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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?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

pamelamkramer September 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

LOVE this post I had to pin it! The work that goes into a giveaway is amazing. The fact that people do it for free is amazing. You are so right! What is your time worth? I look at the value of the product. When you think about the retail cost vs the actual cost of how much it is to make the product? Think about it! I’m super selective and I don’t mind it at all. 🙂


Jessica's Coupons September 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Thanks Heather. I so struggle with this. (Though I like to think I am getting more selective as time goes on) Great perspective. 🙂


Randi Sowders September 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for this post. I have been trying to figure out how to get more of a following and had thought about a giveaway. But I just don’t know enough about it to make it worth my wild.

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Cassandra P Wyatt September 26, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Always on the good items they say sold out. How can they be gone. When you just get the email ,something is wrong.


Nicole September 26, 2012 at 8:17 am

Giveaways are time consuming. I need to say ‘no’ more often too. I do like signing up for giveaway events hosted by other bloggers. It’s a simple copy and paste post and it really increases your # of followers.


Leah Ingram September 26, 2012 at 7:45 am

No, I do not think they are worth it. I have hosted a few on my Suddenly Frugal blog, and the return on investment of my time versus increased readership just doesn’t pan out. Thanks for bringing up this topic!


Ann-Marie September 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

It’s like you’re speaking to me, thanks for writing this. Timing could not be more perfect.


Freebies4Mom September 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

You’re welcome, Ann-Marie! I needed help myself from getting overwhelmed with giveaways – so writing this post was like “therapy” for me.


Rachel @ Surviving The Stores September 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

“What opportunities are you giving up in order to spend time hosting a giveaway?”

Loved the whole post, but especially that line! Definitely a must-read!


Freebies4Mom September 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Thanks Rachel!


Dawn Lopez September 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

What a great post Heather, thanks for sharing your insights. I completely agree with you, lately I’ve been much more selective with how I spend my “work” time. Working at home is relatively new for me, I am learning more every day that time is money and it I need to be paid for extra things that distract me from what I need (and want) to do. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good giveaway.. I also like to enter them! Its all about making sure its worth it for me, just like you said!


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