Talk To Me
is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link me up.
FOLLOW MEEE! Give-aways are almost ubiquitous in the (book) blogging scene. In a lot of give-aways, you have to follow the blogger on various social media sites to have decent chances of winning. Sometimes there’s a free entry, but if there are ten more possible entries, you’ll probably want to enhance your chance of winning that cool book you’ve been waiting for for ages. But do you stay subscribed or unsubscribe when the give-away is over? Are give-aways worth it in the long run – for bloggers and for subscribers?
I appreciate not everything is black and white here. On the one hand, I can’t deny I love the chance of winning something. I’m not entirely sure on how give-aways function, but I’ve gotten offers from publishers or authors to host a give-away on my blog, so I assume that bloggers don’t always pay for the books they give-away, but act more as a facilitator in exchange for publicity. So basically the publisher/author pays (do correct me if I’m wrong), and you get more subscribers – sounds like a sweet deal. BUT, and you knew there was a but coming, does that really work to the satisfaction of everyone involved?
Ideally, if you host a give-away, you want people to discover your blog and go: “OH, that’s a cool blog! I’m so glad I discovered it. I’ll be sure to stay updated and read all of their future posts.” But let’s be real – most of the time that’s just not what happens. As a reader, I don’t really see the point of following someone just because I want to win something. As a blogger, I don’t want to beg people to follow me in exchange for giving them something – I want them to follow me because they have the same interests and like to read what I write. Do you really want people following you who aren’t interested in your content in the least? Isn’t it more important that your subscribers actually want to read what you’re talking about and, possibly, interact with you in the future?
What’s the point of having 2000 followers if 1999 of them have you muted on twitter, report your e-mails as spam, or unfollow you after the give-away is over? I mean I get that it can be frustrating not to have a lot of people reading the content you put in a lot of effort and love to create, truly I do, but is buying your followers with give-aways really the answer? Personally, I almost never enter give-aways anymore because it’s just too much hassle to unsubscribe from blogs I didn’t want to follow in the first place. I also unsubscribe from blogs that host a give-away every other day because it’s simply not interesting enough to me – I’d like to read more interesting content instead.
I know this all sounds very judgemental, but I’m genuinely interested in people’s take on this. A lot – if not to say the majority- of book blogs I’ve come across host give-aways, and they do seem to gain followers that way. Maybe they do stay around and read future posts. I’m not even saying I’d never ever in the history of never host a give-away. I do realize there are upsides to give-aways – who doesn’t love to win something from time to time? Or maybe you just want to give back to some of the people who have followed you faithfully for years. Completely understandable. Perhaps you’d like to do something nice for Christmas – great idea! But in that case, do you really need people to subscribe to you on every social media platform imaginable? Wouldn’t the contact information of your winner be enough? It is hard to get noticed though. I’m not saying everyone who hosts give-aways is a complete sell-out with no original content whatsover, so please don’t mistake this post for a hate rant on blogs who do this – I’m positive I read some blogs who host give-aways and still like them. I’m mostly talking about extreme cases here.
So what’s your stance? Do you think give-aways are the greatest thing ever and naysayers don’t matter since no one’s forced to subscribe to anything? Or would you like to see less give-aways because your twitter feed is full of them and you’d like to read about something else for a change? If you’ve hosted give-aways, what’s your experience with them? Do People hang around and read/interact long after the give-away? Tell me below!