Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wonderings - Is that bribing readers or not? :)

Dear reader!

Today I am wondering about giveaways. Most of the bloggers and also book bloggers are organizing giveaways. To rush ahead, I can tell you right away, that I love participating in giveaways and also organizing giveaways. I do. But today I saw something which made me wonder.

I got an invitation to participate in a giveaway which is organized one of the fellow book bloggers. The title of the giveaway was:

HUGE giveaway! Need 30 more followers and after reaching 75 I will have a big giveaway.

I already follow this blog, because I like the way the blog owner writes her posts, she is witty, she has a nice and interesting writing style. Besides that she always reads and reviews books which are slightly different from the mainstream literature. Obviously she is quite new to blogging world, she has been blogging for 3-4 months by now. I always like to support beginners, because I am fairly new blogger myself and I know and understand the need for readers. So I will definitely visit her blog, read her posts, eventually write a comment or two. I like that blog! Do I follow that blog for that specific giveaway? No! I follow that blog because I enjoy reading it.

So, as you understood, this blog has 45 followers at the moment and she is organizing a big giveaway when she reaches 75. I have to admit, that so far I have not had any giveaways in my blog which are directly connected to the number of followers. Not yet, at least.

When I saw the title of the event invitation, I was thinking, if organizing giveaways with reaching a certain number of followers, gives many followers? Do these followers increase the number of real readers who create page views and hits?

What I have seen so far, is that big giveaways where there are hundreds of bloggers participating do give followers if you make that a requirement to entering the giveaway. I have also experienced, that there are some of these followers who disappear as soon that you have announced a winner. I also understand that in a way. Personally, whenever I am following a blog, I usually never unfollow them, because I follow the blogs that I like to read now and then.

When you take a look at the list of blogs which I follow you will see that the list is long - more than 1000 blogs. Do I read them every day? No. Do I read them once per month? Probably a part of them. Do I read them at least once per year? I am absolutely sure that probably most of them.

The irony is, that I am actually considering to organize a giveaway when I hit 1000 followers. I am already planning it quietly, because I know that couple of more months or maybe even less and I will be hitting 1000 followers.

What do you think, are giveaways which are connected to increasing the number of followers bribing readers? If you follow me, I will give you a chance to win - is that making your readers happy or is asking them to follow you bribing with books? What is in your opinion about giveaways by 50, 100, 200 followers?

I am sincerely curious to hear what you think!


  1. I like what you have to say, this post being a perfect example, and that's why I follow you. That's why I follow almost all of my blogs. I have also never followed someone for a contest and then unfollowed them if I did not win. That seems rather childish, doesn't it? When I follow a blog hop around, I don't newly follow any blogs just because of a giveaway, because if I like the book they are giving away, then I definitely want to follow that blog because they like the same books as I do. If I don't care particularly personally for the genre of a certain blog, then I just move on to the next one without entering the giveaway. I do prefer that blogs give me the choice of whether I want to follow their blog or not, instead of making it a requirement to enter the giveaway, as I agree that it does seem like they are bribing me, and I'll bet a lot of people will follow their blog and then unfollow after the contest. I don't think this applies to 50, 75, etc., follower giveaways, obviously, as those are designed specifically to reward those people that DO follow them. Thanks for giving voice to something a lot of people probably think about:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  2. It's true, a lot of bloggers will ask you to be a follower when they host a giveaway. So yes, they lure readers in with making them follow and if they put effort and dedication into what they post, obviously people will stick around, but generally I'd say they shouldn't be too surprised if they're being unfollowed after the giveaway is over either.

    Personally I host two kinds of giveaway on my own blog. Those strictly for my followers where you have to be a follower, obviously. And for all the blog hops or giveaways of books from authors I am not making it mandatory to follow. Add the fact that I like to keep things real simple too. One entry is all it takes and there are not a gazillion additional methods to enter (one of them could be, again, following). So for most giveaways you don't have to sign up on GFC and oddly enough my readership is still constantly growing ...

  3. Julie, thank you for your comment. You know, when I have had giveaways on my blog, then I have so far always asked them to be a follower. Especially in the beginning, because what is a blog without readers, right?! But when I compare the pageviews with GFC followers, then it is a different story and I think it is OK. I am fully satisfied with the knowledge, that my followers do not read my blog every day, because as said in the post I do not read all the blogs I am following every day either, only some of them. Of course, it's always nice to look at the statistics of the day, when the number of page hits is higher than usually :) I also know that it usually happens, when I am participating in the big blog hop giveaways. It also makes sense for me.
    I think that follower number is important for publishers and authors because when they are contacting me for writing a review, then this number is showing the POTENTIAL number of contacts the revivew can reach, at least eventually.
    I also think that most of the people follow, when they see at least something that they can relate to, be it an author they like, or the genre, or the general thoughts of the blog. When i am hopping from blog to blog, then this is exactly what I do.
    I also want to make one thing clear - even though the number of followers does not equal with the page hits, I love my followers and I appreciate that they do like my blog! .)

  4. I do giveaways on my blog, but I've decided to NEVER make following a requirement. I may occasionally give extra entries for being a follower, but I do that as a way to reward the loyal readers. After all, I'd rather have someone who reads my blog regularly win my giveaways. I figure if people like what I have to say, they'll come back anyway. It means more when you gain one follower that cares about what you have to say as opposed to twenty that just want to win a book anyway.

  5. Birgit, I also have different types of giveaways. Since I have being sponsoring the big giveaway hops myself (except for the author giveaways), then I also want to make sure that the book or gift certificate ends up with the person, who really reads and likes my blog. Of course, there are never guarantees for that. It is mostly wishful thinking :) As said, following is not exactly the same as reading the blog.

  6. Kara, I agree with you. I know more or less who my loyal weekly readers are, at least I think so. They tend to leave comments more often. When I am saying comments, then I do not mean my blog only, but also in Twiter, Facebook and other social networks.
    By the way, I think everybody who visit blogs, want to win something:)) That's the idea behind giveaways, isnt it? :)

  7. I definitely think giveaways gain you followers. Half the blogs I follow and make a huge effort to comment on once a week are one I have found through giveaways!
    I actually did a giveaway where I was going to pick the winner when I reached 100 followers. I wouldn't ever do this again and I do regret it but I have to admit I think saying your going to do one is a bit like blackmailing! lol