This is my last month of accepting sponsors on Betsy Transatlantically. As you know, the decision to start offering sponsorships to other bloggers didn't come easily; I was well aware that blogs often change when they monetize and not always for the better. But, as I said back in June, I was committed to offering "a program that stayed true to the kind of blogging I enjoy and that respected the kind of blogging that you expect to see on this blog." (I feel really conceited quoting myself like that. Sorry.) And I think I have done that. I'm really proud of the bloggers who have joined me here and, in equal measure, I'm so honored by how you've welcomed them. It's made me all warm and funny to see people connecting here, which has been the best reward for trying something new.
I expected to have to make an effort to keep the spirit of this blog the same regardless of monetization - actually, that was pretty easy. However, I didn't expect to have to consciously maintain my pre-sponsorship attitude towards blogging When I started accepting sponsors, I started looking at other blogs and bloggers differently and, I'm ashamed to admit, often aggressively. It had nothing to do with me and it had nothing to do with my sponsors, but all of a sudden I felt like I was competing against bloggers working towards entirely different metrics, and the negativity that this brought on made me really uncomfortable. To be totally honest, that's what inspired my post on Defining Blogging Success - it was my way of reminding myself why I blog.
The other side of that coin, strangely, is that I had a hard time letting go of my sponsors. Most of the bloggers who participated in the program were girls I already had relationships with, and I'd want to promote them no matter our financial arrangement. The girls I didn't know before they emailed me - well, becoming friends with them felt so natural that I couldn't imagine not continuing to share their blogs and engage with them all over social media! In the end, I was afraid that future sponsorships might suffer because I couldn't compartmentalize what I was doing with the monetization and what I was doing with my relationships online.
So I think it goes without saying - though I'll say it anyway - that it's been an absolute joy to welcome the dozen blogs to my sidebar that have visited over the past six months. If any of you want to collaborate on anything in the future, please do email! I love these relationships; I just think that keeping things organic will be more productive for everyone involved.
But just because I'm not offering official sponsorships myself doesn't mean I'm getting out of the game entirely! I do plan to continue supporting my favorite blogs and so I'm delighted to be participating in Nicole's giveaway this month over on Treasure Tromp. Go forth and enter, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway