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Sponsored, paid, advertised and affiliate content: how to find your way around?

You may have seen a couple of my recent articles that contained affiliate links. I was recently asked what that means. Since I am also a content marketer from 9 to 5, I thought it was a good opportunity to demystify the different types of content you can find online and to give you a bit of an insight into the backstage of my small business (Note that I will use myself as an example in this text unless otherwise stated, that will make it easier for understanding).


The difference between a crochet designer and a content creator

First things first: I'm going to talk a lot about content creators in this text. As soon as a person has a or multiple platforms or social networks (in my case, Facebook, Instagram, my Etsy shop, my blog and website all fall into the broad category of platforms) and uses it to share content, they become a content creator. That's an additional role I have in my business, but one and the other can exist independently.


A blog article, an Instagram post with its text, a reel, a Youtube video, a photo, a newsletter: all of these are pieces of content.

Affiliate content, advertising, partnership, sponsorship: a lexicon

Organic content

The first thing to know is that content that is not paid for is usually referred to as organic. For example, one of my daily stories, a photo or reel of a creation I recently made and a blog post sent by newsletter are all organic content. Of course, these contents are intended to promote the company and generate income (isn't that the primary objective of having a business?), but the creator has no not been paid or remunerated in any way to produce and broadcast it.


Affiliate link

An affiliate link or an affiliate code is one that takes the consumer to an online store or a product page that look absolutely standard. In the backend, the website records where the visit comes from and for each sale made from an affiliate link, the partner (me, for instance), receives a small commission, usually in cash. The affiliate will normally indicate in their post that the link they're sharing is an affiliate one.

No privacy issue here: I don't receive any data about you. I'm just being informed that a sale has been made.




Sponsored posts

A sponsored post is basically an ad: the creator or the company has paid for their post to be prioritized by the algorithm. We often see it in stories on Instagram or on the Facebook feed. With the visibility challenges caused by the recent changes in the algorithms cause, it is quite essential for creators to advertise from time to time to be discovered by new consumers.



Partnerships

A partnership, an #ad post or a sponsored partnership means that the creator was paid by a company to create it. For example, in the following example from @fleurmaison (not a yarn-y influencer, but one I really like!), Vanessa probably received a sum from Pampers Canada for taking this photo and talking about her experience with her product. These posts can be identified with the indication Paid partnership at the top of the image or by the use of #ad.



Free products

If a creator indicates they received a product (we see it more often in French content with the #produitrecu tag). There is no contractual engagement for these contents but it's an ethical practice to mention it. The content creator could also offer a promotional code to their followers but unlike an affiliate link, they're not getting a commission or money for sharing it.



What do these mean for you?

As consumers, we follow influencers and companies for different reasons: to be inspired, to discover new things, to meet a community, just for fun, etc. The distinctions between an advertisement, a partnership and a received product are important to know because it sharpens our critical sense. I've had the experience of unfollowing influencers who were only posting paid content through sponsored posts. I found that the original reasons for following them no longer made sense since it was no longer as authentic as before.

That being said, sponsored does not equal untrue or inauthentic.

Going back to the lexicon, a sponsored post is basically the same as a billboard you can see near the highway or an ad seen on television: sometimes they're interesting, sometimes not. It's just a way to access information. As for the sponsored partnership, the products received and the affiliate links, it is up to you as a consumer to determine if the content interests you and if it makes sense in the context of the creator's mission and if you want to give it importance or not.

For example, if a creator for healthy content regularly offers family recipes from fresh and natural ingredients offers suddenly posts a sponsored publication with a large fast food chain, one can question the ethical sense of this person. Sponsored content then no longer makes sense in that person's world. On the other hand, if they write a blog article on a new mocktail made from 100% fruit juice without additives that they received and tested; it is consistent with their message!



What you can expect from my content

My status is kindof mixed. I sell both made items and designs, so I sometimes sponsor posts and do advertising campaigns to promote my company.

On the other hand, I really like to share favorites with my community (yarn related or not), such as gifts that were given to me on my birthday, a yarn that I bought and loved to crochet, a pattern from a colleague that I liked to make. Beyond selling my patterns, I appreciate the sense of community that social networks bring and I draw a lot of inspiration from what I see happening there.


When I launched my blog, I had opportunities to test products and tell you about them. This was the case, among others, with the Kawaii Crochet Garden and Crochet Cafe books, which are received products for which I wrote reviews. The company didn't demand anything from me other than to talk about the product. This means I chose this content format (blog article / review) and I will not hesitate to mention it if I found some less interesting points in said product. It has happened to me in the past to receive items and services and refuse to promote them because I did not like their quality or the values of the company.


My content, my promise

I promise to always be transparent and honest with my content and to only talk about things that I really liked (or to tell you if I didn't!). That's what you can expect on my platforms.


 

Some affiliate links you might like

Affiliated links are good opportunities to access some promotions from time to time. Here are a couple links that I was given and that may be interesting for you as a yarn lover.


KNITCRATE

Knitcrate is a monthly box that gets to you with a surprise based on your preferences in yarn size, materials and colors. It always includes yarn, free patterns (crochet AND knitting) and a gift! I've been a member for 4 months and I really discover beautiful fibers and beautiful projects. As a big fan of surprise mail, I can only recommend!

Your first box is free if you register from this link or if you use the code MAILLOUX when ordering!

WeCrochet / KnitPicks

A range of fine quality American yarns with an incredible range of colors. I have ordered from them before and never had any issues with the postage. I recommend the Comfy Worsted, which is an ultra soft cotton used for the (free but in French only) Vague d'amour pattern. Also, they have the Fable Fur, a very good quality faux fur yarn. I used it for the creaming of my festive Cupcake pattern.

Furls Crochet

My wrist and forearm pain has diminished drastically since I've started using Furls hooks. They can be expensive depending on the series you get, but it's a great gift to ask (wink wink) and they often have amazing promotions. Take note they're an American based company and their prices are in USD. I strongly recommend the Odyssey collection.

Annie's

patron magazine crochet velours lien d'affiliation
(c) Crochet World

Annie's is a gold mine for patterns, magazines, accessories, yarns and various products related to all fiber arts.


Obviously, my recommendation would be to grab your digital copy of the February 2022 Crochet World magazine... and to make my Kalispell Throw 😛

Ça c'est une mine d'or de patrons, magazines, produits, laines liés aux arts de la fibre.


You can find all these links and more at all times in the Links section of my website.


👉 Got any ideas of good (or bad) ads examples you saw recently? Whether in the yarn industry or not, I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter. Send me an email: amy@lesmaillesamailloux.com


 

💌 Never miss a new post by Les Mailles à Mailloux by registering to my newsletter!


Find me on:

Ravelry (patterns)

Etsy (patterns and creations)


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