When I was still starting out with blogging, I always thought that bloggers who hold giveaways are the “it” girls and it signifies that they are established bloggers since they could afford to spend to give back to their readers or have a brand sponsor the giveaway for them. For a newbie blogger, that was the dream.
And so, when I hit a blogging milestone, I thought what better way to celebrate than to host a blog giveaway to give back to the blogging community particularly to my readers.
What I’ve experienced though left me feeling like I was held up.
You see, I still wasn’t an established blogger then (and even now). I used my own money in order to create the prize for the giveaway. And because I hated the popular giveaway rule that you have to follow and share to every social media platform in order to be counted, I didn’t ask that of my readers, making social media just an option to earn additional points.
Even so, what ended up happening was someone who I’ve never seen before won the giveaway. She also didn’t notice the blog post where I announced her as winner as well as the social media posts even though she’s “following” my blog and all my social profiles.
On the last day before I was going to choose another winner, she finally showed up and was able to receive the prize.
I think that was in 2015, a few years after I started blogging.
And I’ve never heard from her since.
Not on my blog. Not on social media.
Do you know how that feels?
That’s why thinking about holding another giveaway just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s not something I’m willing to do, even with a sponsor (although I’m practically a nobody, so what sponsor? 😂 )
I am not giving a complete stranger my money. I’m not some sort of lottery that someone can just cash in then disappear. Don’t I deserve to be listened to? To try to get to know?
I know that I’m not the most sociable person around, I’m very introverted. But that is why blogging is perfect for me. I get to voice my own opinions without being interrupted mid-sentence on the first sentence. 😀
That is why if I do give back to my readers, it’ll be for engagement. Exclusively for readers and followers.
I don’t care about gaining more followers if they’ll just end up like the one who’ll disappear after the giveaway. We are all familiar with the follow-unfollow game, right? This is very much like that and it’s lame too.
Because engagement trump numbers, any day. That is why it is engagement that should be rewarded.