When I say Blogger competitions I don't mean competitions hosted on blogs for everyone to enter, but the ones that a blogger enters by creating a post on their blog.
So why do bloggers hate them?
Well, why would you spend hours writing a post for a chance of something in return, when in most cases you can get something for writing a post? Do competitions de-value the blogger? Basically there seems little incentive for the blogger to write a post that they wouldn't normally write for only a chance of a return.
A working blogger will have a set amount that they accept in payment for writing a post for someone else. Or if they are doing a review they expect to receive the product and then spend time writing about it. With a competition it is not guaranteed that the blogger will receive anything for their work so why should they do it?
In reality blogger competitions offer a company or brand a lot of exposure and possible SEO for much less return than paying bloggers a fee for the promotion. This tends to stir up anger amongst the bloggers. They will complain that most entrants are working for nothing, but the brand is still getting the exposure.
A recent competition caused even more of a stir when the brand wanted to vet the blogs that entered so that they would only receive the best kind of SEO in return for their competition. The prize was good, but was it really fair to not allow someone to enter because their domain authority was not up to standard?
If tempted by a competition I'd always advise that you read the terms and conditions. Some will ask you to write a post then choose the winner at random. You may find yourself putting in hours of work on a great post only to find that the winner had written just few lines to win as Michelle from The Purple Pumpkin Blog discovered. I recently checked terms and conditions for a competition to find they wanted the post written in 300-600 words. My draft had already exceeded 800 words.
So, we can see that there are benefits for the brand holding the competition but are there any benefits for the blogger?
I guess that depends on the competition. Some prizes can be really good, a lot better than you would expect for writing a post normally. So although your chances of receiving anything at all, the opportunity of winning can be a big incentive to write something.
Some bloggers will enter a competition if the prize is something they really like, or competition fits in nicely with something they would write about anyway.
Bloggers who don't normally write for money or do reviews may be tempted by a competition. For some it's not all about what you can earn, but the chance of winning a really nice prize might be too much to miss.
Some bloggers do not get paid huge amounts of money for their posts, or get to review fantastic holidays or great appliances, so a blogger competition may be a perfect opportunity for them.
In the non blogging world competitions are run in a similar way. Entrants are asked to submit something that will give the brand publicity in return for the chance to win a prize. Even competitions where the only thing you have to do is give your contact details you are actually giving away the opportunity for them and other companies to contact you for advertising purposes in the future (although you are able to opt out if you notice the small print or remember to tick the right box) So most competitions are set up in mind with a greater value to the competition setter than the individual entrants.
Personally, I like Blogger competitions. There, I've said it. It's like a dirty little confession.
Here is another confession. I've won a few! A couple of fabulous holidays and a fantastic and expensive toy which arrived just before last Christmas. Not things I would normally get the opportunity to review.
It's not just the winning though, I like the competition, the challenge. I like to work on my entry, try to make it individual, stand out, make it a winner. I get disappointed when I don't win but I don't automatically think...ah I should have been paid for that post. I take it for what it was, a competition.
I only enter competitions that I'm really interested in. I have to either really want the prize and believe that the entry will fit nicely on my blog and not look totally out of place.
Like most things in life, there will be those that love and those that loathe.
So, in summary here are my pros and cons....please feel free to add yours in the comments.
- Gives bloggers the opportunity to receive something much bigger than they would normally get for writing a post.
- Can be a fun challenge
- May provide fresh and interesting content for your blog
- May bring you more visitors to your blog or get you notice more
- Can feel like a whole lot of work and effort for only a small chance of return
- De-values bloggers by using them for SEO and promotion purposes when they should be paid
- Some competitions can be poorly run
- The entry may not fit in with the rest of your blog
- May not add anything of interest to your blog readers
- May not fit the tone or voice of your blog
- You may get lots of nagging e-mails about the competition
Thank you for joining me. If you like my blog I'm looking for nominations into this years MAD blog awards in the School Days category. It would so kind of you to take a moment to vote for http://www.raisiebay.com Thank you x