How do you expect content creators to be paid?

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Why I Will Always Support Your Ads

I’ve recently been seeing a lot of controversy around Instagram advertisement posts on Instagram, with some people even taking the time to leave a comment on someone’s post saying how they do not support the ad and will not be liking the post (even though leaving a comment is still contributing to their engagement rate – but whatever!) And it honestly really struck a nerve in me.

For those lucky enough, Ads on Instagram is what pays our bills, it’s our source of income, it’s our job. I count my blessing every day that I’m able to make money doing what I love: creating content. And I know people in the same position as I am do the same. Which is exactly why, if I ever see an ad on Instagram, I will always like and, if I can, comment on the post.

Now I get it, if you’ve read someone’s entire caption and they didn’t label it as an ad until the very end I can see how you would be annoyed (you should ALWAYS label your post as an ad before someone has to expand the caption – that’s how the law works!) and if someone is advertising dog food and they do not own a dog, I can see how that would be seen as inauthentic. I can also understand your annoyance if every post seems like it’s an ad.  But the best of us content creators will never take on something that we felt was inauthentic to us and our Instagram. I know that I have turned down paid opportunities because I couldn’t see how the product could fit into my feed, or I didn’t like the sound of the book, or it was a genre that I’ve openly said I don’t like to read. That’s what being authentic and caring about your followers looks like.

HOWEVER

It is up to the Creator to decide what they think fits in to their feed, and you as the follower has to trust that creator would actually use the product. When a brand comes to me asking for me to feature their product on their feed, whether I would actually use the product is the first thing that comes to my mind, and if I wouldn’t use it, I don’t feature it. Simple.

I was really curious as to what my followers thought of ad posts, and used Instagram’s ‘Questions’ feature in my stories. I was really overwhelmed by the positive responses and the support, and that many of you could appreciate how much work goes into creating an ad and we should be paid for the work we do, and for that I am eternally grateful. But what also surprised me was the lengths that people would go through to spite that creator. Some said that they would like the photo and when they realised it was an ad they would unlike it, and others said they would actually unfollow someone if they saw they did an ad post. Honestly, I laughed a little bit at the thought of someone unfollowing a person they have followed for their content, just to unfollow them when they were paid for one post. We see advertising on TV and in magazines all the time; would you rather see that or see an ad that your favourite creator has created? I know which one I’d rather see.

I also found it really interesting that so many people skip over ad posts. Take my account, for example. I feature books on my account all the time and often get asked for book recommendations, so why, just because I have been paid to feature a book that I would read, should the post be skipped over? I think it’s also important to mention that I have also created ads that aren’t anything to do with books. So of course, I don’t expect all of my followers to be supportive of that, but what I would like them to understand is that I am a human being. I do a lot more than just read books – shocker I know! So if a brand reached out to me that I was passionate about and I believed in, of course I will feature it because I like to push my creativity.

I would really like to sit down and respectfully ask those who do not like ads how they would like the creators they follow to make money. And if they don’t know, that’s part of the problem. It’s extremely hard for creators to make money without doing ads, in fact, I would say it’s almost impossible. At the end of the day, if you can engage with the creator’s normal posts, please find it in your heart to ‘like’ the occasional ad that they post. Consuming their content only when they haven’t been paid for it doesn’t sit right with me.

And these are just some of the reasons why I will always support ads that I see on Instagram. I know how much time and effort goes into coming up the idea, setting the photo up, taking the photo and editing. I trust that you would use the product that you’re advertising. I know that this is your job and you’re making a living and I know how hard it is. I know how spiteful some people can be towards them. I think ads are great, and if someone can’t stand the thought of you making money doing what you love and decides to unfollow you – then good riddens!