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Monday, September 13, 2010

shoot the hoops

While blog giveaways are certainly not something new to the forum itself, the way each host goes about conducting the giveaway can certainly be unique (or not). Having just finished a giveaway, and having more on the horizon, I'm going to explain the whole process, namely: the hoop-jumping.

As someone who is not currently affiliated with a blog ad network, I am free to do reviews and giveaways on this blog of products from companies of my choosing with which I've made a connection. As an example: I attend a conference and/or party, and am showered with swag. From clothing to books to hair products, jewelry, food -- you name it, anything and everything could be stuffed in that (sometimes coveted, sometimes rejected) swag bag. I look through the bag and find an item I enjoy. I use the item and am pleased. I email the person/company who provided me with the gift, thank them for it, tell them I like it, and ask if I could please have one (or more) to give to my blog readers. They reply, hopefully, in the affirmative. On occasion, the provider of said giveaway item will have certain stipulations associated with the giveaway, such as: please mention my company X times in your post, or please direct your readers to our website, or please mention that we have a facebook fan page.

I then compose the post.

Perhaps I should stop here to tell you that I do not make money from my blog. (GASP! Was I supposed to tell you that?) This is not to say that I wouldn't want to; in fact, I would very much like to be paid for something that I've been doing for over five years. I do have a few affiliate banners on my sidebar, but I haven't made a penny from them, and to be realistic, I probably won't. (Why do I keep them up? you ask. Because I said I would. Contract and whatnot.) As for advertisers . . . I'd like to have them, but my blog doesn't have what we call The Numbers. The Numbers is what potential advertisers look for when considering whether or not to pay for advertising on a blog. When you go to conferences you can take all sorts of classes on how to Boost Your Numbers and Drive Traffic. I've taken these classes and I've learned a lot and driven myself crazy over it because when it comes down to it, for me: Yes, I think it'd be great to make some money doing this. But I'm not going to Change My Voice in order to do it. I've been blogging for a long(ish) time, I have loyal and awesome readers (more than my numbers reflect), and more are always welcomed to join the party, but I don't want to turn this into something that isn't true to me.


As I was saying . . . I then compose the post. While considering what I'd like to say about the company, I want to help them out as much as I can, show people why I chose this company, this product, for a giveaway with my name attached. And so I offer extra incentive (entries) for doing things that help the company in the realm social networking (follow them on twitter, becoming a fan on facebook, visiting their site, etc.).

[I also should maybe let you know here that I won't do a giveaway for every item/company that comes along. In fact, I'll pursue only what I enjoy and what I think my readers (you) would enjoy. Case in point: I received a thoughtful swag gift from a very reputable company, which gift included some beautiful earrings. The earrings broke the first time I put them on. *shrug* I don't think you'd be interested in that.]

In addition, I realize that with all the social networking going on about the giveaway, I will potentially receive more traffic to my blog. And here is where I offer incentive for those entering the contest to help me out: I ask you to become a follower of my blog (google friend connect), I ask you to follow me on twitter, I ask you to become a fan of my blog on facebook. Why? Because in the case that the right advertisers do come along in my bloggy life, I can say: "Yes, indeed, I do have The Numbers."

So the reader (you) wins by getting an awesome prize AND following a genuine and awesome blog.
The company wins by having many more people get acquainted with their product.
I win by having a future of maybe having enough numbers to someday, maybe, make five bucks.


(Just kidding about that last part about the numbers. I win by having awesome readers (you) -- no really, I mean it. If I didn't mean it, my blog would be a lot different than it is.) (But I wouldn't fight the making-money-for-blogging thing, either.)


Carrot Jello said...

I'll follow, and you don't have to give me anything in return.

kacy faulconer said...

I really like the transparency of this post, and I'm not just saying that because I won your last giveaway.

~j. said...

Thanks, Ladies.

Christi said...

snicker. You always make me laugh. Thank you. And yes, I love your voice (virtual and real).

Thanks for the info on the following, etc. I never realized that could help anyone like that. I've always wondered why I would follow someone if they were already on my reader. Didn't make any sense to me. And now? I follow.

Emily said...

Great post. Don't change a thing, babe.

~j. said...

christi - I figured that there are people out there who don't see the benefit, so that's why I wanted to explain it.

I neglected to mention (though it may be obvious) that if I attract paying advertisers, that potentially also means additional really awesome giveaways. Another win.

Emily - thanks, Friend.

vanessa said...



#1 Its not all about THE NUMBERS. Companies will work with blogs that have smaller numbers but a very loyal loyal readership!

#2 If you are careful you can keep your voice and make money. Some ladies do it very well....others not so much.

vanessa said...

ALSO you know there are like thousands of affiliate programs right? It takes so much trial and error to find the right one. Unless you are Dooce ;) I FINALLY found two that work well but like 30 that have not. So much work this blog business stuff!!

Steph said...

Amen my friend.

And I am excited to see more giveaways over here.

{natalie} said...

i like that you keep it real.

ps please wear the jeans to the big c so i can check them out. thanks.

La Yen said...

I bought a City Deal off of your page. So you should get a haypenny from them.

Amy said...

i love that you put this out there.

I have the blogher network on my site and can therefore not do hosted giveaways on a page that has blogher ads. since i'm not a wiz at html stuff, i just don't do them. Oh, and the two giveaways I did do SUCKED :) I got very few entries and felt discouraged and haven't done another one since.

I don't have the numbers but would of course love to make money as well. But with a full time job, 2 kids, a husband and a household to run, I'm just not sure I have the bandwidth to do what it takes.

If you figure out a secret to it, let me know :)