Recently I have read a variety of articles and statements from fellow bloggers about followers from giveaways. While some see giveaways, specifically group giveaways where multiple bloggers chip in a $x amount to go toward a grand prize, as a great way to build up your starter fan base quickly, others see it as buying fans and inflating unrealistic numbers.
As a person who loved entering giveaways and sweepstakes long before I ever started blogging, I can see multiple sides to the issue. When people come to me asking for help getting their blog started up, they usually also ask how I gained as many followers as I did as quickly as I did. I’m always quick to admit that the majority of them were because of the numerous events and giveaways I participated in my first 6 months or so blogging. However, I also follow-up saying that if you’re looking to build a site where the majority of your content is articles or posts that aren’t involving giveaways over all, you’re likely to see a high turn over rate that results in very little, if any, loyalty or interaction. The truth is, there are a lot of people out there only looking to win items and they could honestly care less about most of your other content. It’s up to you if you want to cater to these people for the sake of followers. However, also keep in mind these followers are more likely to unlike you at any time, especially if you don’t constantly have giveaways they enjoy, because there is very little loyalty. Some are also likely to complain about the number of entries on these giveaways, even if it’s not mandatory they complete them all.
This is also where I want to mention my biggest tip about group giveaways. If you participate in them, make sure that it’s with blogs that aren’t just a part of your own niche. If you’re a deal blogger that’s just grouping with other deal bloggers, it’s going to be that much tougher to gain loyal followers from these entries because their social media outlets are likely going to be flooded with the same deals over and over which will lead to more posts hidden or unfollows.
Now, these followers can bring you more opportunities as a blogger, such as more product reviews and giveaways and advertisements on your site. Note that if you don’t have a decent number of unique visitors to your site with page views to backup your follower numbers, a red light may go off for many advertisers. More and more advertisers seem to also be catching on and are realizing that bloggers with loyal readers that also interact are their best advertising options, so this is something else to keep in mind.
So, what do I think of group giveaways? When I started this blog, almost a year ago, the number 1 way to gain more followers that was recommended to me by other bloggers was to participate in as many giveaways as I could, so I did and it has brought me many opportunities I may not have otherwise had.
I personally like the giveaways, but I don’t participate in as many as I used to because I do want quality content on my site that loyal readers come back and enjoy reading. However, I still enjoy participating in group giveaways for a number of reasons. For one, it gives my readers that do enjoy giveaways high-quality items to win that I otherwise couldn’t afford. While I think I am doing nicely with my blog, I’m not doing well enough to afford multiple $50-$100 gift cards, Kindles, mixers, etc. each month. Plus, it also gives me a chance to work with bloggers and build a network with them that I otherwise may not have come across and I also find out about some new blogs to add to my Google Reader to follow.
So, what’s your opinion on group giveaways? Do you love them, wish they’d disappear forever, or are you somewhere in the middle?