Almost every blog I visit these days is having some sort of give-a-way – gift cards, hand made crafts, blog candy, children’s products and some bloggers are even giving away computers! It seems just about everyone has something to give. Product review blogs, particularly by mommy bloggers are popping up everywhere! How these mommies are getting product to review blows my mind ’cause hey! Hello manufacturers – I like free stuff too! Even I’ve hosted give-a-ways – my most recent one being two WedgEZ during the #GNO twitter party on Tuesday night. (Actually these were sent to me by the manufacturer last spring to review – I got them through a Twitter contact). While its great that companies are reaching out to their consumers and making them feel special I wonder, are these bloggers generating more readers or just trying to get free stuff?
Do giveaways generate more readers?
In my experience? No. It definitely generates more blog traffic – I’ll give it that. During bloggy giveaway weeks I see a huge spark in traffic, but it hasn’t translated into any new readers. By new I mean regular readers, people who comment at least once a week. The new traffic I get during giveaway weeks rarely comments on any of my posts other than the giveaway post. Even after I respond personally to every entrant in a giveaway, I don’t generally see any increase in subscribers and definitely no increase in regular readers.
Building A Community
They say the secret to regular readers is to build a community. Do giveaways help build community? In my opinion not really – people stop by, comment and hope that they get emailed to tell them they won. After their initial comment, the visitor never returns. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Maybe the way I run my giveaways doesn’t help to build community? Is there a secret to running successful giveaways? This brings me back to my original thoughts – commenting and interacting with your readers is the best way to build a sense of community.
What About Finding New Readers?
Don’t ask me – I’m horrible at finding new readers, however, ProBlogger also has 10 Techniques for Finding New Readers – here they are:
10. Write at least five major “pillar” articles.
9. Write one new blog post per day minimum.
8. Use a proper domain name. (I’ll have to disagree on this one – Don Mills Diva seems to have an endless stream of awesome readers and she has a blogspot address: http://donmillsdiva.blogspot.com – her secret? Great content!)
7. Start commenting on other blogs.
6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. (Which reminds me, Janet at Three and Holding had a kick butt Christmas song for the blogosphere on her blog yesterday that I meant to share with you: http://threeandholding.blogspot.com)
5. Encourage comments on your own blog.
4. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival.
3. Submit your blog to blogtopsites.com.
2. Submit your articles to EzineArticles.com.
1. Write more pillar articles.
Notice that none of the tips include hosting bloggy giveaways? Which leads me to think that if I do somehow obtain free product to review, I should just randomly send it to the wonderful readers I have and love. Now what do you think of that? Would you keep coming back to me if I showed you the love and randomly gave out free stuff? Or would you think I was just creepy?