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!