Hope you had a very Merry Christmas! Our goal is to provide you inspiration to write great stories, and earn revenue from your stories too! Here’s a look back at our 10 favorite sponsored stories* from you in 2015. You’ll quickly notice that the best stories are creative, personal, and most importantly engage the audience in a unique way. Note: Not all stories listed below were facilitated through Cooperatize.
We love safari stories and the beautiful pictures that come out of these amazing trips. Robert goes on a safari to Tanzania sponsored by Shadows of Africa, and could have simply documented his travels and presented the reader with FOMO pictures. Instead, he begins the story almost like a novel talking about a strange man eating an apple to some deep revelations about consciousness. We forgot we were reading about Robert’s safari since his storytelling is on point. Read story here.
Kayla is a hustler, and we’re hustlers too. If it isn’t clear from the photo above, this story was sponsored by Vitamin Water but the story itself about running from appointments do deadlines to the gym and somehow making time for your personal life is what made this story awesome. If you’re a Gen Yer and an entrepreneur, you’ll totally resonate with Kay’s story. Read story here.
From the title, it may sound like any other product review story. We are all tied to our phones and you’re either an Apple or Android user. James sets up the product review with a bit of humor and wit, and discusses how he has been a loyal Samsung user but this specific phone changed his perceptions. Instead of simply listing the features, James incorporated the phone into his daily life which amounts to an amazing product story-view. Read story here.
Hosting birthday parties, playgroup parties, and other events for kids is not our forte, but after reading this story from Aubrey it sounds pretty easy! The selfie is pretty much a part of our lexicon now and this story weaves in an HP printer into the party seamlessly. Who would’ve thought someone could bring a printer to life the way Aubrey did? Amazing job! Read story here.
We’re big fans of the Abroad Guide since their audience is super targeted and the stories they publish are also written with their target audience in mind. As the name of the blog implies, the site is all about providing useful tips for working/studying abroad. This story was written in conjunction with the Scottish Government and is not only a great how-to type of story, but raises awareness about Scotland as a budget-friendly country for students to study abroad in. Read story here.
DIY stories are great to showcase colorful images of your work. Jen does a great job of turning a boring old IKEA dresser (something we’ve all used at one time or another) and turns it into a unique piece of furniture looking 10X the price of the original IKEA dresser. This story is one of the best “transformation” DIY projects we’ve read because it uses an a brand we are all familiar with and Jen’s unique storytelling technique to create something beautiful. Read story here.
Travelocafe is one of our favorite inspirational travel blogs, and this story about using the Interrail Pass from ACPRail definitely does not disappoint. The title itself is what drew us in since it plays with your imagination a bit. As with many travel stories, the images here really speak to the experience of going up the Alps and seeing the snow and mountains from way up high. More importantly, the story highlights the benefits of train travel and the freedom this type of transportation affords travelers. Read story here.
Anytime you incorporate your life experiences into a story, the sponsorship almost feels like an afterthought. This is what we felt after reading Tammy’s story about the Silk milk product. Based off of the title, we were ready for a basic product review, but Tammy digs deeper and discusses how her father’s heart attack inspired a change in her family as well as Tammy’s personal diet (which was the toughest to change for her). This story is perfect for resolutions in 2016! Read story here.
Jennifer and Tim’s blog is always a pleasure to read because their travel experiences are different from the normal backpacker or gap year traveler. We didn’t even know where Svalbard is on a map, but this story about dogsledding quickly educated us about the region and what a non-touristy dogsledding excursion looks like. From start to finish, this story not only makes you want to go to Norway, but also embark on this incredible journey between you, the land, and the dogs. Read story here.
Finally, this story from Sab is what every travel blogger/storyteller dreams of, getting invited on a free press trip to some exotic location. What we love about this story is how Sab sets up the experience. Like many travel bloggers, Sab quit her 9-5 and pursued traveling full-time. As Sab describes her preparation for the trip, we could only get more and more excited for her and finally, as she documents the Maldives one villa and sandy beach at a time, we can only live vicariously through Sab with a bad case of FOMO. Read story here.
And there you have it folks! Our favorite stories from 2015. What was your favorite?