GIVEAWAY POST!!

Subtitle: Bait & switch? You decide.

A week or so ago on twitter I posted the following tweet.

(and, were I far more skilled at computercrap than I am, the below would be a screen-shot not a retyped version):

phpHNcjF1 c1PM bigger GIVEAWAY POST!!

Dont we all have giveaways every day on our blogs? FREE CONTENT!

I received back about three tweets of agreement.

Two, when I asked if I could repost the tweets here, didnt respond (Im beginning to wonder if many people are like I am and rarely check their direct messages).

The third tweet was from a “bigwig” on Twitter.

She agreed with me and yet didnt want her words cut, pasted & posted up in herre even though she’d announced her agreement to 6-thousand plus followers.

That, however, wasnt the shocking part.

The surprise lay in the fact that within moments of tweeting my in-box was filled.

With shoutouts of hell to the yes! we give away content every day! why is that?!

With remarks of we do giveaway free content daily, but why do I still feel like “small potatoes” if I dont offer freebies, too?

It seemed with the relative privacy of my in-box bloggers felt comfortable agreeing with me.

Yet in the very public platform of twitter—where thoughts can be retweeted into oblivion—only three were willing to concur.

So Im here to reiterate the question (verbosely thankfully in more than 140 characters) & toss it to you my opinionated, wise, always happy to wax eloquent in the comments readers:

Isnt every day we choose to blog a giveway post as we happily, generously share our content for free?

Do you host giveaways of the product-sort on your blog?

If you do—why?

If youve chosen not to—same question?

Over the past year (as I sliiiide on into four years blogging at MizFit) Ive shifted my approach to giveaways.

Initially —I wont lie— I was thrilled even to be asked.

I was flattered a great big faceless company thought I wielded enough social media reach to be worth their while.

These days?

I recognize my worth and have chosen to throw it wholeheartedly behind the tiny folk.

The small companies whose marketing budgets are minuscule & whom I grow excited at the prospect of helping succeed.

I strive to have fewer traditional giveaways around here because I recognize that daily, on each of our blogs, we giveaway our thoughts, tips, feelings (and, yes, some days frazzle) for free.

And you?

What are your thoughts on blogs, giveaways, content & companies?

Do you tend (as I do) to skip the FREEBIE! posts because the very title makes it clear the freebie you desire (content. to hear what’s happening with the blogger.) probably isnt proffered that day?

Please to skip the emailing & hit us all up in the comments.

Edited to say: One of my fave bloggers has also written about this topic today. Charlotte of the Great Fitness Experiment.  Coincidence? Indicative of blogger-frustration? you decide…

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Comments

  1. Lisa says

    I just started my blog and this is a perfect post for me.
    In my mind it seemed that bloggers have only “made it” when giveaways are an option :)

    How do you get them anyway?

  2. says

    I like to do freebies because I like to give stuff away.

    I hadn’t ever considered I give my writing away every day.

    I love to write.

  3. Madeleine says

    Just a small thing, I noticed you never use apostrophes and wondered why? I find myself editing as I read.

    Thanks for your blog I enjoy reading it. Love your humour and sincerity.

    I agree with you philosophy with regards to freebies. A giveaway implies that you endorse that company which may or may not be the case. It’s basically free advertising.

    Cheers

    • Miz says

      no reason. Id say its an accident but I guess it isnt?
      not branding :)
      merely an attempt to write more rapidly I guess…and get to mothering and DAYJOBing and wifeing and LIVING.

  4. Lia says

    I do not have a blog, yet I have always wondered if bloggers get annoyed that posts with giveaways will get tons of comments when other posts get five or six.

    I think that would annoy me :)

  5. Jeannie says

    I’m not a blogger, just an avid reader of many. It’s rare that I enter the running for the freebies; in fact, I usually just skip reading about the freebie. I see giveaways of products as a big commercial.

    I read blogs for the content. I understand that bloggers are providing a free service to me. So, if one has to advertise for a company in way or another, it’s fine by me.

  6. Ed says

    I don’t blog and have frequently marveled at the time it must take to blog and post and, as you point out, give away content for free.

    With regards to the giveaways I do not read them since I live in Canada.

    It seems they are all USA.

    Ed

  7. says

    I’ve done one give away. I wasn’t offered anything for it. I went out and purchased everything myself. It was National Running Day and since running saved me life I wanted to pass that on. I asked all of my readers (all 6 of them) to go out and run just a little. It was awesome.

    I too feel like people that are offered free stuff to give away have made it big. I’m still waiting for my “whoa Tara, you’re kind of a mover and shaker round these parts. Why don’t you move and shake (insert product) on your blog”. I’m not exactly sure how that happens since I’ve lost a crap ton of weight. I guess my time will come (I am in the process of taking over the world AND becoming your personal assistant) and when it does I’ll decide then what deserves to be on my blog. I take this journey very seriously so not every one will be a part of it (but if someone want me to try their latest fat free/sugar free/still taste delicious chocolate cake I’m in).

  8. Laura says

    I agree with Jeannie to some extent.

    It depends on the blog.
    Many seem to do giveaways which are commercials and I can not even tell if they have tried the product or cut and pasted from a website.

    Other bloggers appear to write about items they like.

    I, too, skip the giveaway posts.
    I never win LOL and as you said it is not why I read.

    GREAT POST.

  9. says

    I forgot to add that I completely agree with your “free give away every time we blog” philosophy too. I don’t always glean something life changing when I read a person’s blog but just knowing that they are still around fighting for their lives gives me the strength to fight for mine and those around me. That is the best give away EVER! And I always win!!!!

  10. says

    I do host some giveaways, but I turn down more than I agree to do. It has to be something *I’m* genuinely curious about before I’ll agree to review it and host a giveaway. When I do host a giveaway, it’s because I sincerely thought it would be fun and/or useful to do FOR THE READERS, not the companies themselves. I do feel good that all the vendors and PR types I’ve dealt with have made it clear they wanted “fair and honest” treatment and didn’t expect anything in return.

    I like reading other people’s takes on products I’m interested in, especially books and fitness products. If there’s an associated giveaway with it, I may enter it, or I may just comment on the review and ask not to be included in the giveaway.

    One type of review/giveaway I run from (as fast as my backspace key will carry me) is the ‘scavenger hunt’ type of entry. The ones where you have to comment on that blog, link to it your blog, stand on one leg and tweet about it, send it to all your facebook friends and make sure they send it to all their friends, etc. It becomes more about promoting their blog than sharing a new find or giving people a fun little thing to do before they move on to the next blog. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; it just doesn’t feel “community-like” to me, and that’s why I’m here.

    And speaking of here, I need to be somewhere else in a few minutes. Have a great weekend!

    • says

      Hah! Good thing I was between sips, your description of the “scavenger hunt” giveaway would’ve made me shoot mint tea out of my nose!

  11. says

    I get so many giveaway offers that I just simply ignore because I made the decision a while ago to only host giveaways for things that either 1) I really enjoy or 2) are paying me. I’ve hosted a few paid giveaways and I in no way feel bad about that because I do support myself via blogging. But I’ve even said no to a few paid offers just because the product didn’t align with my philosophy AT ALL. I’m not one to giveaway things just because giving stuff away makes other people think “you’ve made it” or such. My favorite giveaway I ever did was just giving away used books and DVDs to my readers who actually are a part of the community surrounding my blog. I knew they would love and use the items and it was most of a sharing in the community than a real giveaway – and that was awesome. Regular giveaways are just too…. strange with the feeling of hundreds of people shouting “gimme” at you. But if a product I really love comes along with a giveaway offer? I’m all over it.

  12. Tricia says

    I’m a new blogger and completely unknown (do I want to keep it that way? probably!), but as a reader, I love the giveaways! I think they’re fun and bring people in to read new content, perhaps from someone they haven’t read before.

    Had I seen the tweet, MizFit, I would have responded and allowed a repost. I tend to miss a lot during the day when I’m at work and don’t always get through everything during my recap in the evening!

    Of course, all bloggers give aways their thoughts and opinions everyday (or, at least, every post, however often they write)! So, I feel fulfilled all the time!

  13. says

    I have actually stopped accepting product from outside advertisers all together though that doesn’t mean there won’t be any giveaways – in fact, I have a big celebration post coming up and am planning a giveaway as a free parting gift. Just not in that regular old health blogger kind of way.

    From now on, I am only going to be giving away things of real value to my readers and twitter followers. Things that come from my heart that were not given to me by someone else. And something that they will appreciate and know is just my way of opening myself up even more to them.

    I don’t think that giveaways are wrong, in general. But, I don’t like how many bloggers use it as an opp to just get free stuff – stuff they wouldn’t ordinarily buy and sometimes even be able to afford to buy.

    And yes, we are giving away content every single day. Even on the days we don’t post, we have visitors everyday! No matter how many readers and twitter followers you have, you are giving away a piece of yourself and to me, that is more valuable than anything.

  14. says

    I think it all matters what it is and why you’re supporting it. If it’s just propaganda (as I see with some people) to make obvious and blatant money..I lose respect. If it’s a product that you adore and think others should know about it..then what separates that from porch talk in the 1950s?

    I think it’s staying true to who you are and what you believe in.

  15. says

    I never thought about giving away our content every day. I love that notion.

    I do host giveaways on my blog (one went up today in fact) but not very often. Before I would host one just to host one and now I will only do so if I stand behind the product. What I posted today is the first one in months. A quality water bottle from Thermos. I like their stuff and I love having my water bottle by my side all day, so I will do their giveaway. A month or two ago I got contacted to do a $100 giveaway for an herbal weight loss supplement store. I refused. $100 is a lot to giveaway but I don’t know the product and didn’t want to promote something like that on my blog. I like supporting companies and sharing products people may need/enjoy, and yes its nice to possibly find new readers in the process but that isn’t the sole reason by far.

  16. Lexie says

    I am new to blogging and am not on Twitter yet.

    I agree with you 100% about the giving away of our words.
    It is a lot of work to keep up my blog and I had not thought about it in the fashion you frame it.

    Now, who wants to pay me to blog? :)

  17. says

    I’ve only hosted a small number of giveaways, and only ever agree to do one if the product is in some way in line with my blog. A few of my giveaways have been products I purchased myself, and paid for shipping myself. I’m not a huge fan of giving away crap and junk just so I pick up a few extra readers. I like to think that it’s the quality of my content that gets me readers, not the amount of free sh*t I hand out :P

    Also, I’ve stopped entering giveaways because most of the time I don’t really want the item enough to take five minutes to comment, tweet, add to blog roll, google reader, facebook, get my first born, just for a bag of chia seeds :P Even more, as a Canadian, it’s frustrating as most giveaways are only open to US residents.

    My two cents :)

  18. says

    Like many who’ve already posted, I ignore most of the emails from companies about product endorsements/giveaways. I’d rather promote a book or fitness video/aid that I love, and most of the time when I give them away on my site, they were either mine originally or I bought it to give away.

    Lately I’ve been giving away things that were useful to me as I lost weight. Sort of like the “traveling pants.” My hope is that when the “winner” of that giveaway is finished using it, she/he will pass it on to the next “loser.”

    When you do a giveaway, Miz, I trust that the product you’re reviewing is good, quality stuff. That’s the reputation you’ve developed. Sadly, many bloggers who give anything away don’t have that kind of reputation. I feel like they are merely a low-paid/if-paid vessel of “The Man.”

  19. says

    I think it’s interesting to think about giving away our content for free. I tend to like that idea, because it makes me feel more like an altruist than a sucker. But seriously, I blog because I think that it can be such a powerful medium for communicating important messages. I do it because I think I have some moderately interesting things to say and more than just my immediate family may want to hear them (though I’m still not 100% sure… ;-) But I have to admit, sometimes I am envious of the bloggers who are “big enough” to offer giveaways, or maybe more accurately have a blog that is better suited for such giveaways. Not that I’ve been given the option, but I’m not sure what I would do if I were “courted” to do a giveaway. I’m very hesitant to add a commercial component to my blog.

  20. says

    I always used to think that to be a “good” blogger, you had to give away freebies and spent so many hours emailing people offering to review products for them. Nowadays I don’t bother and thought I do get approached, most of the time I politely decline. I sometimes accept freebies to review but only if they’re something I would use anyway, not just because it’s free.

    I’d never thought about giving away my content for free every day but it’s so true!

    Thanks :)

  21. Ana says

    There seem to be two different issues addressed here.

    Should bloggers continue to giveaway writing for free?

    Should bloggers shill (sp) for companies for free?

    I chime in no on both accounts and it is why I will never blog.

  22. says

    Ok, stand back…

    Here. I. Go….

    I did a ton of giveaways when I started blogging. It was fun, I met a lot of new people and had fun interacting with new businesses.

    And then I woke up and realized that SOME companies were indeed using me, that some people would comment just to win the free stuff and could care less about my content, and that giveaways introduce more work for me (more emails, more posts, more follow-up, etc.)…time I could be spending living my healthy life that I LOVE to talk about on my healthy-living blog.

    I now do giveaways only if I am in deep seeded love with the brand and the product.

    And, I too, feel like I share MY PRODUCT, which is my content every single day. And in that case, everyone is a winner (if I do say so myself!)

  23. says

    When I first read this I had a pang of guilt but then I remembered something…it is my blog, As of the past few months I have parted ways with 2 “groups” that were trying to dictate what I wrote and how I wrote it on my blog.
    I personally enjoy doing giveaways BUT I only do them for products I have tried and like…I have turned many down because I might have not heard of them. I have turned it down on products I have reviewed and do not like myself…
    So with all that said…I do host giveaways for items I use…like and would recommend. I like being able to share that with readers that compliment me by reading what I write. I write for me…not for anyone else.

  24. says

    So far I’ve done two (well three — because one was a two parter) giveaways because they were things I had that didn’t need and thought someone else would get use out of. There are few giveaways I enter … I have to REALLY want whatever it is for whatever reason. That all being said, I was just approached by an online store about sponsoring a giveaway and I’ll probably do it primarily because 1) I like the store that approached me quite a lot and 2) my peeps seem to, too, based on other giveaways I’ve seen. I’m not about to go seeking out folks to give me stuff to give, though. That’s not why I blog.

  25. Ruth says

    As a reader I don’t skip giveaway posts, because I’m curious to see what bloggers recommend. I don’t mind if you use them to give yourself a break. I’ve even won a thing or two. If you don’t like them I won’t miss them, and if you do they don’t take up much of my time. I wouldn’t subscribe to a blog based on the giveaways, of course. It’s all about your amazing content!

  26. says

    hahah I laugh because I just posted a giveaway ;) I do, do giveaways, mostly because I want to share with other products I have really enjoyed. Through giveaway from others, I have discovered products that I now keep in my house on the regular. In fact, I can REMEMBER the post you put up about PB2 and after that I tried it and really enjoyed it!

  27. says

    I have only done one giveaway on my blog and it was for something I really love. I have been offered others but I don’t want to do them unless I really like the product. I tend to skip giveaways on other blogs unless (again) I’m interested in what they have to offer. I don’t like to enter to win something I wouldn’t buy with my own money.

    I’ve never thought that we give things away just by writing, but it’s true. I like thinking of it like that.

  28. says

    I don’t do giveaways. Nobody’s asked me. But also because I really don’t like packaging and mailing things. I did do a pay it forward challenge, but that has been a delight.

    I agree that we give away content. That is the part of blogging I like best. I like thinking that something I write might encourage someone starting out on the weight loss journey or someone whose just discouraged along the way.

  29. says

    I saw Charlotte’s post on this last night. Giveaways generally don’t bother me–it’s the reviews that do. I don’t mind someone saying, “Hey, a company contacted me to give this to one lucky reader.” I dislike seeing product review after product review about items bloggers got for free or trips, etc. Often the line between what’s a real review and what’s been “paid for” is so blurry.

  30. Miz says

    It is such a challenge Tracey. I will NEVER review anything I wouldn’t use. And I will review stuff people think I shouldn’t use (Hello Crystal Light!!) If its a product I already am smitten with.

    I know at least for ME when I am asked to REVIEW and I like the product I tend to beg for a giveaway.

    And many times it is pleading.

    As to me its more of a tease than anything ;) if there’s not even potential to try…..

  31. says

    I have never been offered anything so have never given anything away. Simple as that. I don’t visit blogs just for giveaways. I visit blogs that I like to read or where I feel a connection to the writer. Giveaways don’t matter to me. That said, I am sure I would feel very flattered if a company ever contacted me with free stuff to offer!

  32. says

    I get MUCH more out of reading posts than the give-aways….let’s be honest, my chances of winning are slim anyway. I recently won some running socks & inserts and was thrilled….not just because I got something for free, but because I’m a newbie runner with a low budget and not alot of gear. If I do win, it’s also a chance to try out a product without having to invest my money, not knowing if it’s something I will like. That’s why I enter. As for my blog, I will likely do some give-aways as I’d like to draw some readers to my blog.

  33. says

    When my blog was new, I definitely accepted giveaway offers from companies whose products didn’t necessarily fall into line with my own principles. Heck…sometimes, they were products that didn’t even fall into line with what I was blogging about. The draw of free $h!t was sexy at first, but that only lasted a few months.

    I still do giveaways sometimes, but they are very rarely things that a company has given me. I normally buy things that I love and give them away so that other people can try them out.

    I don’t agree when everything on a blog turns into a giveaway, and I have stopped reading blogs for that very reason. When your content starts to read like one of those 3AM infomercials, I’m done.

  34. says

    well,i’m going to lean the other way than most of the peeps commenting …. as the writer of a teeny-tiny blog, i was SO EXCITED to be contacted for the first time recently by a company to do a giveaway of a gift card for their website. and it was a decent size gift card, too. it made me feel like a “real blogger” :) i’m sure as your blog gets bigger and more popular it is bothersome to deal with all the companies wanting to promote via you, and i definitely understand about wanting to maintain your blog’s integrity. but i cannot contain my excitement at actually being contacted by a company because someone thought my blog would be a good vehicle for helping to promote their products :)

  35. says

    I do host giveaways on my blog, but am getting a little tired of it. I love to win stuff on other people’s blogs, but as the “host” of the giveaway, I feel that it limits my ability to post about other things. I do only host giveaways of products that I would (or do!) actually use. This is an interesting topic for debate, though.

  36. says

    Like you, I was thrilled when I was contacted to do my first giveaway. But I am pretty tired of writing about things that I’m not especially smitten with, or ended up not liking all that much upon receiving/reviewing them (I have a book sitting on my desk facing that quandary right now). I WILL give my opinions and call companies out on what I don’t like in a product, and then I get mad at myself for having to spend so much time fretting over and writing a post about the dumb product. So I’ve stopped accepting many offers.

    And as for having to jump through hoops to enter a giveaway? No thanks. Hate that. Not gonna retweet or link or whatever. And I don’t like it when MY giveaways are reposted – I want my regular readers to enter, not a bunch of random strangers only around for the freebies.

    Recently I declined doing one (CSN stores) recently after I’d accepted because I thought the place they wanted me to link my weight loss and fitness blog to was stupid. And another one that I did not too long ago had restrictions that I didn’t like but didn’t find out about until I had their product in my hot little hands. So now I know to question question question before I accept.

    Hmmm, can you tell I have some strong feelings on this?!? LOL. I end up doing reviews on things that I’ve discovered that I love – freebies to certain companies who’ve never heard of me – but when I like a product that much, I’ll gladly share my two cents.

    And as for blog content being a freebie? I never really articulated it like that, but I do have some things that I’ve not blogged about but am saving for my (hopefully) soon-to-be-written book. So I guess I’m not giving it all away just yet. Interesting post!

    Oh, and I always took your lack of apostrophes as the MizFit style. :)

  37. Karen says

    I stopped blogging a few months ago (not this reason).

    It began to feel like work most mornings so I quit. If I ever find my mojo I will begin again.

    When I had giveaways what irked me to no end were the commenters who only came on giveaway days as if they did not think I would notice.

    My blog was small not like yours.

  38. says

    I get a lot of offers to do give-aways and promotions. I have a separate marketing blog I do them on, but I don’t do a whole lot. I won’t promote products that I feel are inconsistent with my blogging philosophy (I turned down doing Hostess Snack Cakes because I consider myself, in part, a weight loss blogger) or companies that have practices that are inconsistent with my political views (I’m currently boycotting Target) or products which I (or my family) wouldn’t use (I turned down some PJs designed for women with hot flashes, although these days I’m regretting that one)

    At the beginning of the year, I sought out other blogs that were doing give-aways and marketing promotions. Sure, I got a lot of really nice things for myself and my family for nothing but the time it took to tweet, blog, comment, and like a half dozen pages on FB, but a lot of what’s offered seems to be focused on young mommy bloggers, and while there’s a whole lot of baby and toddler products, it seems stuff like home goods (with the exception of vinyl wall decorations) and things that older individuals might be interested in is sadly missing.

    I find it ironic that you should post this today, as I’ve been busily cutting give-away and review sites by mommy-bloggers out of my subscription list.

    That said, I’m still waiting for the big ones. I was very happy to do the Just My Size clothing $500 visa gift card give away that’s going on now on my marketing blog… and will definitely do more like that. Now, do you think anyone will give away a car or a treadmill? Toyota? I still trust you… a Rav4 would be a nice give-away product for me to review, and I’m sure my readers would love one, too!

  39. says

    I like that you look at it as giving away content each time we write. THAT is why I blog. Honestly. I have done 1 giveaway of product and I have *won* some awesome stuff…but I will always enjoy my daily giveaways and daily takeaways of ontent….inspiration…motivation…and a hell of a lot of synchronicity.

    THAT is what it is all about for me…community..and giving…

  40. says

    Ooh, this is very timely. I was just reading a friend’s panel idea for SXSW titled “You Are Not a Publicist: Criticism vs. Advertising” (http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/5724) He is a film critic so it’s a little different, but it’s something I’ve wondered about as a casual fitness blogger.

    I have a sort of relationship with a PR chick who regularly sends me new workout videos. I usually only get one so I either keep it and review it or I do a giveaway with it. I aim to be honest in my reviews, though it’s possible I might be harsher with my review if it was something I had to spend my own money on. Last week I did a giveaway and admitted I was a little skeptical of the glowing reviews on Amazon for that DVD–it seemed a little like the DVD instructor or her friends might have written them. Still, people commented and the girl who won it promised to video herself doing it and share it with us. :) I have gotten some other offers and I reviewed a couple things or shared press release information sent to me but I backed out of a relationship with one large sportswear company. I used the excuse that I was pregnant but I didn’t try to contact them postpartum. I didn’t feel comfortable feeling like I was shilling for big business. For some reason the little DVD giveaways seem more comfortable for me, and they are particularly suitable for me since I really love workout DVDs and I’m always talking about them on my blog.

    Sometimes I’m a little dubious about the DVDs I get but there are also some that I get very excited about (like I just got a cardio dance workout by Billy Blanks, Jr.–I didn’t even know Billy Blanks had a son!)

    Right now I have a giveaway for a gift certificate to my favorite DVD instructor’s website. It was not a freebie for me but something coming out of my own pocket. I just LOVE her stuff and I want to share it with others. And of course I like having a few more comments. :)

  41. says

    I do giveaways because I feel HONORED whenever someone comes and reads my blabbering (and doubly honored when they comment on it!), and a giveaway is my way of saying THANK YOU.

    I have to say, 80% of the giveaways I’ve done have been because I either bought the item myself, or contacted a company that I LOVE and asked if they would participate.

    I have turned down giveaways for products that I don’t believe in or that I didn’t like.

  42. says

    I am new to blogging and so far just doing 1 small give away I am buying myself because I love the products. I do think we give away our writing and I like blogging because it gives me another chance to maybe inspire a few people. I see it as no different than the daily discussions and recipe swaps I do in my day to day contact with people. Since I started my journey it has opened my eyes to a whole different prespective and I want to share it and enjoy helping people. Blogging just helps further this cause and I love to write :)

  43. says

    Another blogger here with mixed feelings about giveaways. Do I do them on my blog? Yes. Why? Because they are products I believe in that I want to give my readers a chance to try (I am a fitness blogger/home exerciser and most of my giveaways have been exercise DVDs or fitness accessories). Do I enjoy doing them? Yes, especially when the reader contacts me to let me know they received it and enjoy the product too. No, when I realize that a good part of giveaway entrants are around only for the giveaway. But I’m still a small blogger – hoping to continue to grow and that readers will stick around because of the regular “giveaway” (read: content) I provide as well.

    Maria

  44. says

    i have entered some giveaways, and have won 2. both were on blogs that I have been following for quite some time. i am very happy with the first product (www.audiofuel.co.uk), and the second one i haven’t had a chance to try out yet.
    i would consider hosting a giveaway, but only for a product that I use and enjoy.

  45. says

    My blog is way to tiny to have companies offering me stuff to review/give away. Having read Charlotte’s description of the process, I don’t know that I would want to anyway.

    From a reader point of view, as I said on Charlotte’s blog, I am always interested to read about your experience with a product and what you truly think about. I don’t want to read a commercial, I want to read your honest reaction. As for entering giveaways, most of the time they are only available to U.S. residents, which is not me, but if I do have the option to enter, I will, assuming it’s nothing more complicated than leaving a comment. I actually did win a giveaway on your blog last summer (a workout plan) and I was tickled pink and truly appreciative. So I’m definitely not against giveaways. But, it’s certainly not why I come to your blog.

  46. says

    I read to know what’s going on with my favorite bloggers and my constant quest for new advice and information. Sometimes I don’t want the giveaway but want to leave a note but I often wonder if it’s annoying to you to have to sift through all the comments. I guess the benefit may be finding new readers or another blog you enjoy reading. I did win some fiestaware bowls from Shelley and I love them and think of her when I use them. I guess that’s another benefit!

  47. Stacey says

    Considering it is 645a where I live and you’ve so many comments already I would say you hit a nerve.

    I love the giveaways and hadn’t stopped to consider they were any effort on the bloggers part.

  48. says

    I found the comment where they would only do a giveaway if they were paid to do so interesting. Quite frankly when I feel a blogger is selling out to an advertiser I quit reading their blog. Bloggers are just people with opinions. They are the “authority” on nothing – same goes for myself. I like to read blogs to read about the person and their development. I want to learn about THEM. I blog for me, not to attract advertisers. The few giveaways I have done on my blog are paid for by me because I like the product/book/magazine etc. and want to share not because I’m being paid to do so.

  49. says

    In the past I’ve been reluctant to promote or do giveaways because I’ve been very protective of my voice and my brand. I didn’t really want to be associated with a ‘product’. I wanted to just be me.

    Now that I’ve got a year’s experience under my belt, a more stable following, I am more open to promoting a company or a product that I love and that fits my sass. But here’s the thing: I won’t be used. I’m not going to to some marketing person’s job with the following I work hard to cultivate and be connected to. You know what I mean? It needs to be a partnership. Win win.

    So far the only thing I’ve really ‘promoted’ on my blog is my friend’s documentary and the work of other bloggers. I’m okay with that.

    All that said? I loved winning something here on YOUR blog!

  50. says

    I agree that we give freely everyday. Our writing skills, our insight, our humor, our wisdom, our life experiences, ourselves.
    I do giveaways on my blog to boost traffic. Plain and simple. I have done giveaways and reviews I paid for too. I have also turned down giveaways from companies/products I thought were snake oil.
    I also enjoy my readers getting freebies. I realize these companies aren’t really valuing me and my blog as possibly they should. And by extension possibly I’m not valuing myself? But if I say no another blogger will do it, that’s just the reality of the situation.
    I do reviews because that is a huge focus of my blog…It’s why I originally started it…because I was tired of skimming tons of amazon reviews to see if something was crap. I felt like there was a need for reviews from someone people sort of knew (although virtually) and by extension valued their opinion. If companies provide the things to review it simply helps out our tight finances. I could never afford to buy all the things I’m able to review through my blog. I realize all of this is taboo amongst many bloggers and I often feel judged for it, I should insist on being paid for such things, etc but a free pair of running shoes or a stock of whey protein is worth a dang lot to my family’s budget right now.
    I also wonder how I would feel if I were being paid to review a product, would I feel obligated? I don’t think so, but it would sort of stink to have to say, thanks for the product and the dough, your product sucks ;)
    Right or wrong, that’s my view right now..in a perfect world I’d get paid for helping these companies.

  51. Amanda says

    I write a lot and don’t blog.
    Someday I hope to publish my work as a book and I don’t want to give it all away for free.

    You make a good point, MizFit.
    Now listen to yourself :)

  52. says

    I do giveaways, sort of. I’m small enough beans that I’m paying for them out of pocket. And the way to be entered into the drawing is to make a charitable donation (currently Girls on the Run).

    I get bored easily with blogs that are constantly giving away what appears to me to be a load of crap.

    If the day ever comes when companies come knocking on my virtual door, I will be very picky about what I do/who I work with.

  53. says

    I don’t feel like I’m “giving away” my content; I’ve merely reduced the price to the point that I believe it will actually “sell”.

    I love the idea of incorporating the “giveaway” into the context of the blog so that it isn’t simply a big corporation co-opting the space. But I do see your point… that’s often what happens out in the “real” blogging world.

    Way to make me think (don’t you know I hate to think?)

  54. says

    I love blog reading!! I really do and I find a lot because of giveaway tweets. I will only continue reading blogs where I enjoy the content – I dont subscribe just to subscribe to win a giveaway. In fact, it kind of irritates me when a blogger requires followers or subscribers for a giveaway. I never thought about my words as a giveaway – I mainly blog for me and I blog exactly like I talk….most of the time when I blog it is the conversation in my head and the questions I ask I am really asking myself. I am blown away that there are people who read my blog and HOLY WOW am I amazed that I am able to inspire people. I write for me and it is ADDED BONUS that people actually read my words and offer up support, encouragement, advice…my readers give me pieces of themselves.

    I occasionally have giveaways but I have learned that I will only giveaway stuff I actually use and love. I have learned that the easier the entries the more I enjoy the actual giveaway. I don’t want to jump through hoops to win giveaways (I like giveaways – who doesn’t like getting free stuff especially when it is stuff I would LOVE to try but dont want to spend money in case I hate it/wont use it/etc).
    WOW – I talk too much!

  55. says

    i think i first started with giveaways because it seemed like a good way to get more followers, but after that i have tried to really work with companies that I do truly love and want to support.

  56. says

    I guess I’d like to do giveaways (products!) but don’t for a few reasons (1) don’t have many readers/followers (2) don’t have anything to giveaway and (3) no company has contacted me to do a giveaway except for a product that I dispise. It’s true that as a writer I give my blog-words away without pay, but I don’t do it for the money (although, circumstances as they are today, I’d LIKE to have a little income from it). I blog for the support to get healthy. Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

  57. says

    I get asked to do quite a few product reviews, many of which I turn down because they just are not something I am interested in (weight loss products or fast food coupons). I don’t mind doing giveaways if I like the product.

    I do give away a mix of products that are provided to me and some that I just purchase on my own that I really like and want to share.

    I like participating in giveaways because sometimes they are things that I just can’t find locally. As long as the blogger doesn’t do 5 giveaways a week, because what is the content then?

  58. says

    Too funny that you and Charlotte wrote about the same thing! :)

    I like my readers to get cool, free stuff! I keep it simple. I don’t do reviews… but if I like a product or think my readers will like it, I feature it as a giveaway. If I don’t like a product, I let the company know and I don’t feature it as a giveaway. When it comes down to it, it’s my blog and my rules – and I think all bloggers should do the same according to what they feel comfortable with and what they want to do with giveaways.

  59. Bea says

    You make an intriguing point.
    Do any bloggers have paid sites or pay to subscribe newsletters?

    I don’t think so and there must be a reason for that.
    Lots of ‘content’ as you call it doesn’t mean quality content.

    I always think I get what I pay for when blog reading ;)
    No. I’m not referring to you Mizzy.

  60. says

    I never considered blogging as “giving it away.” I write for myself most of the time. It’s a release of some sort and of course, the payback comes in many forms like comments and emails and a feeling of community.

    I don’t give much away online but if you lived near me, you’d be asked if you want “this or that” all the time. I own too much stuff.

  61. says

    I do giveaways because I’ve asked my readers, and they claim to like the giveaways. So, as long as my readers want it, they’re going to get it.
    I like to giveaway free content. I want every parent to have resources to feed healthy food to their kids… happy to give it.

  62. says

    i LOVE giveaways!! not only is it fun to “win” something but you get to try/experience a product you might not otherwise purchase. i love that opens up the possibilities of new things into my daily routine

  63. says

    This sure stirred up a lot comments! I am new to blogging and have not been given anything to use as a give a way on my blog.
    If I was offered something that I found value in I would be happy to host a reader give a way.

    I have been sent a couple items to try for free and I gave my honest opinion about them. I do lots of product reviews but only twice have they been products I didn’t purchase and I stated that they were given to me. Honesty is my policy!

    I do feel like I give my daily post away for free and that in itself is a lot. It takes hours of my time to try healthy recipes, take photographs and write up the recipes and product reviews.

    I have won a couple of blog give a ways and it was fun to get them. With two kids in college I can use a little something free now and then!

  64. says

    I agree that I have learned plenty from reading the blogs out there so yes, it is like I am getting free advice & honestly recipes too… so many great ones! It is hard as we have chosen to blog & write this stuff because we want to help people BUT YES, dang, I wish I could get paid for it & I would have my dream job!!! :-)

    I don’t get contacted alot but when I do, if I think my readers might like it, I do giveaways & in fact have something coming up in a month or so BUT I liked the way it worked & how I was approached & they dealt with me. On others, I tell them flat out that I am going to be honest if I don’t like it – like a book I may not agree with but agree to read.

    I think the readers like giveaways but I have done less of them. I think it all depends on who it is, like you said. I have turned down a few.

  65. Elenna says

    I’ve never been offered to do a giveaway cause my blog is way too small, I guess. That’s ok. But I sure do enter muy share of giveaways! I can’t tell you the number of great blogs I have found as a result of searching for giveaways, especially CSN ones lately. I have even won a few! There has got to be something on CSN that anyone could find something to endorse that they believed in! Contests are what initially draws me to blogs but not necessarily what keeps me coming back.

  66. says

    I’ve entered a few blog contests but lately I tend to find them just too much trouble. Too much “follow here, tweet there, blog this, look at those, comment here” I’d rather read the review and why you like the product. I want you to sway me to make room in my budget for that product that you love and are giving away. And I hope that you love it if you are giving it away. It’s definitely not the reason I go to a blog.

  67. says

    Wow, there are a lot of opinions on this topic!

    I am doing one right now for CSN for an $80 gift certificate. This is only the 2nd one where the company contacted me. Otherwise I have purchased items to Giveaway much like Jenn @ WMBS – A gift of appreciation if you will.

    I rarely enter them as I have pretty much everything I need and then some.

    I do add my personal stuff to my giveaway posts. My blog = my rule! LOL!

  68. Peggy says

    I am not a blogger but I subscribe to several. I am in complete agreement that the best giveaway is the free content. That’s why I keep coming back- the info, the motivation, the entertainment. If a giveaway comes along, I’m interested in trying the product, and it doesn’t seem like a hassle then I will throw my hat in the ring but it’s not the reason I keep coming back. Thanks for the work you put into your blog, I enjoy reading.

  69. says

    Sometimes I wonder if we were all living in prehistoric Greece right now, would MizFit be the Goddess of Fitness? And then she goes shedding light on Rubberbanditz again and I get my confirmation from above.

    Keep rocking out like a mountain… Oh hey, if you find yourself around the Triangle this weekend we’re having a toga party. Will make sure to cheers for the Goddess of fitness (%

  70. says

    Hah! Clever heading, Miz! ;-) This is one of those posts (similar to the “do the companies you love <3 you back" post you did back in February) that gets me thinking about the advantages & disadvantages of commercial vs. non-commercial blogging.

    I've become pretty selective about blogs I follow, and I don't even have time to fully engage with the ones I do follow. :-( (And I experience extreme gaps in Twit-time, so never take that personally.) So, yes, your content is why I show up and/or comment; it's the best giveaway! That said, I've benefited from giveaways on blogs, but I'd consider myself giveaway neutral and ad neutral, as long as the ads aren't intrusive to the content. If my favorite bloggers want to make some bucks and give us the opportunity to win cool stuff, cool!

    Here's a question back to the pro bloggers: How can readers best "<3 back" the bloggers we appreciate? Are PR people more likely to do giveaways or sponsor a blogger, based on how many comments/tweets one of their giveaways generates? Is it of value to you, the blogger, when we participate? My guess is yes, given that I've seen some bloggers hosting out-of-their-own-pocket giveaways to generate site traffic (not all – I've also often seen bloggers I admire do this as a "thank you"). Plus, why would readers often gain extra entries to company-sponsored giveaways by linking to a write up on their own blog or by tweeting or by following on Facebook, if it wasn't valuable? Does it help a blogger if we do this, even when it doesn't generate an extra entry?

    As for my own blogs, I don't do giveaways. Part of it is not having been approached much, even though I do write about products I purchase for myself to try. (Though heck, I could have had a *dandy* giveaway for some magic green tea diet elixir!) Part of it also is that my blogs are more non-commercial hobby blogs. I like the freedom of posting what I want, when I want. The glimpses I've gotten here & there about what a tough road it is to develop a successful pro blog are daunting; my current occupation works better in terms of income and job satisfaction. Sometimes I wonder if I'm neglecting a potentially good way to supplement my family's income/product needs, though.

  71. says

    I’m a long-time blogger, but have somehow skated mostly under the radar of SM marketers. hence, no giveaways of goods. My words-I give away every day.

    When it comes to reading reviews and trying for give aways on people’s blogs, I enjoy the reviews because they keep informed on new products and smaller manufacturers. However, I often respond in the comments that I’m not at all interested in receiving the prize.

    I opt out because I prefer to limit my possessions and want to choose what I own or don’t. (I turn back most swag at conferences when giving the chance, too).

    To Bea, there are bloggers who have “subscription” blogsites. They often have a small free portion to attract new readers, but most of their content is locked behind a “members only” wall. For most of us, however, I think that step would be the death of our blogs.

  72. says

    Honestly I am here for your knpwledge, your experience, your engagement. Offer me a chance to win a gold plated whatever, I wont sign up for it. I’ll read your content, respond, and hope to gain from that. The giveaway if not going to help me gain a thing except something to give away myself the next time I give stuff I don’t use to charity.

  73. Erika says

    I visit certain blogs because of said content….sadly, I would not subscribe to said blogs for content…but truly enjoy visiting on a regular basis. I rarely if ever enter freebies because knowing the popularity of said blogs, i know the chances of me ever winning are next to nil, plus half the time, it really isn’t something I want…on occasion I will enter (like when Mizfit had coolio running skirt or tank, lol)…..but most of the time I actually enjoy reading more about what they have to say, what products they enjoy and less about a free giveaway…. I thank thee for said content and for allowing me to read without having to pay….Kudos! and Hugs!

  74. Liz says

    I have read your blog since the beginning and marvel at how you continually generate content.

    You need a MizFitness book.

    Liz

  75. says

    IMO, for the most part, people don’t think they’re getting something for nothing unless they can hold it in their hands. (Exception would be something big, like a free vacation.)

    Do I do giveaways? No. Why? I don’t have enough readers. And if I were to give away something even more fabulous than content, I wouldn’t know how to spread the word in an effort to gain more readers. My one and only attempt so far included Facebook and Twitter … Perhaps it was the prize and not the advertising…

    There is a blog I read that has a giveaway every Friday. Most of the time, I skip those posts. In order to win, a separate comment needs to be left for every outlet that you are connected to the blogger, which is annoying (and, based on something I read a short while ago, possibly illegal). I also skip the post announcing the winner.

    That, and I never win ;)

  76. addy says

    You give much with your writing in the blog. Most bloggers do. The “giveaways” of products are fun and can generate much needed “face-time” for select companies. I will skip a giveaway post if I am not interested in the product. I come here for the writing and the reading. Please keep that going.

  77. says

    A food blogger for three years (and let me tell you that balancing food blogging and fitness ain’t easy) I have recently declared my blog basically promo free. Food bloggers (in LA anyway) tend to get promotional things in the way of hosted dinners, wine tastings, restaurant openings, chefs menus and on and on. I don’t always enjoy writing about these things and was feeling that writing of this nature more and more was driving my blogging. Additionally I don’t always enjoy the events because I typically cannot bring my spouse and spend between 1-4 hours next to people I barely know. So. I have REALLY cleaned things up recently and am much happier.

  78. says

    The comments in response to your post are fascinating!

    I have only done one giveaway… and it was “my” stuff and I paid the shipping (ouch). But I wanted to share a part of Me (my art work), for a special occasion.

    When I first started blogging, I was put off by the giveaways… I didn’t understand them, and it felt like a “something for nothing” greediness. It seemed like the people signed up to “follow” only to get free stuff, but the blogger didn’t get many comments… that interaction on a daily basis… only on “freebie” day.

    I wanted “relationship”, not commercialization. I guess now I understand it a smidge better, and even had one company ask me to do a giveaway. But they had nothing I was interested in, and so couldn’t honestly promote!

    And that’s why I appreciate your integrity, and how you approach it. If I ever do them with companies, I’ll use you as my “role model”. Thanks!

    Loretta
    =^..^=

  79. says

    I only give away stuff that I already own that I don’t want to own anymore, or stuff that I’ve bought that I want to gift out. Companies have nothing to do with it. If a company offers me something, I keep it. ;-)

  80. meeyeehere says

    I love doing giveaways,I give away my own stuff but if a company offered a giveaway to me I would take it.I like to make people happy.I am so broke, these giveaways help me out so much,I enter them every day,I can’t find a job and my husband has a part time job right now.I won 500 dollars cash about a month ago and it helped me so much,I enter these giveaways and it helps pay for birthday presents,Christmas and even special food treats I just can not always afford.

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