Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: Giveaways - Are We Buying Our Followers?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!

This Week's Topic: Giveaways - Are We Buying Our Followers? 

Okay so that's the questions, are we buying our followers with giveaways? Recently I've noticed that a lot of new blogs have grown in follower population excessively. We're talking two months blogs with 1000+ followers. Taking a look around these blogs I see a good effort into reviewing books, participation in memes and good blogging overall but more than anything I see giveaways. And that's gotten me thinking, are we ( bloggers) using giveaways to buy/ bribe people into following our blogs? 

Quality not quantity. I can't emphasis this enough - your followers doesn't reflect the quality of your blog. You might have 5000 followers but do they follow you because a) you host epic giveaways or b) you actually blog good stuff? Same goes with publishers, sure they look at your stats but they look at contents too. Let me sum it up - Your Followers Doesn't Reflect Your Blog Contents. Honestly, I would rather follow a less blog with great reviews, interesting interviews and funky contents then a blog loaded with giveaways. 

I can not tell you how much it ANNOYS me to click on a giveaway link and then find this message "must follow via GFC" - firstly why must we follow you to enter a giveaway if you can guarantee we'll win? Following your logic, if we don't win we should just unfollow you blog. It's gotten to the point where now I hardly ever enter giveaways. There are SO SO SO many hoops to jump it's not funny. One blog required people to follow on blog, twitter and email in order to enter the giveaway. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING I GAVE THAT BLOG THE FINGER! 

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a little back when you're putting money into giveaways but you should always give the option. The only giveaway I've EVER used the "must follow via GFC" condition was my blogoversary/ followers giveaway and that was a giveaway FOR my followers. Sure, I have hoops attached to my giveaways but I always give the options of - "do as much as you want or as little". 

In all - basically I'm just ranting but seriously followers aren't everything and I mean GOOD ON EVERYONE for having giveaways but let's keep the secret agenda out of the picture aye? :) 

What's your opinion?

Badass Bookie xx


  1. I very much agree that following a blog should be an optional entry in (almost all) giveaways. I've been doing a monthly giveaway where the winner can choose from one of my favorite books of that month, and as much as I love gaining followers, I host that giveaway because I like giving people a chance to read books I love:)

    As a result of only making following optional (and only doing one giveaway a month unless an author offers up a book for giveaway), I "only" have 320 followers after a little over 4 months, but I am still happy for every single one of them. And, like you say as well, I prefer following blogs with good content over blogs with daily giveaways.

  2. It's sad but it's true. We really do bribe our followers. But I know a lot of people look at the follower numbers and judge how good a blog is by the number and not by the posts. I don't really enter giveaways either because people make them soooo complicated now. Follow the blog, follow on twitter, repost this giveaway, comment, get up and dance around the room while jumping up and down on one leg and hulla hooping. It's insane.

  3. I guess I can see it both ways. I don't even bother seeing some giveaways when I see the ten point list of all things you MUST DO to enter. It's annoying and it feels like a complete waste of time.

    Then, on the other hand, I can see why people want to be rewarded for hosting these giveaways. It's not a secret that hosting them will generally win you more followers.

    If a giveaway is hosted by the blogger, I feel like it's their right to have hoops if they want them. I mean, don't expect everyone to be cool with it and actually enter, but your choice. If it's a publisher sponsored giveaway... eeeek. I don't really see why people should need to follow you if the prize is coming from the publisher. In most cases.

    But yeah, I would definitely rather follow a content blog than the giveaway blog.

    Great post! :)


    1. I totally agree with you about giveaways hosted by the publisher! If you feel like you have to add extra entries, how about things like follow the author on Twitter, or add the book on Goodreads? These are giveaways made to promote a book, and should not be used to promote your own blog.

  4. I have to say I'm sort of the opposite. I love Kathy's giveaway hops because I get to find so many interesting blogs that I never would have found otherwise. And yes the giveaway draws me in but then I will check out their blog. And the giveaways get to show off books I never would have seen otherwise (which I then might buy if I don't win it).

  5. I enjoy the hops it is a great way to follow other blogs, but I get a little bothered when some of them require a follow.

    I certainly feel better when people decided to follow on their own. The only time a required follow should be during a "Follower Giveaway"

  6. Great post. While I am not necessarily against using giveaways to get a word out about your blog, over time I have noticed that there are many blogs whose following is disproportionate to the quality of their content. Sad, but true. The point of such following and such blogging is questionable, IMO.

  7. I agree with Lexie. I've only been blogging a year and my blog partner already had a lot of followers. But we have increased our following by about 1000 since I started interviewing authors and giving away their book.

    My mission is to promote other authors, mostly debut and middle grade. The fact is, sad or not, that most blogs get more readership and comments with a giveaway. And you need the following and comments to get ARCs to give away. I started out buying a lot of the books I give away. Now I get more ARCs. And I'd rather share them with others now while everyone wants them than when they're old and people are moving on to the new books.

    I don't think it's too much to ask someone to be a follower. But I don't enter ones that require too much work.

  8. I'm following your blog based on this post! :) Haha.

    We haven't done a giveaway on my blog yet, but I know we're planning one soon, mainly because there are some new books that I have two copies of, and there are other books that I really want people to read. We haven't even thought about GFC requirements or the like. This post has definitely given us some food for thought.


  9. What a great subject to bring up! I'm a relatively new blogger and I've only hosted one giveaway before. I did notice many other blogs demanding a GFC follow in order to enter a giveaway and it immediately felt wrong. I know that I'd definitely feel quilty if I gained followers for doing nothing but giving away books.

    Hosting giveaways are a great way to pick up a few more followers, but by not making it a requirement, it makes the contest fair. If the people visiting your blog like it, they'll follow. If not, then they won't regardless of the giveaway. Plus, who wants "followers" that will never look at your blog after the giveaway?

    I would much rather have active followers who enjoy reading and commenting on my posts, than "followers" who visit once and never again. I get more satisfation from recieving a new comment rather than a new follower, which is why i've sworn to never make following my blog a requirement in a giveaway.

    Thanks again for posting about this! It's a great topic :D

  10. I guess a lot of us bloggers are more or less guilty of this. Some maybe just in their humble beginnings to lure more readers to their blog, others do it all the time with the obvious aim to break some kind of record.
    I participate in blog hops and have a monthly giveaway to share books I like and no one is forced to follow in these cases. Personally I only ask to follow in Followers Giveaways (which kind of makes sense) and in that case I'm not picky how someone follows - what ever works best is good enough for me: e-mail, Linky Followers, or good old (and soon dead) GFC (to name but a few).
    Oh and I agree with your finger showing above :-D to follow three different ways for ONE entry? This is so ridiculous! Besides, not everyone's on FB or Twitter and I don't see a point in signing on aka jump through twenty hoops just because someone wants to raise follower numbers. No fun in that, really.

  11. Hey Guys! This discussion is really picking and well everyone has made fantastic points!

    @Lexie and Natalie - I completely see where you come from. I'm not thinking so much as the blogs who participate in Blog Hops but those blogs who call themselves "book blogs" yet they hardly post any reviews or anything really besides the monthly giveaway to pull followers...

    Does that not seem like they're buying their followers, they put no time into actual posting!

    Badass Bookie xx ;)

    1. I definitely see your point! Great discussion topic by the way!

  12. As someone so new to the blog-o-sphere(two weeks old) I never even knew about this. The dark side of me is tempted to try it, but the wiser and better behaved part of myself reminds me I would rather have people who are actually interested in my content following - oh and I'm a broke stay at home mum who has no money to spend on anything to give away.
    It's interesting to see how some people do use the bribery method to get you to their site, I guess they're to lazy to get out and do the leg work - or more accurately finger work since you're typing ;p

  13. Since getting rid of GFC off of my blog I feel lighter and less obligated to post ALL the time and more when I have time and when I can focus n my posts you know??

    I also refuse to enter giveaways that say MUST FOLLOW ON GFC... whats more im now going though my google reader deleting blogs I dont even wnat to follow but I am for past things...

    Giveaways should be about sharing books you love, not getting something out of it

  14. I think I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't like the must follow via GFC before you enter the giveaway.

    First of all, I hate doing things I don't want to do. Second of all, I don't think it's fair to the blogger either, simply because a lot of the forced followers don't come back. How do you as a blogger know, how many people actually read and love your blog enough to follow it of their own accord?

    But at the same time, I understand. I know it's tempting to have that hoop. Trust me,I know! It takes time and patience and religious and interesting blogging to gain followers. And then you have the golden opportunity in the form of a giveaway. You pay for your prize books, you have to pay for shipping and even more so if your giveaway is international, so you want something back. So you see, I understand.

    But it doesn't make me like it. That's also why I have the utmost respect and appreciation for bloggers *cough Rachel *cough Fiktshun ehm... who have no hoops whatsoever to jump through and make their giveaways international.

    In the end, when I see a giveaway with the must follow before entering rule, I'll only follow if I like the blog and I know I'll go back to it. In some cases I like the blog, but it hadn't occurred to me to follow it. In those cases, the GFC rule gives me the extra push I need to follow. So because of that I think a GFC rule giveaway is OK every once in a while, but ultimately we should give books away because we want to share the books we love with avid readers like ourselves.

  15. I'm not fond of blogs that insist I follow fifty different ways in order to enter a giveaway. That said, if I find a blog because of a giveaway, I'll typically follow via email to ensure I'm aware of new posts so that I can get a better idea of what kind of blogger I'm actually following. If I like what they have to say, and how they say it, I keep following. If not, it's unfollow time.

  16. I totally agree! Only won't enter a giveaway if it is asking me to follow. I personally want followers if they choose to follow me, not because I'm telling them to.

    Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

  17. Very interesting discussion. I did a giveaway once and limited it to those who followed me on GFC mainly because I wanted it to be a thank you for those who already followed me. That was a bust though, the winner was new and never came back. I am interested in doing another giveaway as I have two copies of a book I love and want other people to read it but don't know how to go about it without pissing other people and myself off.

  18. "Sure, I have hoops attached to my giveaways but I always give the options of - "do as much as you want or as little.""


    I have lots of options in my giveaways -- to the point I think I have too many, but they're NEVER mandatory. And I'm with you: the only exception would be if I wanted to say thank you TO MY FOLLOWERS.

    It's a seriously interesting question, L... and I mean, I think you're right. For every hundred followers you get via a giveaway, how many of them are going to come back, comment, read? 5000 followers means nothing if you don't post quality content, and the response to your posts is *tumbleweed*

    Beauty AND brains.
    Who said you can't have it all?