I have been thinking about this a lot lately too. I currently don't charge anything to do a giveaway. For some smaller giveaway items, I will have the company send me the product to review in addition to the giveaway and then have them ship the winner the item when the giveaway is over so I don't have to deal with shipping.
But the amount of work that goes into a giveaway can be crazy! I recently had a Giveaway Bash. It took hours of posting, gathering info, emailing back & forth with sponsors, and then promoting - LOTS of promoting, submitting, etc. I am not sure if it is protocol to charge something. How are you all doing it? How about if they are not going to send me the specific product to review then there will be a certain charge? I am still working it out. The problem is, I sometimes have very large giveaway prizes and I can't expect them to send that to me.
I would love to hear how some of you are handling your giveaway & sponsoring. I am fairly new to giveaways within the past few months. But now that I am offering giveaways, people are contacting me left & right. I am just not sure if I have the time to put into it without being compensated. What are your thoughts?
I respectfully disagree. Sponsored giveaways are no different than paid advertisements, in my opinion, and in that respect will not destroy the integrity of the blogosphere. If a company wants coverage on my sites and blogs via a giveaway they have to pay for that coverage. That's not talking about reviews, though. I do not charge for product reviews.
There is no question that giveaways up traffic, but I don't want drive-by traffic because of a giveaway. After seeing the quality of giveaways that we have done companies have also come back and scheduled giveaways for the future, but we were also compensated for a service. Conducting giveaways is like any other service that a company provides. I believe moms should be paid for services rendered and not rely on the possibility of companies coming back.
All of my giveaways go along with a product review, so I do not charge. I see it as an even trade-I get to test out and keep a product and the company gets promotion on my blog. If I don't feel the product is worth my time, I don't accept the offer.
If I were JUST doing a giveaway for an individual/company, then, yes, I probably would charge a fee.
I think this all depends on where you are in your blogging career/life. If you are just starting out, you may want the experience and/or traffic, even if you are not being paid for it.
I am in the same boat. Most of my giveaways have a product review attached. My compensation is the product. I have posted some giveaways without receiving a product in exchange, but that's because they've been products that I had already purchased and loved.
The purpose of my blog is to spread the word about great products, so I am promoting products and companies that I truly believe in. If I don't believe in it, I don't post. I would feel weird taking money for that. I do this because I want to, not because I have to.
It does take a lot of time, but let's be honest. None of us are going to become millionaires from our blogs. We do it because we like it.
Just my two cents. Your blog is your business though. It's definitely a personal thing :)
Wow everybody! Thanks for your honesty! There are 2 different groups of people here- those who charge for giveaways and those who don't.
Because I am fairly new to the giveaway scene, I have to agree that for those of us just starting out - the giveaways do help up our traffic and subscribers. But I really don't like when people sign up to subscribe just to get my giveaway and then when the giveaway is over they unsubscribe. It is definitely "drive by traffic". I want REAL traffic. For those of you blogging for several years, I am sure it just takes time and good content.
Doing a product review and giveaway at the same time seems fair because the company is providing you with a product that you can keep AND you are offering your readers something as well. That kind of compensation seems fair.
I wouldn't want to charge ETSY'ers either, after all they are in the same boat we are, trying to build their businesses. But for the larger companies who contact us, I wouldn't see anything wrong with charging a little something. I am not saying that I would do this. But this is definitely something to ponder.
What I would like help with is how to put together a proper media kit. Do any of you have thoughts on that? Any sample media kits that anyone would like to share?
I'm so new to all of this that I'm just excited that people are contacting me and want to be on my blog. I don't think I would charge, but I would ask for an item, even from the larger companies as compensation. That or I ask them to make a donation to Bloggers Give http://bloggersgive.com
It is a lot of work. I spent all day yesterday listing my giveaways on different sites.
I disagree Jennifer (and respectfully as well). I just believe that if everyone charged, there would be no companies involved at all. Some larger companies are just now starting to really recognize the power of a good blog post and smaller companies have limited budgets (as a small business owner I am painfully aware that if I take three hours to make a handmade item, donate supplies, and shipping, that IS my advertising budget).
If everyone charged in the Blogosphere to have giveaways, companies would only work with the very elite blogs they were bound to see a massive return from with guaranteed traffic. The well would dry up. The opportunities would be vastly lower for moms starting up, blogs that are trying to swim their way through and get recognized would be overlooked, and I personally feel that we would be setting ourselves up for, pardon the all too overheard lately word, Blog Recession.
Its obviously just personal in how someone chooses to run their community and there really is no right or wrong way. I figure, what works for one person, may not work for the other and that's the beauty of having a personal blog...its just that, personal.
Re: Its obviously just personal in how someone chooses to run their community and there really is no right or wrong way. I figure, what works for one person, may not work for the other and that's the beauty of having a personal blog...its just that, personal.
You're right. It's all about how someone runs their own community....no right, or wrong answer here.
What a great discussion. I have often wondered about this very subject. I have only been doing giveaways for a few months now and I am having fun. I do not know if it is because my giveaway and review site is seperate from my regular blog. Doing giveaways and reviews are a lot of work. I kind of look at it as a hobby though. I like discovering new stuff and being able to try it out. But then I am no where as big and popular as some bloggers. It is nice to be able to hear from both sides.
Interesting. I agree with Jennifer, but I agree with Trisha as well. Since I don't have any ads, any giveaways I do don't help in that respect. Maybe the answer for me is to only do giveaways in conjunction with a review so that I can be "compensated" that way. Very good topic!
I am new to blogging so I am more than happy to do a giveaway for free. I'm sure if I had many companies coming to me to post a giveaway, then I might think otherwise.
I would love some tips from those who have been doing giveaways and reviews for awhile. I don't want to turn off a company because of how I approach them.
I recently changed my policy on this. I will now only do giveaways if I receive a product to review or if I am compensated. Giveaways take a lot of moderation. I've also found that although they do tend to bring traffic, most of that traffic drops in, enters the giveaway and never returns. Not worth it to me, since I am trying to build a sustainable readership that is genuinely interested in the value that my blog provides. Because of this, I have been doing fewer giveaways lately, but my number of subscribers has still been growing.
So while it provides a whole lot of value for the company whose product I'm giving away, I'd much rather have them pay to advertise on my site. Of course, that doesn't create as much buzz. I still review products and do giveaways, but I am very, VERY selective about what I give away. If it doesn't specifically fit my niche and provide value to my readers, I pass on them.