Why I’m Sick Of Your Blog Trying To Give Me Free Stuff

One of the go-tos of the blogger world is the giveaway. Giveaways for products specific to your niche or readership can be a great way to increase your social media following and increase reader engagement. While they can be effective, I think that when it comes to giveaways, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Reasons why you should use giveaways sparingly:

1. They take web space away from real content. As a blogger, I spend a lot of time reading other blogs, both for inspiration and for my own personal entertainment and edification. One of the things that turns me off from a blog is when all that seems to be published are posts about giveaways. I read blogs because I want to learn something new, laugh, or otherwise benefit. If I wanted free things all the time, I’d obsessively enter Publisher’s Clearing House or something. Giveaway posts, if written in a way that the giveaway is secondary to some sort of content, can be much more tolerable, but bloggers should be careful as to not make giveaways the focus.

2. They cheapen your blog, if used too much. This ties into the first reason. If your blog becomes more about giving away things than it is about content, readers are going to begin to view your blog as a haven for free stuff, not a thoughtful, helpful, or otherwise valuable site. Readers will skim your content to find the “free stuff” posts and your hard-hitting thoughts on body image or politics or whatever else will get lost in the shuffle.

3. They can inflate your stats. Let’s be honest, if you’re asked to like a blog’s Facebook page in order to enter a giveaway, do you really care that much what the page is about? At its core, a giveaway is a way to gain numbers, not readers. The hope is that by persuading some people into liking your Facebook page with the offer of free stuff, you’ll be able to convert them to readers by giving them exposure to your content, but numbers are not the same as readers. Inflated stats could be good if you’re looking for brand partnerships or sponsorships, but I personally would feel guilty touting around my stats when I know that 3/4 of the people that follow me are actually just numbers, not involved readers.

I love giveaways, and think they can be a really fun way to share your favorite products with your readers and gain some new readers, but they have to be used as a way to bring new readers to your content, not replace your content altogether.

What are your thoughts on giveaways?

Xoxo, Taylor

The Weirdest Things People Googled To Get To My Blog

As a blogger, I can see my stats, including how people get to my blog. Many of the people that arrive at my blog do so through google…but what they google is far from what you’d expect.

“Unhelpful relationship with my girlfriend”
What does it mean to be in an “unhelpful relationship?” Is the person unhelpful or is the whole relationship somehow unhelpful? Whatever this person was looking for, I don’t know if they found it on my blog. Sorry.

“Women doing horses”
I know there are a lot of weird people on the internet with specific tastes, but how did this get someone to my blog? I am tempted to google this just to find out how near the top of the page my blog is, but I feel like that’s a really bad idea for some reason.

“Jerkoffinstructions.com red light green light”
Again, there are some weirdos on the internet. What people do in their spare time with a google search bar is their business. But how in the world would someone google this and find my blog? And why do you need instructions?

“Am I responsible for boyfriends boredom”
No, no you are not. He is a strong independent man who don’t need no woman to entertain him.

“I’m Beyonce”
Me: Who googled this?
My roommate: Obviously Beyonce.

“Explore meaningful things”
How does one do this? I’d like to talk to this googler and see if they found anything else on the subject.

“What can a 75 year old woman do for fun”
Date younger men, eat whatever the heck they want, go on trips to exotic places…basically anything that anyone else can do for fun, perhaps sans the more physically demanding things.

“Does fun sized only deal with height?”
This is obviously someone dealing with some size insecurities….sorry, dude.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever googled?

Xoxo, Taylor