RANT!

I hate to have to write this post but there’s something on Blogger that’s seriously getting on my last nerve right now.

I guess what it all boils down to is the fact that the beauty community on the internet IS a popularity contest, whether we like it or not. Understandably we want our blogs to be read or our videos to be watched – we put a lot of time and effort into them for the people that follow us (I’m going to speak in terms of blogging for the remainder of this post but bear in mind the same sort of thing applies to YouTube).

What I’m talking about is the onslaught of giveaways going on right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love giveaways, I’ve won some awesome things before. But the whole ethos of contests and giveaways seems to have changed dramatically in the last few weeks and it’s driving me MENTAL.

It’s not the giveaways I don’t like, it’s the new ‘entry requirement’ that’s been on EVERY giveaway I’ve seen in my blogroll for the last couple of weeks: “You must repost this on your blog”. Excuse me, must? I realise this might sound slightly hypocritical of me as in my recent giveaway I offered an extra entry for either tweeting or blogging about the giveaway, but I did NOT make this mandatory and I have certainly learnt that it was an erroneous decision to begin with. I’m not going to stop doing giveaways, but I’m certainly not going to ask people to advertise my giveaway in a plight to gain followers.

The thing is, the amount of followers/readers you have isn’t directly proportional to how many people actually read your blog. I have about 170 readers right now, but I am fully aware that probably only 20 or 30 people actually read my posts, and even less people than that comment on them. If I’m brutally honest, I’d rather just have 20 readers who all enjoy reading my blog and talking to me through the comments than have hundreds (or indeed thousands in some peoples’ cases) who aren’t really interested in what you have to say – ESPECIALLY when a vast amount of those people only followed your blog to win something to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to follow someone just ’cause they have a giveaway going on – I’m guilty of it, we’re ALL guilty of it. But for the most part, I actually enjoy the blogs I end up following in this way and continue to read them.

But this is what I mean by the whole ethos behind giveaways changing to reflect the popularity race. Giveaways started out as a way to thank loyal readers for their support etc, but now they really just seem like a ploy to gain followers, ESPECIALLY this ‘You must tweet/blog about this to enter’ shit. I’m not targeting anyone, in fact there are blogs I’ve been subscribed to for a long while that have giveaways with this requirement. I just won’t enter them on principle, because I for one don’t want to spam MY readers with someone elses’ giveaway. I know how annoying that is, because almost 30% of the posts in my blogroll in the last week have been posts solely to say ‘join so and so’s giveaway!’. Thanks but no thanks, I follow your blog to read YOUR opinions on products and to see YOUR creativity!

Next time I hold a giveaway, I will still require entrants to be followers because it’s supposed to be a thank you to them, but yknow what? If someone follows me for the giveaway, then unfollows as soon as they find out they didn’t win, that’s cool. It’s their loss, I know I put a lot of effort into my blog for those who read it and if they wanna miss out that’s fine.

I hope you don’t think I’m getting ideas above my station, after all what I say doesn’t have much influence over anybody – but just think, if I was a YouTube guru or a blogger with thousands of subscribers, I’d get hundreds of sycophantic comments on this post saying ‘OMG I AGREE, YOU GO GIRL’ but as it currently stands, I realise I’m probably going to lose a fair few followers instead (See what I mean? Popularity contest). But like I said, that’s fine – I know that the readers I have who comment and talk to me won’t be going anywhere. I apologise to anyone I might have inadvertently offended in this post, I wasn’t out to target anyone, the whole thing is just driving me mad. I hope to god someone agrees with me and I’m not just being a bore!

31 thoughts on “RANT!

  1. blimey o reilly!! I feel you on that one – and kudos for you for making a post about it. It narks me off too! Always quality readers than quantity – cliche popularity followings should be left back in high school, not carried on! I love love LOVE your blog (and don’tcha know it ;D ) I think it’s shoddy to just immediately unfollow someone cos they are a sourpuss and didn’t win too. At the end of the day (wooo!) it’s truly their loss! love you babycakes xx

  2. I agree with you, it can be very annoying when you want to enter a contest and then see that a requirement of it is that you repost about the giveaway. It’s put me off entering quite a few. Some bloggers/youtubers seem so intensely caught up on their numbers of followers, so much so that their tweets consist almost entirely of links to their blog/youtube saying please comment, subscribe, rate 5 stars etc. Once is fine, but every five minutes is too much! And then they wonder why people are unfollowing them! xxx

  3. I agree with you. I havn’t entered any contests where re-blogging it is a requirement as I want my blog to stay about things I want it to be about. And my blog roll is about 50% full of ‘so and so is having a giveaway, check it out’. Kind of a pain to scroll through sometimes. If i ever have a giveaway, NOT blogging about it will be a requirement hehe! xXx

  4. I agree to some extent. I myself only have 26 followers and when or if I finally reach 30 followers I will be having a giveaway just to say thank you and I most probably will be requiring people do the whole “post about it on your blog” thing, but not because I just want to have a huge number of followers, its because Im feeling a bit disheartened at the moment :( I never recieve any feedback or comments on my posts and well basically Im starting to think that maybe Im boring and what I say really doesn’t have any interest to any of my followers :( so I’d like to gain a few more followers, hopefully then maybe I’d start recieving some feedback and comments on my posts, plus I constantly want to ask for advice, which I did once concerning MAC MSF but got no feedback at all :(. If people only want to follow my blog for the giveaway then so be it, but hopefully when visiting my blog they might find they enjoy what I write and ramble about and get involved with my blog with me. I love doing what I do, love making posts.. but like I said it has knocked my confidence a lil bit.. and got me thinking that Im boring and un-interesting :(

    Jo… X

  5. Totally agree with you!
    I was thinking it yesterday i saw some ones blog & i was like oooh that looks a good contest & i read the ‘blog about this’ and i was like ahh why do i HAVE to do that! I hope no one unfollows you but even if they do then its their loss & they couldnt of been that nice of a person!! :) xxx

  6. Thanks girls, I’m so glad I’m not the only one thinking this stuff! Haha <3

    @Jo: Thanks for your comment sweetie. You’ve got 27 now – I love finding blogs with not that many followers because believe it or not those are the people who’ve normally got more interesting things to say! I’ve just had a quick look through your blog and you’re certainly not boring! You’re right, sometimes people do need a little kick up the arse in the form of an incentive to read, like a giveaway, but just remember that not every follower will read it. Your profile says you’ve only been on blogger since August, 27 followers in that short space of time is a big achievement! I started this blog in March and for the longest time I had NO followers, then for reasons unknown to me they just started climbing around July/August time. You’ll have 50 before you know it, then 75, then 100 and so on! Trust me xo

  7. Hey L! (Is it okay if I call you L? You made me laugh so hard with that!)

    I completely agree. I actually think I’ve snuck this in a post before but never had the guts to outright post it! I’ve only posted ONE giveaway repost on my blog and it was at the end and only because it was full of amazingly cute handmade things. As you know, the giveaway I have right now is supposed to be a big fat THANK YOU to my followers and to show them I appreciate them even though I can’t afford to buy them tons of MAC makeup :P

    I also agree with you would rather have 20 people who comment and read than 200 followers! That’s how I feel too! Sometimes I don’t have time to comment, but girly, I ALWAYS read (you crack me up!).

    Anyhoo…my minirant is over. If you lose followers, well, they deserve to be gone. We start blogs for our love of makeup, writing and all that…what does it really matter in real life if you have the most followers??

    xxx Lisa Kate (LK lol)

  8. Girl I am SOOOO with you on this.
    I hate hate hate it when you have to Blog about it, or you get a crazy amount of extra entries if you blog about it. Alot of my readers don’t have blogs. Shoot, I didn’t have a blog a month ago! I always thought that was unfair.

    Good for you for voicing it!
    ~Christy

  9. Its quite strange how everyone has certain ideas about the beauty blogging community etc. I have had a few giveaways but i never stated anywhere that it was to thank my readers and if someone didnt want to take part then thats fine :) I did a giveaway that closed today where you could retweet to win something and i dont think there is any prob with that.

    I do see where you are coming from with the reposting though as i dont do it either because i dont like blogging about someone elses giveaways even if the prizes are great. I just dont think its content that my readers would enjoy.

    I would however like to add that some people blog to get followers and traffic and because they enjoy it. I started blogging in 2004 and although my blog has changed from being a gossip blog to a beauty/gossip/fashion blog i still treat it as a business although i do enjoy it.

    Just wanted to put in my 2cents :) Not trying to be mean or anything as everyone can have their own opinion and i love reading blogs as well

    Great post!
    xx

  10. Thanks for replying hunny. I have 31 now!!! hehe. Guess its time for that giveaway…haha better get myself into town tomorrow!

    Doubt Ill ever reach the 50 or 100 mark, but as long as I can get a bit of feedback now and then, just so I know what Im writing is worth it.. then Im not bothered at all by how many followers I have. Even if 5 people enjoy what I write and leave me the odd comment here and there.. Ill be a happy bunny! Its so nice seeing people have read whats you’ve wrote and taken the time out to comment, makes me smile.

    Jo.. X

  11. Sometimes I feel left out when a giveaway states that it is necessary to repost it on your blog. Because of this I felt compelled to start my own blog and so I did. I’m glad I did because I met friends along the way, I just wish I didn’t start it because I needed to.
    Anyway, it’s okay to rant about it, just let it out! ;)

  12. I agree with you! I haven’t entered any contests lately because of the repost rule. It’s annoying! On youtube I entered a contest where you had to add her video to your favorites and comment on 4 of her other videos, I mean come on! It’s annoying!

  13. funny you mention this lol. if there was a giveaway i liked the prizes i immediately posted it on my blog ANNOYING. 2 weeks ago i went to join a contest and then realized, i REALLY don’t want to bore my followers with another post about a giveaway contest! so i feel you on this :)

  14. I’m feeling shame having posted a giveaway last night…blush! But I’ve taken inspiration from Lipglossiping and made it open to everyone… I lurked for yonks before I had a blog and didn’t know how to follow so relied on trusty bookmarks.

    I’m still a newbie so for me everything goes, love and harmony and all that jazz… I love blogs… I’d much rather snuggle up with my laptop & Google Reader (when it works)these days than read a magazine.

    I can see why people do it though, both to thank followers and gain new ones – I love seeing a new faces pop up on my page… I guess the most important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing, try not to get caught up in the hype and hopefully others will enjoy your posts aswell.

    Ramble, ramble… it’s been a long day.

    Ps – thanks for checking out my page.

    Tx

  15. I agree with you too, it annoys me that if you are a follower of someones blog and you want to enter the contest but you hav to post about it on your blog then its a bit stupid!
    Im going to have a contest to thank my followers sometime when I can get some prizes together and I really dont care how many followers I have – im not trying to reach a goal, im blogging because I enjoy it,
    really good post!
    xxx

  16. ‘almost 30% of the posts in my blogroll in the last week have been posts solely to say ‘join so and so’s giveaway’
    lol you’re so right about this one

  17. Totally agree with this one. It seems people only do giveaways to get more followers yet they are doing the giveaway too reward their own followers? Doesn’t really give them a fair chance as there are more people entering.

    I sometimes don’t enter because I can’t be bothered posting a reply on my blog.

    xx

  18. I agree with you on this i love entering contests but when ever i see ‘you must blog about this’ on someones giveaway i just dont enter why should we have to. Afterall i thought contests and giveaways were to say thank you to followers not to gain free advertising… xx

  19. haha.. nice rant :P
    There’s probably a lota ppl who feel the same way but you were the first I’ve seen to even say anything about it :P
    I agree with you.. I’d rather have ppl follow because they want to, not because they have to :)

  20. btw.. did you know that every time I visit your blog, there’s a small window that asks for a twitter username and password?
    I’m not sure if you included it yourself… just wanted to make sure its not spyware or sth :P

  21. I became a follower based on this post :) I have a blog as well,but I don’t want people to follow me unless they’re genuinely interested in whatever I decide to ramble about that day.If and/or when I decide to hold a give-away,it will be as a reward to everyone who follows my blog already-not as a way to gain new readers.Thank you so much for posting this!

  22. I totaly agree with you love! Giveaways are for fun nut to gain random followers. That is why I did the same as you, you only had to be a follower to enter and a second chance if you tweeted or blogged or so forth.

    Blogging is fun and I intend to keep mine that way, if ever stops then I’ll close up. Simple as that, 1 loyal reader is better than 30 contest entries!

  23. My concern is for the people who don’t have blogs. How could they enter? Based on feedback, I think it’s good to give people options for more entries. I ended up adding a twitter option so readers without blogs could enter in another way. I love doing contests. I have a great time with it. I do my best to keep it inclusive.

    Thank you for your thoughts on this.

  24. Great post. I have followed a blog just to enter a contest. Then I go back and look thru it. Some I like, but their haven’t been too many that I read. I don’t have a blog so there are some contests I can’t enter. I opened a Twitter account to enter a contest. I now have followers but I don’t know why. I rarely Tweet. Is there something special if you have tons of followers? I have seen giveaways that were outright trying to get more followers. If your a good writer I think you’ll get some followers.

  25. Of course it’s a popularity contest. On one hand, having more followers doesn’t mean a whole lot (and the hit rate/visitors per day counts that are usually kept private are a lot more accurate in terms of volume and quality of reader).

    I don’t care if I’m “popular” or not but I do want my hit rate to go up: it’s fun but I don’t see the point in blogging swatches unless there’s an audience. I just said this to another blogger the other day: NOTDs are for me but swatches are for readers. There’s no compelling reason for me to try to take good photos of my quick-n-dirty swatches for myself, not even vanity (since swatches are often sloppier than NOTDs): I don’t need the pics, I own the polishes already. I do swatches for other people to enjoy and to help them determine what they do or do not want to buy. The reason I want more visitor hits is so that I know that this effort is not falling on blind eyes, especially because I try to do a lot of smaller, less popular brands for which there are few swatches in existence.

    @Jo: I hope you don’t mind but I just took a quick look at your blog and it’s not a bad blog nor are you an uninteresting person! But there are probably thousands of beauty blogs (over 200 nail blogs alone) and it’s very hard to distinguish oneself amongst them (I know because I’m trying).

    As far as I can tell, IN GENERAL, there are a couple of features that attract a lot of attention (besides bribery):

    1. Regular, reliable posting. Doesn’t have to be daily but has to be at least weekly and preferably on the same day so people know when to visit your blog.

    2. Clear crisp photos, a LOT of them: preferably of swatches on skin or in actual use. If you’ll excuse the sexist generalization: makeup blogs are p0rn for women. Most of us do not read our “p0rn” for the articles. (This is something I actively choose to ignore: I try to get in a lot of photos but I have no problem at all rambling a looooong time about whatever else I want to ramble about. Most people probably skip it but big blocks of text especially at the beginning of a post is a turn-off, probably.)

    3. Thorough, regular reviews of products that are new to the market, extremely popular at this point in time, hard to find and/or very expensive. Again, preferably with photos of products in action.

    4. Good writing that shows the personality of the writer. You don’t need to share personal info, but readers like it when bloggers show personality. Also a lot of people are (understandably) very casual about their writing online (improper grammar, use of punctuation, run-on sentences, etc) and it turns off the readers who do read p0rn for the articles. It was a huge surprise to me that one of the most common compliment I’ve gotten on my newish group blog is on our writing. I’ve gotten almost no personal messages that say, “Hey, I love your nails and the polishes you use!”

    Finally… like someone already said, young blogs are bound to have fewer readers. Readership grows across time. The super popular blogs are those that have been around for at least a year, most likely more. No one shoots up in popularity immediately. :)

    …that was WAAAAAY more than I intended to write, yeeps.

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