biz ladiesLife & Business

biz ladies: online etiquette and ethics (part 2)

by Grace Bonney

Last week, I dove into re-living our Alt Summit panel on Blogging Etiquette bit by bit. I got pretty in depth covering Part 1: Comments, Copying and Crediting and wrote over 4,000 words, so today I’ll do my best to be as concise as possible* while covering our next series of topics.

Today I’m tackling Part 2: Submissions, Sponsorship, Giveaways & Freebies. This section of our panel had Joy, Emily and I offering our advice and experiences dealing with a wide range of topics, many of which we had differing opinions on. So these topics are definitely open for personal interpretation and feedback. I still struggle with some of these on a daily basis, so I’m most curious to see what YOU guys have to say about today’s topic. Blogging has changed so much since I started six years ago, and some of these topics, while once considered controversial (sponsorship and advertising) are now totally commonplace. So I’m excited to see how all of you see these topics affecting your blogs or your experience with reading blogs. I hope you’ll chime in with your ideas and issues, and as always, I’m happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you have about these topics. So, let’s dive in and discuss the etiquette and ethics behind Submissions, Sponsorship, Giveaways & Freebies. xo, grace

*Sorry, I failed. Today’s post is over 3,000 words. Hopefully we can fill the comments section with 3,000 of YOUR words and get a mix of opinions, thoughts and ideas here. Stay tuned next week for the final installment: Contributors, Collaboration and — my favorite — Social Networking Etiquette.

CLICK HERE for the full post after the jump!

Today’s topic is a bit more wide ranging, covering everything from submitting your work (or blog) to other blogs to handling the freebies and perks that come with blogging. I’m going to start with submissions because this topic is one that Emily, Joy and I agreed unanimously about and sailed through pretty smoothly (with most audience members agreeing on the ideas we discussed, as well).


Reaching out to other bloggers can be one of the best and worst aspects of being a blogger. Though it’s exciting to make a new connection and have your work shared on someone else’s site, it can also be intimidating. What do you say? What if they don’t write back? Do you email everyone at once? We all agreed that our perfect version of a submission would cover these bases:

WHO: A friendly blogger, designer, artist or reader
WHAT: A personal email tailored to the individual blogger you’re contacting
WHEN: No more than once a week (unless agreed upon by the blogger you’re contacting)
WHERE: Email (not Twitter or Facebook unless requested by the blogger you’re contacting)
WHY: To announce a new product, new blog, new blog column or new event that is relevant to the blog you’re contacting

Reaching out to a blogger is like shaking someone’s hand at a cocktail party. What would you say to them then? Would you spill your life’s story and beg them to help you with something? Nope. You’d be short, sweet, polite and friendly. And that’s how submissions should be. Bloggers at all phases of their blogging lives get tons of email, so keep your emails short and to the point. Our panel all agreed that a few paragraphs would do the job.

But before you write, you have to decide to whom you’re writing. And this was something that I was thrilled to see consensus on among my blogging panel colleagues: exclusivity matters. I’ve heard people say all sorts of nasty things behind my back about how my desire not to repeat content that’s been featured on other sites is snobby and elitist. But the fact of the matter is that most of us really care about and love our readers, and we want to give them something new and exciting as often as possible. And that’s a HUGE priority for me and for many of my fellow bloggers. So we really appreciate when someone emails one blogger at a time, giving her or him the chance to “debut” or “break” a new story, rather than emailing 20 of us at once.

Bottom line: Email one blogger at a time, starting with your favorite and working down a short list of sites you’d love to be featured on. Don’t hear from your first choice after a week? Move on down the list.

Pitfall to avoid: Lying about previous coverage. Most bloggers within a niche talk to each other and know who emailed whom. So while you may think that it’s clever to say you’re brand new if you’re not, it’s always better to be honest and work with us to find a unique angle on your product or story.

Once you’ve decided whom to target, you have to know what to write. We all agreed that short, personal emails that are, above all, RELEVANT TO THE BLOGGER AT HAND were the best. We didn’t care as much about long stories and perfect pitches as we did about emails that felt real and like we were having a conversation with an artist or designer who took the time to get to know what our blogs cover.

Note: Sometimes people think being a one-man or one-woman show seems weaker or less professional. But it’s not. Bloggers love to support and celebrate independent designers, so don’t feel the need to pull out the “we” card or write in the third-person to sound professional. It can feel forced if it’s not genuine, so feel free to say that you’re the owner, designer and PR person all rolled into one. We can totally relate.

Pitfall to avoid: Always address your email to the blogger’s real name and spell it correctly. If you can’t find one, it’s okay to address the blog by its name, but most people have a contact page. Use it frequently to get the correct address and see their comment policy.

Once you’ve written an email, what should you include in it? We all agreed that with today’s crazy email loads, something easy and fast to read is best. A handful of simple, low-res JPEGS is all we need. No fancy links, Flash sites, PDFs, slideshows or PowerPoints — just something easy and quick to load. Keep in mind that bloggers often check submissions on their phones, so if you have a Flash site, you might miss out on someone who often works while traveling.

Now that you’ve got your blogger, your message and your attachments sorted out, you’re ready to reach out to people. Don’t be afraid to email the “biggest” blogs you love — most blogs are run by one or more totally normal people who are happy to answer emails and talk to people. You may not hear back from everyone right away (or at all), but remember that it’s all about taking that chance. Maybe your favorite blogger will turn out to be someone with whom you have a lot in common, so don’t miss out on the chance to have your work/blog get the attention it deserves and possibly make a new friend in the process.*

*I’ve found almost all of my editors and many of my close friends via emails that related to Design*Sponge. A simple, personal email can be one of the strongest tools in your business arsenal.


Okay, let’s dive into the stickier stuff: Sponsorship, Giveaways and Freebies. This may sound like all the great perks of blogging to some of you, but I distinctly remember a time when I started blogging back in 2005, and these were nasty words that got you snarky emails from readers who felt you’d sold out. I remember the “I’m an Ad-Free Blog” craze that went around (and all the mean emails I got for having ads on my site), and it felt like it all died down after about a year when a lot of people realized that there were ways to sell advertising without selling your soul.

Joy, Emily and I defined sponsorship in a few areas: advertising, sponsored posts, sponsor-supported content and sponsor-supported trips/events. Before I address the details, let me stress one thing: All of us agreed that these decisions are entirely personal and subjective for each blogger. There is no “right” or “wrong” amount of ad banners, giveaways, etc. to have on your blog, as long as you are transparent about sponsorship.

The stickiest part about all the ways in which blogs can sponsor things today is that they can be misleading to readers. And we all agreed that it’s our job as bloggers to GIVE our readers the choice to care or not care about ads, sponsorship, etc. If you don’t reveal what’s sponsored on your site, you make that choice for your readers, and that can damage the trust you have with them. So above all, let people know what is sponsored. You can gauge by your gut (and the public) reaction as to whether or not it feels like something that’s right or “too much” for your site.

Okay, now that transparency is out of the way, let’s get into details:

Advertising is pretty straightforward these days: banner ads, ads in-between posts and ads in Twitter feeds. People are all over the map in terms of what they feel is too much or too little. But the bottom line is to remember why you started your blog. Was it solely to make money? Probably not. So should you be spending ALL of your free time worrying about ads and ad clients? Probably not. Find a level of sponsorship that allows you to focus as much of your time as possible sharing your voice through content. When you find yourself spending too much time dealing with ad requests and worrying about ad dollars, you’re taking away from the time you spend on the voice of your site, and that’s what keeps your readers around. Ads are so commonplace that they can disappear to your readers; no matter how much time you spend carefully choosing them (which is a great thing to do, by the way), your readers are always going to notice CONTENT first. So make sure content is still the focus of your site and workday.

Sponsored posts and sponsor-supported content are slightly different. The first is something that an advertiser buys and for which they supply you with text or tell you what sort of post to write. Assuming it’s clearly marked as “sponsored,” it’s an FTC-sanctioned way to make money, and it’s up to each blogger to decide how they feel about doing it. I don’t do sponsored posts on D*S, but Emily at Once Wed has had great success with them because they offer her current advertisers a way to bump up their presence on her site and provide her readers with more valuable resources for wedding vendors.

Tip: Most audience members at our panel and our panel members agreed that no matter how many sponsored posts you do, make sure they’re always spaced out between non-sponsored posts. So if you want to do several a day, make sure they’re sandwiched between original posts that you aren’t “paid” to write, so to speak. If you find that you have to write more and more posts to sandwich-in the paid posts, that may be a sign that it’s time to cut back on the number of sponsored posts you do.

Sponsor-supported content is something that’s done on a more custom basis between you and a company. Maybe they supply materials for a DIY project or snacks for a party, or they want to have their brand associated with a column you do. This sort of brand association isn’t always clearly labeled as “sponsored,” so much as labeled as “brought to you by” or “supported by,” meaning they provided a monetary donation but didn’t necessarily dictate what you say in the post. I love these types of arrangements because they let you get to know a company well and find a way to creatively align your two brands’ missions. This can be a great way to support costlier content ventures (like video series, etc.), but the bottom line is to always be transparent about when a post, party, video or other aspect of your content is supported or provided by a sponsor.


One quick note that I forgot- affiliate programs are an example of profiting from an editorial mention. The FTC requires that all bloggers divulge that they’re paid for any editorial mention so be sure to disclose that an Amazon links, etc that you’re profiting from are part of an affiliate program. It can be as simple as saying “You can pick up a copy of the book here in my affiliate shop” or just a disclaimer at the bottom of those posts that say “All Amazon links on [this blog] are part of our affiliate shop”.


This topic was a mini-hotbed of controversy at Alt. I listened to a fantastic panel on advertising with Erin, Maggie and Liz, and they were split two to one about whether or not giveaways were something that should be paid for by the company giving something away. I personally feel that you should never give away editorial space (which is what a giveaway is) for free, even if it gives your readers a free necklace, etc. It’s a nice way to boost traffic and give people a gift, but in the long run, it can be equally valuable to “give back” to your readers by dedicating more time to original content and fun ideas. But of course, there’s no reason you can’t do both. Here are some things to think about when it comes to giveaways:

1. They can be a traffic-building catch-22. Yes, they give you a surge in instant “gimme gimme” traffic from people just looking for free things. But those readers often only stick around if you KEEP giving them free things. So avoid doing so many giveaways that your readers come to expect them or feel like they’re owed them.

2. Giveaways, like sponsored posts, are best spaced out. If you’re doing a few giveaways a week, make sure you’re spacing them out between original, non-giveaway content. Blogs that build lasting loyalty with readers tend to do so through their voices, not giveaways, contests or gimmicks. At the end of the day, people want to get to know YOU. And they do that when they hear from you, not a sponsor.

3. Giveaways should be worth the cost of the precious editorial space you’re giving them. Maybe you do a special small giveaway every now and then, but is a full-post space on your site only worth the cost of a $20 pillow? Probably not. Today’s blogs are so busy with ads, flashing buttons, Twitter feeds, blogrolls, RSS feeds and other distractions that your editorial section is the one place where your voice can shine through loud and clear. Respect that space, and your readers will respect you. Choose your giveaways wisely, and make sure they’re worth your time and your blog’s space.

4. To pay or not to pay. Erin and Maggie both agreed that giveaways should cost the giver the gift itself in ADDITION to a fee for hosting the giveaway. I agree (see number 3 above), but Liz thought that, for the most part, if you were working with a small, independent artist, there was no harm in not charging for them. So when deciding whether or not to charge for giveaways, consider a few things:

  • Is it a company that could normally afford to advertise with you (like a national box store)? If so, they can probably afford to pay for that editorial space that they’re getting for the cost of a pillow.
  • Is that company a small indie seller or Etsy shop owner? Maybe they can’t afford to advertise, but giving away a small piece is something that would be a big help for them. Liz felt this was a great way to use giveaways — letting artists with smaller budgets give away something in exchange for exposure.*

*I am pretty protective about my editorial space on D*S, so we make sure giveaways are few and far between (and valuable when we do them). That said, I recognize the limited budgets of indie artists who can’t afford them. So if you’d prefer to charge but don’t want to edge out those indie artists, consider offering them some sort of ad sales discount, so they can still advertise with you but maybe at a smaller ad size or lower location on the site that suits their budget. There are always ways to help our indie artists if you think creatively about your needs and theirs.


Oh man, I was the old lady dinosaur of the panel when it came to the topic of freebies. Freebies are often the perks that most writers and bloggers get excited about, but I shun them like the plague. Mostly because I was taught not tot take them when I worked at my newspaper and magazine jobs, and I always want to make sure I stay as impartial as I can when it comes to covering things. That said, there’s no reason for everyone to be as puritanical as I am about occasional gifts, discounts or free items.

Joy and Emily both agreed that gifts offered AFTER a post was written were fair, as long as they didn’t affect the post or future posts and especially when the gifts are small and not of significant value. The same goes for press discounts or discounts given after the fact, as long as they aren’t so significant that you’re expected to do some sort of future post based on that gift.

As with sponsorship, if someone gifts you something that you end up writing about, it’s always important to note in the post that it was a free gift/product sent to you for review. Most readers won’t have any problem with this (it’s common practice in the beauty and fashion blog scene), and disclosing gifts means you’re being honest with your readers, which is what’s most important at the end of the day.

Pitfall to avoid: Not declaring gifts of large monetary value. Gifts are considered taxable income if they’re of a sizable value, so be sure to check with your accountant about the laws in your state. Small gifts are not a problem, but if a company buys you a car, home or expensive vacation (lucky), you may need to declare it.

One of the questions people asked me about after our panel was how to politely turn down gifts, free samples, etc. from designers. The answer is to send the same short, sweet email we discussed earlier. Most business owners are people just like you trying to be kind and do their job, so just thank them for their kind offer and explain your gifting policy. Most business owners will understand and respect your decision. If they really, really insist on doing something as a thank you, come up with a creative way to give back to your readers or people in need. They can make a donation to a charity in your name if they really want to thank you, or perhaps they can give your readers something interesting or sponsor a contest that benefits your readers in a valuable way. Use that positive interaction and offer as a way to open the door to a long-lasting relationship that can result in opportunities or content that is beneficial for all your readers.

Today’s topics are definitely forming, changing and shifting under our blogging feet as we speak, so I’m curious to know your feelings about these issues and how you’ve handled them or feel about them in general. The more we all discuss these topics and know how people feel, the better we can handle them when and if they turn tricky, or if we need help or advice from each other one-on-one. See you in the comments section! xo, grace

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  • grace,

    holy fast response batman! you’re good. :) thanks for the suggestion- i can see how this can get tricky at some point, so i’ll definitely plan to implement a policy about the duration of their spot and all that. thanks again! -dacia

    • haha- you caught me while i was in here publishing comments ;)

      i really think what you’re doing is super sweet and a very generous thing to do. i definitely don’t want to discourage it, i just want to make sure you’re protected from the unfair, but sometimes inevitable, backlash that comes from changing or removing a freebie people are given.


  • yes, i appreciate it! i read your other summary from the alt summit and learned some really useful tips. someone made a comment suggesting you make a book of the biz ladies series… i agree! i’ve already envisioned myself making a blog entry with a picture of me holding the book with a really excited smile. :) -dacia

  • Like many of the commenters here, I am also a new blogger. I’ve been looking to the big guys to see how photo crediting is “supposed” to be done. Seems that even some of the more established blogs aren’t getting it right. Thanks to having read this post, I can no longer claim to be ignorant.

  • Excellent.

    Also. Another dinosaur here. No freebies. (though from a blogger or two who have become personal friends, yes…but I don’t do giveaways, etc. & they already knew that before sending me a bday gift, etc.)

  • Dear Design Sponge and readers…
    I feel I have lied when I said I removed my ad for accepting ads from businesses…it seems wordpress has placed ads on my site and I never even knew it!!!! they don’t show up when you’re logged in..it was sorta by accident that I discovered the ads….I make no money from these ads…some posts have 6 ads on them, what a shock…I’m now looking into my options to get a little more control of my blog…
    sorry if this has been a little confusing for your readers, as some of them have come to my blog via my previous comment about no-ads…
    thank-you for understanding…

  • Grace and Victoria:
    Victoria, I appreciated reading your comments. Transparancy and full disclosure seem to be the new buzz words even in the interior design field. I recently attended a seminar at the Design Center about how to conduct business in this New World Economy and the main theme was full disclosure (being upfront about pricing for services and products and disclosing our trade discounts to clients) – that being upfront and honest with clients and gaining their trust is the way to sucessfully run a business and to have a happy client.

  • Grace,
    With regard to the backstabbing comment about being elitest. When I was reading your post, all I could answer was, “seriously?” Someone seriously was that catty? I think that you set the bar high for all of us – as a new blogger, everytime I read Design Sponge, I’m impressed and often blown away with your content. How can you be snobby or elitest when you have created one of the greatest “free” online resources – Biz Ladies? I think you and your Design Sponge team set the standard as being the best – the most ethical, professional and the most creative – and yes, you stand apart from all of the Kate Spade and Elle Decor posts out there!

    With regards to advertising and giveaways, sponsorship. My head was spinning (new blogger that I am, who hasn’t really delved into that realm yet). This was fantastic information (I love that Kathe is sharing with her college students). From a reader’s perspective, I prefer to know that the author of a blog is promoting a product, another blog, service – because they love it – or recommend – not just because they’re being paid to write about it (so maybe the affiliate posts are what I’d tune into more). I saw a banner ad on a design blog for a grocery store brand air-freshener, and it kind of disheartened me and slightly discounted how I felt about this blog that I have enjoyed reading (bc I thought the blogger was environmental and green and the ad just didn’t seem to match the blog). I do like and discovering new businesses and resources in sidebars, but as it relates to the blog.

    • Cecilia

      Thank you so much for your kind compliment- that means so much to me and everyone here at D*S.

      I understand your feelings about related ads- that was something I was very, very strict about for years here at D*S. Unfortunately, it’ something that most of us have to be a little bit more lenient about as our operating costs grow, because ads like that are typically something you see when you work with Google Ads, etc. You can select which types of ads you’re willing to run, but often the advertisers don’t select the correct category for their ad and you end up with say, a political ad (which happened to us and was devastating for me) that is against what you stand for as a site. Sometimes ads like that slip through without the blogger’s knowledge or permission, and sometimes it’s just about being able to use the extra money that comes from larger campaigns to provide better content for readers. It’s a tough line to walk, but I can tell you from experience most of us are doing the best we can to make sure we run related ads as much as possible. :)


  • Grace,
    Good to know – about not being able to choose which types of ads show up – i.e. the air freshener one I saw on another site. I thought it was odd, but great to know that it may have not been that blogger’s choice. Thanks for the clarification – just goes to show, you shouldn’t judge…her content is excellent – and that’s what matters.

  • I’m so glad a few commentators are mentioning the not-insignificant problem of some bloggers using their position/audience to actively get free product from designers that don’t know any better (etiquette goes both ways after all). I feel this isn’t a problem that is acknowledged much and I’ve had so many friends who got a raw deal early in their business – some vague promise of editorial coverage (“review”) in exchange for the writer getting free stuff (and generally, the more expensive product in their line). Any professional would not operate their blog like that but when you’re just starting out it’s difficult to know the difference and you’re hungry for publicity. The best way to compliment a designer is deem their work worth spending your hard-earned dollars on. There definitely should be a PSA for new business owners on what’s typical to ask for (IE samples are meant to be returned), and what’s simply preying on ignorance.

  • Grace,
    Thanks for the great tips. As a man I learn a lot from biz ladies. When I submit to blogs I usually send an email telling them about myself and what I make, and a link to my website. I don’t pick out one item to pitch them. I will try pitching one item per your suggestion.

    Thanks so much,

  • Great info once again! Thank you sooooo much for helping us all be the best we can be and doing so without charge! :-)

    I am newer to blogging than the rest of the commenters (whom I’d also like to thank for their insights and experiences). I have not yet started blogging.

    I wonder if you could tell me or, better for you, direct me to something like “blogging for dummies” :-D

    I’ve been reading Biz Ladies for sometime, as well as anything else I thought might help me understand and properly enter this new worl.

    I decided to start a blog as an indie art/crafter because one of the Biz articles said it is the smart thing to do if you want to sell your product. So I’ve continued learning by surfing the web on such things as free websites/hosting, blogs, and becoming a member of Etsy.

    My head is spinning due to this Part 2 article. As I read the comments I was confused on what blogging is actually for. Is it to show your product and discuss how it came to be (as many blogs I’ve been to seem to do) or are there a plethora of different types of blogs?

    I also wanted to let Maureen Lynne know that while I was looking over various free blogs and what their Terms of Service were, I found one called 1&1 that seemed more “pure” if I can use that discription. They said they would not put ads on that you didn’t ask for. Something to check out perhaps,

    Even tho the Biz Ladies article did seem to say I should, do I wait until I learn more about blogging or just jump in, using the great info you all have provided? Can I do that without having to worry about all of the above in the ‘first blush’ period?

    Is sooo late and I think I’m rambling now o_O . I would truely and hugely appreciate any insight you OR your commenters could offer!

    Bless you each and every one :-)

    • Hi PKae

      Thanks so much for your comment. In terms of books, there is one on the way. So stay tuned for an update about that soon. I’m hoping to be able to post something about that in the next couple of weeks.

      As for what types of blogs there are- tons! People use blogging for all sorts of purposes and I think that’s fantastic. Blogs are like a blank canvas so you’re always free to use your blog the way you see fit. That said, there are definitely ways you can use your blog that may not gel well with other members of your community, which is why we sat down to talk about the ethics/etiquette side of things. But those conversations shouldn’t stop you from starting a blog when, and how, you want to. So please feel free to dive in to blogging as soon as you like- you can always learn things as you go (like all of us do) so don’t feel you need to wait until you “understand how it all works”, so to speak. :)


  • grace, thank you for all of this invaluable info, and to all of the commenters for a great discussion from so many different points of view.

    i must admit though (as a fellow dinosaur) that my stomach is a little knotted up right now thinking that my readers might suspect that any links or love i’ve given are sponsored or compensated in any form or fashion! yikes! i’ve been writing my little “journal” for over three years now, and the thought of being paid for any part of it never crossed my mind…!

    my biggest challenge so far has been other bloggers using my images without permission or credit, so it was great to see those issues addressed in your post last week.

    here is my question: whatever happened to just putting something good out there for the sake of sharing a little love or inspiration? or writing in support of a friend or a cause you believe in? when did it all become so mercenary? i will think twice now when reading other blogs…and i never ever want to question others’ motives or judgements….but obviously, the blogging world has shifted, and – while i understand that we are all trying to make a living – i did not realize the extent of the changes. i am reeling.

    thanks for for presenting all the different angles on the new reality, and helping me get out from under my little rock and up-to-speed…i have lots of thinking & processing to do about all this.

  • This is such a terrific, informative post! I’m so glad that I stopped over tonight. While I don’t have sponsors, etc. on my blog (I’m certainly not opposed to it.), I’ve wondered how it all works. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  • (I confess I haven’t read all the comments…)

    I’d be curious to hear from you and your readers about the appropriate time to start reaching out to advertise yourself. I run two blogs, one is almost a year old and the other is an infant of just a month. I have yet to really do much in getting blog mentions because I’m always afraid I have too few readers or too little content. And I don’t seek out giveaway opportunities because I have too few readers for it to do anything for the artist.

    How do you know when it’s time to look for these opportunities?

  • I’ve always found it interesting that people refer to bloggers as “sell outs” once they start making money off of their blog via advertising. Why shouldn’t bloggers benefit monetarily? Especially when it requires dedication, time, and a unique vision. Thank goodness bloggers have embraced advertising as means to continue doing what they do best!

  • Thanks again for putting together this advice. It is very handy for us artists/designers.

    However, I do have one constructive critique. I know the topic of overlapping posts has gone in circles, over and over again and I can completely understand your stance (and others) about not wanting overlap. However, I’m hoping that bloggers can grow to be a little more understanding to the fact that some of us are relying on sales of our products as a source of income, and often times just being posted on one blog is not enough. I know that blogs aim to be high quality, but keep in mind that most of the time we have already sunk our money into the products/goods and now need to sell them. So sitting around waiting a week to not hear back or hear back from one blog at a time, just doesn’t work for the most part. That would mean I could potentially sit around for a month or two trying to get the product promoted.

    I guess what I am getting at is I hope there can be some sort of middle ground of understanding. I completely agree that designers/artists should not just bombard bloggers and definitely need to customize emails for each blogger. But I’m hoping bloggers can be a little more understanding that we cannot afford to just email one person at a time and wait a long period of time before emailing the next.

    • brian

      i understand your point, but i hope you understand that bloggers have to make the same living, too. i agree that there’s a middle ground, and i think asking someone to wait a day or two to get a response (especially from larger blogs that get hundreds of emails a day) in exchange for a larger post with more exposure is actually an efficient and effective use of a maker’s time. bloggers have to do their best to make sure they’re not re-running the same thing as other sites, in order to maintain some sort of edge or separation from similar sites. if they all blend together, your traffic goes down. so everyone’s business sustainability is an issue here. but i think a few days of waiting time isn’t unfair to ask for, and asking bloggers to respond within a 2-4 day period isn’t too bad either.


  • After leaving my comment and thinking about it, I certainly hope to not offend anyone. Sometimes I just get caught up at how difficult it can be to launch a product on your own and then try to get blogs to pick it up. I apologize for any rudeness on my behalf.

  • Hi Grace! I am interested in starting some giveaways this year (probably 2-ish or so)–nothing extravagant, & this may or may not be a silly question…but what would your advice be on promoting a product I felt fit in well with my blog “philosophy/voice/style” as a “giveaway,” only I bought it myself to gift to the winning reader of that giveaway (Shall I call it, “giftaway”? :) )? I know typically a giveaway is where the designer offers the product for free for you to giveaway in exchange for more traffic, etc. for both involved, but I just want to keep it simple & truly treat my readers myself this way? I hope this makes sense, & didn’t know if this was in any way frowned upon, unprofessional, what have you, etc.? I may be thinking too much about it, but wanted to make sure I am doing this the best way possible :)

    Thanks a bunch!

    • hi lindsey

      if i’m understanding you correctly, you’re not being paid to give away those goods, right? it’s truly a gift to your readers? nothing unprofessional about that at all- in fact that’s incredibly kind and generous of you. that said, don’t bleed yourself out of house and home doing things like that. every now and then a giveaway with a brand you trust and align with (and that’s transparent) isn’t the end of the world ;)


  • Okay great–yes you understood correctly :) I was feeling that was the case, but just HAD to be sure it wasn’t looking cheap or anything of the sort–since the term “giveaway” is such a controversial subject. I’m on the fence with giveaways as they stand typically, so I just wanted to treat it simply & as a “thank you” to my readers & move on to my content! Thanks so much for the quick reply. Have a nice weekend!

  • It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time
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