Why there is sponsored content on Someone’s Mum

Someone's Mum wither her daughter and her son, stroking a rabbit. Sponsored content allows her to spend more time with her family.

On the 26th of October, I received this comment on one of my blog posts:

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As I am sure many of my blogging colleagues, and, in fact, anyone with a social media account can understand, seeing an unexpectedly cruel and pejorative comment from an anonymous internet commenter can knock you for six.

It did me. I cried.

And then I started writing this.

There is now more sponsored content on Someone’s Mum, that’s true, and I want to explain my reasons.

In September, something happened that has not happened to me since I left university – I quit my job without a new one lined-up. The reasons for this are complicated and painful, but if you have read my post ‘Teaching: a family unfriendly profession’ and ‘Teaching: a break-up letter’ then you may have some idea.

Last year, I was struggling desperately to cope with a new baby, a new autism diagnosis for my three-year-old son and a career that made demands I found impossible to meet. I was treated for anxiety with medication and therapy.

I was despairing and broken. There was no way to continue and remain happy, whole.

But I had a blog that was doing extremely well. Offers were flooding in every day for things to review, content to write for others. So I handed in my notice, and for six months I worked incredibly hard. I built my social media, I developed contacts, I made sure I was self-hosted and built my DA and my Tots 100 ranking. Many may not know what these things are, but for a blogger they are some of the ways that success can be measured. I also measured my success by the wonderful and supportive comments I saw every day.

And I took a deep, deep breath (because taking risks is not something that comes easily to me) and I started blogging as a career.

I can stay at home with the children. I have more time to support them, play with them. I can support my husband more, who is still a teacher and must cope with the demands that I remember so well.

It’s tough. I don’t know if we will make the mortgage money one week to the next. But I LOVE writing (even the sponsored content – I would write about anything, all day. It is my passion), I LOVE staying at home with my children in these fleeting years, when they need me the most. I LOVE supporting my son more and being able to take him to his autism therapies and assessments without a SHRED of guilt that I have left year 11 with cover work.

I love not feeling sick with remorse because I have barely seen my children for forty-eight hours straight. I love NEVER having to let someone else look after my poorly babies ever again.

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But most of all, I love being happy. I love being me. I love discarding the awful sense of dread and anxiety that has pervaded my every waking moment for five years.

For this new lease of life to be possible, I have taken on more sponsored content and reviews. I don’t make much. But is it working. Just.

In truth, I am writing just as many personal posts as I was before. It looks like there are fewer, but that’s just because I am writing a lot more in general. As writing is now my only career, my only income, of course this would be true.

I will not apologise for writing sponsored content. It has done something wonderful for me, something I never thought could happen in those dark, dark months over the last few years: it has made me happy in all areas of my life.

Work. Family. Creativity. Relationships.

Therefore, if you are a genuine supporter of my blog, if you have read my posts and felt moved or inspired, I would like to ask for your continued support. If I write about something that you are not interested in, it is easy to avoid that content.

But rather than condemn me for making a living by doing something I love, just move past those posts and read the ones you find interesting – they are still there.

And to anyone else thinking of criticising another, in the real world or the virtual, just think for a second before you do. Do you know the whole story? It is helpful? Is it kind? Are your motivations for commenting unselfish?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then maybe consider keeping quiet.

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51 Comments

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  1. 4
    Kelly

    Well done you! I have just left my job too, as work, mental health, children and autism don’t really mix too well! I am hoping to up my writing and maybe even monetise my blog soon as I know it will be useful and I don’t claim benefits. I have, however, set up a new blog to do this so that I can still write ‘personal’ posts about my daughter in my first blog. At the end of the day, if you don’t like someone’s blog, don’t read it! Simple! No need for thoughtless comments. Keep writing! x

  2. 6
    Nicki

    I#E admire you so much 🙂 I like the bit where you have put “Is it helpful? Is it kind?” I think your so strong for handling a negative comment like this and I understand where you are coming from completely, I didn’t return to my teaching job after my 2nd child, financially it’s a struggle but I have been able to stay at home with my 2nd child, whereas with my first from 10 months old she was in a day nursery full time. I have recently completed an online course in blogging and network management, and here we were given details on how to monetize our blogs, I hope to do the same soon, this is something that your are extremely good at and I find ALL of your posts helpful 🙂 x x x

    • 7
      Someone's Mum

      Thank you so much. Writing was the only way I could work it out without just feeling rubbish for the rest of the day. But your kind comments have made all the difference. Good luck with making the move to monetising with your blog too. xx

  3. 8
    Jenny - Monkey and Mouse

    Very well put Danielle! It’s hard to find the balance between work and home life so it’s no wonder that you left work and turned blogging into a career. I think you are an a
    amazing person and have a fantastic blog that is well balanced between parenting posts and sponsored content, why shouldn’t you use your talents to pay the bills! Xx

  4. 9
    Nadia - ScandiMummy

    I have always loved your blog for it’s writing and secondly for your insight. I can easily see beyond the word ‘sponsored’ as it’s clear you poor all your passion, creativity and thought into every single posts. As a fellow blogger who also make a living from my work I know the fears and I’m sorry that someone knocked you with their comment, but you have risen above it and explained yourself in such a heartfelt way that you now more than ever deserve our support and we are lucky to read your work, sponsored or otherwise. xxx

    • 10
      Someone's Mum

      Thank you so much for such kind words That has made me feel so much better. I very much enjoy your blog too, sponsored or otherwise!

  5. 11
    Kate Tunstall

    Very eloquently written – you’ve perfectly summed up why all we bloggers do what we do. It’s a shame you felt it necessary to do so, but I’ve no doubt your true champions will continue reading as before. X

    • 12
      Someone's Mum

      I replied to this but it hasn’t shown up?! I edited the typo for you! Happens to the best of us. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  6. 13
    Rachel Bustin

    No one should be made to feel guilty for what they have written or what they put on there OWN blog. That comment is very rude in my opinion. If they felt that way they don’t have to come back and read your blog. Blogs grow in many different ways. People nowadays have to earn a few pennies from somewhere just to put food on the table. I accept sponsored posts on my blog quite often just to help us get by.

    Keep going, your blog is fantastic! xx

    • 16
      Someone's Mum

      Haha! Predictive text is the bane of my life too, as someone who is obsessed with not making any mistakes because everyone knows I was an English teacher! Thanks so much for your kind words and support. It has really cheered me up.

  7. 18
    Mandi - Hex Mum plus 1

    It’s such a shame that you even feel that you need write this post, you do not have to explain yourself to anyone, each post that is written whether it be just your daily life or a sponsored post is still you, it’s just that some of them have a link to another place, do we ever hear anyone refusing to buy a magazine because it has adverts in ?
    Ignore any negative comments and to those that feel the need to leave something negative, think about your actions, my grandma used to say if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all, family for me takes priority over everything, and as a mum of a recently diagnosed son with asd, I totally understand it all, I too gave up my job in July because the children will always need me more than I need the extra money from the job, and if we can both get a little extra money doing what we love then its a bonus that should be celebrated, not criticised xxx

    • 19
      Someone's Mum

      Thanks so much for such a thoughtful comment. The writing did help me feel better about it at least! I wish you every success too.

  8. 20
    Nicola

    I’m sorry you had to receive that comment, I think you have made it so clear in your response why you do what you do but it’s frustrating that you have to explain yourself. My husband is a teacher and I know all about the pressure and ridiculous work load that comes with it. You have been so brave to quit and go full steam ahead with your blog and I greatly admire you for it. I genuinely wish you all the success in the world. As for the haters, there will always be jealous and insecure people who want to bring you down, but this post shows you can rise above it and come out a stronger person.

  9. 22
    Plutonium Sox

    What a totally pointless comment for somebody to leave. If you don’t like what someone is posting on their blog then don’t read it, find another blog that you prefer. But there’s really no need to say something unpleasant. At the end of the day it’s your blog and you do what’s right for you and your family. Keep going, you’re doing an amazing job.
    Nat.xx

  10. 24
    Beth @ Twinderelmo

    I wish you hadn’t had to write this but I’m glad you did. It’s SO easy to jump to a conclusion and criticise but as said above, this is YOUR blog. YOU are providing for YOUR family. I think what you’ve achieved in such a short space of time is amazing and you should hold your head high. No one is forcing anyone to read every post; if you don’t like a post, don’t read it. Simples! Keep doing what you are doing and be proud xx

    • 25
      Someone's Mum

      Thanks so much Beth. I know I overreact to things and shouldn’t have to explain myself but I just feel so much better now I have!

  11. 27
    Mark

    I’m wondering how hard it would have been to just click away, or scroll past the sponsored content that they don’t like, compared to writing out that message to you.

    They actually went the extra mile to drag you down, rather than just shrug and carry on with their day.

    That’s not someone you want to take too seriously 🙂 Luckily, after the initial (sorry, but typically woman-like) cry, you’re back up and running, shrugging it off!

    Keep doing what you want to do, it’s working!

    • 28
      Someone's Mum

      I cry way more than even your average weepy woman. I always have and I know I should let it wash over me but some days I am more successful at that than others! Thanks so much for the support and taking the time to comment.

    • 30
      Someone's Mum

      Thanks so much. I know I shouldn’t have to justify myself really, but I do feel better having done it! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  12. 31
    MindfulMummyMission

    An extremely valid a delinquent response to at best an extremely clumsily written comment and at worst a nasty dig. I’m so sorry you cried. I am a teacher and totally understand the decisions you take. Good luck with Continuing to build the blog even more X

  13. 33
    the frenchie mummy

    Your blog, you do whatever you want! If this person really enjoyed your blog,then they would have known about your situation with teaching and therefore understood why you did more sponsored posts! I am new and I know it! You can’t please everyone at all times and to be honest, I think you did right to leave teaching. I have just been refused a UPS because of my maternity leave and I am gutted when I know all I gave them over the last 5 years… Sorry a very personal comment but basically, do what you really want! Review, sponsored posts, if you are a good writer and you put effort into it, it’s always good to read! x

    • 34
      Someone's Mum

      I read your post about the promotion and it’s so unfair. I have experienced it too and I really think that teaching is losing so many good people because it is becoming impossible to manage with a family, and be happy and healthy too. Thanks so much for the support and for taking the time to comment.

  14. 35
    The Mum Reviews

    It’s very brave to make blogging a career and you are fabulous at it. The internet is full of people who are happy to be mean while they hide behind the screen. But luckily the mum blog community is incredibly supportive of each other. You keep writing about whatever you like, both sponsored and not, and don’t let the haters get you down xx

  15. 39
    Ali Duke

    I say good for you. Why someone would put you down for trying to provide for your family is beyond me. Keep doing what you are doing to be there for your babies.
    I too hope that one day I will be able to give up my job and blog for income instead.

  16. 40
    Hannah Atkinson

    I love this post so much. You have made a massive decision for your precious family for the right reasons. People enjoy hearing about your experiences but if you continued to work elsewhere, the likelihood is that you might struggle to maintain your blog however as you say, you are writing as many personal posts as you did before, you are just writing more. You still write with a great voice, no matter the content. I’m considering monetising and worry that I may come across this too x

  17. 41
    Sarah (@tamingtwins)

    What a well written and considered post Danielle. I’m intrigued as to how that commenter thinks bloggers make a living to support the hours and hours we spend crafting, checking, editing, promoting. What a mean spirited attitude to your success for your hard work. Keep at it lady, you’re doing a grand job.

  18. 44
    Geraldine

    Congratulations for speaking out and saying how you feel. I think the majority of bloggers will support you. You are doing a great job for you and your family and your creativity. There will always be haters but we have to rise above them. I too have started writing more reviews and sponsored posts because these posts are giving me the opportunity to build my blog and one day make it my career just like you. Congratulations on your Blog and for making it a success.

  19. 47
    Emma (Upside Mum)

    I don’t know why people would think it’s acceptable to tell you what they think you should be writing. What a brave and wise decision you’ve made too. It’s important to know what’s best for you and your family. I love reading your blog. Keep up all the good work and do what you want/need to do. Good luck x

  20. 48
    EmmaT

    This is a well written piece.

    But I’m going to go against the grain and say I don’t think it was a rude comment. Ok, so maybe they could have added that they understand why you might have done it, but surely it’s someone giving a reason for why they might not be enjoying your blog anymore and.why you might lose a reader or few. I don’t read your blog regularly enough to see all the reviews and sponsored content. But if it’s noticeable to readers who’ve been put off, maybe it’s a sign that the sponsored content needs to be more woven into daily life rather than a standout. Maybe your personal posts are very personal and the sponsored stuff jars against it as an extreme (example, I don’t know if that’s true).

    I’ve told another blogger I’m friend a with that I don’t read their blog as much as I used to and its exactly that reason. Her blog is her job too. I read the blog for personal posts and I find that their reviews aren’t written as well as the others, they can just whipped out and plonked on without taking care to make it fit. It sometimes feels like there s 5 sponsored pieces to 1 personal which takes away what the original readers enjoyed. I didnt write it on the blog though, i mentioned it directly. Other people I do read more of their sponsored content because it fits better or is relevant. Yes someone can gloss over the find the posts, but if reviews are every other post that puts me off. Ok I’m the one that has to adapt or avoid, but it does give a good indication of what readers want and as a blogger, especially a professional one, you need to work out the balance of pleasing as many people as possible.

    I think maybe bloggers can be a bit sensitive about their blogs given it’s their baby and often their profession, but think of it like customer service. Is a customer not allowed to comment and feedback?

    Good.lucl with making your blog work for your family

  21. 50
    Leanne Cornelius

    Wonderfully written Danielle. You are a fab blogger and you deserve to be able to make money doing what you love.
    Whatever path you go down in life you can never keep everyone happy, so long as you and yours are happy that is all that matters – ignore the rest.

  22. 51
    Cherry Newby

    A fabulously written post Danielle! I know exactly where you are coming from – I too love writing and I would love, one day, to be able to call myself a professional blogger. I get that some people don’t understand it and just make assumptions that we have all the time in the world to write an online blog as a hobby, but that is their problem not ours! Your blog is brilliantly written and full of great content! Definitely just ignore comments like that – from one teacher to another – remember the 99% wonderful comments and ignore the 1% who are negative (great advice for blogging and for parents’ evenings!!) x

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