Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why Do We Hate Blogger Competitions?

Blogger competitions, do you hate them or love them?

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.

Pros



  • 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


Cons



  • 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


Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

43 comments:

  1. I have only run one giveaway on my blog for a company as it tied in with the review I done for their product.I have to admit it was stressful in a way as even though it put my reader numbers up for that month, but those people only done it for the competition

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  2. Really interesting post. I'm a craft/Mummy Blogger. I've noticed in the craft world, companies tend to contact directly and invite me to enter. They usually send the materials or a voucher so I can enter. I love making things, so having the materials sent, makes me feel like I've won already, to be honest. The posts are always fun to write and to me that is why I enter. Not that I turn down prizes, of course.

    I don't enter something every week or even every month. I couldn't. The time taken creating would make it impossible. It's like everything. Finding the right balance. For me and my readers. Who wants to read about me entering a competition every couple of posts? Not even I do! Competitions are fun and if blogging stops being fun, no amount of paid work would make me continue. (well it would have to be a big number)

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    1. I know what you mean Cheryl, I love foodie competitions where they send me the ingredients and tell me to come up with an interesting recipe. It's something I really enjoy doing but I don't do it too often.

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  3. I dont like the idea that someone makes a blog solely for entering competitions by writing a blog about the competition its actually for or reposting it as ive seen some do, i dont see the point in the blogger who held it in the first place asking for them to do it as it can be pretty harmful for them to do it but i dont mind entering the competitions that dont require me to post again for them ,

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  4. I am much more likely to take part if I am sent some materials to use in the competition - food, art materials, toys, etc. I do enter from time to time, but generally it needs to be a great prize and an interesting topic. Often I feel that they are just taking advantage.

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  5. I am not a huge fan of blogger competitions myself, however I am more likely to enter if there is an incentive to do one in the first place for all entrants.

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    1. Yes, it's nice when you get something to enter, I'm much more tempted, even if it's something small.

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  6. Yeah, I see both arguments really. I also think the one that vetted the entrants was pretty poor - purely because it's usually newer bloggers that like to enter competitions, perhaps before they start getting paid properly. For me, I always find it demoralising. I've entered a few and thought our entries were really good. I've never won one though and it always makes me feel that my blog isn't as good as I thought because I look at the post that won and can't see why I lost out. In particular, I was asked if my little girl wanted to enter a competition and she did such an amazing entry. She's two. Then another blogger had entered something she'd made herself as an adult and that was the winning entry - all the others had entered things their kids had made. I felt so bad for my little girl (even though she didn't know I'd entered her) and for all the other children who'd got excited about entering. So that has put me off competitions a bit really.xx

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    1. That's really sad and unfair Natalie. It's a shame that some of the competitions are poorly run. x

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  7. I sit on the fence about this one - I have entered some of the blogger comps, if they really relate to what I would potentially be writing about anyway - and of course, there are chances to win (of which I have done a few times!) These are usually ones I've discovered on my own and wanted to try and win.

    The ones that I guess get to me are when a PR pitches you only for a competition, then hound you if you don't enter! Grrr.

    You have to be careful too that you are being judged on your content, and not just going into a prize draw (but then, I guess how would you really know?) as I made that mistake once, I worked really hard on a post, and then saw the winner, with just a short post and I felt like a fool for realising, actually I shouldn't have tried so hard >_<

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    1. That's a valid point, I always read the terms and conditions and do tend to steer clear of competitions that are really only prize draws, who wants to put all that effort into a prize draw. I also agree on the PRs nagging you to take part, it happens quite a lot, a gently reminder yes, but not constant e-mails. I may edit my post to add these points x

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  8. I have given up entering blogger competitions and when invited to do so am quite upfront about it, writing a post for a potential win is use of my time and sadly I don't have a lot so I have to choose carefully where I spend it. Having said that in my early days I did enter quite a few - that was how I understood they weren't for me.

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    1. I understand, they can be very time consuming. It's easy to tell if they are for you after doing one or two. Not everyone's cup of tea for sure.

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  9. I did more of these in the past but had time's gone on and I weigh up the effort involved I am incredibly picky about them. I enter some of the ones where 5 people win a £100 voucher as I figure the odds are not too bad but the rest of them that plop into my inbox get ignored.

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    1. I am more picky these days too, if I like the prize I'm more likely to enter, but I'll also consider entering if I like the challenge, or if there is food involved...I'm a sucker for anything food related.

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  10. I don't think there is a right or wrong thing to do , its each bloggers own choice. I have entered a couple of competitions and have won too.If you enjoy creating what the competition is asking than its no problem to enter but I would not enter a competition just for the sake of it.

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  11. I have entered a few and won a Mark Warner competition last year by doing so, but do check the T&C's first as another I entered and worked hard on, drew the winner out of a hat and they had written a few lines.....so disheartening!

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    1. oooh holiday prizes are just the best aren't they :) and yes draws are disheartening.

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  12. I think it's down to the individual blogger as to whether they want to enter or not - I personally don't unless it's something I would write about anyway x x

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    1. As always, my attitude is do what you want and don't be swayed by others, do yes, I agree :)

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  13. Exactly what everyone else has said. I have been lucky enough to win a few that were merit based, and I spent several hours, worked really hard on my entries and only took part because I'd been sent the materials to do so. I made nice posts that fit my blog and in fact some get good Google hits, so I'm happy. I wouldn't enter if it wasn't a post I'd write anyway, I won't enter raffles on the basis of there being a 'prize' as it's incredibly demoralising to lose out to someone who rang it in with a paragraph of gibberish and 2 blurry photos, and I won't spend my own money solely to enter. So no, I do'nt do very many of them now either!

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    1. I don't mind losing to a well thought out and original post, but yes it is annoying when it turns out to be just a lottery and the person who wins has not put in any effort. I'll admit that on a couple of occasions I've put a little less effort in, but I haven't won and wouldn't expect to.

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  14. I have mixed feelings about blogger competitions but as a rule I hate them. I don't like it when you cant see other entrants. I prefer random draw - but then it is annoying when someone who puts no effort in wins. I like my blog and put a lot of effort into every post even if its a competition. I will not enter voted giveaways as they are just up to corruption and I'm not asking everyone to vote for me for something small.

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    1. I'm with you on voting competitions, I avoid them like the plague, but then I've never had any luck in getting anyone to vote for me for anything anyway.

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  15. I hate voting comps
    I'll do the comps that appeal to me

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  16. I use to love comps but then I am not winning so I gave up. I use to join those create a blog post then big names would join too and I wont win against the big names & I have zero chance in winning so I gave up as well. I dont dont like comps I just really lost the interest now for not winning anything. Not hate but more on not having any luck on them. #pocolo

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    1. awww don't always assume that it's the big names that will win. I remember the first holiday I won I was a fairly new blogger up against some really big ones. I was totally shocked but I put a lot of effort into my entry and it really inspired me to enter more. xx

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  17. If I have something that fits I'll sometimes enter, but I won't write something just for a competition these days.

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  18. If it was something that fitted with something I would write about I would consider it, or if it was a craft contest where they sent me the supplies. Other than that I don't think I would enter.

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  19. I really enjoy blogger comps - sometimes its the only thing that allows me to make a bit of time for myself and get creative with ideas on what to do. I have been very fortunate with them (but have put in lots of effort too so it is hard work and not just luck). Sometimes a blogger comp is used to select brand ambassadors and we prefer to work with fewer brands on a longer term basis so it has worked out well for us. The kids enjoy getting involved too and I love the satisfaction of doing my very best entry regardless of whether it wins or not. I can't enter as many as i'd like because it takes too much time but try to join in with the tots 100 and britmums linky comps as they are usually lots of fun to join in with. x

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  20. Interesting debated and not something I've considered before!

    You have some really good point for both sides #pocolo

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  21. It doesn't bother me that companies ask bloggers to run competitions and I think it is up to the individual blogger if they want to get involved. I don't think it's right that they should say only certain bloggers can enter though - that's not fair. I've never entered one myself but if the topic was something I would write about anyway and the prize was great then I might do. I think your reasons for entering some make total sense. I know people get annoyed by them but no-one has to enter! x #PoCoLo

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  22. I only do these occassionally if it's something I'm interested in writing about. Love your arguments for and against though x

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  23. I'd enter if it was something I'd be interested in winning and would write about anyway. But life's too short to enter anything else! Interesting post that shows the pros and cons. Thank you. #pocolo

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  24. Overall I'm really not keen on competitions, for the reasons you've mentioned above. If I could incorporate the competition into a post I was already doing anyway then I may consider it xx

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  25. I like running occasional competitions - but not too frequently. I like the boost in social media numbers it temporarily brings and so long as you ensure the company you're working with fits in with your own vision then there's a chance you'll retain readers too.

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  26. I am a full time blogger and earn from my blog but i often can be seen taking part in blogger competitions .. so much so i am even hosting one at the minute :-)

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  27. I have never entered these competitions and really don't agree with them - it actually makes me think badly about the company running them.

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  28. The beauty of blogging is that you get to write about whatever you want. If, as a blogger, you want to enter blogger competitions and write posts to win something then that is totally up to you. I personally don't tend to enter them because I have little free time and other things that I need to focus on. If something came up that really caught my eye though, I might be tempted.

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  29. I think if I had the time I would take part... But there is so much else going on I just cannot justify it right now ;)

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  30. It depends on the T&Cs - a blog post to enter can take so much time, and effort, to find you were in a draw is disheartening. Kaz x

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It is so nice of you to stop by my blog, I would love for you to leave a comment too. I will reply to as many as I can and if you are a blogger you can expect a return visit from me. Many thanks, Anne xx

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