Recently, I’ve had a surge of people emailing me, looking to send us “sponsored articles”. The idea is simple. We publish an article that is basically an advert, with a link to whatever the hell it is they’re selling. And they’d pay us money to do so. Now, we don’t get that many reviews, but clearly we are doing something that is making people want to get in touch. However, so far, I’ve turned down every single offer.
Because, well, several reasons.
Firstly, let’s actually look at the costs.
Ever since we moved to SPUF.org, I’ve been paying for the Daily SPUF’s hosting and domain name out of my pocket. But I don’t mind, because I cover the costs with my own real-life work. The Daily SPUF over the years has changed from something community-run, into basically my own personal project. The way I see it, I’m quite happy to continue paying for the Daily SPUF because I can afford to and should be able to do so in the future.
And frankly, I don’t see why anyone else should pay for all the trash I write.
I should point out however that there is a difference between writing a review and a random sponsor. It’s still technically advertising, but at the same time I’m giving my own honest opinion whether the game or movie I am review is good or bad or not and whether I’d recommend it. I’m also not paid for my reviews, so eh.
I also don’t want to piss you off with adverts.
Simply put, I fucking hate adverts. Always have, ever since I was young. I was a pretty early adopter when it came to getting ad-blockers for browsers. Of course, if there’s a site I genuinely like, I’ll turn my ad-blocker off, but most of the time, I don’t want or need to. And since I hate adverts, it would be hypocritical of me to subject you to adverts as well. But on top of that, adverts pay so damn little that I might as well not bother. You get like 1 cent per click if you’re lucky, and you can’t “cash out” until you’ve normally made like $10 or something. Me putting adverts on my website is basically just allowing Google or whoever to make free money off me.
The same applies to sponsored adverts. Youtube creators in particular are doing sponsored sections for tons of big companies, like crappy headphone sellers, a billion nearly-identical VPNs and whatever money-saving app is currently trying to make itself popular. If anything though, sponsored sections are even worse, because the content creators themselves are DOING EXTRA WORK FOR THESE COMPANIES. Since they have to make the adverts themselves.
Just like adverts, you have to do tons of extra work for sponsored sections, for very little personal gain.
That being said, pretty much all the people who have approached me looking for sponsored articles have seemed sketchy.
I’m not going to name names. Because that would be free advertising. But every single email I’ve gotten has looked… iffy. Especially the casino that wanted to offer me $200, even after I told them that we host quite a few anti-gambling articles. Most of these potential sponsors seem somewhat normal but unwilling to give me all the information or even be clear what they want.
The weird thing is though, they always stop replying after a while. Alright, I expected the correspondence written in Russian to not reply when I responded to them in Greek, but everyone else stops as well. Especially when I ask them one of two things: how much they want to pay and what they want to advertise. It’s really weird.
But even if I was guaranteed to make money, I still wouldn’t do it.
Mainly because I don’t want to seem like a sell out. I’d much rather have everything under my own control and be able to write what I want. And, at the same time, I don’t want to be linked to anything sketchy.
If you want to donate to this blog or whatever, my recommendation is to not do so, and instead donate the money to a charity. Because charities could actually do with some money, you know?