I’ve mused, as I do, this time about blogging competitions.

Now I’m not talking about giveaway things that many bloggers, including myself, do.

I mean the big brands doing them, usually with the blogger entrant having to do something to ‘enter’ – make a video, write a blog post, then tweet about it using a hashtag, and more than likely a link to the brand’s web page. It occurred to me, aren’t the people behind the competitions ‘using’ the Bloggers for free publicity, getting a hashtag trending, and advertising their brand for FREE? Most bloggers would happily tell any PR people or SEO companies to sod right off if they approached you to make some content, tweet, and whore it out with the high possibility of NOTHING in return.

The whole community also turns into a big ‘stamp on each other, to climb to the top’ thing while these comps run, claws come out, people get upset when they lose, toys are thrown. Etc. For what? The possibility you MIGHT win something? It just feels wrong. I know you could argue ‘It’s just for fun’, but when the names of the winners are announced, it doesn’t feel like ‘fun’ to those who’ve lost. The whole 2013 ‘Ambassador’ program for a well known holiday company seemed to turn into a blogging bloodbath at the end.

I don’t know, I’m probably (definitely) just a bit grumpy, but it makes me sad so many bloggers get ‘used’ this way – I suppose it’s up to the individual, but I don’t think it’s something I want to do any more. I think more time and energy needs to be invested in supporting smaller brands, and companies – probably charity, if you’re going to give your time and energy (and free blog advertising) away, give it to someone or something that REALLY needs it.

4 thoughts on “No Competition

  1. Alex says:

    It’s the “new” savvy way of making an advertising budget stretch- why give one item to 5 people when you can have 20,30 or 40 people write a blog post in the hope of getting that one item? I occasionally do them but if I don’t win, I take the post down immediately the winner is announced- they’ve had their free time limited advertising from me 🙂

    Like the 123-Reg competition I won (describe your first website), with a MacBook as a prize, I only tend to enter them if the subject is something I’m happy to write about anyway- if it’s a massive faff to go off piste and write about it, I’m not interested and wont be arsed.

    And I’ll never ever get involved in a voting by the public competition again, no matter what the prize, it’s simply not worth the grief :/

    It’s funny actually, we were all set to go on a weekend at a UK based holiday company, the dates had been sorted, names taken, all I needed to do was confirm the days off work. Then they went silent. Completely silent. A few days later they launched a blogger ambassador competition where everyone could compete to go and we never heard another word from them about our supposed trip. Haven’t entered the “competition”, because that’s not how I work. Either you want my blog or you don’t simples 🙂

  2. tiasmum12 says:

    I totally agree, I’ve on,y entered one of these types of *coughs* competitions. It’s absulotly just giving free advertising, and I’ve seen so many get so upset. I can’t be bothered with it all.

  3. Sally says:

    We run quite a lot of blogger challenges and, like everything in blogging, it’s not for everyone. But some people genuinely enjoy taking part. We do our best to create challenges that are fun, and don’t feel exploitative, but as with all things, we can always improve and it’s great to hear genuine feedback.

    At Tots100, Foodies100 and HIBS100, what we try and do when we set up a competition is several things.

    First, we try to come up with an entry mechanic that is fun regardless of whether someone wins or not. For example, if it’s a writing challenge, then we’ll try and make it something that’s fun to write, likely to resonate with blog readers and not be too taxing (for example, we recently ran a competition on where you hide Christmas presents). We might invite people to make a Pinterest board of things they love – something many of our bloggers love doing regardless of comp entries!

    Second, we look for every possible way to recognise and reward every blogger who participates. For example, we might arrange it so everyone who enters the competition receives a small item to review, as we have done with Boots and H&A in recent months. Alternatively, we might look for ways to promote entries – by sharing them on Twitter (which is often why we ask people to Tweet their entry), publishing round-ups and Linkies, or creating Facebook albums and Pinterest boards and YouTube playlists of entries.

    Third, running a blogger challenge means we can ask for bigger prizes. As Alex says, the budget is being apportioned differently so that where an individual blogger might give away a few hundred pounds in prizes, we can give away more valuable items – in general, we advise clients on a prize value of at least £1,000 for this type of activity.

    As a blogger, my advice would be (as ever) blog in a way that makes you happy. If you enjoy writing recipes, and you’d love to win £750 for a competition, then why not enter a recipe challenge where you could win that? If you like making videos, then enter a competition that invites you to make a video to win a holiday? Love using Pinterest, or taking photos? Enter those competitions. If it’s not fun, then give it a miss and wait for something that does float your boat!

  4. claire says:

    I tend to think blogging competitions set you up for failure. Many people start blogging, especially parent blogging because they feel depressed, need a bit of company and community and so forth. They often write about such things, then they enter a competition which they genuinely think they stand a good chance of winning because of their circumstances but also because its hard to have perspective on things when you are stuck at home with kids. Then when they dont win it all becomes blown out of proportion again,

    A few months ago I entered a competition, which I rarely do and I genuinely thought I’d done the best post after looking over the entries, in that case my hubby won and it disproportionately pissed me off when he agreed my post was better. I then sat at home brooding for days on it wondering if I should give up blogging all together. After nearly 7 years of blogging the competition thing had got me. I’m a naturally competitive person and was always the best at work and now blogging is sort of my work I tend to project these personality traits onto it. Thats why, in my opinion, blogging competitions are one of the worst things to happen in the world of blogging.

    And, dont even get me started on public voting competitions, one of those for a big prize nearly ruined my life for about 6 months a few years ago and was one of the most stressful experiences ever…

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