Let’s Chat:: The Truth about Sponsored Blog Content

Let’s Chat:: The Truth about Sponsored Blog Content

When I talk to my friends about sponsored blog content and all the opportunities that come along my way through Natbee’s, their questions are – what is sponsored blog content, how to get sponsored blog content and how much do you charge for it, something that Anastasia wrote about in the past HERE.

Being a blogger, or in my case, blogger’s assistant/blog’s contributor, is great for so many reasons! I create my own working hours and I choose what I want to post and when, turning me into my own boss which is great. I attend events in Edinburgh, meet other Edinburgh bloggers and get to do and see so many interesting things. But what is not so great is that there is not a steady income and with monthly rent payments and personal expenses, it’s extra important that I have a solid income, and I do that in a few ways: a) by having a full-time job, and b) by accepting sponsored content here at Natbee’s.

On today’s post, I thought I’d share how sponsored blog content works to take any confusion out of the game. Whether you are a blogger or not, I believe this might be of your interest. So, here it goes!

As you can tell, some of the posts here on the blog and on Natbee’s social media are #sponsored which allows us to make a living or, for me, an extra income. I help Anastasia running her social media, I take charge of the Natbee’s e-mail whenever Anastasia is away and I write the ‘Let’s Chat’ column every Monday for the past 2 years. Ultimately, I am Natbee’s employee and I am getting compensated for my services through money and gifts. But how does this work?

Very often, bloggers and Instagrammers take on sponsored blog content (albeit, lately the majority is being judged by their followers for not keeping their content authentic and real after having one #sponsored post after another), to financially support themselves and pay for the website expenses. Here, at Natbee’s, we try to post sponsored blog content three times per month maximum! What does this mean? The majority of the time, it means that a brand is paying to write about their products or services in a blog post and/or social media. Some other times, a brand might gift us a product or experience in exchange for a blog post. But this is generally the case with expensive products, for instance if someone sends a pair of boots, I will not be writing a blog post about them, but instead I will mention them on my Instagram and thank them for the gift. On this occasion, I will use the hashtag ‘gifted’, so that people know I was gifted the product but no payment has been received. In addition to all this, when a brand pays for a blog post, it is always mentioned at the bottom of the said post and we usually say something in the lines of ‘Thank you (insert brand name) for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are, as always, mine.‘ Similarly, on Natbee’s social media, I will include #ad and/or #sponsored. According to the ASA requirements, any blogger/Instagrammer who has received money in exchange for coverage should mention AD at the very front of their post, so if you see any post starting with an {AD}, for instance this one, then you know that compensation has been received and we are very clear about it from the beginning of the post.

Usually, we have pretty strict rules about what campaigns and blog sponsored content we take on. We receive loads of interesting e-mails weekly, however, we are very selective and we always keep our brand in mind before signing any contract. For use, the first and foremost rule is to promote only products that we’d actually like and pay for them ourselves. If a restaurant wants to work with us, we have to try the food first before we post about it and if a clothing brand wants to send us some products then, we have to try them on to check quality and fit before posting about them. If the said clothes or food does not work well for us, or the experience was bad, then we are under no obligation to post about it, so rest assure that whatever content you read here at Natbee’s, is something that we have truly loved and want you to try it too!

Last but not least, my friends always ask, how do brands get in touch to work with us. Anastasia has been blogging since 2007 and with a few blog nominations on our back we have an extended network of contacts who want to work with us and always let us know if there is an opportunity that our brand fits in. It’s a huge relief and a great advantage to have this list of contacts, but I personally, still sometimes tend to pitch for campaigns that will hopefully convert to sponsored blog content. In a way, I feel that sometimes I bring my own clients and work here at Natbee’s and that ultimately I take advantage of this popular platform that Anastasia built, instead of me crating my personal blog.

I think that just about covers everything you need to know about #sponsored social media tags and sponsored blog content! Let me know if you have any more questions I’m happy to answer them in the comments section below.



Joanne is an avid salsa dancer and instructor. She posts under the ‘Let’s Chat’ category about lifestyle advice and life in between Edinburgh, UK and Corfu, Greece. You can also find her Instagramming at @theedinburghlife
She loves salsa, good wine and colourful sunsets.

Find me on: Web | Twitter


  1. October 1, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    It’s super interesting to hear how this works for a blog contributor. Thank you for sharing!

    • October 2, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you Justina. A blog contributor is ultimately a blogger who is using an established work to publish her work and get out there. A great help for the Blog!

  2. October 2, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    Thank you for covering this Joanne. It is true that the majority of people do not understand how the blogging world works so it’s nice to chat about these things more often!

  3. Helen M
    October 2, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    This is so insightful! ]
    I’ve always wondered how bloggers work with brands. Thank you for shedding some light!

  4. Helen M
    October 2, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    This is so insightful! ]
    I’ve always wondered how bloggers work with brands. Thank you for shedding some light!

    • October 5, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Glad you liked it Helen 🙂 x

  5. Marina
    October 2, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing all these things with us. I hate it when bloggers post one giveaway after another on their inStagram, they completely lose their originality and I am so glad you touched on it xx

    • October 5, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      Thank you Marina, glad you liked it x

  6. Yiota
    October 2, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    This is super helpful for bloggers or not!! I rarely receive emails to get paid for posts, I usually receive skincare products and makeup in exchange for reviews!


    • October 5, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      I am glad you liked it Yiota! I used to be like this at the beginning of my blog too. People would only send me things to review, until I made a Media Kit and since then anyone approaching me to work with me I attach my Media Kit and they get the message 😉 You should be compensated for your time to promote their products/services on your website xx

  7. Nina
    October 2, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    This was very interesting to read. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Nina’s Style Blog

    • October 5, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      I am glad you liked it Nina 🙂

    • October 5, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you Yvonne! So glad you liked it x

  8. Nina Faulkner
    October 2, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    I loved this!!!! Now I will know the difference when I see an ad or gifted on Instagram, thank you for sharing x

  9. Ella
    October 2, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, I didn’t know the difference between an AD or sponsored on Instagram and I’ve always been wondering why some people have ‘AD’ before the caption and some at the end…Ummm

    • October 5, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      No problem at all Emma, loads of people confused it before, thus, Joanne came on the rescue with this post x

  10. October 2, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    This was really interesting to read from a contributor perspective. I feel like the concept of sponsorships is still misunderstood by a lot of people x


    • October 5, 2018 / 12:59 pm

      So true, I am glad you enjoyed it Sophie.x

  11. October 3, 2018 / 4:04 pm

    This is such a well-written piece! I think people can get confused about what sponsored content is- and what that means for a blogger. I am like you guys- I try to be as transparent as possible and only say yes to projects that make sense for my brand!

    Le Stylo Rouge

    • October 5, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      I know right? When I was travelling this summer on a press trip, even though I mentioned I was on a press trip and expected people to understand what that means, some got confused and messaged me asking if I was getting paid or if the hotel was comped and so on. So, I figured asking JOanne to write this article would be good to clear some things!

    • October 5, 2018 / 12:47 pm

      Thanks Radi! I am glad you enjoyed it!

  12. October 4, 2018 / 6:41 am

    Very informative post and such lovely tips! I do find it important too to always declare whether the article is sponsored or not.

    xx Simone

    • October 5, 2018 / 12:26 pm

      You are very right Simone. I think it is really important to declare at the beginning of a post if it is sponsored or not so that readers know if compensation has been provided x

  13. October 4, 2018 / 8:46 am

    Such a great post and I think that transparency is one of the main things while blogging . 🙂
    As I think that the readers definitely want to know the truth and there are lots of bloggers and instagrammers out there not marking while publishing advertisement which “destroys” a bit the job of ours…



    • October 5, 2018 / 12:24 pm

      Sadly very much true Tina! I think things are slowly changing though…

  14. October 5, 2018 / 2:15 am

    Happy to see this information presented in such a straight forward, no-nonsense way. Thank you!

    • October 5, 2018 / 12:24 pm

      Thank you Megan. It’s not discussed that often and I know some people keep it hush hush, so I am very glad people liked Joanne’s article 🙂

  15. October 5, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    I see you are a pro and I appreciate it that you share here your knowledge!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

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