Giveaways on Blogs, 30 Lessons in Blogging

Over my years of blogging, I have run a few Giveaways, both of my own creations and for other companies.  I did so early on in my blogging when I was exploring and learning. At that stage my blog was still very much a hobby - but the thought was beginning to form that I could perhaps turn this into my 'job'. 

I tried them out because I read that Giveaways were a good way to drive traffic to your blog.

Rules and Regulations

Then one day a couple of years ago I read that you had to be careful with permits to run a Giveaway on an Australia blog as there are rules and regulations you must follow.  Having done a few by then, but not had much luck with traffic increases, I just decided to stop and leave them well alone.

If you are interested, there is a great article here explaining clearly the rules about running Giveaways on Australian Blogs.
I understand there are also rules for other countries, so you may want to look those up for your country if you choose to run a Giveaway yourself.

As I said, I never had much luck with Giveaways driving traffic to my blog. I'm not really sure why, It's not something I have spent much time on or learnt about during my 4 years of blogging but I do know many people have a lot of success with it so I don't want to dismiss it completely.
Perhaps one day when my blog is bigger I may revisit the topic, and research the rules before launching into one again!

How about you?

Have you ever run a Giveaway on your blog?
Did you research all the rules and regulations first?
Or do you enter Giveaways yourself?

I'd love to hear feedback on this topic since it's really something I've not had any luck with nor been game to try again just yet!


  1. A year ago I accepted an offer of a free online class and in return they gave me a free online class to giveaway on my blog. Everyone in blogland runs giveaways so I thought it couldn't be that difficult but before I ran mine I researched the legalities and was horrified to discover that the rules vary from country to country and what a mess I could get myself in if I didn't run the giveaway properly. I wished I hadn't taken the free class but it was too late so I tried to cover myself legally as best I could in the way I handle the giveaway and wrote the rules. I used Rafflecopter to cover myself also - turns out drawing a name out of a hat just isn't legal - and I made the first entry for each person totally free, none of this follow me for an entry, etc.

    I ran the giveaway and was frankly relieved when it was over. It didn't bring much extra traffic my way and the new traffic didn't stick around, become followers, etc, I also takes time to check through the entries to make sure they're legal, followed the rules and left contact information. It was a huge headache and worry and I vowed never to do it again.

    Imagine how I felt in May this year when, to help out a fellow Quilt Guild member, I made a Quilt Market project for her using her new line of fabric only to discover after the fact that I was expected to take part in her blog hop which included a giveaway of her fabric line and books.

    Here we go again. I used Rafflecopter again - I did note I was the only person on the blog hop to do so and to run the giveaway within the legal rules as much as possible, yet I think I appeared stuffy and rule driven compared to everyone else's happy go lucky approach. A little extra traffic this time around - followers from the other blogs on the blog hop dropped by to enter but no new followers or return traffic since.

    I haven't made following compulsory in either giveaway, my theory is I'd rather retain the integrity of my blog with true followers than have people follow just to enter a giveaway then unfollow as soon as it's over - which I hear is a common practice.

    My conclusion is to run a giveaway legally can be costly in terms of money, it's a lot of work and worry with many pitfalls and simply not worth doing.

    1. Oh I agree completely Chrissie, that is exactly how I felt when I discovered all the rules and regulations. I went back and deleted the old posts off my blogs that were small giveaways I'd done.

      I also agree with your view of not asking for followers in return for entries. Although I have been through the 'follow me follow you' thing early on with my blog, and I understand that feeling of wanting bigger 'numbers' to be seen on your blog. I came to realise that the numbers don't mean anything in the end and asking people to follow you for the sake of it doesn't mean more real 'followers' for your blog.

  2. Good topic! I run giveaways usually of books I review and don't need to keep although sometimes the publisher will give me one to giveaway. Right now I have a giveaway of fabric that our group of online textile artists make specifically to giveaway every month. I also have given away something I've made in appreciation for those faithful readers. These giveaways work fine for me and I don't expect extra traffic. I receive lots of requests for giveaways from companies and if they do not pertain to my blog audience, which is usually the case, I'm not interested. I don't believe giveaways bring permanent traffic to my blog. Only good posts can do that. I really hate Rafflecopter.

    1. Thanks Lynda. It sounds like you've got the right attitude to your giveaways and that they work well for you. I've refused giveaways that were irrelevant to my blog, but equally found that a couple I did that were definitely in 'theme' with my blog got no entries at all. Perhaps it's a different readership?

  3. I've hosted a few giveaways and even won a couple myself. For me, it would be great to get some additional readers but in the end you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it. For example, I made a scissor sock and blogland loved it. I wrote the tutorial and blogland loved it. I gave one away and I had only 2 entries! It's so unpredictable, it could have been due to holiday season, maybe the colours I used were not what people wanted, etc. If I make something just for the sake of making it, I will host a giveaway. If it doesn't go, I'll give it to charity in the end. But it's always nice to get the appreciation for it, and seeing a comment on how much people like something I made is wonderful :)

    1. I was surprised too that your lovely scissor sock giveaway didn't get more entries - I saw it pinned quite a bit and it seemed really popular.
      I often think that people just don't want to make the effort of entering a giveaway because they often have so many rules to follow so they just never bother entering any. Oh well - I guess that means that those who do take the time to enter have a better chance of winning.

  4. Haven't done any giveaways - don't know if I ever will. Usually giveaways and sign ups for prizes are always associated with some kind of gimmick or ulterior motive. Don't want to go there.

    1. Fair enough Faith. I guess it's like any competition where you have to give your email or phone number, it's just a marketing gimmick. I have to admit to entering a few competitions now and again. I like the ones where to have to write something in so many words. I think less people enter those because it's more effort and I've won a few.
      But hosting them myself with all those rules - just now, no thanks!


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