For several months I entered book giveaways sponsored by book blogs like an addict seeking her next fix. The lure of free e-books, paperbacks, bookmarks, magnets and countless other swag was mesmerizing. It appealed to my basest, “if it’s free, it’s for me” desires.
I clicked away like a mad woman. I “liked” authors I had not heard of, genres I did not particularly care for, books I would likely never read, and unknown blog, after unknown blog. I was fanatical in my glee! I reasoned that the more giveaways I entered, the greater my odds of “winning.”
And, I did win. I won a few well-written e-books, a few not-so-well-written e-books, a couple of signed paperbacks and postcards, magnets and bookmarks. For some of the books I enjoyed, I wrote reviews and downloaded the authors’ backlists. For the books I did not like, well…at least I attempted to read them, before relegating them to the “did not finish,” or “do not buy” piles.
A few bloggers posted their dismay on Facebook. They were unhappy that hundreds of people would run over to their Rafflecopter sites and enter the free contests they advertised and sponsored. Once the contests ended and the winners were announced, many of their new “followers” simply “unliked” their sites. My initial thought was, “You should never expect anything, when you offer something for nothing?” The only requirements for the giveaways were to “like” a bunch of sites, share the giveaways on other Social Media outlets, and sometimes leave comments on the blog. No real commitments were necessary.
One blogger, however, posted her true feelings on her Facebook status. She was upset, and hurt, that folks only entered the contests to “win.” It sparked a discussion on how the giveaways were structured. In that moment, I realized why I did not like the giveaways – they were one-sided with no reciprocation. The raffles had a finite timeline. None of the bloggers who sponsored them committed to following the people who entered the contests. There was no give-and-take. In more than one case this frustrated me, as wondered if they even read the comments posted. Wasn’t the point to help one another grow each other’s blogs? No, but it should have been.
At the writing of this post, only two of the blogs I “liked” and “followed” have “followed” me, in return. This let me know they actually read the comments posted. Those blogs have my support as they continue to grow their readership.
As for continuing to participate in giveaways…well, “if it’s free, it’s for me,” right? Perhaps. In a much more selective manner.
As an amateur blogger, or rather an inconsistent blogger, I am often unsure of how often to post. Daily writing challenges might work for me while I am not in school, but are unrealistic once my schedule changes. Weekly challenges are another option because I can schedule it into my calendar. But, choosing the day to post may send me into an ADHD stress spiral.
So, I have been posting as spirit, stories or books have moved me to do so. Not the most consistent blogging style, but I have been able to record my thoughts and feelings when they are”freshest,” and therefore, the most transparent.
I been responding to more posts on other bloggers’ sites. These conversations are helping me find my blog voice and led to some of my own posts. I feel less “shy” about posting, and more confident about my feelings. Respectful discourse can be stimulating to read and participate in.
Share with me how you remain consistent in your blogging. What prompts you to write?