Do Giveaways Benefit Blogs?
By: Jennine Jacob

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In the last few years, giveaways have become a staple promotion for brands wanting to engage with bloggers and other social media outlets. As bloggers become more established, requests from brands for giveaways grow… I probably get at least one a day. Some brands go as far as sending out email blasts to bloggers offering products for review and for giveaways. Which makes me wonder, how much value are companies getting from social media giveaways and how much do bloggers and their readers actually get from hosting them.

 

 

Who Benefits More from Giveaways Brands or Bloggers?

Firstly, I have to disclose, that I view giveaways as promotional content, particularly if a brand is asking for specific links and a specific time line, and the purpose of the giveaway is to build search results in SEO or to promote a particular product. Secondly, giveaways also generate more engagement than a regular post, so the value of the post for the brand and the blog has more impact. Giveaways do generate more traffic, but what is the quality of the traffic? Grechen from Grechen’s Closet says that traffic from giveaways do not stay, they tend to unsubscribe after the giveaway is complete.

 

The general consensus from bloggers (including Grechen) is that traffic and exposure should not be the main motivation for doing a giveaway, that giving back to your readers should be the main reason. Many bloggers to the question ‘do you charge money for giveaways?’ answered a simple ‘no’ saying that giveaways presented opportunity for relationship building with brands and giving mag to the readers. However, I did notice a divide between professional bloggers (with no other ‘day’ job) and bloggers who blog for a hobby or partially professional. Professional bloggers tended to view giveaways as promotional content while non-professional bloggers tended to view giveaways as opportunities both, agreed that it was a way to give back to the readers.

 

 

Do Readers Benefit From Giveaways?

While it’s easy to find out from bloggers if they feel readers are rewarded from giveaways… the readers, on the other hand, how do they feel? I asked the question on The Coveted yesterday to find out:

 

Judging by the small sample taken by a quick poll yesterday, my readers, do like giveaways… sort of. Many do feel like it’s fun, many feel like it heavily depends on what the item is, and well.. if they feel they have a good chance of winning it. People who not like giveaways at all are in the minority.

 

 

What is the advantage of a giveaway?

Throughout the day of talk about giveaways, very few bloggers said that it provided an effective way to grow traffic, even fewer said that doing giveaways for a brand evolved into sponsorships and or jobs. Conducing a giveaway, while it’s a lot of work, was not generally perceived as something that should be paid content (I personally disagree, but stood in the minority).

 

 

All in all, if put under the same critical lens as you would something you would post editorially, positioned as something that would benefit your readers, it can have a positive effect on the community of your blog. So they are worthwhile, if done right.

How do you feel about giveaways?

 

PS. Shoes photoed above are mine… there’s no way I’m giving them away. ;)

Comments

  1. Afrodite says:

    I just did my first giveaway and I didn’t really get that much reaction (I was actually afraid I would get only 1 or sth). I don’t know if it was because it was only for Belgium and the Netherlands or maybe because they just didn’t like the product. I didn’t really benefit a lot from it but I’m glad I can make someone else happy with the gift!

  2. MJ says:

    I agree that the surge in traffic is temporary and can require more work than anything else. I also agree that it’s a great way to give back to your readers. Like all things, it has to fit for what the overall vision of your blog is. For some blogs, giveaways work great and on others it may not. I personally haven’t done any on my blog just yet and don’t plan on it in the near future – but I wouldn’t say I would NEVER do one. It’s just something that right now isn’t a good fit for me.

  3. Alisha says:

    I think giveaways are a great idea as they promote brands and give something back to the readers.

    If people do just join for the giveaway, there isn’t too much harm done as some will stay.

    Although loyal readers may miss out.

  4. So far, any giveaways I’ve done have not resulted in a marked increased in subscriptions (that’s my goal for giveaway -they must subscribe to enter). I see other blogs on the same level as mine get dozens of entries for their giveaways while I get, like, three. Maybe my prizes aren’t good enough!

  5. DS says:

    I rarely do giveaways on the the blog anymore, and when I do it has to be with a brand I really like. I actually have moved all my giveaways to our monthly newsletters, but the amazing thing is none of those are sponsored by other brands. I tend to reinvest monies earned from the blog back into it, and like rewarding my readers with something special. I’ve recently began to explore offers for branded giveaways in the newsletter. I have over 3500 subscribers, and only lost 1 subscriber since I’ve moved the giveaways to our monthly newsletter. All they have to do is subscribe to be entered.

    I also do special events via the newsletter, meaning I do pop-up events, trunk shows, Q&A sessions but the only way you’ll know about it is being a subscriber. I think this is far more personal, and it’s actually helped me connect more with my readers, and helped me retain them, even when we go through bouts of no new content, because of changes to come.

    I’m currently exploring the same kinds of exclusivity with facebook. 5 years of blogging and a lot of brainstorming has lead me to this route. Otherwise I think sponsored giveaways are mix between momentary influx of traffic and randoms. I truly wanted my readers to be rewarded for sticking around all these years, and it’s the best decision I could’ve made.

  6. Jen says:

    I think of giveaways as a networking opportunity. Perhaps a company isn’t sure if they want to invest in advertising on my site so they sponsor a giveaway to test the waters. Also, I like helping out small companies and Etsy stores that don’t have $$ for advertising. Giveaways are definitely a lot more work than a regular post, but it benefits the readers and benefits me in the long run too.

  7. We have two different giveaways. A monthly on our magazine site/side which has to total at least $500 retail. We use that to grow our email list and it does work. We have over 15k subscribers now. Yes some are giveaway trollers, but that’s to be expected. We also have smaller giveaways for a shorter time period (usually a week) on our blog on average a couple times a month. Do we get much out of those…not really. But they are a way of thanking and engaging our readers. Yes, they can be a pain and extra work, but it’s also a good way to build a relationship with those brands we love.

  8. Hmmmm very interesting. I always thought giveaways were a great way to reward readers but I find the people entering most of my giveaways are either just not the same people who usually comment – they might be silent readers. Or totally new readers. I have done a couple giveaways working with brands but I have to admit I do think they were more of an advertisement for the brands rather than of value to my blog. I have also done giveaways where I have bought the prize myself which I much prefer. I agree if you promote a brand you should receive compensation.

    I actually have a giveaway running on my blog now for a gift voucher for my new online store. I did the giveaway to get some promotion for the store but also thought it would be a really nice treat for a reader. But I have hardly had any entries, perhaps I havent advertised it enough? Or they dont like the prize as much as previous ones?

    Ill be interested to read more comments on this topic!

  9. birdie says:

    I tend to agree that the traffic that comes around from giveaways isn’t traffic that stays with you. It’s a lot of work to build that traffic… and if someone who’s not a regular reader wins, it could be disappointing for the people who continually support the blog.

  10. Jill says:

    I agree with Birdie. Some “passers by” join giveaways just for the items and aren’t really regular readers. But on a second thought, some who join are also silent/passive readers and new followers.

    Probably what a blog can benefit from giveaways are temporary traffic (which hopefully becomes regular) and brand association, among others.

  11. I think it can definitely help you get a bit more exposure (people might be more likely to re-tweet or re-post a giveaway, and if the brand you’re working with promotes it as well, that’s a good thing). But they can cheapen a blog quickly if they’re conducted mindlessly or too often. And it’s obvious to readers if you’re only giving something away to increase your popularity, and not because the product fits with your blog’s DNA.

  12. Kate says:

    Giveaways are great for brand exposure though and if you have people follow you on Twitter or Facebook in order to enter I would say around 50% stay…though I think those odds are higher for the brand themselves and it depends on the product and price point. If someone can’t afford the product they will most likely unsubscribe. In the mean while I do hate bloggers who ask there readers to go tag the facebook page of the brand with their giveaway to harness more traffic because then it seems they are just doing it for traffic and no other reason and sadly the mommy bloggers are the worse at doing this with brands at least in my case…which is sad because some of their pages have great reviews, but honestly in all it’s annoying when your running a Facebook page and need to answer legit questions and people are tagging it with a giveaway that does nothing to help the customer except drive them to your blog. Can you tell I work on the brand side as well?

  13. Lyana says:

    From a non-professional blogger’s perspective, giveaways serve only as a way to thank my readers. I do not encourage people to follow blogs just for the sake of a giveaway because those people are not the loyal followers, they just want the prize. I also want it to be hassle free and would not ask readers to go through a bazillion steps just to be eligible. I’m going to be doing my first giveaway very soon actually.

  14. For me, my giveaways do appear to build loyal followers. My followers know that I only do LARGE (Giveaways are always over $50 most over $100) giveaways so they stick around to see what I will come up with next. In the meantime, they start to engage in my other content.

    I consider my giveaway a plus for my readers, a way to give back. I also consider it promotional for the company. I would like to start charging for my giveaways but I feel that I must continue to build my reputation before I do that.

  15. This article came right on time…I am considering having Giveaway’s next month on my site. I still may consider just giving it a try even if the readers are coming only for the gifts. Rewarding my readers is my goal , and I plan to achieve it. Excellent timing IFB….

  16. Aiseneya W. says:

    I made the mistake of doing a giveaway right before Christmas Eve when online traffic was down significantly. So, I can’t say if I find them beneficial or not. I would to try again, but I would want to supply the prize myself as not to have any restrictions or obligations. Maybe that will make a difference in whether the traffic generated will stay afterward or not. I’ll have to report back about somehow.:-)

  17. I see them as a form to give back to the people that support us unconditionally.
    With out our readers our blog would not have a life.

    Also I believe that we should like the product that we are giving away, if not, what’s the point of that?

  18. those tricks says:

    The only giveaway I have done on my blog is one I put together of thrifted, vintage items I had found. I thought it was really fun and was excited to give something back to my readers. I look forward to doing another when the time and items I have on hand are appropriate.
    However, as a marketing gimmick, I don’t like it. When I see blog posts in my bloglovin’ roll that are essentially giveaway ads (most blog giveaways), I just MARK AS READ, i.e. not interested, no thanks.
    -stephanie

  19. Dayner says:

    I personally love entering giveaways and love hosting them!

    I don’t enter a giveaway from a blog I don’t like or care to read as it feels like cheating! I expect most would only enter my giveaways as they’re interested in both the blog and the prize. After all, for most of us the chances of winning are slim… it’s all just for fun :-)

    Dayner x
    http://www.mozzypop.com

  20. Christy says:

    I’ve done some really successful giveaways and some *ehh* ones.

    The biggest thing is to have the brand deal with shipping out the item to the winner so you won’t have to end up paying shipping charges. I’ve had that happen to me once and fortunately the person was local but it was still a pain to orchestrate a drop off to her.

  21. I want people to come to my site for high quality content of interest to them. That’s why I do not offer contests or give-aways, and rarely promote them (too advertorial)/ Sometimes I’ll promote a contest that a company is conducting (only if it is for a really good cause) but never conduct these myself.

    Give-away gimmicks may be helpful in the short term to newbies, but shouldn’t we all be trying to elevate the image of content providers with hard work and good materials? In truth, I don’t participate in give-aways personally and find them annoying, but I do see an awful lot of it on the net.

  22. kelsey says:

    I love offering giveaways to my readers. I think they’re fun, and everyone wants to win things!

    However, I don’t think it encourages readers to stick around. Your everyday content is responsible for that.

  23. As a blogger, I can’t speak to the benefits of hosting giveaways because I’ve never done so. However, as a reader I rarely enter giveaways, and the ones I do always have some real personal connection to the blogger rather than just being a vehicle for brand promotion. I get really excited about giveaways for items that craftier bloggers have made themselves, or for items from independent or etsy retailers.

    Like a lot of other readers, it’s a bit of a turn-off when every second or third post from one blog that appears in my reader is about a giveaway, when I get comments on my blog that are only intended to promote their giveaway, or when the pre-requisites for entry are following on multiple platforms, reblogging, or retweeting. (The “like” on facebook is a particular pet peeve of mine.) It’s so much more fun when bloggers ask entrants for a joke or a short anecdote as a giveaway entry – it makes the whole thing come across less as an exercise in self-promotion and more as one in reader appreciation.

  24. Kylie says:

    I spent some time entering competitions as a digital marketeer and a competition goer, I have been able to look at both sides of the coin.

    There are HUGE circles of professional competition goers (share competitions) who end up being the majority of the entrants, who in the end never come back to the site again after they have entered (other than to see if they have won) do not be fooled how popular your website or product seems to be while the competition is under-way by the mass amounts of flattering comments you receive.

    What I always think is bizarre is company’s giving away iPads or such as prizes, when that is not their product range. If you are to do a giveaway, keep the prize as relevant as possible so you are targeting the right people. You want ‘quality not quantity’.

    ASOS have the best idea’s when it comes to competitions and I have purchased a couple of times due to them. getting entrants to look around the site/add things to basket are the best routes for competitions.

    I could write a 2000 word essay on this, but wont bore you all ;)

  25. Joey says:

    I organized my first giveaway last month and I gave away a bunch of items I purchased with my own money. I genuinely wanted to thank my first batch of readers/followers for supporting me. It felt great when I picked the winner and it was someone who commented regular as well! It was really fun!

    I agree it brings only a sudden surge of followers who then never come back or never bother commenting/reading. However, I can’t think of any other way to actually reward my true readers. I need participants to actually be followers otherwise any random passer by can just comment and be in the running.

  26. Teri says:

    If I ever get offered a product to giveaway on my blog I will be very happy to have gotten to that status. However, not too sure about giveaways. I did one as a new blog, and it didn’t have the impact I was hoping for. I,too, dislike a lot of the “self-promotion” bloggers do. I want my followers to happen in an organic way because my content is worthy and informative and interesting.

  27. I would love to get a list of give away sponsors and retailers, would you have any suggestions ?

  28. Diana says:

    I’m not fond of the advertorial feel created by giveaways – while I often highlight brands/finds I genuinely like, I do it because I’m motivated to do so on my own. I’ve also been disturbed about how aggressive some brands have gotten with me about doing both giveaways and text link ads; it often leaves me with the feeling that they neither read my blog nor understand my readers.

  29. jessie says:

    I have really been struggling with this as of lately. So far, all of the giveaways that I’ve done have been smaller indie or local brands that I’m happy to promote because I believe in them or the product (so far all have been free of charge).

    As my blog and traffic have grown, I’ve been approached by much larger brands or stores who are interested in offering a big-ticket item or a large gift card to my readers but they are very particular with what links I include and in some cases have even asked to write the article themselves. These are all companies who I KNOW advertise on other blogs, so they obviously have a budget for that, and for them to ask me to do it for free feels like they want me to give them something (essentially my endorsement and promotion) that they pay others for.

    I’d love to know if there is anyone out there who DOES charge brands to host giveaways on their sites, and if so: How do you know which brands to charge/how you determine how much to charge/etc?

    Lastly, I thought I should mention that I do agree with everyone who has said that they do giveaways as a treat to their readers, as opposed to something that is traffic-generating. I never make people “follow” or “like” me to enter… mainly because I never enter them when other bloggers do that. (Although I suppose I’m automatically entered in the ones where I’m already following.)

    So glad this topic came up, and can’t wait to read more great responses!

    • grechen says:

      jessie – here’s what i do:

      for small brands/designers i will generally ask for the product they want to giveaway to review and write about, and that’s all – i don’t charge.

      for larger brands or boutiques i require them to first be advertisers, then they are entitled to host a giveaway at no extra charge.

      the first, most important qualification for ANY giveaway i host is that i must have done business with the boutique/designer before, and/or have some experience with them, but i also would never in a million years host a giveaway for something i wouldn’t buy or WANT to buy myself.

      i have never worked with a company that asked to write the post or required that certain text be used -i honestly never would do that. my blog posts are 100% me, i could never compromise that.

      one way to start “charging” companies for giveaways is to require them to advertise with you first…try that out…

  30. jessie says:

    I have really been struggling with this as of lately. So far, all of the giveaways that I’ve done have been smaller indie or local brands that I’m happy to promote because I believe in them or the product (so far all have been free of charge).

    As my blog and traffic have grown, I’ve been approached by much larger brands or stores who are interested in offering a big-ticket item or a large gift card to my readers but they are very particular with what links I include and in some cases have even asked to write the article themselves. These are all companies who I KNOW advertise on other blogs, so they obviously have a budget for that, and for them to ask me to do it for free feels like they want me to give them something (essentially my endorsement and promotion) that they pay others for.

    I’d love to know if there is anyone out there who DOES charge brands to host giveaways on their sites, and if so: How do you know which brands to charge/how you determine how much to charge/etc?

    Lastly, I thought I should mention that I do agree with everyone who has said that they do giveaways as a treat to their readers, as opposed to something that is traffic-generating. I never make people “follow” or “like” me to enter… mainly because I never enter them when other bloggers do that. (Although I suppose I’m automatically entered in the ones where I’m already following.)

    So glad this topic came up, and can’t wait to read more great responses!

  31. I like giveaways as reader and as a blogger. I feel like they do offer something for readers who head to my blog every day. I do not enjoy giveaways that want me to do multiple things like follow them at every social media site for extra entries. It should be simple and easy to enter a giveaway.

  32. Diana says:

    I did a giveaway for the launch of my blog and it went pretty well. I paid for the item myself and it was relevant to the content I post. After working in digital media for so long, I know the traffic will come for the content and not the giveaway but that’s a nice way to entice people initially. The hard part is keeping them there! I will be hosting another giveaway shortly (paid for by me) and hope it does help my traffic but my current readers will also have a chance to enter.

    If brands want to give me items to giveaway, I’m down but I don’t want to disrespect my readers – it has to be relevant and worth it!

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts about this. I learned a lot…

  33. I think giveaways are a treat for readers, like a thank you for visiting my blog. While I don’t do them often, I think they are fun.

  34. Posh says:

    I don’t get a lot of hype over a giveaway either. Don’t know why and it does nothing to increase my traffic. I do like to “gift” my followers but they don’t seem to care, lol.

  35. I think bloggers should be cautious of using giveaways, because being sponsored or even appearing to be sponsored by a company can decrease the legitimacy of your blog – people might think, “What’s her motivation in doing this giveaway and what’s in it for her?”

  36. Vanessa says:

    Another great article Jennine! When I first started to blog, I thought giveaways would be a good incentive to acquire new subscribers. It did not grow my traffic dramatically. What did was consistent quality traffic. I do think giveaways should be done to reward readers periodically but with the right brands. Since you are advocating it by publicizing a brand, I think bloggers should be paid for space. I maybe do it once a year and often pass on ones that do not reflect my blog.

  37. Giveaways are a wonderful way to say Thank you to your readers, gain additional traffic, and build collaborations with Brands.

    Remember, collaborating with a brand for a giveaway does not mean you’ll get a job with them later on, I’m not even sure where that idea is coming from. It may lead to a brand ambassadorship, or additional advertising at best.

    As for giveaway results, you must market your giveaways! Just like the brand that reached out to you considers you a great vehical for promotion, you must tap into your vehicles for promotion and market your giveaway. It’s not as simple as ‘if I give it away they will come’. Particularly when you are part of a big campaign that is being pushed on several sites at the exact same time.

    As for how to structure giveaways, only you know what works best for you. But a word of advice, if you don’t ask your readers to follow the sponsor on twitter or facebook (As Extra Credit, NOT a main entry we all know all the rules regarding mandatory follows), what value are you adding to the sponsor? Will they want to return and collaborate with you again if they see no results?

    Giveaways can be fantastic! But think of the following:

    1) Do not take on more than you can handle

    2) Make sure you and the client have a very clear understanding in regards to the posting deadline!

    3) When deciding on how to structure it, think simply of how much you would go through to win it, and then structure yours that way! ;)

  38. Denise says:

    I like doing giveaways as a reward to readers but haven’t for some time, mainly due to the attraction to ‘compers’ – people who spend their days entering competitions. They visit just to enter and they’re gone and I really don’t want them winning. Last time I stated that the giveaway was a reward for regular readers and that seemed to cut it down, but I have to admit the whole thing has turned me off. And I really don’t think giveaways work for increasing traffic in the long run, it’s best to view it as a reward for loyalty.

    And I have to agree with you, Jennine, about the pay issue. That’s something I feel more strongly about recently. After three years of spending a good part of my life doing my blog, I’m feeling that the balance in terms of benefits is in favour of the brands and I don’t know why anyone gives free publicity to a profit-making company just because they ask. I like to promote small independents but big companies should pay.

  39. I really enjoyed reading DS comment from She Breathes really useful fedback from a seasoned blogger.As a personal stylist in the UK, for me with out being arrogant I want my readers to visit to be informed, they receive free useful content that they would pay for in a magazine that is pretty rewarding in my eyes! Sharon (UK)

  40. Joy says:

    As I’ve only been blogging since 1st of April, and have been with the lovely community of IFB since Monday, 18th, I’m learning a lot.
    At the moment, I’m very inspired to come up with a good plan regarding giveaways.

    I’ll go back to this blog and give my feedback.

    Thanks for the warm welcome.
    Happy Easter.

    Kind regards,
    Joy

  41. D. says:

    This article peaked my interest as I carried out my first giveaway a couple of weeks ago. I posted on competition sites and the brand’s facebook page, the giveaway ran for a week and in terms of traffic, it was a great success.

    Since the competition ended, my numbers have returned to normal so I’d be inclined to msfemminista about visitors who come for the giveaway not typically becoming repeat readers.

    But I think that you always need exposure to raise awareness of your site and it’s naive to think that your blog is going to be everyone’s cup of tea. An additional advantage is that if you’re giving away a cool, credible product it reflects on the reputation of your blog. I’d definitely do more giveaways in the future and if that means I manage to get 1% of those visitors to return, it’s worth it.

  42. To this day I have only entered one give away (and that was just because I really like the dress and the blog). I’ve never done a give away on my site.

    Personally I don’t really like give aways, but I realize I’m in the minority. If I really liked the item I would consider hosting a give away, or signing up for one.

    I think I would do it as a promotion if I was working with a brand.

    Great article!

    Love,
    Heather

  43. Nikki Denim says:

    I think a giveaway can be beneficial if you run it certain ways.

    I recently finished up a giveaway where all you had to do was comment on the post to be entered and many of the entries were from people who troll giveaway sites ( mine was picked up by a few on their own ). I knew that these were not the type of people who would continue to follow me, they were there for something for free.

    If I were to run another giveaway I think I would make a requirement to follow me on twitter. FB, or GFC in hopes that those who enter will not unfollow me after the giveaway and one of these days will come back and check my blog again.

    Because of my leeriness to run another giveaway I personally would not spend too much money ( or any at all ) on a something for someone who is simply out for something for free, not a loyal reader.

    Another option I saw somewhere once was a giveaway for loyal readers who made legitimate comments on their blog. They did not announce that there would be one so it truly was for someone deserving.

  44. Celia says:

    I dunno, I’m getting a little sick of giveaways on some blogs. Some blogs do them so often that you lose a lot of actual post content. I understand they have an obligation to their sponsor, but after awhile it starts to feel more like a commercial than a blog.

    Giveaways should be done in moderation – and a lot I’ve seen have you follow them on Twitter, Bloglovin’, Blogger, etc. to prevent the giveaway trolls.

  45. Rania says:

    I Love the idea of giveaways. I view it as the appreciation to readers, and it’s okay, if you don’t have a budget to buy the giveaways yourself, to have sponsors for the giveaway contest.

    Yeah, but the requirements to enter the competition shouldn’t the “follow me” ones, it’s better to ask the readers to take a look at the sponsor’s site and tell what they like from the site or what is their favorite product from the site.

    So, the readers will visit the site (if they’re interested in sponsor’s products, they will comeback at their own will), and give feedback that will benefit the sponsors to make an improvement on their business.

    If it’s really needed, the “follow me” requirement, can be added as an EXTRA entry.

    It’s a mutualism relationship.

    You gain additional traffic to your blog, the sponsor get feedback about their products, and the readers feel being appreciated and excited to join your giveaway contest (especially if you can pick up many winners.. ^_^).

    Hopefully the readers also like your blog (and follow your blog at their will), because you give an appreciation to them (and surely should be because of the content of your blog… ^_^).

    This is something that I’m learning to practise on my blog, too :)

  46. Plami says:

    I’ve never hosted a giveaway but in general I like them as a reader when they don’t feel entirely like an ad and when you don’t have to follow 5 or more steps to join. Very interesting post!

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://fashion-thrill.blogspot.com/

  47. Katherine says:

    I don’t think giveaways benefit blogs very much traffic-wise, but they can be fun for some readers.

  48. Brooke says:

    I appreciate this article, but there are a lot of spelling and grammar errors that could easily be corrected and definitely degrade the overall credibility of the author. Also, I feel like the statements and judgments made are based on very little evidence and a lot of opinion.

    In regards to the article, I’m not sure what my opinion on giveaways is, personally. I feel that they can generate some blog interest, but they have also become a false way to build readership. I do think they are incredibly beneficial to the company that is being promoted though. Giveaways can be extremely cheap PR!

  49. Anna says:

    It depends on what kind of a giveaway, I think in many cases it’s a win win situation. The readers I’m sure adore receiving free things and if that doesn’t cost the bloger, that even better. Everyone wins – the brand gets the exposure, the blogger gets happy readers and the readers get free products. Do continue offering the giveaways!

  50. martha says:

    yet I have seen one blogger whose name I won’t tell that had two giveaways in one year and all she requested was a bloglovin’ follow
    and NONE of her followers Unfollowed her so I don’t think this is very accurate..is the content is good and visual (=good photos) they won’t go away after the giveaway

  51. Courtney says:

    I was very excited to see my twitter name in this post!

    I think I most enjoy giveaways when it’s tied into something else or clearly part of a blogger’s business vision.

  52. Britt+Whit says:

    We are doing our First Giveaway! to thank our lovely readers for being so supportive. its not a Gimick to us.

    -Britt+Whit

  53. julia says:

    I really think it depends; I like Jennine, blog professionally and view it as a promotional item that requires a lot of time and management. Without being said, it all depends on the terms of the giveaway, the value of the item(s) my relationship with that particular brand, etc. Either way, I would never do a giveaway with a product that I don’t really like, or that my reader wouldn’t flip for.

  54. Thanks for doing this article! I’m a relatively new blogger, and have been wondering whether a giveaway would be of any value. Now to think about just the right thing to offer as a prize…

    Sophistique Noir – Dark, Elegant Fashion

  55. MizzJ says:

    I think giveaways are a great way to give back to loyal readers, as I’ve had some of my longest subscribers win prizes. In my experiences, it’s been good for traffic too, as it’s gotten me more followers and I haven’t noticed significant drop-off after hosting them. That being said, they are a TON of work and I think I’m going to lessen doing them, or doing smaller one-offs via Twitter instead.

  56. It’s exciting to receive giveaways from your idol blogger because they appreciate your effort and time by stopping by and reading their posts. I guess that is their way to show gratitudes to their fellow bloggers :

  57. Vanja Stace says:

    I see giveaways as a way to reward my readers. I don’t use them to get new followers – it feels false and they aren’t true fans of your blog if they just come in to get a prize.

    I don’t just give away anything – it has to be good and it has to feel like a treat. The process also has to be simple – merely a comment under that post will do.

    Picking the winner also has to be transparent so that readers know they all had a fair chance of winning.

    My latest giveaway – CHANEL Coco Shine lipstick in Aventure. Closing soon! http://vanjastace.com/2011/04/10/win-chanel-rouge-coco-shine-in-aventure/

    My next giveaways – something fabulous I buy in Paris and New York next month.

    Vanja x

  58. Mimi says:

    I’ve seen giveaways DRAMATICALLY increase the number of followers, but again, I wonder how many “followers” are actually valid readers…I’ve debated rewarding my readers with a giveaway for some time, and will most likely do it eventually:)

  59. It’s a great way to give back as most have already stated. But, for example, there are many companies separate from “fashion blogs” that are searching for giveaways to repost them automatically in their own blogs. Once that happens, you can get a lot of traffic, but those followers will be there until the giveaway ends and easily unsubscribe.

    I think the important thing is to always remember why you are giving something away. My main reasons are to promote my locals and to reward my readers. If someone’s reason is only to gain more followers, they’re in it for the wrong reasons and will be disappointed once their traffic winds down.

  60. Noel says:

    We all have choices. I am starting to do giveaways with brands that take interest in my site.
    I believe that if a brand is researched and is a right fit for your site then it can work great for a short term traffic blast to expose new readers to your content.
    I also think that if you make it a reward for readers instead as a working deal or sponsorship you can still be perceived as independent and that you your self are using brands instead of them using you.

  61. julie iliana says:

    The reason I’ll be doing a giveaway soon is simply because I’ve met some pretty awesome people through blogging and as it’s not realistic that I can give every one of them a ‘prize’ or ‘reward’ for reading my blog, I do want to give them a chance at benefiting from reading my blog in some way and a giveaway is the most efficient way to do so. Most of my followers are genuine readers which makes me feel great in every way! I’m even thinking of making the rules of the giveaway simple, simply adding a comment with their name and email. I’d love to gain followers simply because they enjoy reading my posts, not because I’m offering something. Not that I’m against it, I just happen to have a different opinion with how I will handle giveaways.

  62. Free always sells but you have to have some value.

  63. Ana says:

    My blog is too new to start doing give aways. However, I have been thinking of away to reward the readers and those that follow the blog. I have been thinking that a coupon code or work something out with a company that I really like and give a reader a coupon for that store or particular product.

    What do yo think about that?

  64. chantilly says:

    i just posted my first giveaway yesterday. i did it mainly because i was proud of myself for reaching 50 followers! which isn’t a ton, i know. it just felt nice to have a little celebration for myself, and to possibly gain some more followers in the process :)

    i must say, the “numbers” haven’t been staggering so far… i’ve actually gotten more views, etc. from a lot of my outfit posts. but watevs…

    ~chantillysongs

  65. Vanessa says:

    I always love it when there are nice give-aways on blog. Although I’ve never gotten one :(
    I would never sign up for something or “like” something on facebook or follow a blogger simply to get the chance to win though. If I like the blog, I will follow it, but I get enough stuff in my google reader everyday to be following blogs I don’t like!

  66. Brittany says:

    What a coincidence, I’m doing my first giveaway now! I’m giving away a necklace from one of my favorite accessory companies, to give back to my readers. I admit, increased traffic would be awesome, but I look at giveaways as a way for fashion bloggers to share a piece of their style with their readers.

  67. give-aways benefit your brand…in the long-run. although you may not see a spike in readership/membership overnight, i assure you that the more items you give away with your logo and webaddress on it, the more traffic and exposure you’ll generate. this brand recognition will foster loyalty and recognition and result in more members in the long-run.

  68. Tonia says:

    Most only follow to enter the giveaway. At the same time it would have to be a product that I believe in and not some random product out of the blue.

  69. Jenny says:

    I have done one giveaway on my blog and was happy for the winner, who was delighted to win a package of my products. But I completely agree with those who feel like giveaways do not bring regular readers. Giveaway junkies are interested in gambling and not in reading the content which I spend time and thought to develop.

  70. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I’m getting ready to do my very first giveaway. I have found it really difficult to attract readers to my blog. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong – or if I am being too impatient, but I am hoping that the giveaway will attract readers who will stay because they like what they see, once they come around.

  71. Patricia says:

    Great post. I don’t like giveaways, though. Usually, they are not worth entering. But what really matters is that I never EVER read a blog for giveaways, and if a blog I read starts having lots of posts with giveaways… *I* give away, ops, up. It gets boring and we lose time looking for valid content.

  72. Diane says:

    Giveaways definitely have their ups and downs. For me, it’s an exciting way to share a company and a product that I love. I won’t do one otherwise. They are a whole lot of work, however, and the work goes on long after hitting that publish button. I do like to run them to bring in more readers, as I’ve been doing lately with a newer blog, but I do it knowing that some will definitely fall away after the giveaway is done. Having blogged for 5 years, I can tell you that many people do stay and remain loyal readers. And it is a great feeling being able to email a reader that they’ve won.

  73. C. says:

    Well, I think it does. Because when (famous) bloggers give something away for free you can only entry the competition when you like their blog on FB or follow them on Twitter. So you will have a lot of new followers in a short time.

  74. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I’m getting ready to do my very first giveaway. I have found it really difficult to attract readers to my blog.

  75. Jeannie says:

    Hi guys,

    Interesting read. I have a giveaway at my blog today, if you have time check it out.

    x

  76. Recipe Rebel says:

    I’m a big fan of giveaways. I’m doing one this week and it’s mostly as a thank you to my readers/anniversary celebration. It’s also a good way to get your readers talking to each other in the comments if that’s part of the entry!

    http://www.reciperebel.com/2011/06/giveaway-50-sur-la-table-giftcard.html

  77. sharde says:

    I’ve never done a giveaway because I fear that I would get excited at the extra traffic, but the followers would leave after the giveaway. It would be emotionally wrong for me! But I still think of doing it all the time. We will see…

  78. I’ve just done my first ever give-away. I’m not sure how exactly it could benefit me and my blog but I really like the brand so when their pr company approached me I was happy to do it as would have written a post on their new collection anyway. If you want to take part the link to my blog is http://ella-lapetiteanglaise.com

    I doubt many people will enter so your chances of winning should be fairly good! xxx

  79. Odette says:

    I’m a new fashion blogger, but blogs do give aways that I like, I will subscribe and I will stick around because I’ve noticed a few things.
    Blogs that do give aways tend to have more than one and often a relationship is built between the blog owner and winner of the give away.
    At the moment my fashion/lifestyle blog is new so I don’t have any followers but once my blog grows I will be doing give aways as I see it as an opportunity to get strong blogging relationships

  80. tamara says:

    when sites/blogs do giveaways it honestly makes me visit their site/blog more often <3 i love give aways! btw would someone please go to this link http://tlynnt3kn0.weebly.com/my-design-scene.html its my website and blog and i really need people to vote on the clothes to do first, theyre terrible drawings i know but i really need help. PLEASE

  81. yenmax says:

    I think a coupon is more attractive than giveaways. I always give a coupon to a customer who register on our website. She can use the coupon for shopping immediately. It really works. I am thinking about to give a gift to good customers at holiday seasons.

  82. Darlene says:

    One of my favorite kind of giveaways is when the blogger makes something by hand or has a unique item of their own that they just want to give away to one of their readers. I’ve seen some people receive items from a giveaway that have such a personal touch to their items. Those are definitely the ones I approve of. :)

    • Rachel says:

      I totally agree. Personalized items are my favorite type of small blog giveaways! The reason the readers follow a blog is for the author’s content, so something which feels like is specifically from the author feels more personable.

  83. Charlee says:

    I do think competitions help blogs but they are also a way of rewarding loyal readers who read every entry or a fan of the blogger. Something like that must be lovely for the reader to be acknowledged and awarded for them really helping the blog in terms of views and publicity. It does however make the blog seem more appealing for the fact that there is a giveaway.

  84. Certainly. You gain followers, friends and a whole lot more.

    Anyways, if any of you, girls, would like to win a Kristel bag from Free Endearment by Fashion Rooftop! Just answer this question: What do you like about the Kristel bag from Free Endearment and why do you think you should win?

    Post your answers to: http://www.facebook.com/IamFashionRooftop/posts/135006766579258 and get a chance to win a fab bag.

    Good luck everyone! :)

  85. I think give aways have their own advantages!:)

  86. I enjoy giveaways. Recently I actually won a pair of oversize Karen Walker sunnies from the Street and City photo blog.

    I am now offering a giveaway myself hoping to boost readership, but if it doesn’t, fine. The prize: a custom illustration of whoever enters. For my info, come visit me.

    http://mystylecanvas.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-style-canvas-presents-giveaway.html

  87. Ms Tjiang says:

    giveaway is the best way!

  88. HilLesha says:

    I’ve been doing giveaways since I launched my site and blogs in 2004. I’ve started charging for giveaways if they don’t send me (i.e. product to review or just a item for simply helping them) anything for hosting the giveaway. Otherwise, I feel like the company is try to use me for my traffic. You’re basically helping them get their name out there after all. If more bloggers did this and took their work more seriously (bloggers deserve more than what they give themselves credit for), companies will stop taking advantage of bloggers.

  89. Aprilia Love says:

    I am currently doing a giveaway on my blog as a thank you to my readers. I recently reached 100 ‘likes’ on Facebook and wanted to give back to those who read my blog. My way of saying thank you!
    I have never been approached by a company or brand regarding a giveaway or promotion, but I am guessing that comes in time? I have only had my blog for about 6 months now.

  90. Just got done buying all my summer work wear. Got a ton of great stuff for cheap at

    http://shop.janellejamesboutique.com/main.sc

    Does anyone else know where I can get any other great deals on clothes.

  91. Jennifer says:

    I am a new blogger, so I am not familiar with giveaways. But I have a question for you, does the company providing you the give away pay the site owner like a PPC or are they placed just to entice the reader to visit the site? Either way it is beneficial to the blogger..

  92. giddyupgirlz says:

    I’m doing a giveaway when I reach a certain number of google connect followers. Yes, partially to promote my blog and also helps take steps to grow your blog readership.If the giveaway is more specific like say to a Plus size audience I think you get a better audience who is actually interested in what your blogging about :)

  93. Thanks so much for this article, it has been really useful for me as a new blogger. I think it’s a great way to show your appreciation to loyal followers. Jo x

  94. Erin says:

    I’ve had good and bad experiences with giveaways.

    My first experience was great. The blogger who approached me about reviewing my jewelry had over 1000 followers, and it was a great experience; I got a lot of traffic to my blog, and generated sales in my Etsy.

    But after that I’d get requests for giveaways at least 7-10 times a week, sometimes from blogs with 9 (yes, 9!!!) followers. It was a turn off.

    One girl in particular approached me about doing a giveaway, and I politely told her I could not participate due to a number of reasons: that she didn’t have enough followers, that I had just done a giveaway elsewhere, and that she had hateful religious content on her blog that I couldn’t associate myself with.

    I was then harassed by threatening, self-righteous, and condescending emails for over a week; telling me that my views on religion were wrong, and that her beliefs were fact. I couldn’t believe someone would “walk in” to my shop in that manner, and then harass me when I wouldn’t give her free stuff!

    And the kicker? She’s 14 fucking years old. Good God. I wanted to call her parents so they could put her in time out.

    So now I am extremely picky about who I do giveaways with. I read a good portion of posts before I consider the giveaway, and I look at the way the blogger interacts with followers.

    Being picky may sound rude, but I think selecting good opportunities from just “as much as exposure as I can get, no matter the quality” is the way to go.

  95. Hi. I’ve been running my blog for a little more than a year now, and I did my first give away on my own dime. It was a ASOS dress, that was too big for me and it was a great experience to do it. I felt like it really excited some people, my followers who had been with me from day one and of course attracted a lot of new followers and got my site hits. But I did it for my own karma. But I would think most people know, nothing is really EVER for free. I did it for personal karma and to give the stunning dress a home, and I know companies do it because they have a product they need to shift too. Same thing, just a different approach.

  96. Christine says:

    I assist in the PR for a small fashion brand and found that giveaways conducted by other popular bloggers do help with web traffic, seo and increased exposure. Most of these bloggers are experienced and friendly so they’re very easy to work with and understand how to present our content that looked professional and engaging on their blog. I am all for giveaways!

  97. I asked bloggers and most felt giveaways were pretty good for promoting your blog so i decided to try it. will let you know the results after my Giveaway ends on Saturday. Wish me Luck!
    http://frugalflirtynfab.blogspot.com/2011/09/fabs-fall-giveaway.html

  98. I’m pretty new to blogging and have yet to do a giveaway … to me it feels like I’m paying people to “follow”me. I am planning a draw to celebrate my birthday ,more as a way to show appreciation rather than boost numbers : )

  99. I am a newbie blogger and hosted my first giveaway for my Spread the Health campaign which focuses on getting quality foods into the mouths of the world. My blog is shopping-centric so getting my readers to buy the good stuff (natural fibers, organic foods, local designers, etc…) is very important to me. The products any blogger gives away should be one in their own arsenal to emphasize their support of it.

  100. Emily Ulrich says:

    I think giveaways can be fun and I do see how bloggers can consider them a nice incentive for closer reader-writer/writer-brand relationships! Admittedly, though, I think there needs to be some sort of etiquette that coincides with a giveaway in order for it to be success and come across genuinely as “I want to give back to my readers”. I think it depends entirely on the giveaway itself, what it promotes, and how the blogger incorporates it into their blog. I’m not sure how lasting traffic from a giveaway is, since (as stated) many simply ‘unfollow’ once it’s over.

    I really like saks2salvation’s side of this – I think that’s a really nice outlook to have, and great intent. :)

  101. I can see followers leaving or unliking after a giveaway if giveaways are the norm for that particular site.

    I’ve never done a giveaway on my blog but I would welcome the opportunity. Maybe it’s because my blog isn’t heavily monetized that I think it’s an interesting way to try and build relationships.

  102. Kate says:

    Actually I think they can stick around if your content is encouraging enough. In my experience I’ve seen gains of over 1000+ because of a giveaway and after the giveaway only 20 of them stop following and in that case you have to figure why those people are actually there to begin with. If social media and blogging is simply a way to stay connected to family then okay they leave, but if they want to communicate with a like minded community I notice they stick around as long as the content is relevant. Though everyones experiences are different.

  103. Ana says:

    I love them when I feel that they are a sincere appreciation of a blog’s readers.

    I don’t like them when I feel like it’s a promo machine that pays nothing to its workers: “to enter you must post this link at least twice a day to Twitter, Facebook, Digg it, StumbleUpon it… and tell your grandma about it. For an eyeshadow that cost 2$. If you win. With the other 1000 of my subscribers that will be doing the same.”

    That’s just cheap (and I don’t mean the money) and, in my opinion, shows disrespect for your reader; that is highlighted by the fact that the giveaway is presented as something that shows respect for them.

    I won’t unsubscribe based on that alone, but that puts my subscription on the edge… a couple more instances of such falsely respectful behaviour (and, unfortunately, they’re usually not far behind) and I’m gone.
    1 thoughtful commenter lost vs. 10 “readers” who’ll leave after the giveaway gained

    And I don’t like it when people have to jump through hoops to enter.

    It’s alarming enough that I have to leave my email address for most (! spam-bots and stalkers!), but I have to like them on FB and friend them on Twitter, post this, include them in my blogroll, and link it all in that place.

    What about readers who don’t have accounts on all of those networks?
    Are they ‘less than’?

    And what about more private readers?
    What if they don’t want their Facebook info to be there for all to see?

    For that reason, I like sites which do their giveaways through Google Documents.
    Google Docs FTW.

  104. Daphne says:

    I agree that followers will end up unfollowing you after the giveaway.. I was smiling when I saw this post because I’m having a giveaway right now :)

    http://fbtlmanila.tumblr.com/tagged/Giveaways

    Anyone can join, I’ll be giving away a fab neckpiece :)

  105. Madeline says:

    I haven’t hosted a giveaway on my blog yet, but I have entered a whole lot of them. I’m ashamed to admit that I have followed a few blogs just because of the giveaway opportunity, but usually I only feel like it’s worth my time if it’s a blog I would be interested in anyway. Giveaways are certainly a good way to get the word out about your blog. Some of the new readers will stick around, and any growth is good growth.

  106. I Would love to do a giveaway sometime with a suitable blog with the right readership. Then I will have an answer if it benefits the brand :P

  107. Ebony Sharie says:

    I am tempted to do a giveaway but that’s only out of desperation for followers, it seems a little selfish on my part I know. I honestly don’t want people to only follow my blog because I’m offering them a freebie. I want quality followers that truly enjoy the content of my blog.

    Nowadays it’s extremely difficult to get your blog off the ground. You ask 10 people to check it out and only one of them really will. I hate to say it but a giveaway seems like the only way to get a little recognition these days.

  108. I think the biggest issue about giveaways is bloggers blatant misunderstanding of the law. Requiring entrants to “like” you on Facebook or twitter is actually illegal.

    • jamie says:

      if a blogger required their entrants to like them on facebook or become a follower to be part of a giveaway, how would they keep track who did follow or who didn’t? especially of they have hundreds of applicants? would they need some sort of a system to weed out the actual followers?

  109. Anu says:

    I just don’t like the concept of MAKING the visitors compulsory LIKE or FOLLOW me. That seems desperate. I would rather have an engaging community of a few heads of readers than having a thousands of readers who don’t bother to look back at you after the compulsory visit. And I know how irritating it is to find my mail-box full of subscribed newsletters , most of the times I am not even interested in them, same goes with my readers I’d guess. Why give them one more email to delete :) ? In fact, for my first Christmas fashion giveaway I am offering my readers a prize and linkbacks without making them do the boring chores. But ironically no entries yet, looks like readers have gotten used to the mandatory following so much that they aren’t comfortable getting involved any more than that.

  110. Anu says:

    If I may, can i share my giveaway link since it has to do with fashion. I don’t want any forced follows and likes, just some real entries with a taste in fashion from which my readers can really learn something. Its internationally open, for men and women.

    http://beautysecrets-reviewed.com/2011/11/enter-christmas-celebrity-pageant-contest-giveaway/

  111. Lenia says:

    Hi, I am a quite new blogger and I was trying to understand what a giveaway is within blogging world. This article helps me understand better. Thank you

  112. Kelly Martin says:

    I have decided to cut right back on giveaways as I am discovering its really false traffic to my site. I get a lot of entries and all from compers who have not even glanced at any thing else I do. I even asked people what they liked and would like me to change and all of them said ‘more giveaways please’ this was part of a comp entry question. Some even said have more ipad giveaways, totally not my niche. It has disheartened me slightly because people that used to comment have stopped commenting, hence why I am reducing giveaways now. Compers are generally only interested in the prize, and to get it in the quickest way possible.

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  114. Carolina says:

    Great Post. I kept working on a ebook for a while and thinking of putting it for a giveaway. I have seen this working for a lot of blogs and it is a great idea. Thank you!

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