In conversation, I never call Improvised Life a blog. The Blogging world is an ubiquitous, saturated and aspirational one. We are trying to do something different.
Most bloggers put their true opinions aside to survive. They direct, style, shoot, and write about products for money (or worse, product exchanges and twitter shout-outs). It’s variously called “social sponsorships,” “content marketing,” “sponsored content”:
Particular sponsors or advertisers, often giant multinational corporations, pay content providers, to create target advertising for their products or services via a blog, picture, tweet or video. IZEA currently boasts a list of over 250,000 discrete registered content creators or “influencers” as they are so-called. —Huffington Post
While we don’t judge what other creatives do to make ends meet, we would wilt under those conditions; our creativity would be stifled and our content would suffer. We will not do sponsored posts and we will not litter our site with advertising. We occasionally recommend products that we genuinely endorse and use ourselves, linking to Amazon and other affiliates so we can make a small percentage if a reader buys it. This helps us get by a little…but not enough.
This site does not run on the free labor of young college educated people, as so many do. This site does not pay young assistants “in experience” and “internships”; it pays in money. And it doesn’t cost your brain energy the way invasive advertising can.
This is why we charge for viewing our original content and ask that you give by becoming a Friend with Benefits. We charge so that we can build, create, and write in a rare independent voice.
—Mira Keras, Improvised Life’s 24-year-old paid assistant