Most folks in the blogosphere are familiar with blog contests and giveaways. No matter what you blog about, a company or brand will eventually approach you to conduct a review and/or giveaway.
(SIDE NOTE: I’m still waiting to “review” the Dyson ball vacuum cleaner. Mainly because I would like a $600 genius vacuum for free).
I’ll admit it: when I first started blogging, I was excited to get “free” products for reviews and giveaways. But after a while, I realized how lame it sort of is to “review” a commonly known cereal or something I could buy from CSN like a lamp:
Hey Blog friends! Today I have a lamp review! This lamp is so cool: you just flip a switch and its like the light bulb has a brilliant idea and it brightens up! Best of all, I can throw all my candles away because this lamp offers WAY more light! Off to do some chores since I won’t look like an effed up mime now that I’m living not living in the dark anymore!
And you never see god-awful reviews, do you?
Ok, guys….so I got this peanut butter tuna flavored protein bar to review. I want to say I like it cause it has a lot of protein, no carbs, and I got it fo free….but seriously, I think a foot just farted in my mouth!
You feel me?
And as far as giveaways go, as much of a Jew that I am, loving free loot, I feel like having a giveaway seems to benefit the brand or company more than me.
Allow me to explain:
– Giveaways Make Me Change My Standard Posts.
Not only do I have to provide detailed information about the product or service, but in many cases, the sponsor will demand specific information and links be included in the post as well. This means I can’t just write whatever I want, and it certainly means I need to pipe down on the cursing. No Beuno.
– Giveaways Make You Jump Through Hoops
On giveaway posts, there usually is some sort of obstacle course that the readers will have to endure if they want to win.
They usually must respond to questions and promote the shit out of it on twitter, facebook, google plus (um, is anybody else overwhelmed by ANOTHER social media forum!). Who needs a workout? Just enter a giveaway!
– Giveaways Don’t Do Much For My Blog
Most people think that giveaways will increase their blog’s traffic and visibility. True, that can happen temporarily, but hosting a giveaway does not guarantee long-term, sustainable traffic.
– Sponser Sometimes Suck and Dont Hold Up Their End of The Deal.
I’ve had this happen (sorry Julie!). It doesn’t happen often, but it sucks when it does. Not only did I spend a couple of weeks going back and forth trying to contact the sponsor to find out what happened, but the time I spent dealing with this issue took me away from more productive things like plucking my armpit hair!
– Giveaways Give Sponsers “free advertising” for Minimal to No Costs.
There is sure to spark some debate. Some bloggers won’t do reviews/giveaways without charging sponsors a fee. Other bloggers feel that to charge a sponsor for a review/giveaway is unethical because it means that the blogger is being compensated to promote or positively review a product. Everyone will have to make their own judgment call on this, but my feeling is that bloggers SHOULD be paid for their efforts by sponsers. They should also let the readers know they are being paid to write that a protein bar “taste so yummy!” when it really tastes like a foot farted in their mouth.
But again, make your own decisions about this…
Of course, since I’m a frugal yet benevolent Jew, I might do giveaways from time to time, depending on the product and my relationship with the company. I’ve decided that the giveaways I host in the future will be very few because I think that I can get a better rate of return by just writing my usual shit…or by replying to online dating messages.
So here we are. This the part where you might expect to get the careful instructions about how to enter my giveaway. Sorry to disappoint, but no giveaway today (I know, you hate me). You can still like this post on facebook, mention this on twitter, and link to it on your blog 😉
But I’m curious to hear your thoughts about blog giveaways/reviews… Do you enjoy them? Or are they more trouble then they’re worth? Any protein bars you have tasted lately that taste like a foot farted in your mouth?