The amount of giveaways most bloggers hosted last Christmas got me thinking a lot about the future of blogging and giveaways. I have hosted a couple of giveaways, especially in 2015. Many were sponsored by brands, while a few were from my pocket. I believe giveaways in general are good, it is a good way to give back to the online community that read your blog posts everyday, and it brings in a little more traffic which is fantastic. However, my issue is when the ‘traffic’ only comes for the giveaways and nothing else, when the ‘compers’ have no real interest in your blog and are only there for the prize you have to give away.
Now if this is a sponsored giveaway, it should not be a problem, as the brand is happy with the ‘free’ advertisement, and your blog enjoys the heavy traffic, but when the prize is funded by you – the blogger, then it is a problem. Is the traffic worth the time and effort (trust me, it is a lot of work to host a competition) you put in to host the competition to just get ‘compers’ enter and never return, until the next big giveaway that interests them? Or unfollow or unsunscribe as soon as the giveaway is over?
I am not against giveaways, I am just starting to think it is not really worth my time and effort, especially when I am funding the giveaway. I was in the middle of writing a giveaway post when I stopped to write this post, believe it or not. It was like a light bulb moment. The questions now are how long would bloggers continue to use giveaways to draw in traffic? How long would bloggers be able to afford to run giveaways from their pockets? Food for thought right?
I know many very successful bloggers that do not run giveways at all, and they still attract a lot of traffic because the readers are there for the CONTENT. I also know many successful bloggers that run regular giveaways, sometimes weekly, and I guess the readers are there for both the content and the giveaways. I want my readers to be here for my CONTENT first, and everything else as an addition. I won’t want Fashion and Style Police to be known as a ‘Giveaway Blog’, but I would still like to host some giveaways.
Now this issue would be sorted if ‘compers’ could just be disqualified from taking part in giveaways, but unfortunately that is not allowed. It is seen as unfair to exclude ‘compers’ from taking part in a competition. I read a checklist post for giveaways some months ago, and I discovered, you could even risk the chance of having an ASA complaint, if you do not allow ‘compers’ partcipate (For those who do not know, compers are people who enjoy entering various competitions/giveaways on many sites, with the hope of winning).
So how do bloggers reward their regular readers and commenters without breaking the rules of the giveaway game? What do we do about ‘comper’s that only go on a blog for a giveaway and never return until the next giveaway? What is the future for blogging and giveaways? Do you host many competitions you fund yourself? I will LOVE to know your thoughts on this, because I am super confused at the moment.
Drop me a comment, let’s chat.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
*For the record, I am not against ‘comper’s at all. A few of them have won prizes on here and they have been lovely to work with. This post is just about me thinking out loud about the future of blog giveaways and how long I can carry on hosting giveways with prizes I buy.
I agree with you in general but I find when I host giveaways yes I might get a lot of people come to my site that wouldn’t usually because of the competition but if only a small percentage of these people turn into regular readers who enjoy my blog I see it as a success. x
The issue for me is the people stay as followers (majority anyways) but they do not visit again until the next comp.
I completely understand. I want to build my followers then reward them and not use it ‘just because’. Great post!
Thanks Jade x
I have found your post very interesting as I’m a blogger and a comper. So I can see both sides of your point. I love to enter blog giveaways and by doing this I have discovered lots of really great blogs and ones that I return to time and time again, for inspiration. But as you say some ‘compers’ just enter the giveaways and don’t return until the next one, but they do keep on following you so maybe that is some kind of help.
Yea I guess following helps my blog at the end of the day. Thanks Rachel x
I am thinking about making givaway for my blog birthday and I am little bit worried.
Giveaways can attract a lot of people but rarely someone stays for the content. I have taken part in some giveaways and found amazing bloggers that I read regulary. Hosting giveaways has two sides and you need to prepared for both of them.
Yea I agree. I am still undecided on how to go from here. Thanks Anita x
I agree with you – i generally don’t run giveaways from my own pocket – only sponsored ones. For me I try and make sure I give back to my readers with things like free printables or being honest about products – you can also choose to only run a competition to your subscribers for example (i.e. don’t post about it, put it in the newsletter and then those who read will know what to do but then you avoid the compers – if they spread to word to their friends then great but if not it’s just a reward for your loyal followers 🙂 hope this helps x
Aha that is a great idea. I will look into that. Many thanks.
I have never done a giveaway and probably won’t in the near future! Each to their own xo
Oh nice. Good to meet another blogger that does not run giveaways. Food for thought.
Well, all these giveaways make me think I’m not a normal blogger… because I haven’t given anything away 🙂 (just yet… who knows… perhaps in 2016?!) Love, Kathleen
It took me ages to start running giveaways so don’t worry too much about starting.
The trick is to host a giveaway that links to your content. I run a lot of jewellery giveaways and I blog about jewellery. Some people leave but some do stay around and subscribe to read my blog via email, bloglovin and the like.
Thanks for the tip Mellissa.
Great post. It is best to attract readers for contents but giveaways can also help build your readers base cos some will come for the gifts only and some will definitely stay with you for contents and hoping for when the gift will come again. So giveaway has its advantage but try to give from the sponsors not from your pocket.
Yea I will. Thank you x
This is the exact reason why I don’t host giveaways because I want to create content that is authentic to me.
Yea I noticed. Thanks Ana x
I’m a comper. And a blogger. I have run my own giveaways. I’m also a mum, a knitter, a cook, a gardener, a wife, a woman who likes nice clothes and is interested in looking good, a reader, a consumer, a baker, a cake decorator…. I could go on. I have been attracted to many blogs via comping and some of them have become firm favourites. Others I have left – after a while – I never enter a comp and run. So how can you judge if someone is likely to become a fan or just vanish? I would say if the content is good a fair proportion of people will hang around. Of course not everyone will but not everyone who stumbles across your blog and has a read will stay – but because they haven’t entered a competition you won’t even be aware of them. If you want to limit a giveaway that you are funding yourself to people that are genuinely interested in your blog then make them do something that engages with your blog or is related to your field of interest to enter. Something creative to do with styling maybe. But keep the sponsored giveaways as they are to attract numbers for the sponsors.
I hope you will take this in the spirit it is intended, as a genuine desire to reassure you that compers are not all purely obsessed with prizes at the exclusion of all else and it is perfectly possible to tailor your competiitions according to who you want to attract.
Thanks Heather. I appreciate your comment a lot. You have given me a great idea x
I’ve only ever run 2 company on my blog before. I had a mix of entries including from compers. I agree with you, I want the readers to be there for the content but if I do host an occasional giveaway, I’m happy for whoever wants to enter! X
True. Thanks Kat x
I have only run two giveaways so far and they were sponsored, yes I did get a lot of traffic from them and most stayed with me, so did bring in more followers. Unfortunately you will always get the ones that enter and then run as soon as the competition ends, but you will also get new followers who only found you this time through the competition and will stay
Yea I guess so. I will need to find a way around it so I attract people who have a real interest in my blog.
This is really interesting, I do run competitions but they are where the company provides the prize, I guess I just hope that you gain a few people who discover your blog through the competition but then come back and become a fan? It’s lots to think about
Yea I know. I understand not everyone would be interested in the blog, and would be there just for the prize, but it seems majority are there for just the prize.
I agree with your points. Just saying what most people think but never say. I’m a comper and recently started my own blog. When I ran my first comp I had a lot of traffic but after the comp not as much. As a comper I am very selective about the competitions I enter and if I enter one on a blog I genuinely take an interest in it and regularly read the content. I don’t even like the term ‘compers’ as now it has a bad rep. Most people regard compers as a bunch of scroungers out to make a fast buck.
Sadly some compers are just in it for the prize and that’s about it.
I agree. I have had this on my mind for sometime now and finally decided to share it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
My giveaways are open to anyone, as long as they fill in the gadget thing properly as requested. I dont like the thought of people being excluded because they are associated with a term, though naturally it is nice is one of your regular readers does win, I would never want to decide who won, so that is why I use Rafflecopter x
Great. Thanks Rachel x
I’m both a blogger and a comper so have experience from both sides. Yes, there are compers that are only in it for the chance of a win but please remember that the comping community is huge. “Compers” are just normal people, like you and me, and while some will only be in it for the win, compers are great at spreading the word and you will get lots of people that will stick around that wouldn’t have found you otherwise. I think the key is to decide what you want to gain by running a competition. Is it more followers in general to boost your numbers, more subscribers to your newsletter or more people that are genuinely interested in what you have to say. I agree with one of the comments above in that if you run a competition that is more creative, rather than a “comment on the blog post”, ask people to do something that is relevant to your brand, you can target and reach the people that will want to stick around. Good luck!
Thanks for the tips Anne. I will take them all on board.
I blog and comp so see both sides too 🙂 My suggestion is a link to enter in your newsletter to rewards readers, or reply to this newsletter to enter. Have seen both ways done. The more effort involved to enter, the more you will filter out the just comp people.
Yea true. Thanks for the tips x
I have run comps – quite a few over the last year. I think it is down to the blogger if they want to or not. Mine have always been well received. Kaz x
Nice Kaz. Thanks for stopping by x
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I believe great contents will make readers stay with or without giveaways.
I have personally hosted many giveaways on my You tube and all of it I funded. I gave away a DKNY purse the other day. The lady who won followed me on all social media and all. Once she won, she disappeared. I haven’t seen her since then.
All the same that shouldn’t prevent us from giving back.
I think Fashion and Style police is great. Your giveaways are great as well, I haven’t won any but maybe this year….lol.
You are right Moji. Giveaways brirng traffic and ghost followers, but great content brings an engaged audience.
If you want to promote your blog via a giveaway you won’t get 100% staying (no advertising would give you that). If you just want to treat regularly participating followers can’t you just do that. Pick someone you know is a regular and send them a surprise. As long as you don’t get people to enter or run it as a competition you wouldn’t be advertising at all so would have no issue with the ASA. Do you need a competition at all? (I’m a comper by the way). Having said that i read some blogs too, compers have interest just like anyone else.
Yea I agree with you. Thanks for the tip x
I like to use giveaways on my blog as a way to give back to existing readers. Altho they attract new ones too, I do hope they stick around once the comp ends! Xxx
Yea I do hope too. Thanks Laura x
If you don’t want compers to enter your giveaways, don’t run giveaways. Compers though are people who, if they like your content will stick around and become regular readers. It really annoys me as a comper and a blogger, that whilst many bloggers consider compers as good enough to boost traffic, they are somehow considered as not worth developing as a regular reader. If the big brands took that attitude, I doubt some of them would reach national, let alone global status.
Thanks for stopping by Linda. It is my blog so I am free to do what I want with it.
Interesting take. I’ve found that quite a few of my loyal readers actually found me originally through a competition – I love that! There will always be some ‘compers’ who just enter and go but I’ve found them to be in the minority tbh
Oh ok, that is a first. Guess I have just been unlucky with attracting the ones who just disappear.
I can’t understand why you would ever fund a competition yourself, there are so many brands out there that would like publicity and a competition is a fab advert!
Yea they are. I wonder why I do the things that I do.
I like to enter competitions i rarely enter blog ones as I don’t really read blogs BUT i do have a couple that I follow on Fb and time to time they post up a link to a new blog and I read it because the title takes my interest but it might only be 1 article in every 20 that they write and if they had a competition I would enter it only if I wanted the prize but I wouldn’t feel obliged to come back regularly to read their content. A blogger makes a choice to run a competition especially if they are paying they made that choice so I think they have to expect unregular readers to enter there will be random people who find your article and have a read see a comp and enter it never to return again.
Yea true. Thanks for reading x
Hi, great post! I guess it would depend what your goals are for hosting a competition, as you are not a ‘company’ it’s not straight advertising in the hope someone buys something from you, competitions are great for this as your company’s name gets out there and I personally have gone on to buy from companies I have found this way (I’m a shopaholic but also love to get the odd freebie and then of course I tell my family and friends about that product!)
If I were a blogger, I think I would host a sponsored competition as normal, by gleam or rafflecopter etc, to get the traffic, followers etc and tweets & shares, in the hope that other people then see and give me even more traffic etc in the hope that some are interested in what my blog is about and my style of writing etc,
But the ones I fund from my own pocket would be awarded, out of the blue, to people who I know already interact with my blog etc and no tweet this, share that etc.
What I personally don’t like, is when a blogger says they are running a competition to reward their readers but then asks them to tweet share in the hope of attracting new people/traffic and then wants to exclude some of those new people from winning.
I would, however, be more than happy for a blogger to randomly give one of the people they interact with, a reward,
Thanks Diane. You have given me an idea.
I know this won’t be the case for many entrants but I have gained followers from giveaways who now interact with my posts on social media.
Oh good for you Charlotte. I am yet to be that lucky x
this is a very interesting topic. I for one have not found Giveaways beneficial to my blog whatsoever. Then again, so far most of them have been funded by my pocket.
But at same time, I do like to reward my Readers now and again…Looks like you’ve decided to go with them from your latest post, so best of luck with that! ( :
Yes I have. Will see how it goes x
These are some really interesting points that I’d never even thought about, and It’s really opened my eyes and made me think about giveaways more.
Oh good Deanna x
I hear this alot with Bloggers, so you’re not on your own. I’m a comper and blogger, but, I tend to keep the comps on twitter and blogging for reading.
I’ve been approached to do giveaways, and I’ve thought a lot about how to do it so it’s fair.
I would always have the following for giveaways on blog (when I do them)
Comment, Follow on blog, twitter and instagram and pinstrest.
Personally I wouldn’t pay for a prize myself, I would only ever do a sponsored comp.
Thanks Renna. Yea I agree. I think I will rethink the whole paying for a prize myself.
Thanks for sharing this post! I think giveaways can be beneficial to every blogger, you just need to think hard about why you’re hosting them. If you’re paying for your own prize, my preference is to make your entrants work a little for it – make them share a fashion photo on Instagram and tag you (so you know they’re on your wavelength rather than after a freebie). As someone else suggested, do a giveaway for newsletter subscribers only. The ones that enter will be the ones who read your newsletter and enjoy your content. Or ask people to comment with feedback, questions and comments related to your blog (I spotted you’ve done this on your latest giveaway!). There are also relatively low value prizes like ecourses, ebooks or 1-on-1 consulations which wouldn’t be of interest to most compers, but would be massively appreciated by a blogger’s loyal fans.
When you feel like you want a bit of traffic rather than to reward existing readers, change your approach – go for a Gleam/Rafflecopter giveaway with all the social media options, contact a brand you like and ask for a prize, and go all out to get all the traffic you can as a mini boost to your stats – some of that traffic may well hang around and enjoy your content too!
Yea I agree with all you have said, and yes I have implemented the related question too. Thanks for stopping by x
This is a very interesting topic and I really like how you put all of these arguments together. I think the problem arises as bloggers ask for subscriptions etc in exchange for a giveaway entry. The problem would be solved if bloggers, for instance, would only ask for a comment as part of giveaway entry and try to make entrants constantly visiting by showing that they have great content to read.
This is a very interesting way of viewing Dominika. I will give this suggestion a thought. Thanks for reading x
You definitely need to find the right balance; I interviewed some PR’s recently and they all said that running too many giveaways and competitions was one of the red flags that would put them off working with a blogger. Food for thought, isn’t it?! x
Yea it is. I have a lot of thinking to do.
I think Di has the right idea. Make people work a bit extra rather than just retweet. This way, you are more likely to get genuine people enter your giveaways rather than just those who want a quick entry.
Yea true. Thanks Tracy.
Hi Stella. I am a comper and I have won some great prizes through comping. I enjoy comping. It’s a hobby. I have also through it found blogs like yours, companies I would never have heard of, purchases I would never have bought if I hadn’t been a comper.
It has opened my world in many ways. Though I tend to think out of the box with stuff anyway. Yes you will get some solely in it for what they can get (They are also the types that moan alot they dont win when winners names are published. It is not a defined right to win. You have to love comping as it is hard work too) There is also alot of us who aren’t in it jut for that. We have our own communities and help each other. We also are good for advertising as we will talk about brands etc. we come accross in many settings.
I can understand your point. Your 1 person so my advice as a comper really is get the big brands to supply prizes for you as it works for both of you. Yes it will also up your site traffic and some will stay.
How did I find you? Through a comping forum community I am a member of. Your topic was posted and asked for people’s thoughts on. Yes I have bookmarked you and will read as I have time as I love my fashion, beauty, make up and so on. It’s funny old world how we can find people/places/situations on or off the virtual world.
Through some of the wins I have had it has also meant I have changed some products I have used and look at things in a different way, as well as trying new things from new sites.
One comp club did an article a few years ago on whether compers were friends or foes. It was a large company mind, who said we were friends, as we gave them extra marketing just by word of mouth, by talking with friends of the things we have seen, won, bought because we have visited the site and so on.
I think it has to be a personal choice. It sounds as if running them for you is more hassle than it is worth so as a genuine comper, I would suggest don’t see yourself out of pocket whether it be financially or time worse, as there has to be something to gain from both sides.
My only other suggestion has you have had loads of impute, is write down the bullet points of what you have learnt and do a pro’s and cons list on the thoughts and ideas you have got from it. I hope this helps. Good luck
Thanks Carol. I will look into these tips x
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