To Give or Not To Give?

by Maddy on January 27, 2011

in Blog Soup

Today’s Blog Soup topic is one I’ve debated on presenting here because I still find myself fluctuating on how I feel about it. I’m talking about the ever popular giveaways.  Now, I’m no stranger to winning giveaways or even hosting some. I’ve been the lucky receipt of several awesome giveaway prizes including the Sex and the City Hotspot Tour and Modern Bird Studios painting, just to name a few. I’ve even hosted a total of five giveaways on this blog. However, I still find myself on the fence with how I want to proceed with them in the future. I host giveaways for two reasons: as a thank you to my readers and to highlight products that I use and love.  All my giveaways have been paid for out-of-pocket, except for the latest one which was generously donated by Tags-n-Stones after I approached them about purchasing one of their necklaces for my readers. I keep the entry process simple, occasionally requesting a favorite item out of a shop (only so that my readers can be exposed to the small blogger-owned online shops I feature), but never requesting additional followers via Twitter, Facebook or Google Connect (which I don’t have and refuse to get).  I want people to follow along with my blog and my other social networking mediums because they like what they see, not to better their chances at winning a giveaway. I also find that a lot of “strangers” enter my giveaways (probably finding them through Twitter or tags on the posts), never to be heard from again once entering, which defeats the whole “thank you to my readers” rationale. So what’s a girl to do?? I’ve decided to limit the number of giveaways on this blog going forward (one every three months) and to only feature items that I personally use and love, preferably from other bloggers/small business owners. That way, I can still highlight and support some of my favorite online shops without compromising my daily content, which is why I blog in the first place.  So tell me….

How do you feel about giveaways and how do you go about them on your own blogs?


suki January 27, 2011 at 12:51 am

I like giveaways, and it’s not often that I have things to give away. The last few giveaways were from my pocket, but I have some coming up that may be sponsored. In the last one, I added Facebook followers as a bonus entry, but that was just because I was getting my Facebook page off the ground and running. It’s still not very many followers, but considering how my blog doesn’t have a large following, I’m happy with it.

suki recently posted..A Mill transformed

Life with Kaishon January 27, 2011 at 1:17 am

In the beginning when I didn’t understand blogging I was SO excited about all these free things. Now? Not so much. I mean, the things you have given away have been just lovely, but for the most part, when I go to blogs and they are giving away a 6 pack or yogurt or something like that…I click away. It sort of gives me a bad taste. I absolutely can not stand when people say ‘follow me for an entry.’ That is just ridiculous. I want no part of that!

I should do a giveaway for my nice readers. I have so many amazing ones. Too bad I am super poor right now. I just payed our Christmas bill and by mistake I used Gary’s account instead of my own. He couldn’t even get $20 at the MAC machine today…he isn’t talking to me. I guess I won’t approach him and ask if I can do a giveaway for a minute or two….
Life with Kaishon recently posted..We say ‘I love you’ a lot

Lemonzest January 27, 2011 at 3:41 am

hi dear.. thanks for dropping by lemonzest blog.. you have a great one too here..
i like your blog and your writting..
and btw it’s cute drawing..

Lemonzest recently posted..Camisole and the stories

Dana January 27, 2011 at 4:31 am

In response to . . . .What’s a girl to do??

Cheat. No really, enter only the regular readers into the drawings. Reward the followers. (Can you distinguish between a follower who comments, a follower who doesn’t comment, and a stranger? Not sure that I can. )

GASP. . . I know, this will be entirely unpopular with fellow commenters.
Where is the integrity?
To them I say. . . this ain’t no Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

(Usually) Honest Abe

And, oh, I’ve only done one giveaway, and, NO, I didn’t cheat. Only names I recognized commented to be entered into the drawing so it was a piece of cake. I was sad that I couldn’t send a prize to all of my blog buddies.
Dana recently posted..a different type of vending machine

Angelia Sims Hardy January 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

I know exactly what you mean! I applaud your dedication to the small business owner. If I did them, I’d want them done the same way; to honor and thank my readers. Seriously, good for you, this makes ne happy to read. :-)

I’ve only done one from my pocket book. It was fun, but not my thing. :-)
Angelia Sims Hardy recently posted..Eat Trash Um- yes please!

Sarah - Dodeline Design January 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

I know what you mean. Giveaways can seem a bit gimmicky and I’ve had a lot of people just “run through” just to get in on the giveaway. There are even sites that just do that, find giveaways for you to enter. I think a few is great, and I applaud you for considering it so carefully!
Sarah – Dodeline Design recently posted..A little shopping therapy

marlene January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

I feel the same way you and Becky do about giveaways…

A) I am scrimping by financially.
B) I HATE when people make you jump through hoops to enter a giveaway…
C) I don’t read my favorite blogs for giveaways…I read them for their content. I mean they’re great and fun sometimes, but more than once every coupld of months and it’s overkill.

I don’t host giftaways…the last one I did became a Cat Fight, literally. I might find something I want to give a particular blog reader and I will just email them for the address and tell them to expect something in the mail.

I do it randomly…but I still feature other blogs and online shops without giveaways because I believe my readers will know I am reviewing a product or a page and if I mention it, it must be worth it…not being cocky, just being real.

Do yu and what makes you comfortable…it will work out fine.
marlene recently posted..Q and A Lets Ask Home Girl

very married January 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

personally, i don’t enter giveaways that require that you follow. something disingenuous about it – because i DON’T follow.

I will say that I have been introduced to a couple really cool blogs through giveaways – BUT it was because after I commented, they came back to me and commented. So then I went back to them again and gave a look through and found that they had something great going on.

Next thing too: Maybe the randoms have been reading all along but just came out of the woodworks because they had incentive… but I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.

Finally, i think a real reason to have a giveaway is to support a small or local business. Maybe do something where a comment equals 1 entry and a purchase equals 10. or, if it’s just a storefront, like, 10 entries if you email a picture of the shop. Something to really get the name out and drum up business.
very married recently posted..Again

Keeley January 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

My blog isn’t that popular and I’ve never done a giveaway. I was approached by one company (that often does home and food-related giveaways, but that I’ve never done business with) and I ignored their request because it looked mass-produced. The purpose is my blog is to connect with other foodies (people who love good food and/or people who love to cook). If I do a giveaway it will have to be for a product that I actually use and love. I normally don’t enter a giveaway unless it’s something I really want or if I know the blogger and follow their blog.

To each her own. I blog to meet people and I read blogs to learn from others. :) Maddy, I really like your blog! I’m glad we met!
Keeley recently posted..Cheese Grits

Camila F. January 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

I have to agree with you once again Maddy! I adore giving away things that I feel my readers (and even myself) would love, but I never request additional followers to any social networking medium. And there’s that problem: the ‘ghost’ readers that only show up when you’re offering a prize. I know that i have readers that don’t like to comment, so how do I separate them from the ‘ghosts’? It’s complicated!
Camila F. recently posted..sleepy kitty love

Cafe Fashionista January 27, 2011 at 9:57 am

Personally, I LOVE hosting giveaways on Cafe Fashionista – and launch a new one every week. I like the fact that Giveaways can introduce readers of your blog to new products and such that you, yourself, are loving. Plus, everyone likes to win something every now and again! :)
Cafe Fashionista recently posted..Thrifty Thursday- French Connection Wendy Cotton Dress for Less

likeitsgolden January 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

To be honest, I’ve never given it a second thought. I have followed a blog before to enter a contest but it was a blog that read regularly anyways. Im always in the opinion of its your blog do whatever you want. :)

Zee January 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

Since I blog about books, the author is usually willing to give away an electronic copy of the book I am reviewing. I always ask readers to just leave a comment to enter because (1) only people who read my blog will know about the contest, (2) it will not be a hassle to enter the giveaway, and (3) because authors love to read people’s comments and reactions to the review. I may not get many comments because of the small promotion, but the comments I do receive quality comments, not aren’t crappy ones like, “please enter me.” I personally don’t like jumping through all of the extra points hoops, so I don’t make my readers do that.

Anaiz January 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Giveaways are fun, as a book blogger I don’t usually pay for them so why not? As for those extra entries I am totally guilty of allowing them, I do it so it’s “for followers” but again strangers do show up and sometimes they come back so it’s a way to get more readers and more publicity for the book and author (partly why publishers offer up books in the first place).
Anaiz recently posted..Waiting On Wednesday 2

Emily January 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I agree with everything you said Maddy. I don’t want my blog to become a blog that only does giveaways that isn’t why I have a blog. I also hate feeling like giveaways just drum up readership and not just offer something nice to offer it. I have a love hate relationship with doing giveaways on my blog. I have only done 2 and they were fun but I don’t know how much I really want to do them anymore. I just don’t want that to be the only reason someone comes to my blog.

I don’t know I think I am just rambling on at this point, but let’s just say I am 100% with you on this one. PS. I totally refuse to do google connect as well. It is like popularity contest or something and I really hate that.
Emily recently posted..Threading my thoughts

The Guilty Hyena January 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I’ve also reflected on this topic before, and I’ve come to the conclusion that any future give-away’s I host, I wont be including requesting additional followers via Twitter, Facebook or Google Connect. I have only hosted one give-away so far, and it was sponsored by CSN, a company that has been good to me. At that time I requested additional followers via google connect or bloglovin, to get my blog off the ground, but in the end it didn’t sit well with me.

Having a blog, I’ve encountered many other dilemma’s such as, being requested for sponsored posts, reviews and particular advertising and I’ve always wanted to be sure I don’t compromise my blog in any way.
The Guilty Hyena recently posted..GHOST Communion

Latoya January 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I’ve personally only entered a giveaway for blogs where I’m already a follower and regular reader. I’m too lazy to enter giveaways on random blogs. I also get annoyed when people have 50 million hoops to jump through for a giveaway. “follow me on twitter, comment on my facebook, and me to your reader, and then comment with a screenshot of you doing each of these actions”…lol. It’s too much.
Latoya recently posted..I wish he didnt tell you that Now youre going to be obsessed with your weight

Sabine January 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Honestly, they mostly annoy me. I often click away when I read someone is doing a giveaway because I do NOT want to become a follower or tweet about it – and I really appreciate that you do not do that. I’ll come to your blog no matter if you give things away or not, Maddy.
Sabine recently posted..Take 10 Challenge 7 – The Asos Cape

Couture Carrie January 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I love giveaways!
I try to host as many as possible to give back to my amazing readers, making contests open to my fellow fashionistas worldwide!
Usually, one can enter just by commenting. I never require anyone to “follow” me in order to enter.


Christina Lee January 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Yeah, I actually feel exactly how you do. Limit them and do what you love! xo
Christina Lee recently posted..Where Would YOU Live

Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi January 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I think giveaways can be great, if the products you’re giving away are something you would want to win yourself. I feel so grateful for the wonderful readers and bloggers who I’ve “met” and look at giveaways as a way to give something back to them.
Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi recently posted..Getaways Guest Blog Series- Naina from Stylen

Mara January 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I like giveaway because I think it’s great to do something for the readers! I make sure they’re followers too just because I don’t want random people entering. They’re also fun :)

Lulu in Los Angeles January 28, 2011 at 12:34 am

I like giveaways, both entering and hosting. I’ve done a “giveaway week”, all items out-of-pocket (I’m working on getting the items for another soon too) and that was really fun, honestly more fun than the 2 that were sponsered giveaways (which is why I’m doing another one). I think it is a nice thank you to my readers as well. It sorta irks me when someone enters and then is never heard from again, but I admit I’ve done that too … I’m trying to following so many amazing blogs that some have fallen between the cracks, which makes me sad. I wish I could carve out more time to blog and really get to know some of these amazing bloggers.

LOVE your post above about Friday Faves … fun!!!

Lulu :)

Amy January 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’m with you … if I give something away, it’s to thank my fabulous readers. And spontaneous is good … afterall, who doesn’t love a happy surprise?

Now that you mention it, I should do a quiet little giveaway sometime. Maybe when I finish my book-GASP! Although, my readers may like it sometime in the next few decades … :)

lou January 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

yeah.. i feel a bit overwhelmed seeing all those giveaways all over blogland. i totally agree with how you feel about it and how you handle it on your blog. i’ve had one giveaway on my blog yet (when i opened my shop) and it was exactly as you said. people never stopped by again. hm. i personally don’t enter every giveaway on every blog i see. when i really really like the product i will. but if i don’t i won’t. and i don’t enter giveaways on blogs that i usually don’t read because if i would and then win… i won’t claim my prize as i wouldn’t even notice. so why should i enter then? my blog shouldn’t be the place where people stop by just to win something and not taking care what i’m doing there. i want the giveaways to be special. funny enough, i will have one next week :-)

Elle Sees January 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

i do a giveaway every 2 months. i was gonna do one this month but am waiting til my 1 yr blog anniversary. i think they’re good, but just don’t overdo em and no more csn stores giveaways! haha
Elle Sees recently posted..Song For The Weekend- Moonlight Mile by Rolling Stones

Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! January 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I have to admit, I haven’t really thought about the whole giveaways thing. I think I use giveaways to commemorate something that was special to me, and then share it with my followers. I’m so glad you’ve been one of my lucky winners though. And I don’t want to spill the beans just yet, but I’m hoping to do another giveaway in the near future.
Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! recently posted..Meatless Monday- Apple- Cheddar- and Arugula Sandwich

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