 100% in whatever decision you make and don't let the party poopers get you down.

    On a side note, why do the dissenters always post Anonymously? It's perfectly fine to have a different opinion, but I'm always surprised that these folks don't have enough grit to just post as themselves. FYI, if you get someone who posts anonymously often and they're a real hater you can easily trace them via their IP address. If you have any questions about this just ask your ISP and they'll give you all the details.

    Good luck, and I look forward to seeing some very cool ads on your site in the future!

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  39. I believe that the sponsors you select will be a good resource for finding good things, like shoes and fabric sources, which I have had trouble finding. I think that with the popularity of your blog, you are probably paying more and more for bandwidth, and it is only fair that your blog should earn you at least some of that expense. Your time is also valuable, and I for one appreciate the investment that you put into this blog.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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