Blogging Trends That Irritate Me

July 25, 2014 bloggers, blogging, giveaway, Stats 13

Not sure that catchy post title will bring anyone running to want to know more about what I find distasteful, but while on twitter or chatting with other bloggers some topics come up.  Consider this my attempt at putting in my two cents.

When I started blogging giveaways were just as they are now, exciting to win, fun to be the giver and it might bring a few new readers to your blog.  That is always the way I’ve seen my role in hosting a giveaway, I have the opportunity to treat one of my readers, most often now at a publisher’s expense, to a great new read.  I like to make the process simple and easy for me, as well as my readers.  While using blogger I used the system of leaving a comment to be entered to win.  Since my move to Word Press I’ve used a simple contact form.  Easy peasy….ahhhhh.

In the past year or so I’ve begun to see the use of Rafflecopter as a means to enter giveaways.  The user has many options, simple to complex, having as little as two buttons to click, to a multitude more that include following the blogger on FB, Twitter, their blog, their newsletter, their forum, retweeting, sharing on their own blog and on and on it can go.  Now let me just say the service itself it likely just wonderful, and I don’t blame bloggers or businesses for using it, but there is the abuse of it that really shakes me up.

Seriously I’ve seen book bloggers use Rafflecopter with so many hoops to jump thru to maximize the chances of winning that made my head spin.  Does it really gain the blogger more followers?  I mean long term readers and followers of your blog?  Do the analytics give you a better look at who is following you or at least entering for a book giveaway?  I would argue that many solid readers of your blog and followers are as tired and fed up with these hoops as they are about CAPTCHA.  I invite you to comment and give your pros and cons.

One reason I like the contact form to enter is that I ask for the actual physical address where the prize should be mailed, thereby eliminating the added task of me hunting down the winners again and getting this information.  Giveaways are all about fun for me, and I hope my readers.  One form one simple entry and voila….you too can be a winner!!

My other puzzlement or irritant is the need some perhaps newer bloggers feel to inflate their follower stats.  I think I’m in the minority, I do look at how many times my blog is viewed on occasion.  It’s difficult to track followers because not everyone is using the RSS feed I provide.  I myself follow my blogs with Bloglovin, and those numbers can be misleading too.  I have chosen not to have a FB dedicated to my blog.  Maybe I’m lucky, as I’ve never been asked to give exact numbers to a publisher upon requesting an ARC or e galley.  I imagine someone looks at my blog, analyzes my reviews and ability or lack of to put a few sentences together and a reputation begins.  I recently read a stat that was just so inflated it blew me away…and I wonder why…who does this person think they are fooling.  If it were a business I understand more why this information is critical, but if your blog is hobby based why attempt to fake anything?

So those two points are my rant…and I feel better now.  I love being a blogger, and I love the community I have become a part of and I admire the bloggers who took me under their wing so to speak and helped me out.  I am not that tech savvy, nor do I think you must be to be successful as a blogger, willing to learn yes, but master of all things, not so much.  Should it be fun…good grief I hope so!  So I will continue to make giveaways easy, simple, fun and I’ve got no reason to tell you I’m more important than I am.  Most days my big moment is getting dinner on the table on time…ha ha!

I hope you’ll comment and share this post….if I’m way off base…let me know.

13 Responses to “Blogging Trends That Irritate Me”

  1. Laura Kay

    I loved rafflecoptter at the beginning, as a way to have others post about my giveaways. However, I have found it hard for people who don’t want to tweet all the time to win (and I want lots of different people to win). I also love to enter giveaways and am starting to rethink using it…however I do like your suggestion to get their address! That is a pain! lol.

  2. Charleen

    I agree that some Rafflecopter options get out of hand, but overall I have no problem with it… I click the options that are available to me and ignore the ones that aren’t… if I win, great, and if I don’t, whatever. The only time I get upset is when something like Bloglovin’ or Facebook, neither of which I use, is required to unlock the other options.

    (But I still wouldn’t compare it to CAPTCHA, if only because CAPTCHA sneaks up on you AFTER you’ve put in the effort to write a comment. Fair or unfair, at least giveaways are upfront about what they want you to do.)

    I actually prefer Rafflecopter (or just leaving a comment) to a custom form, especially if my address is required. I pretty much never enter those, because I don’t want my address floating around out there more places than it has to be. Not to sound distrustful (even though I know I do), but I don’t want give out that information just on the off chance that I’m chosen.

    That’s how I feel about giveaways as an entrant. On the hosting end, I’ve done two giveaways on my blog, both out of my own pocket, not through publishers. Both times I tried to set them up to encourage interaction rather than blind follows. After all, I want to thank the readers I already have, not fish for new ones who are only in it for the free stuff.

  3. Michele

    Ohhhh, I can tell I’m going to be in the minority here. But what the hell. You’ve hit a hot topic with me. I’ve been in the book blogging game a long time. I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. I’v seen a lot of book blogs come and go. Back in the day, we pretty much only had the comment section for giveaways. And when someone won, we’d personally contact them via email for their address and take the actual time to do that — because it was all about personal contact. We were making friends in the book blogging world. We stuck around, we read their blogs, we made long-term friends. (Remember when we used to come up with such creative ideas for winning the book? Example: whoever wrote the most creative short story in 10 sentences or less in the comment section on a specific subject…so much fun!)

    Now. Hmmm. It’s all about numbers. How many followers can I get? Tweet it 12 times, stand on your head and post it on Instagram 4x, comment twice for extra entries, follow me, follow me, FOLLOW MEEEEEEEEEEE!

    So. I haven’t given away a book in years. (Nor, for kind of similar reasons, have I participated in a blog tour in years.) I don’t want “fake followers.” The only followers I want on my blog are people who actually want to hear what I have to say. And actually interact with me. If they are just following to get a free book, I don’t want them. I want a meaningful conversation about books. And if someone can give me that, I’m going to follow their blogs as well and interact with them. Guess I’m old fashioned that way. Definitely in the minority, lol. Bah….batty old timers…..I tell you. 😉

    Great topic…love the things you come up with! (And see? I don’t follow you for giveaways!!!)

  4. Rhonda

    Anita excellent blog we’ve already discussed my dislike of raffle copter all those tasks like here follow there tweet here back&forth from form to various other locations exhausting.also not a fan of capitcha .a simple form for me easy&respectful tonall of u
    Us

  5. Elizabeth

    I don’t like to see more than 4 tasks on raffle copter. I prefer simple so I can spend my time reading the blog and not filling out forms.

  6. Sandy

    Like Michele, I haven’t done a giveaway in years. It honestly was more trouble than it was worth I think, especially if I was the one funding the shipping. Even “back in the day” before this rafflecopter thing (no idea what it is and don’t really care to know) it was a total turnoff if someone offered extra entries if you Tweeted, Facebooked, linked, or shouted from the rooftops. I find it shameless. I guess if your blog is a money-making venture, it would be a different story but otherwise I think people just need to take a step back.

  7. Mary

    I don’t use Rafflecopter but I do giveaways. Usually the giveaway is included with a Spotlight post. I don’t do it to increase traffic and the number of entrants would tell you traffic on my blog is NOT increased by the giveaways. The average number of entries is 10 – in the six years I’ve been blogging that number hasn’t wavered.
    Re the numerous ways to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway – I’ll do a twitter follow and leave a comment but that’s it. I don’t have a FB page for my blog and don’t follow other blogger FB pages. I don’t make money off my blog either. It’s just my hobby since the kids left home 🙂
    When it comes down to it, if someone wants to do all that on their blog I think they should go for it. I choose not to because it isn’t right for me.

  8. Rita @ My Home of Books

    I’m a mid-50’s female with a few years of blogging–with a hiatus in-between–under my belt. I love to enter giveaways, because honestly I enjoy the thrill of winning a book that perhaps I would eventually buy or borrow from the library. I enter contests a couple of times a month, and have luckily won 4 print books and 2 e-books in 2014.

    I read on a kindle due to storage restrictions (and we just moved cross-country and gave away all our print copies to charity). I hope to be able to do another giveaway on my blog coming up soon as payback when I collect enough print copy books to offer a choice.

    I like simple giveaways like leave a comment or fill out a form. I don’t mind giving my address because I only enter contests of bloggers I follow and read, and I give my trust to them; I also enter my address for Goodreads First Reads contests, BookReporter.com and NetGalley arcs, so it is what it is.

    I find Rafflecopter annoying, though I did use it last time I did a giveaway and didn’t get many takers for a gift card, which I thought would be a no-brainer for folks to want! Too many bloggers want readers to follow everyone & his brother on twitter, facebook, website, answer a question, follow their blog etc etc. It is a pain. I don’t have twitter because of two hacks in one year and I have a blog facebook but I don’t work it; it’s just there. I don’t follow folks on RSS feed because I don’t like the way I would have to read it. So.. I follow folks on bloglovin and by email and I enter occasional contests. I hope I didn’t hijack your rant with one of my own (lol) but you touched a nerve.
    -Rita_h @ My Home of Books {who doesn’t have a lot of followers, but is still happy to blog and bookchat, regardless}

  9. Ouida Briwb

    Note from a rookie . . .

    I loved this post, Sis! Though older and wiser on so many topics ( -:)) , I am new to the blogging world so limited viewpoint. However, I’ve reached a place in my life where simple and straightforward are almost always my first choices on any topic. I agree – – simple comments or completing a short form makes the entry to “giveaways” fast and easy for both you and the participants. What could be better!?

  10. Heather

    I’m with you, Michele and Sandy on this one. I don’t do giveaways anymore and I find it obnoxious when people do them as a means to get more followers. It should be about the love of books, I mean I thought that’s why we are all here, right?

  11. Sarah @ Sarah's Book Shelves

    I’ve very rarely done a giveaway (only 2 so far), but, when I did, I just asked people to post a comment and then I email them directly with details. I’m not a “techie” person, so I didn’t even really know about Rafflecopter! However, I personally find nothing wrong with the easy comment method..if it’s not broke, then why fix it!!

  12. Trish

    I’ve been saving this post and am sorry I’m just now getting around to commenting–but I agree and honestly I think it’s the inflating of followers that irritates me the most. I’ve often wondered WHY this bothers me so much–I have a very solid and loyal following (albeit small) but I’ve never been one to shout FOLLOW ME! And even still I get a bit jealous of those who can. I’m listening to Quiet right now about Introverts/Extroverts and I feel very much like an introvert in an extroverted business. And who would have thought as I would think many book bloggers are introverts! Total tangent. But yes, I RARELY enter giveaways because I don’t want to jump through all the hoops. I do think they gain numbers but not true followers.

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