I'm sure by now we've all entered a blog giveaway at least once. And if you love free things as much as I do, you've probably entered about 535631684312 giveaways by now, right? Giveaways are great for both the blog host as well as the winners (obvs), but there are also some down sides to giveaways, depending on how you go about it.
Here's a guide to giveaways from both view points: a host (pink) and an entrant (purple).
As a host, you can make people do just about anything (within reason) you want in order to get an entry to win. You're giving people a chance to win something for free so you want to make them work a little for it, and that's totally understandable. Giveaways are also a surefire way to get people to follow your social media accounts so it's okay to try and cover all your bases.
As an entrant, giveaways are a great way to score free stuff by doing a few tasks, but even as a lover of all things free, I tend to get discouraged from entering a giveaway that has 35446 different tasks to do just to raise my chances of winning. Usually I just do the mandatory one and a few of the easy ones and that's it.
I've participated in a few group giveaways and they're a great way to make new blog friends and usually require very little effort if someone else is hosting it. It is a good way to gain new followers and traffic to your blog since the giveaway is mentioned and/or posted on every blog that participates but it doesn't guarantee that your blog stats will go up. Also, you should be very picky about who's giveaway you join. If you blog all about cats, don't try to hop on to a dog lover group's giveaway. You won't get the results you were hoping for.
I'll be honest with you: I rarely enter group giveaways. It's a lot of work going through the entries, clicking the links to follow, copying/pasting tweets, commenting, pinning, etc. And to be even more honest, usually I don't even care for the blogs hosting the giveaway - I just want the free stuff. I'll never actually read that blog and then later on will probably delete it from my feed because I won't remember why I had followed them in the first place. Keep it simple, people!
I used to fret over what kind of dramatic, over-the-top prize would give me the most followers but after a while I realized that no matter what the prize is, people will enter and look forward to more from you. So I quit trying to top everyone else's giveaway and started giving away stuff that was easy (and cheap) for me to get because giving away expensive crap was only hurting my budget. A good idea is to try and find sponsors for your giveaways where they provide the prize and you promote their company/product.
Free is free. Even if you're giving away one tube of mascara, as long as it's not used, I want it. Some of the best prizes are the goody bags full of random stuff and gift cards that I'll actually use. I also love the giveaways sponsored by Etsy sellers and online boutiques because it introduces me to more places to shop!
Being honest about your prizes, your tasks, and picking your winner is important. Don't set something up if you can't follow through. You want people to be honest with you so you need to be honest with them as well. Put your terms out there so there is no confusion or miscommunication. Also, if for some reason you can't follow through with your giveaway, let the winners know. Follow up with them and give them an alternative if you need to. If you're genuine and sincere, they will understand. And remember, some people enter giveaways just for the free stuff and will never read your blog. It's okay.
I can't speak for everyone else, but when it comes to entering giveaways I like to be honest all the time. If I don't want to follow, I won't, and I won't pretend that I did just to get the entry. What goes around comes around. Just remember that.
So what did you guys think about my take on giveaways? Have you hosted one yet? How far would you go to win something really awesome?
I was really busy actually working so I didn't get around to writing my giveaway post yesterday like I had planned. This year I set a goal for myself to host one giveaway each month but June has been absolutely bananas so I really had no clue what prize to give away this month!
It finally hit me this morning after I emailed a friend about Sarah and Bad Bad Jewelry and how awesome it was that her necklaces sold out on Nastygal because I fucking love Nastygal, that I should give away something that ties Bad Bad Jewelry, Nastygal, and my dream of starting my own business together.
BOOM. #GIRLBOSS it is.
I haven't even gotten my paws on this book yet but I'm giving one of you a chance to win a copy of it! Once the giveaway is over and a winner is chosen, I'm going to order two copies - one for the winner, and one for myself because wtf, I want to read it too! And it can be like our own exclusive book club where we can be book buddies and talk about our favorite parts and skype about it and leave annoying quote comments on other peoples blogs and braid each others' hair and...you get the picture.