Blog Giveaways Versus Online Sweepstakes
This afternoon I received an email from a well-known PR agency telling me I WOULDN’T be receiving a prize I’d won fair and square because I recently won the same prize at a different blog. I’m a Type-A rules kind of person and there was no such rule or I wouldn’t have bothered to enter. Needless to say, I’m a little more than upset. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but last time I wasn’t notified at all. I only found out months later when I remembered to ask where my prize was.
Please don’t try telling me I’m greedy because I won the same prize more than once. The blogger who cheerfully re-awarded the prize in question insinuated as much because she “never wins anything”. I work very hard at winning, have a large family, and “extra” prizes make great gifts. It’s not like I’ve turned them into an Amazon store or eBay business. We still haven’t fully recovered from the recession and wins are my small contribution to our household.
I won’t be gone per se, but I’m going to be rethinking the amount of time I enter and post blog giveaways. I’ve been doing this so long that sometimes I forget it’s NOT a job and I DON’T have to do it. I stay up all night anywhere from 2:00 to 9:00 a.m. and get very little sleep. I will be spending the next few days catching up on sweepstakes that have been virtually ignored and left unentered — maybe longer.
I believe I’d like to refocus the majority of my time on sweepstakes because it takes a lot less time, it’s easier to enter, and the rules are most often in “black and white” and very clear. The rules for blog giveaways are less clear, if at all, and subject to a blogger’s interpretation or personal preferences.
Blog giveaway prizes are sometimes questionable too. I won a one month supply of Fruit2O that turned out to be only 13 bottles — that’s less than 1/2 bottle per day — plus most of them were castoffs covered in yellow enamel paint. Then today I finally received two fudge samples that sat at a blogger’s home for almost a month — the chocolate looks old and is turning color. And let’s not forget the prizes that never, ever come (one day I’ll write more on that at my personal blog). The Digiorno pizza free product coupon that I didn’t receive until after the expiration date for example — or the almost $300 prize that never arrived.
Blog giveaways often require certain time-consuming (at least the first visit) tasks, whereas sweepstakes are usually as easy as filling out a form and the prizes are bigger and better. You have to follow, read, and/or subscribe and if you’re entering alot of blog giveaways like I do — that’s a TON of reading. I wish there was a way to temporarily disable feeds, but I’m not aware of one except with FeedBlitz. I’ll try to ignore the temptation of future prizes and use the delete key often.
I’m really starting to think the more immediate rewards of winning blog giveaways aren’t worth all the effort. Maybe my time could be better spent elsewhere (like on housekeeping and getting reorganized). Plus I could actually find time to write about things that really matter to me on my personal blog, instead of ignoring it as I have been.
I know for certain that I will still participate with MyBlogSpark, both hosting giveaways and entering them. I love the company, the brands, and the prizes! I’m in the process of reviewing my next MyBlogSpark promotion right now, and hope to have a giveaway posted before long. I will also finish posting the giveaways I already have bookmarked in a “queue” and will probably follow through on my daily Tweets. I don’t know whether I’ll keep up with book blogs anymore or if I’ll just rely on visiting author and publisher websites. It’s awful convenient never having to borrow books at the library or buy them. The rest I’m not sure about, but that’s more for you to win
What do I really want to win? New vehicles for one. We’re still driving my dad’s 1989 small pickup and Scott’s 1995 sedan because we don’t like and can’t afford car payments or full-coverage insurance. Cash probably more than anything with gift cards a close second. Money might be the root of all evil, but it also buys alot of security and comfort. I can’t think of any blog giveaway that awards those two categories of prizes (so why am I doing this?)!