This is one area that I do not want to be pigeonholed into. I love blogging and I love offering giveaways, but I am so much more. I am Mom to many who has too little time to waste. I am a wife, a friend and a sister. I am an opinionated hag who has nothing better to do then go on and on about things she thinks she knows about. LOL.
I have noticed as of late that many of the rules of blogging seem to be changing. No longer is receiving a product in exchange for a review the only way to do it. Some bloggers require a monetary amount + the item to run a giveaway others a minimum value. I can see their point. You spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour writing the post then at least an hour promoting it over the course of the giveaway. When it ends you need to go through responses, weed out the don’t follow rules, contact the winner, contact the company and then hope and pray that everything gets to where it is supposed to. Heaven forbid it doesn’t. So when you receive an item that is valued at say $5-$10 to review, you aren’t even making minimum wage for the privilege of sharing this product. And yet somehow you have done what is considered “work”. I don’t charge for reviews but I have now set a minimum value of $25 worth of products. The more value an item the more work I tend to do so it seems to work so far. For Me.
Now my newest pet peeve. I know that as a giveaway blogger we are basically grass roots advertising and as such it is our job to drive traffic to those companies that we review. I am finding lately though that this is getting excessive and borderline spam-my. The steps to be entered contests now sometimes involve up to 10 bonus entries and the newest thing is to enter each giveaway once a day by doing the main entry again. Before the only way you could get daily entries was by voting for a mom at a top mommy site or tweeting. One benefits the blogger one benefits the company by driving that ever important traffic. But people aren’t really visiting and learning about that product but going back everyday. They are clicking some random link and saying “Gee I love this product!” and then continuing on their merry way.
As a person who loves entering giveaways this really turns me off , and as a blogger I am cringing at the extra work. I usually only enter the main step and sometimes a few of the bonus’ if it something I really want to win. So far that hasn’t worked out too well for me. My google reader is so full of blogs I am “following” but never reading because that was an extra step. A useless step I am now coming to realize. What is the point of me following you if I never read your content. Non giveaway posts hardly get a glance. I want people to come read because they like me not my stuff.
From now on I will keep my giveaways simple to enter and in turn more fair. After all the whole point of doing this is to share products we love right. Traffic and votes will naturally happen if your content is good. I won’t stop doing giveaways and product reviews are something I will post even when companies don’t send me anything. I will be choosy and only work with companies and products I can stand behind. That’s me though. I will choose to avoid blogs and contests that I don’t feel right about and support those that I do feel good about.