Am I Sponsored?
I create a lot of content for the web. I write books. I make tutorial videos. From time to time, I get asked "Are you sponsored?" The short answer – No. I'm not sponsored by any company. I share and write about things that either I use or I think are interesting.
Why am I posting about this? I think it's important you know your source. I've talked about knowing your source in the realm of photo critique. I believe that's equally important to know your source when you are learning about products. Whether that be gear, software tools, or services to help you with your photography.
It's no secret that I do quite a bit of work with on1. I love the Perfect Photo Suite and I use it all the time. Most of my on1 related content is not commissioned by on1 (or anyone else). I use their tools, really like them, and so I share. If it's useful to me, it's probably useful to someone else. The same is true when I review other products, such as Really Right Stuff or MacPhun's Intensify Pro.
Am I against sponsorships? Not at all. Nor am I against paid endorsements. When I'm in the market for a new piece of gear or software, I know that some of the photographers I turn to are sponsored or are paid to promote a product. That's totally cool. And knowing is important – I know they're sponsored or delivering a paid endorsement. I can balance research with sources that are less connected with a product or vendor. Sources that may be "in the know", yet still maintain a certain distance from "toeing a company line". Sources less connected are typically freer to say what they like and, more importantly, say what they don't like about a product. Not be derogatory, just be honest. And (hopefully) offer up suggestions on how a product can be improved.
So how do you monetize, Scott? Poorly. :-)
Tongue in cheek, but reasonably true. I have affiliate links on my blog. If you choose to purchase through one of my links, I get a small commission. Sometimes I'll do a contracted tutorial video or write articles on another site. Most of what I write and produce is because I like doing it and I think someone else will find it useful. Photography is my passion, I like sharing and enjoy teaching, too.
And hey, you can always visit the store. :-)