Like the other topic, these are my own opinions. These are just my observations, experience, and thoughts on giveaways. I am not extending these as collective thoughts for all bloggers or as any rules.
Giveaways can be one the most fun aspects of blogging, for the blogger and for the readers. I really enjoy having giveaways, but with everything it has it's pros and cons. Here is my list below. I also will be adding in my tips on having giveaways too at the end.
- It's nice to give back to your readers. It truly makes me happy to have a giveaways for this reason. It's nice to know I can make someone's day, and show them appreciation for reading my blog.
- They're fun to shop for. Personally, I like getting a bunch of smaller things so it truly seems like a little prize pack. For example: I'd rather get 4 or 5 China Glaze polishes for a giveaway than 1 Butter London. This is just me.
- They bring traffic to your blog, however this should not be the reason you have them.
- They're fun to create, especially if you add fun extra questions like "What is your favorite polish" etc, or ask for feedback on your blog. These are fun and helpful ways to learn about your readers and how to improve your blog.
- Simply put, they're just fun to have!
- Be prepared to spend
a long timeforever verifying entries. It seriously takes me hours to verify entries for a giveaway. It is very time consuming!
- Be prepared not to receive a "thank you" from your giveaway winners. This happens on the rare occasion, but it stinks. A "thank you" should be a given.
- People who have giveaways for the sole reason of popularity or for some type of personal gain. I think giveaways should come secondary to blog content. A year ago I saw a blogger immediately start off their blog with a giveaway. Come on now...:-/
- Be aware that sometimes things are too good to be true. I've entered a giveaway where I won, and was strung along for months about my giveaway prize which was never shipped. The blogger eventually closed their blog, and I never heard from them again. This is rare, but it happens. :-/
- Greedy people. When you have a giveaway you should expect that people who just want something for free will enter. These people may not read your blog, care about your blog, or anything, but they care about getting something for free. It stinks, but that's how it works.
- Unfollowing once your giveaway ends. This is similar to the previous point. You'll get people to start following your blog once you start one, and a few people may unfollow your blog once the giveaway is over.
I decided to add a list of tips for people who may interested in having a giveaway. I hope these are helpful.
- Set a giveaway budget. It is very easy to go overboard on a giveaway. You want people to like the stuff. You want them to be happy. You want them to like you! You have to be realistic though. You should not feel pressured to spend beyond your means for a giveaway. Trust me, people will enter if you have one thing or ten things. Stick within your comfort zone.
- Be aware of shipping charges. I only do giveaways within the USA, but if you do international be aware of how much you're going to spend on shipping. It can get expensive, so it's better to know prior to shipment the ballpark amount something will cost to ship. I know for me doing USA giveaways, I try to fit my giveaway prizes in small-flat rate boxes these are $5.20 to ship. I've gone overboard a few times and ended up spending way more than I would of liked to ship. Be sure to check to see if your prize fits in the packaging material you expect to provide for it.
- Delivery Confirmation is your friend. I do this as a safety measure for me. The people who win my giveaways tend to not be my personal friends or people I know through blogging. They're strangers. I like to have delivery confirmation added to my packages, so I know they arrive to the location I sent it to.
- The more giveaway entries you have the more work you're going to do. I know it seems cool to add in all these extra entries, but that is extra time you'll be spending validating entries. Trust me, validating entries takes a long time. If you do not have that time or do not want to spend time doing that keep the number of entries small.
- Keep in mind the longer you run your giveaways the more entries you will receive, and the more time you'll spend verifying them. I run giveaways typically 2-3 weeks. I think this is doable, but it's still a lot of work.
- Ship your giveaway prize in a timely manner. I usually ship mine within in 5 days of the giveaway ending, but I think within a week is reasonable. Keep in contact with your winner(s) and let them know when you mail out their prize.
- Be mindful of the reasons you're having a giveaway. I do not see any harm in a having the occasional giveaway to gain a stronger following, especially if you're at a 75 mark or a 150 mark. Sometimes you just want that edge to get you to 100 or 200 followers. That being said, be aware that giveaways though they get you followers, don't always get you loyal readers and commenters. With giveaways you do get people who just want freebies, not people who are really interested in your blog.
- You don't have to have a giveaway every milestone. It is only logical with every giveaway you host you'll naturally get more followers and reach milestones quicker. This is definitely more true now than a year or two ago. There are more nail bloggers and more people following nail blogs than before. Do not feel pressured to have milestone giveaways if you don't want to or do not have the budget for it. Your readers will love you anyway giveaways or not!
What are you thoughts on giveaways?