Thoughts on Sponsored Content

WORDS: Samantha Shaw


Sam is the Founder of Maker's Movement, a place where she shares her passion for storytelling through the lens of art and design. She's interested in the way we experience, observe and internalize the world around us, and how we can take those thoughts and express them through art.

Photo of Sam by Alvaro Masegosa

Photo of Sam by Alvaro Masegosa

I’ll be honest with you:

I only post content I care about.
I care about what you think.

I admire people who can say IDGAF and actually mean it, but if I’m being real, I care about what you think. My mission is to tell stories through art and design in hopes that you feel something—inspired, hopeful, nostalgic, empathetic, less alone… I want you to find value in the content that I share.

Since you’ll be seeing a few paid partnerships roll out on our platform over the coming months, I wanted to share some thoughts on sponsored content: what is it, how I’m using it, and why I'm sharing it.

What is sponsored content?

Sponsored content is essentially content that has been paid to be created with the intention of promoting a particular product and/or brand. In most cases, the platform sharing the content is responsible for both creation and distribution, and it is designed to align with the look and feel of what they typically share. The most effective sponsored content is an organic fit between the two parties, because that means the audience is likely to align. When done right, sponsored content can be a powerful way to expand your network.

How I’m using sponsored content: 

I can’t speak for sponsored content as a whole (because it’s often messy and deceptive), but I can vouch for my own. I intend to use sponsored content when it aligns with the mission of Maker’s Movement. This means working with brands that share my passion for art, design, and storytelling.

I’m working with a few dream partners at the moment, and I can’t adequately express how grateful I am for the opportunity. Each are industry champions who have been blazing the path for artists, makers, and storytellers for decades. This sponsored content will shine the spotlight on some of the incredible talent they boast, from multi-media artists, to writers and illustrators. 

This doesn’t mean sponsored content will suddenly flood my feed, it just means you’ll see some come up here and there. You’ll never be left guessing; sponsored content will be identified as such (as per FTC guidelines). All posts will be labelled as a “Paid partnership with” or the text will clearly disclose “Sponsored” above the fold.

Why I’m sharing sponsored content:

When my posts are #sponsored, it means the content has been created to promote a partner brand. It means I have produced the material myself. It means I've put in the same amount of thought and care as usual. It means someone believes in compensating me for my time and expertise. It means they see value in the community we’ve built together. It means I just might be sustainable one day. Isn’t that the small business dream — to self-sustain doing what we love?

Photo by Samantha Shaw

Photo by Samantha Shaw