A history. And…to giveaway, or not to giveaway?

Posted 10 Mar 2010 in baby business, not so much, wedding whatnots

I’ve been blogging for a long time. My first blog post was back in 2000, where I basically bitched about writing papers for college and apologized for not blogging more. Then I started again in 2004 and ranted about things that bugged me. There was no such thing as “followers.” People didn’t subscribe to RSS. I didn’t care if I had readers because I was doing it for myself.

In November of 2006 I decided to start blogging about our wedding planning since the majority of my friends and family lived elsewhere. Blogged Bliss was born. After the wedding was over, my good friend A inspired me to keep the blog going, and it turned into my outlet for everything. An outlet of course, that my friends and family could read.

February 2009 and we’re trying to get knocked up. I start a new blog. A secret blog where I can complain about how long it’s taking us to get it done. And then I get pregnant in the first month. Trying to conceive blog turns into pregnancy blog. Secret turns public. Over time, I acquire around 70 followers and around 100 RSS subscribers. Then I have Abby and pregnancy blog makes no sense anymore, so I move all my posts and my bad little self back to Blogged Bliss.

So there, a brief history.

Now, getting to my main point. My moral struggles with blogging, followers and giveaways.

My blog now has just shy of 50 followers and a bunch of RSS subscribers. (Where did that 20 go from my other blog? Come back!) Anyway, I obviously would like for more readers. I think most every blogger’s dream is for someone to find their blog and pay them billions of dollars in ad revenue so that they don’t have to work anymore. Right? Some bloggers are just lucky enough to have enough readers where companies send them items to review and or give away and that’s totally awesome. I hope I get to that point some day.

But some bloggers have giveaways with items they purchase on their own…and to enter the giveaway you must follow the blog, vote for them at either of the sites on the right or stand on their heads or something. That’s fine for the people that do that. I don’t think that I could. Gaining “followers” based solely on something you bought to give away seems like cheating. I want people to read my blog because they like what I have to say, not because of the off-chance I might give away some fancy-ass diaper bag.

Of course, these blogs then have eleventy billion followers and top ten listings in the “Top” blogs. They make me a little sad when I see my little following, but I feel better knowing that my peeps are there because they wanna be. They won’t ignore most of my posts because the word “Giveaway” isn’t in the title.

Don’t get me wrong, if hell freezes over tomorrow and some company was all – “DOOODE. Here’s this awesome toy we want you to review and we’ll send you one to giveaway to your readers,” of course I’d do it. Because it was genuine. I just don’t agree with the other practice.

To each their own, though.

What are your thoughts on giveaways?


  1. Mrs.Joe

    I totally agree. I have 14 followers, but 4 aren't really strangers. I wish millions of people were interested in me and my boring life, but I'm happy that at least 10 people take interest enough to admit they follow me! Good for you for keepin' it real girl :-)

  2. Baby Love

    I agree with you as well. Over the past few months it seems like some of my favorite blogs are now more focused on giveaways than actual blogging. Granted, it would be nice to win something, but the whole reason I got into blogging was because it was cathartic for me to share my life and to read about what other moms were going through as well.

  3. The Geary's

    To be honest, I check your blog daily for updates, but I don't "follow" you. I never knew it made bloggers feel important or had some type of status symbol. I like what you write, I think you are witty and definitely have better posts than many other blogs I read.
    As for the giveaways, who doesn't like free stuff? But some of the terms that come along with it, like follow me, vote for me, etc., are bush league.
    Question that I've always been curious about with this "Top Blog" stuff, does it get you anything if you are in the top or is it hopefully a way to expose your blog to the said hierarchy and hopefully one day blog for a living? Either way, I vote for you:-)

  4. jCam

    Giveaways – I could take em or leave em.

    Followers – I can't follow you here because I see no google thing telling me 'click here to follow'.

  5. Mrs. Jenna

    jCam (and anyone else having a prob with my site) here's a text link to click to follow on blogger/google!


    Can you not see all the stuff in the right column?

    It might be time for me to take a gander at wordpress. This is getting ridic.

    The Geary's – yeah, I don't win a prize or anything for climbing the Top Blogs ladder, just likely more traffic. :) Which is the gift that keeps on giving.

  6. Sara

    I also agree with you on the terms of giveaways… most of them are self serving. Tweet me! Link to my blog! (which I mostly find annoying because 1. I don't tweet and 2. I don't post enough on my blog to slip in a post like that… my 6 readers would be all WTF? This is what you do instead of posting more pics of your kid?)

    Aaaanyway, all that aside, I have to admit that I got all happy when I realized I was NOT related to 4 of the 6. And I have posted begging for comments, because I know that there are at least 2 other family members and 1 friend that read regularly, but don't "follow". But they didn't get how it worked and emailed me a response. GRUMP.

    Right, so. Wrote you a novel. Great post though.

    And yes, still nothing showing in the sidebar. Sorry sis.

  7. Sara

    Also: You're #1 on the humor page again/still. Gratz.

  8. browneyes_24b

    I fall into that category of someone who held a blog giveaway to get followers. I just started my blog a couple weeks ago and thought a giveaway would be a good way to start things off. A person has to start somewhere, right?

  9. Mrs. Jenna

    You know I got nothing but love, browneyes. :) snails.

  10. jCam

    I don't see anything below 'Please Vote! KTHX!' Aaaand the link didn't work. Hahahaha.

  11. when i first started my blog and was looking and reading others i had wondered how they had acquired so many ‘readers’… then realized its all for giveaways. I see the blogs with 1000+ followers and wonder how many of them are actual readers – or just followed to enter 1/2 giveaways.

    I haven’t done a giveaway yet on my blog but i am open to the idea if companies would offer. For most companies to send you giveaway items they usually take a look at how many ‘followers’ you have.

    The sites who only have giveaway followers are pretty easy to spot now – you have made some great points about the ‘moral dilemma’

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