If you’re active in pretty much any online community, then you’re most likely aware of the acronym SAHM (Stay At Home Mom, for those who aren’t). But there’s a growing movement of SAHD’s (the D is for Dads) who are making their voices known as well. Although I’m still only a part-time dad I count myself among their number. Being a single stay-at-home parent (even part-time) takes some serious financial wrangling for those of us who haven’t had a large inheritance, luck at picking lottery numbers, or the good fortune to be in on the Google IPO. We’re left with finding ways to not only earn money from home, but on the chaotically flexible schedules our lives demand as well.
Enter SocialSpark. SocialSpark is the latest iteration of the sponsored blogging business model. At its most basic, companies pay bloggers to write about their products or services. But SocialSpark is not only so much more than that, but it addresses nearly every complaint advertisers, bloggers, and blog readers have had about paid posts since they hit the mainstream a couple of years ago.
The most frequent complaint amongst bloggers and readers about sponsored posts has been that if they are not explicitly labeled as sponsored then the blogger can’t be trusted. Personally, I’ve never understood this complaint. Either you trust someone or you don’t, they’re either honest or they can be bought. Whether or not a post is tagged as sponsored doesn’t change those two realities. But, the blogosphere spoke and SocialSpark listened. Every post through SocialSpark is required to have in-post disclosure (both human and machine readable).
SocialSpark does not allow advertisers to require a positive post in order for the author to get paid. Once again, this has never been an issue for me, personally. I’ve written several negative reviews of products or services as paid posts. A couple of them were labeled as “positive reviews only” when I took them, but my integrity is simply not for sale. Advertisers are paying for my opinion and that is just what they have received. Sure, many bloggers will still lie to make their sponsors look good, but then they’re not worth reading anyway.
As a stay at home parent who works hard to monetize my blog Google PageRank and my standings in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are very important to my ability to earn revenue (even if I’m not happy about that reality). Last fall Google rocked the blogosphere by de-ranking (and threatening to delist) many blogs that accept sponsored posts. Small blogs (like those by mommy and daddy bloggers) were hit the hardest. Google claims that sponsored posts are perfectly acceptable as long as the links are marked “nofollow” for their search engine spiders. SocialSpark requires that all links in sponsored posts be marked with the “nofollow” attribute. This way bloggers are safe and advertisers are aware in advance that they’re not buying any PageRank.
So Much More–
SocialSpark offers much, much more than just a safe and honest blog monetization platform to stay at home parents, though. It’s also a social network designed around the designs and needs of bloggers. All of the standard social networking features are present – profiles, friends, community discussions, etc. But the key here is that this is a community of people with the same frustrations and joys that you face daily: those of people trying to supplement their income through blogging because it allows them the freedom to be a parent first and and a breadwinner second.
If you’re a stay at home parent who blogs you owe it to yourself to take a look at SocialSpark today.