I used to do a ton of giveaways here, and while I still think they can be a really great source of traffic on some blogs, they really weren’t working here. Let me tell you why.
You guys tell me what you like and don’t like. I love that about you. You let me know when you disagree with mine or a guest author’s advice, when I misspell a word, or when you really love an interview. You’ve also given me feedback on giveaways. What I’ve found is that many people here liked the free articles, and they enjoy my ebooks related to writing and promoting your work, but the giveaways were always hit or miss. You’ve let me know this by participation, comments, and traffic. (And I thank you for being the group of attentive, engaging readers you are.)
Some Products Do Better Than Others
Some books (which was primarily what we gave away) did really great with giveaways, but most didn’t. If you really loved an author, you entered. But I found that some people took a “wait and see” approach with new authors, and let’s face it – I love highlighting them here. I think new writers deserve a fighting chance and I like giving them a place. I found it interesting that even when the book was free, you waited to see until you heard more about the author.
Also, the people who did enter were folks who would have bought the book anyways. And why not give an author his due by making a sale?
Information Over Free Stuff
Overwhelmingly here, you have told me you enjoy the info but the free stuff you could take or leave. In fact, if the info was valuable you bought it. But free just to give away? Not so much.
I’ve received wonderful feedback on the guest posts and interviews here, and plan to do more of them. Many of you like finding a new author that you “keep an eye on.” So you might see them here and there and then put them on your radar. I think this is good info and should prompt all new writers to keep marketing themselves so readers can get to know them.
Should You Do Giveaways?
Giveaways are still a good traffic building tool for some blogs, and a wonderful way to give back to readers. What we’ve learned about blogging is that, while there are some “best practices,” it’s not a one-sized fits all solution. Some affiliates work great on certain blogs and bomb on others. The same goes for giveaways. Should you do a giveaway? Here are some tips:
- Test it out! Sometimes the only way to know whether it will work for your blog is to give it a test. See how many enter and what kind of feedback you get.
- If you enjoy giveaways, do them anyways. Even if giveaways don’t drive traffic, if your readers enjoy them go ahead and do them.
- Be sure to promote them. There are numerous places to promote giveaways online, and if you can get the word out about them you’ll be better off in the long run.
See who enters. Sometimes it isn’t the number of entries you get but who is doing the entering. If you’re getting lots of entries and no additional traffic, you may have a case where people are coming to your blog for the giveaways only. Is that what you want? If yes, then great. If not, do some more testing to determine if giveaways are right for you.