Wednesday, November 5

opinions welcome!

I was just wondering about something, and thought that some of you might be willing to share your honest opinions with me.
The question is this:  What do you think about "Blog Giveaways"?  Do you think they are a silly trend?  A random desperate attempt to gain virtual friendships?  How about just a sweet and genuinely generous idea that bloggers have to thank readers for their support?  Or maybe it is different in every situation.
It seems to be a trend of late, as I don't recall any giveaways back when I was strictly a blog reader-only.  Or maybe the blogs that I originally read just didn't do giveaways.  I have noticed that some of my original favorites have never had giveaways and that hasn't affected my interest in their blogs in any way.  Often I see a giveaway and don't enter.  I'll occasionally enter if it is a blog that I read every day and feel like the blogger is a friend.  
I do notice that when bloggers have giveaways, then people come out of the woodwork to enter.  The usual 3-7 comments turns into 100 comments in some cases and I think this is really funny!  I'd love to hear some different opinions on this subject.

The first time that I did "win" a blog giveaway a couple of months ago I became so excited to receive it!  It was so silly.  It's not like I couldn't have gone out and bought one myself--it was so much more fun to "be the winner"!  Well, I was sadly disappointed that after a couple of months the item never came in the mail.  :-(    I was really bummed out and kinda feeling negative about the whole thing.  I thought to myself why would someone do something like that??  Just to get readers?  I wondered.

But, then something wonderful happened!  A super-sweet bloggy friend of mine sent me my all-time favorite movie on DVD in the mail just because!  And then another awesome friend sent me a new book in the mail just because!  And then just last week I won a tie by my beloved Lilly Pulitzer from yet another fabulous bloggy friend!  My husband is wondering what it is we all are doing in here!  He can't believe it!

In any event I am still planning a blog giveaway for December and it will have all kinds of goodies in it.  {Sorry, no iPhone!}  Hahaha!  I want to do it as a thank you to all of the kind people out there who have made my day on several occasions with their sweet and supportive comments.  :-)


Mrs.D said...

I personally have never had a giveaway, but I think they are fun to participate in. When the commenters come out of the woodwork, that's due to the "I'll give you X many more entries if you post about it on your blog" thing. That DOES get the word out, but really it just lessens the chances for the regular readers. I doubt that most of the new commenters due to the contest return. It is a fun way to network though, and I bet they get at least a few new regulars from them.

Mrs. K said...

you know I did a swap once- and I got so burnt I was pissed. I mean it was for stationary and I went to swoozies and got something nice based on what the girl told me she liked....'cause I always try to be thoughtful- then I got what she sent me...a beer holder (I never mentioned I like beer because, well I don't)and some stupid napkins. Never again.

But giveaways? I don't know- I never win them so I just keep reading.

NINA said...

Dear Petunia and your Commenters, Great post! I've only had 1 giveaway and I agree with all of your opinions & ideas. After my first (which thankfully ended perfectly with one of my MOST loyal readers) and after some convos with other close blogging friends - I'm thinking the next giveaway rules will be you must be a "follower" or left a comment in the past before the day the giveway starts. That's for me, because I agree that I do it mainly as a thank you to my readers but I do have to admit that (since I do my blog for biz) it does increase my readership. So I do agree that it is mos def situational!
Another idea, is set aside items that you can use as "traffic increasers" and then have items for your "thank you for being a reader" giveaway! Maybe we could even change it from a "giveaway" to a new name... ???
WOW this is a VERY long comment. Sorry! ;-)

LyndsAU said...

I agree with Nina! I am planning on having a giveaway for my 99th post (just because everyone else does 100)! And I will require that they either be a follower or have posted in the past because I want my loyal readers to be the ones that have a shot at winning!
I won a giveaway a few months bak and it was so fun to be a "winner" so I understand what you mean by that!
Can't wait until your giveaway! :)

Mojito Maven said...

oh how I can relate to this post! I have hosted 2 giveaways thus far and I did them as a thank you to my readers. BUT I have to totally agree with you. On my most recent giveaway I had almost 200 comments...It actually hur my feelings a little bit...remember how I did that blog post about my Google Analytics Keywords? Welllllll, there was AT LEAST 25 searches for "blog giveaways" which means that half the people who commented on my blog post were specifically searching for a giveaway and found mine to enter. Also, it was hurtful that I found my blog giveaway listed on sites and blogs solely dedicated to giveaways. AND, the worst is when I asked people to be a "follower" and after the winners were announced they then decided to stop following me which shows me why they were even following in the first place.

I want to continue to do giveaays because I truly do them as a thank you but I wish there was a way to weed out the people who are commenting for selfish reasons and not because they genuinely love reading my blog.

Ok, sorry that was so long (and I could keep going hahahahah)

A Belle and her Beau said...

It was me, It was me!! I am the one who has not sent your gift and I feel sooo terribly bad. I PROMISE you will have it in the next week or 2. I never dreamed that my travel for work was going to be so heavy - but that is NO excuse. I still owe you and sasha the giveaway prize plus 2 other girls a pay it forward gift. Oh boy I really feel guilty!! Please forgive me ...


Legallyblondemel said...

Great points. I have mixed feelings about them too, and don't care for them when they seem too obviously commercial - meaning, motivated only to drive more readers to the site.

I don't personally plan on doing them often - only on the occasion when I get something neat that's related to what I've talked about anyways (like the Tori book) & figure people might enjoy. For me, I want to do them as a fun thank-you.

I try to only enter giveaways when it's a site I really enjoy reading & a gift I actually am really interested in.

Hope you're having a great week!

Kate said...

I think it really depends. My first giveaway was because I had written a certain amount of posts and wanted to celebrate and thank my readers. My most recent giveaway was also partly that, but also partly to see who is reading. I use statcounter and see how many people read. But a lot don't comment so I like to know who is reading. People definitely come out of the woodwork when you give something away!

Jill said...

I just had my first giveaway. I had reached my 100th post and met so many sweet girls. I wanted to do something to thank everyone. Lots of readers who had never commented left me comments for the first time and it was nice to see who was reading and get to "know" some new readers. However, there were people who searched "blog giveaways" and signed up. I think for my next giveaway, I'll say only for followers of my blog.

I left you an award on my blog. :) Have a great day.

Petunia said...

Wow--so it seems that all of you have been thinking along the same lines as me. I want to do a giveaway for my bloggy friends, and maybe there are even some regular readers who just don't comment.
BUT it would be really annoying if people googled "blog giveaway" and found me that way. On the other hand it would be nice to make a few new friends if they found my giveaway by reading about it on one of my readers blogs. Hmmmm...
I think Nina has a great idea--give it a NEW name so googlers can't find it! LOL!!
Any ideas???

Petunia said...

How about Bloggift??
Fabulous Friends Freebie??

Landlocked Mermaid said...

this is so interesting! As the person who just hosted my first giveaway I intrigued to gain a little history. I am by the way heading to the post office which is across the street as soon as I log off to get that tie in the mail to mr, petunia. I was so busy this week i can't believe it is thursday.
Since this is my first time, I loved seeing who read my blog but also seeing the reaction to the gift. but the most important thing was seeing how excited the winner was!! OMG I loved that!! I will do more. .. but also think it stinks in the cases you all mentioned above

Jo said...

I like Nina's idea about entering if you are a follower. I've entered a few giveaways myself but only the ones that I follow their blogs.

I also have to agree with Mrs. K on the swap. I too got items that I had no interest in (and even a few used items) or use for. This is even after filling out all the personal likes info. Oh well, live and learn I guess!

It's always fun to be a winner. But if I were hosting a giveaway, I think I'd like to know my gift went to someone that I had some sort of connection with or had chatted with in the past.

Just my thoughts ~ good luck on your decision!


Jo said...

I should also add that the swap I mentioned is NOT from Courtney ~ just in case she is a read!

Chitown Meg said...

I think giveaways are fun- something exciting about being the winner ya know?? Altho, that is very bad blog etiquette for someone to say you're a winner and then you never get anything! How terrible! So I think they are long as people follow thru :)

kb said...

I think they are kind of silly.
I feel like it might be an attempt to get "followers" but then some might do it out of the kindness of their hearts. Maybe, if you do could ask for people not to post it on their blogs and then have only your followers know about it? Or...just write a nice blog about that person that "won".

Caffeine Court said...

I'm giving away a $75 Southern Living at HOME gift certificate to the person who does the most organizing in November and can prove it with pictures!

Why the giveaway? To motivate people.

I hear that giveaways are a fabulous way to get comments. Maybe next time I'll use that tactic. (If I'm feeling lonely.)

Capegirl said...

I like Nina's idea, that way you at least know that someone cares enough to comment every now and then. On the other hand, I love winning things-must be the competive streak in me. At a baby shower this past weekend I was so happy that I won a candle for being the first in a word scramble. Pathetic-yes-but also fun.
The "give away" is that we are sharing with one another when we write, read, or comment.

Mindi said...

you know how i feel about the giveaway thing--

i had my first one in march and loved it so much that i did another. and then another--i have never made any bones about why i do it, and it's for two reasons only:

1. i love to give things to people--i always have. it just makes me giddy.
2. to increase traffic to my blog. i figured many who were looking for just a "blog giveaway" wouldn't return. but SOME have, and that makes it worth it to me. i love seing new faces and don't begrudge the people who only want something for free. if i'm going to host a giveaway with no strings attached,i just figure i deal with it.

but i am cool with people who don't like them--many of my readers don't enter.

i'll look forward to yours!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Hosting a giveaway was a lot of fun. I've been trying to keep track to see if new people who started reading my blog during the giveaway have stuck with it and for the most part, I still seem to get comments from most. About ten or so have never been heard from again. I'm only planning to do a giveaway once a year during my birthday jubilee week in October.

Jaina said...

I think they're fun, as long as they're only used once in a while.