My blog is officially a year old now. Yay! Thank you for sharing this journey with me. And thanks to all those who have participated in the blogiversary giveaway. That was fun! Congrats to Alice of Hipfoodiemom for winning. I am dying to see which chocolate(s) you will select, or what chocolate yumminess you will create.
As I mentioned (in the giveaway post), the blogiversary giveaway was my first giveaway ever. I was a total blog giveaway virgin. I was clueless. I really had no idea what I was getting into, had a lot to learn, did not know too much of what to expect, and there was also some apprehension. This first time was truly a learning experience. Before I began, I wasn’t really familiar with all the legalitiesthat came with a giveaway. I had to familiarize myself with the rules so that I don’t find myself in the sh*ts later.
I have checked out other blogs to see what they listed for the entry rules of their giveaways. Most of them required posting a comment, answering a question that was stated. I decided to do that too, provide a question that entrants are to answer. My question wasn’t that complicated. I was curious to find out what kind of chocolate/chocolate based dishes my fellow food bloggers/readers had on their minds. And there were a lot of interesting answers from everybody! All sounded chocolaty delish.
My blog is still new, still very small, with a small readership base. The bigger, more established blogs are more likely to expect tons of visitors when they have something cool going on, such as a giveaway (from people they know as well as random strangers popping in). It’s like a big open house party at their place when they have friends and unexpected strangers popping in left and right. With the exception of unpleasant (especially peace disturbing ones) visitors, almost everyone is welcome….friends, friends of friends, the random strangers…I like to make an analogy of their domain (blog) with a huge mansion. They are livin’ it large, attracting larger crowds, and offering way cooler things. Way more people show up. The more the merrier. Sooooo many people know them that it can be hard for them to keep track of who is who.
When I first started blogging, I admit that I placed more importance and focus on quantity of readers than quality. But now, a year later, I have come to value the small (but awesome) food blogger connections in my circle.
If I am having an intimate get together in my tiny little space (blog), I WILL notice the unfamiliar faces. Hypothetical example….Say I was having a chocolate party because I was experimenting with a bunch of different chocolate (since the giveaway was, after all, for chocolate, hence the hypothetical situation) and creating different chocolate dishes/baked goodies and invited people over to get feedback from a bunch of different palates. And hey, it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t love chocolate. These people would get to enjoy FREE chocolate yumminess. I welcomed friends and friends of friends, as well as newcomers that found me on social media sites or whatever. If you come into my (small but intimate) home, don’t even introduce yourself, and just merely say to me, “I am here for the chocolate. I want this and that”. My thoughts will be, “Eh? WTF? Who is this moocher? How rude!”
Fast forward one year, when I actually started my first giveaway, my motives were different. If I was to get a boost in traffic due to the free stuff from the people that ONLY want the free stuff, I did not need that type of traffic. Sure, I also wanted to make new food blogger friends because I know there are some pretty cool (non rude) people out there that I have not connected with yet. And I really look forward to connecting with you in the near future, dear new food blogger friends and readers. But I could certainly do without mooching new (and possibly one time) visitors that only come for free sh*t. It really makes me shake my head when I think of how much shameless moochers are out there.
My giveaway prize was small and humble, but it was a token of my huge appreciation. The next time I have a giveaway, I know that I am going to have to be clearer about the rules. You can call me stingy, petty, whatever you want (and I won’t deny it LOL)….but hey it’s MY money that I am spending and I can do whatever I want with it, right? The bigger blogs are often given stuff from companies that want them to blog a review about their product. The giveaway is aimed at marketing purposes from the sponsors. But with my giveaway, it was $$$ from my own pocket. And I’ve come to terms that I don’t need traffic (even if it means a temporary 100x increase in traffic) from mostly moochers. I choose to value genuineness, not sponges.
I myself have entered in blog giveaways before. And they were blogs that I regularly visit. I think I would feel weird about entering in a blog giveaway of a blog that I have no interest in. Like if there was a $1000 (say something general, like Walmart or whatever) gift card blog giveaway from a blog about worms or something, as tempting as it may be, I would feel like I am stealing a loyal and deserving reader’s chance at winning. I’ve noticed that some people actually search for which blogs are having giveaways and drop by ONLY for the giveaways. They basically go around blog hopping, looking for giveaways to enter. I’ve seen on my dashboard that some traffic came from the search key words “powered by Rafflecopter”. So I am guessing this is one of the ways that these people search for the blogs having giveaways.
Will I have more giveaways in the future? As much as I hated some of the headaches I had to deal with in this first one, it was a pleasure to share my appreciation. I think THAT outweighs the headaches. So YES, I will!