Getting Sponsored for Van Life: #Realtalk

This is one of those real talk posts; one that goes deep into how we feel about getting sponsored for van life. The video below sums up our feelings in about 20 minutes or so, or keep reading. 

The Mission of Adventure in a Backpack 

Adventure in a Backpack started as more than just a blog, and we have continued to develop our mission over the years. We started Adventure in a Backpack to educate, inspire, and entertain our fans on adventuring safely and responsibly with the knowledge and tools to embrace our natural playground. We work every day to further that mission, via our blog posts, vlogs, Instagram, Facebook, and even our new Facebook Group Stokeology. So when we think about partnering with a potential sponsor for Adventure in a Backpack, we have to step back and ask ourselves: “how does this fit into our mission?”

Getting Sponsored for Van Life: Educate

Sponsored products, and product reviews of any kind, fall under the educate category of our mission statement. We do want to show you the products that we use every day that we actually love. We put a lot of products to the test every day while we are on our adventures, so we have some first hand knowledge of what is and isn’t handy to have.

We do have some influence on our readers and fans. We get questions all the time asking about certain products that we use, and we will always be transparent about the things we do use. But we are not salespeople and you don’t come to us to be sold to. So there are certain things that you will never see on Adventure in a Backpack.

Van Life Sponsorships: We Won’t Sell Our Souls

We get it; there are a lot of companies out there willing to pay influencers to promote their products. Honestly, we get emails every day from these companies. The problem? They aren’t relevant to our readers or our lifestyle. If we were to partner with a luxury watch company, would it make sense for us? Our answer was no. However, we have seen other influencers in our niche that said yes to this particular company. And it truly made us think twice. But to us, it goes against everything we stand for to promote a company simply based on the dollars they throw at us. Sure, we’ve turned down money time and time again, and we will continue to do so until a sponsorship makes sense for us.

Craters of the Moon National Monument 4 of 15 - Getting Sponsored for Van Life

Sponsorships We Would Consider

So who would we consider working with as a sponsor for Adventure in a Backpack? We would consider working with companies who bring good value to the adventure world and are doing good things to make the world a better place. We truly prefer to work with smaller companies, because we like to support small businesses. But a company that we partner with must ultimately fit into our mission statement and be able to help us further our mission to educate, inspire, and entertain.

Overall, we want to build relationships, both with our readers/followers and with any businesses that we partner with. We are very highly unlikely to do a one and done promotion of a product unless it makes tons of sense with our mission. We’d prefer to build a longstanding relationship and build trust and rapport with companies as well as with you, our readers. 

How We Do Make Money on Our Blog

Ah, the burning question, so how do we make money on Adventure in a Backpack? Well, there are several ways we make money to live, but Adventure in a Backpack is just one of those. The products that we review on Adventure in a Backpack are often affiliate links, which means we make a small commission (mostly from Amazon) off of the purchases you make after you click on our links. It’s essentially a sales commission from Amazon for us referring you to the products. These are not sponsorships or any form of brand partnerships, as we often have never had any contact with the brand itself.

At the time of this article, we currently do not have any sponsors for Adventure in a Backpack. We have yet to find that perfect fit company that fits with our mission statement and makes sense for us to promote. Our income from Adventure in a Backpack is solely through affiliate links and YouTube ad revenue. 

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Reputation Over Revenue

Is it possible to get sponsored to live the van life? The answer is yes. But at what price? We understand that there are people out there making money by promoting products. If you are looking to do something like this, you have to ask yourself if the paycheck is worth your reputation. And for us, it isn’t. Our goal first and foremost is to educate, inspire, and entertain, and if a sponsorship doesn’t fit into that, then we pass! At the end of the day, this blog is all about you, our readers. 

We hope this has provided some insight into why we do what we do and why we do and don’t promote certain products. Be sure to subscribe below if we struck a chord with you and you’d like to follow along!

- Getting Sponsored for Van Life