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Are Giveaway Blogs Annoying?

Every blog has it’s day… And purpose. Mine is to document my journey toward motherhood, and along the way here and there give out some freebies that I happen to come across. But it’s come to my attention that some of you HATE giveaways. It’s ok, you can admit it, we all feel like we never win right? I won a crib on one so I can’t really be a hater.

I try my best to make mine fun, and tie them in to my regular style and not make them too “commercialish” but ya know… You can’t win them all.

Last week I mentioned I’d be doing a butt load of giveaways this week only as my virtual baby shower. Some I guessed missed the memo.

I got an email from one of my readers today that inspired this post, and I thought I’d share it, and my reply in case some of you others are wondering the same thing.

Jen,

I read your blog and I really enjoy your personal posts. I must say, though, you have WAAAY too many giveaways. It so frustrating to come to your blog day after day only to see more products and giveaways. You are such a sweet, insightful, and fun writer. I love hearing about your baby journey, but all these giveaways may cause me to quit reading soon. SO SAD!

My reply:

Hey Girl! Thanks so much for writing! I really appreciate knowing that people actually care what I have to say! I feel like I mostly write for myself and sometimes am like “Wow… no one really cares that I have cankles, why am I putting this out there? Someone is going to throw up!” But I definitly enjoy writing no matter who’s reading!

To be honest I don’t enjoy giveaways as much myself, haha! But since I have a few items that I’ve been needing to write about for awhile I decided to dedicate JUST THIS WEEK to giveaways as a “virtual baby shower.”

Trust me, I’m not wanting to turn into one of those giveaway mommy blogs, and a little while after little girl is born I’m wanting to put an end to them all together! And next week it’ll be back to me blabbing about who knows what 🙂

If you do miss my writing though know that my other blog on Parenting.com has no giveaways, and I’m writing regular posts there this week 🙂

But until then, I hope you’ll stick around, I promise I’ll be back!

Jenn

So, what do you think? Love ’em? Hate em? What about on your blog? It’s not the reason I started my blog. I like sharing things I find, often times things I even buy, and offer one for free to one of yall. I also like to feature women entrepreneurs and “give back” a little in that way on from time to time on my blog. I do keep them related to my life and what I’m going though.

That said, I usually don’t do a lot of them, just once a week for my Full Term of Giveaways, though this week… Especially to people who don’t like them, you’ll notice a lot, but hey… That’s cause it’s giveaway week and it’s already Thursday so just two more days! Starting Monday (or sooner) I’ll be back to my rambles, and like I mentioned in my response to the emailer, my blogging will be a lot different and back to the basics after Spawnie arrives.

I’m flattered that some of you miss my “regular” posts after just a few days, cause quite honestly, I didn’t know so many of you cared!


BabeeLove says:

I like both. I like to read about others personal journeys. I also LOVE entering giveaways.When.I.Have.The.Time. BUT I do HATE the blogs that ONLY post giveaways, that is too impersonal. I think your blog is perfect! Keep doing what you are doing girly!

Erin says:

I think you are doing great. I look at it this way (could totally be wrong though)so many people have invested emotionally in my sons stroke recovery that this is the only way I can give back to them. If someone wins something on my blog that I couldn’t have given them in real life than it’s a win win for both of us. Like I said I could be totally off the wall in my thinking. Right now I have 4 giveaways going and it’s to much for me. I need to step back and get back to why I started blogging but it was a step I needed to take in order to figure that out. I hope you find the right balance for you.

Jennifer says:

I think it’s kind of impersonal to just do giveaways. As a review mommy and blogger, sometimes it’s hard to find a balance or at least since i’m new at this, have a hard time finding the balance between the two. Especially when I have things piling up to be written about and have a family, holidays and are out of town! I try my best not to make my blog JUST about giveaways but about everything! The last few weeks it hasn’t looked like it. BUT after saying all that, I agree that i like the personal touch to all of it!! 🙂 I think your blog is great!

hotpants™ says:

I’m ok with the occasional giveaway, but I tend to shy away from blogs that are dominated by them. I come to blogs to read about people. If someone is very clear that they mostly do giveaways, that’s fine. They’ll just get pushed to the bottom of the list. 🙂

Cindy says:

I like both. I will admit 2 things: You’re one of maybe 5 giveaway bloggers whose posts I actually read and I never would have found your blog if it weren’t for the giveaways.

Have you considered getting a magazine style layout so people can pick and choose which posts they want to read? You’d probably have to switch to wordpress, but http://reallifeblog.net (don’t tell her I’m bragging on her) is a good example of a blog that provides both engaging content and giveaways.

Giveaways are great for traffic, but maybe not so much for quality interaction. It’s why I’ve only done a couple of giveaways myself. I don’t like all the noise of people who don’t care about me at all. Traffic is rather more important to you than it is to me, I’m sure, since you, you know, *have some*.

If you want the best of both worlds, you might consider making it easier for folks to ignore whichever kind of post they don’t like.

I don’t mind the giveaways at all. In your blog in particular, I’ve found the way you’ve tied the giveaway into a review of an item you have for your little one on the way (that’d you’d talk about anyway) a seamless blend. And I guess for me, I’ve enjoyed them because I get to make little notes and bookmarks of where I’ll get what one day.

I think you have a good balance of giveaways and personal posts on your blog… If you’re not interested in the giveaway then don’t enter- it’s that simple. I think I’d like giveaway blogs a lot better if I ever won something though… 😉

Eliza Rae says:

I have 2 seperate blogs because I know not everyone likes giveaways. I have a personal blog and a blog dedicated to ONLY reviews and giveaways. That way if people don’t want to read reviews and giveaways they don’t have to look at that blog at all. I think it’s best that way. Now my personal blog doesn’t have but 14 followers. The review blog has 145. So some people must like review blogs. Really wish my personal blog all about life and family had more followers. But what can you do?

Mallory says:

Honestly, I hate giveaways. I want to love them, but I can’t. I won a giveaway once on MMB, but the gift NEVER got to me. Even after I emailed about it. So, I’m a little bit bitter and untrusting that the giveaway is going to be legit. Even though, I feel like I probably shouldn’t have that attitude, because it’s FREE when you win something…so you technically don’t deserve it. But it’s just mean to be like “OH, you totally won something!” and then have it never show up. Lame.

Anyway, I prefer to read about the lives of the women who are blogging, to see how they are alike/different from me. And regular posts are way more entertaining than giveaway posts!

kjlangford says:

I totally get why you’re doing giveaways. But you asked MY opinion so I’ll give it. I really read just because we knew each other in elem. school and, yeah, I just like reading about somebody that I “know” (although I know we don’t know each other that well anymore) and I enjoy reading your story, which is so different than my own (totally not into babymaking).

I usually don’t read your giveaway posts for 2 reasons. 1) they’re usually baby-related so it doesn’t apply to me, of course this is not the case for most of your readers. 2) I find them really difficult to read. There are usually about 20 ways to enter and reading that long list (often in a brightly colored text, which I find hard to read) just gets difficult.

so that’s just my $.02 I admire that you keep up with the giveaways because I know that must be a full time job in and of itself.

MsBabyPlan says:

I love to read your blog and you know how much! I also like to see that you do nice giveaways, but I don’t like it too much because I cannot enter because I am not living in the USA. I would say just do both if you can, so that when I move to Canada I can enter some… I might still enter them even now 😉

You looked nice in the Lillebaby carrier. I am so excited for you :)!

Jenn, Since I am pregnant, and you know that because I talk to you before, I think your giveaways are at least better than everyone elses. Mostly what others give away are things that you will probobly never use.I know I would love to win one of the many awesome items you put up on your blog, (chances are slim I know) but it’s still fun, and I enjoy your reading very much, so it makes it all the more entertaining.
Since tommorrow during am is my last time around for a while (and Im shutting down my blog for a while) I just want to say thank you for being such an awesome writer. If I do win anything please feel free to email me. Until I write or read again, best of luck with your little lady. Hugs to you.

Jessica says:

I think it’s your blog , your business. I am of the mentality that if you dont like what you read then you need to move on. I enjoy both parts of your blog! I have never done one on my blog, but I only have 8 readers! HA! I say this as I have entered your latest giveaway with fingers (and toes) crossed!

kim gellman says:

I think its great to have a nice balance of both writing and contests/giveaways. You have a lot of personal touch in your blog -so I say “keep up the good work!”

Amy Lynn says:

I have no problem with giveaways. If I am not interested in the product then I wont enter, but if like the product then why not enter? I am a sucker for free stuff! 🙂

Yakini says:

I actually REALLY hate giveaways on blogs, esp. when the personal blog posts are as rich/funny/enjoyable to read as yours. I think it really detracts from the pleasure of reading a person’s blog when it becomes too commercialized with PR stuff.

I was faced with the same dilemma you were in…. and I decided to create a “sister blog” that I dedicate exclusively to giveaways and reviews. So http://www.prissymommy.com is my personal mommy blog, and I then created http://www.prissymommy.com/pr specifically for PR.

I wrote up this brief little blog post where I talked about my feelings of conflict: http://www.prissymommy.com/our_first_baby/2009/11/separating-blogging-business-from-blogging-pleasure.html

Either way, its YOUR blog, so you are free to do what you want. 🙂 But I have to agree with the emailer…. in a way it does take away from the pleasure of just reading about your innermost conflicts/thoughts/fears/excitement/joys/etc…. and, essentially, thats why most people follow you (I assume) – because they love reading those posts.

MarciaG says:

I like both. I also wonder that as your baby get older, you will also enjoy doing relavent giveaways ( as you are now–hint,hint!).
Really, it’s your blog and you are doing this for you. You can’t please em’ all!! I am here reading all your stuff-giveaways included!
Happy blogging girl!

heather says:

I don’t mind giveaways every now and again. I mean, I read blogs that only do giveaways (okay like 1 of them) everyday. All the other blogs do a giveaway everynow and again and it doesn’t bother me. Like you, it doesn’t bother me at all. I always enter and if I win then I win. I’m not upset if I don’t win.
I think giveaways are a good way to learn about a new product that is out there. So yeah, don’t turn into a giveaway blog but every now and again is fine.

Stephanie says:

I don’t mind your giveaways at all! I have REALLY enjoyed following your blog throughout my own pregnancy. I follow several blogs like yours, but none quite as amazing, I might add.=) It is your blog, your freedom to write/post whatever you choose. So keep doing your thang, girl! You have a loyal reader in me!=)

Stephanie says:

I just wish I had the time to devote to blogging as much as you do! I don’t know how you fit it all in! My blog is sadly neglected, most of the time!

Dee says:

I don’t like blogs that ONLY have giveaways. Or that have a ridiculous amount of giveaways. Here and there is fine. But, I much rather read about your cankles 🙂

Desiree says:

I agree with hotpants. I like to read blogs about people and I don’t like getting tricked by a blog I think is about someone’s life and it turns all commercialized. I think it’s great that you have all these people that want you to give away their products, but lately I feel like that’s all that’s going on.

I check your blog every day to see if you’ve written something personal and engaging but I usually click away if it’s *another* giveaway. I think you’re a great writer but I don’t follow you on the other 50 sites you write for! 🙂 If it’s not here, I don’t read it.

However, if people didn’t like your giveaways, they wouldn’t enter them and somebody must be entering, because you keep hosting them! Therefore, it’s your call. You can’t please everyone on the Internets and it’s no use trying. Do you – if you want to give stuff away and that’s what makes you happy about having your blog, go for it.

So what if you lose followers – it’s not the end of the world.

Johanna says:

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of the giveaways. I’d much rather hear about your cankles. But I just skip over the giveaway posts.

KarmaPearl says:

You know.. It irritates me when people complain about giveaways. It’s like.. You do realize you’re complaining about the chance to WIN stuff… For FREE. Right? WIN STUFF. FOR FREE.

Now, I don’t read giveaway-only blogs, because there are really very few things out there that I would put forth the effort to try and win. I myself only do one giveaway at a time, every two weeks because that’s all I can handle right now, and all I can keep straight. I get really annoyed when people hate all over giveaways.

Don’t sweat it hon. It’s one reader out of so many you have. If she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to keep reading. I think you handled the situation well, but don’t change who you are, what your blog is, or what you do on it just because one person doesn’t like giveaways. I actually think it was incredibly rude of her to write you and say that.

Jasmine says:

It’s like that email came from me! I was thinking about that today. I don’t like the giveaways. I like your stories and the thing is you use to blog more when you weren’t pregnant but now that you are it seems like most of your post are giveaways. I’m still reading but i do miss the old you.

YUMMama says:

I feel like this is your blog and you should be able to do what you want tastefully of course. Your true fans are going to keep reading no matter what. Even though I don’t need half the things you giveaway bc Moo is almost two, I still enjoy them. It’s your special way of giving back to people who have supported you since day 1.

Ashley says:

I really enjoy reading your blog when it’s a personal post. Some of the giveaway items I have enjoyed hearing about, but sometimes the amount of giveaways can be a touch overwhelming. Maybe if you do decide to continue doing giveaways you could have a separate giveaway blog? I have since some bloggers do this and I thought it was a great idea. Either way it’s your blog so you should do what you want. I’ll continue reading the personal posts either way. 🙂

Alex says:

Honestly…..(ugh I feel bad for saying so) but I feel since I’ve been reading your blog its bombarded with giveaways or sponsored type post or post directing us to another company or website and I’m not a fan of those. I hate the review/sponsor/giveaway blogs.

I have just started doing giveaways, but they are few and far between and I am being approached now by a lot of other sponsors and I’m thinking of creating a separate blog to do the review giveaway stuff.

To me blogging wasn’t about getting or giving away cool items and I’d rather spend my entire blogging career never doing a sponsored post/giveaway.

When I see a blog that is running more then one giveaway or sponsored post a week or every other week I click “Mark all read” and skip totally.

Though I am not a fan of giveaways I have entered a few when the item is too good to pass up….never won one yet. It’s definately not why I read your blog and when I see it on my google reader I honestly don’t read the post for that day. I don’t do giveaways on my blog because the blog is more for me than anyone else. The thing that really bugs me is the endless mommy bloggers with reviews! My favorite blogs are ones that record life and have entertaining things to say, not product pushing “look what I got for free! They paid me to like it!” posts.

The Georges says:

I say that if someone does not like giveaways, just don’t read that day. It’s not like they gotta come to your site if they don’t want to. If they would just see that if your link is on their Blog sidebar, it also links your most recent post. You don’t have to click on it if you are not wanting the giveaways. It’s as simple as that. Keep on keeping on. I like your blog the way it is.

Sharon says:

Add me to the general consensus in your replies. You shouldn’t change anything.

Consider the source of your complaint ….I mean, why would ANYONE be upset about other people’s happiness and generosity??

Sharon says:

Darn! I forgot to add …BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR SOON-TO-ARRIVE SWEETY! 🙂

I love reading your blog, but I love giveaways. I don’t want only giveaways, but I do like to enter them if there aren’t too many hoops to jump through. Free stuff is always good!

I have to be honest, I feel the same way. I dont like them.
I visit your blog much more when you dont have a giveaway going.
One reason for this is, I am from Australia. People from all over the world are reading your blog and therefore the giveaways have no impact on us! No fun if you cant enter!
I love your blog, and every post (minus the giveaways) are so great, your a wonderful writer and cant wait to hear your news on baby girl!

Kristine says:

Remember the whole you can’t please everybody thing? Think that’s the case here. Just do what fills right to YOU.

As a j-school grad, like you I’m assuming your line of work, I heard over and over to write for your reader, so much that I lost my own voice.

After Cora, I started writing for myself and boom, I had more fun and MORE people started reading.

Do whatever feels right to you. And, if one day it feels right to do a giveaway every single day, do it. Stop them all together. Whatever you want lady. It’s your blog and you can giveaway if you want to.

P.S. Email me your address for a bracelet for Cora for you and Spawnie.
kbrite@gmail.com

Anonymous says:

I don’t hate the giveaways, per se (it’s great to give people the chance to win free stuff). That said, a lot of time, especially lately, your writing feels like product plug after product plug after product plug, and the giveaways are tied up with that. You write about how great something is (and they gave it to you for free) and then you offer to give one away. It’s very commercial, and that’s not what I like about your blog.

Jennifer says:

I think your blog has a fair balance of giveaways and posts. I have enjoyed reading about your journey to motherhood and I don’t mind the giveaways. I have entered a few of them. You can’t please everyone all of the time. I don’t have the readers that you do (probably because more people have children than goats…hehe) I have had a couple “unsponsored” giveaways, one for some homemade soap I had made and another for a magazine subscription that I bought for the winner myself. I only did them as a way to say “thank you” to the people that follow my blog and because I thought it was a lot of fun to have them! I would hate to think they annoyed anyone! I say keep doing what you are doing, maybe you could divide your blog up into sections (like the newspaper layout suggestion) so those that hate giveaways can just skip over that section of your blog?

I HATE the giveaways. Honestly, if it were just an occasional SIMPLE giveaway then I would be fine with it. But your giveaways are always complicated- enter omment, collow my blog, follow my twitter, retweet, etc. I’m not doing all of that and so my chances of winning are nil.

I skip the giveaway posts. It makes your site seem very commercial. But I enjoy your written posts about the pregnancy.

Wendy says:

I hate giveaways! I mean they are okay like once a month..but overall dumb! I like blogs for the writing!

thaeter7 says:

My only complaint about blog giveaways is “So many blogs and so little time for me to enter them all.I honestly didnt know last year when I decided to enter my first “Blog site” that it would be so much fun and every day I add another few to my growing list of so many that I have lost count!
I do win a lot and the prizes arrive quickly without having to send away the prize declaration forms with your life history attatched!I thank the blogging sites for making the prizes fun and easy to receive!
rally_thade17@hotmail.com

Quiana says:

I think it’s smart that you dedicate a specific week to giveaways with a few sprinkled in between. Sometimes they are a bit complicated with all the steps to enter so I find myself skipping them unless I’m really passionate about the item.

carolpie says:

I love reading what you have to say. It is always so interesting and you are so beautiful!
Anyway, I like the giveaways also. One thing though. As more and more people have blog giveaways and they have so many ways to enter, I find my time is used up by this. I just wish blog giveaways would just be a comment and nothing more. I know some people say-well, then don’t enter, but you feel you have to do the extras or have no chance of winning. Also I will skip the giveaways if I see so many entries that is just isn’t worth putting so much time into it. And I mean all the blogs out there on these comments about giveaways.
Oh and can’t wait to see your baby! Soon!

becca says:

i like giveaways, especially when i win. i think you do a great job of balancing great writing with an occasional giveaway. keep up the good work.

Ana Lee says:

I, personally, LOVE it! I think you have a really good mix of giveaways and throwing yourself in your writing. One way I have come to really get to know you is through Twitter and your other blogs, in addition to this one.

Kristen says:

I happen to like giveaways in general, but I can understand why some people may not be into them. I have 2 blogs – one personal, one review/giveaway – since they tend to be different audiences entirely. That being said, I don’t believe you “over-do” it. Your giveaways always have something to do with what you’re going through at the current time. I don’t feel like you are sales-pitchy at all.

To each his own. Like a PP said, you can’t please everyone so you just have to do what feels right to you. Keep up the awesome work!

Bianca says:

I love your blog and your insight. I especially love your blog b/c I too am in an interracial marriage and often wonder what our child will look like. Nevertheless, I can say that all the giveaways definitely detract from your blog. It can be a turn off and can come off as a sales pitch.

Jennifer says:

I’ll be honest, I don’t like the giveaways. I don’t think I’d mind them if they didn’t replace your “real” post for the day, but most of the time they do. I look forward to reading your blog every day, and those giveaway days are disappointing for me. When you have a lot of giveaways I usually check out for a week or two and then catch up where I left off.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s your blog and you can do whatever you want with it, but since you asked, I thought I’d put in my two cents.

Cascia says:

Giveaways do a couple of things for blogs they generate more traffic and you can gain new readers if you make subscribing a requirement for an entry.

I can’t stand blogs that are just reviews and giveaways. I think they are a waste of time to read. I don’t gain anything from them and I can’t think of anything good to say as a comment. I’ve entered a few giveaways and won a couple of times but I am not big into giveaways like some people are.

I love giveaway blogs and I enjoy yours very much! I’m a follower of yours. Feel free to visit my blog (Giveaway – ViCera Ceramic Santoku Knife and Earth Mama Stretchmark Oil & Heat Pad).

http://hsuperparents.blogspot.com

I love reading your posts and your full term of giveaways is a great idea to celebrate your pregnancy. Since I’m not pregnant nor have children and whille probably be that way for a minute, I don’t participate in as many of your giveaways (umm…what would I do with a womb for two pillo 😛 ) however I still love reading your blog. I’m like Bianca and am in a IR marriage, so it’s interesting to see when you bring up the unique issues of such unions and in a way I have the prespective of someone who has gone before me.

Beth says:

I don’t host a lot of giveaways on my blogs because I’m super lazy (no, really), but I enjoy them. I think that especially if the blogger is really in love with a product, it’s great if they’re willing to hook us all up with a chance to try something out too. It’s fun, it’s a win for the person doing the giving (since they get free promotion), and… well, I like it. I’m good with it. I have no issue with people getting some freebies as readers or bloggers because, heck, we all need perks sometimes!

I like how your blog has your journey and the giveaways – it’s fun!

kristelh says:

I like the giveaways! It’s a great way to learn about products and companies that I never would have known about otherwise.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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