Image Map

Blog

Bloggers: Are giveaways worth hosting?

by Freebies4Mom on September 25, 2012 1:30 pm

GiveawaysAs a blogger hosting a giveaway, you get to award a great prize to one of your readers. Is it worth your time to set-up, promote, and award the prize? I think that no matter how big of a prize it is, it’s important to remember that only one of your readers will win it. So a good question to ask is: How will many of my readers benefit from this giveaway?

If your giveaway is highlighting a freebie, coupon, or deal that anyone can take advantage of then it just might be valuable content to add to your blog (and not something that’s only valuable to your winner). But let’s remember that you can still share that valuable content without hosting a giveaway. By declining the giveaway, but still sharing the content, you could be saving yourself time and money. It just depends on how valuable that giveaway is for promoting your blog (not just your sponsor). How will hosting this giveaway improve your blog?

My time is valuable, and so is yours. That’s why I think twice about spending my time on a giveaway. I use WildFire to run my giveaways and I pay a fee to use them. I also pay a fee to have a custom graphic created for the giveaway. I do ask my giveaway sponsors to pay me a fee which will cover the WildFire fee and Graphics fee. The giveaway posts I write are some of the most time-consuming posts on my blog plus there is behind-the-scenes communication going on between the giveaway sponsor, me, and the giveaway winner(s) which often does not go smoothly. Every time I host a giveaway I have to be prepared to deliver the prize (or an equivalent prize) if the sponsor fails to deliver the prize. It has happened to me on some small prizes, and once the giveaway sponsor told me that I had to give my review product (which I thought I was allowed to keep) to the prize winner. Luckily the sponsor did eventually deliver the prize to the winner without taking away my review product (which I had fallen in love with). So, ask yourself again: Is that giveaway really worth hosting?

You’re spending time setting up and administering a giveaway plus drawing and contacting winners, and all to promote someone else? Oh…that’s right…you are promoting yourself as the one bringing this great giveaway to your readers which may mean getting new ‘Likes” on Facebook, gaining new subscribers and followers, and just getting your blog’s name out there as someone who gives away fabulous prizes. And let’s not forget that the giveaway may include a review product or gift cards to keep and cash compensation. But what could you do with your hours if you didn’t host that giveaway? Could you create several posts which could help thousands of your readers and gain you new readers because it’s shared widely? Could you write a chapter in an eBook which you could later sell on your blog? What opportunities are you giving up in order to spend time hosting a giveaway?

I know that some companies will pay you to host a giveaway for them, but you need to stand up for yourself and ask for compensation. You need to estimate the value of their time and social media reach in order to determine your giveaway fee. You are spending time to help promote them, but how are they helping to promote you? Don’t hesitate to ask for some promotion from them during the giveaway. I think many bloggers could reclaim some time (including me) by declining more giveaways. And I think many bloggers (including me) should be asking for higher fees. When you accept giveaways, be aware of the true cost of your time and any fees that you pay so that you can pass along those costs to your sponsor. If a sponsor will not pay for your time then you’re better of investing that time in your blog and yourself. I love hosting giveaways, but I need to be more selective about which ones I host by asking myself this question: Do the BENEFITS outweigh the COSTS of hosting a giveaway?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you decide if a giveaway is worth hosting?

F4M Blogging TipsSubscribe to Freebies 4 Mom for tips on Blogging

{ 11 comments }

The Truth About Why Retailers Dislike Frugal Bloggers

by Freebies4Mom on March 9, 2012 10:22 am

Freebies 4 Mom

Frequently Asked Question: Why do some retailers dislike Frugal Bloggers?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately – and I hear other bloggers asking it too. I’d like to share my opinion with you (and I’d love to hear yours too!).

Frugal Bloggers write to help their readers save money. Retailers don’t always like the help that Frugal Bloggers give their readers. It’s a sad but growing trend I’ve seen recently for retailers to actively discourage Frugal Bloggers from helping their readers save money. Retailers do this by changing coupon policies, lowering affiliate commissions, ignoring applications from Frugal Bloggers for paid opportunities, and cancelling affiliate accounts.

Retailers are discouraging other Frugal Bloggers and discouraging me too. It doesn’t make sense to Frugal Bloggers that these retailers do not want the smart readers they are sending to them as potential customers. But I’ve got to believe it all comes down to profits, and retailers are not profitting as much from the readers of frugal blogs than from other consumers. So retailers take action by discouraging Frugal Bloggers from blogging about them, or even discouraging consumers from saving money with them.

Why am I telling you about this trend? I’m trying to offer you a general explanation of why you may see me avoid mentioning certain companies on my blog. The reason is that those companies do not value my efforts to help you save money. But that’s ok, because I’m still going to be an independent voice that helps people save money in many different ways. And I’m still going to give you all of the resources I can so you can still save money with those retailers (even if they dislike Frugal Bloggers like me).

What can you do to support independent frugal blogs like Freebies 4 Mom? Just keep reading and contributing your money-saving tips. You are so much more important than the retailers I work with, because I’ll always be able to find a few special retailers who actually value the work I do and will pay me for it so I can keep blogging full-time. But I won’t always be able to find such a strong group of  smart and loyal readers who love reading my blog. You are a valuable resource to me!

I love helping you to the best of my ability and I’m honored that I can share this truth with you. Thank you for reading and celebrating a frugal lifestyle – it’s definitely something to be proud of and we won’t let a few retailers make us feel bad about the value we place on saving a buck!

Subscribe to Freebies 4 Mom for more Frequently Asked Questions

{ 28 comments }

Bloggers: Think Twice About Blogger vs. Blogger Contests

by Freebies4Mom on January 17, 2012 12:05 pm

CarrotChances are you won’t win, and then you just spent time writing and promoting something that may not be your normal content, or something you’re not passionate about. Many companies are sponsoring contests that pit bloggers against bloggers in order to dangle a really big carrot in front of the bloggers as motivation while drawing upon our natural competitive spirit. But what I’ve seen happen to other bloggers is that this friendly competition somehow turns into something they don’t want to be a part of. Questions are raised about if votes are being obtained fairly in the contest. Most companies never write “Official Rules” for these contests and make them up as they go. Bloggers may feel like the outcome of the contest was influenced or predetermined by the sponsor.

Most bloggers that participate come away disheartened, not necessarily about not winning that big shiny carrot, but about participating in something that didn’t feel good (and probably wasn’t the best promotion for their blog). That’s because in these sponsored contests of blogger vs. blogger the real winner is almost always THE SPONSOR and not THE BLOGGERS. No matter how big the prizes given away, the sponsor just cashed-in on bloggers sharing sponsored content purely to try to win something. It kind of feels like bloggers are being tricked into these things. Please think twice about participating in this type of contest because your time may be better spent promoting your blog (and not a sponsor).

{ 11 comments }

Bloggers: Your Time Is Valuable

by Freebies4Mom on January 2, 2012 9:57 am

I wanted to share a lesson I learned from my blogging experiences of 2012: Your time is valuable, so spend it on what you’re passionate about sharing.

It’s difficult to remember this when there is so much pressure from others to host a giveaway, share a deal, write a sponsored post, and promote an affiliate. I’m not the only blogger who is learning this lesson and sharing it. Bobbie Byrd wrote “Your Worth As a Blogger” to share her story of how she fell into the trap of not valuing her time in order to promote a big brand. She says “You are letting these companies walk all over you. They get their name out to all your community, your Facebook fans and your twitter fans and you get a free product that you don’t even use or a gift card that doesn’t compensate for your time.” And then we have to ask: What do our readers get out if it?

As bloggers we tend to be over-connected with a network of people who are trying to get their content shared more. We can never share everything we hear about, so we must be selective and pick our favorite content. And of course we are always being bribed with free products or gift cards to share that content (which hopefully you are always disclosing to your readers). That’s why I want you to really own your content and not let others pressure you into sharing their content unless you really feel it has value to your readership. Remember that you own your blog, and you control your content. Your time is valuable, so spend it on investing in yourself instead of others.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please leave a comment to share. Which lessons from 2011 are you taking into 2012?

Subscribe to Freebies 4 Mom for tips on Blogging

{ 9 comments }

Advertise Your Small Business on Halloween

by Freebies4Mom on October 5, 2010 12:28 pm

One night a year you’ve got lots of kids and their parents knocking at your door, so why not take the opportunity to do some advertising for your blog or small business? I’ll be passing out treats to parents as well as their kids. I’ve heard that other bloggers have done the reverse too – give your business cards to your kids to leave at the houses they visit on Halloween.

This year I’ll pass out treat bags to the parents who visit my house as a way to spread the word about Freebies 4 Mom. Everyone loves chocolate, so I’ve got some ready to pass out along with my blog’s business card. It’s an easy way to reach some new readers, and will definitely leave a sweet impression on them.

Will you be passing anything other than candy out on Halloween?

Turn your Blogging hobby into a business at Freebies 4 Mom

{ 10 comments }

Freebies Prizes Deals Money As Seen On Subscribe