The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Giveaways (Elements of Blogging) #AtoZChallenge




      Giveaways are a common promotional feature on blogs and in some cases a blog will almost exclusively be involved in regular giveaways.   These giveaways are typically done to promote book releases or as a marketing tool to create awareness for other products.   Free stuff is a feature that can attract readers to a blog in addition to serving as a good marketing tool for the one providing the "prize".

       During book promotions authors or publishers might offer product to be given away during a tour or a specific visit on a blog.   Marketing companies or business with product they wish to promote will often provide bloggers with product samples to giveaway.  Any of these might contact you the blogger directly or put out a call for bloggers who want to give away products

       Your blog can become a very commercial site if you start doing too many giveaways, but if that's where your interest lies then there is undoubtedly a market for this.    However a giveaway now and then on your blog can be an added feature that might bring new visitors who might actually return for the content for which you are most interested in building an audience.

          Do you ever participate in trying to win giveaway prizes?   Do you ever use giveaways on your blog?   Do you find that giveaways increase your own blog traffic in any significant way?


Battle of the Bands Results

     These Battle posts have often been compared to a horse race, but as the votes came in for this recent one between two versions of "Ask Me No Questions" I could almost hear the announcer calling the race.  At first The Bangles took a strong lead.  But then Kindred Spirit came up to eventually take the lead.  The Bangles stayed behind as Kindred Spirit took the contest for a solid win.

      At first I thought The Bangles would be the favorites since they were the better known of the two groups.  However voters were listening and in the end those who voted for Kindred Spirit made the same assessments that I did.  

       For me, the choppy acoustic guitar of the Kindred Spirit version set the more upbeat tempo for the song.  The vocals were stronger with the harmonies far more pleasing with a greater resonance.  I thought this version was more reminiscent of the early Beatles and other 60's groups.  This version definitely won me over but that's not to say The Bangles version wasn't good because I thought it was excellent.  And the lead vocals in each version were performed by the same singer, Debbi Peterson!

        The Kindred Spirit version won by a healthy margin even without my vote, but my vote put them another notch ahead.  This was an excellent contest by my estimation.  Thank you to the voters especially on a blogging day when so much was happening.

Final Vote Count

The Bangles       18

Kindred Spirit    24

      I've got another Battle of the Bands post coming up during the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and once again I've cleverly worked it into my "Elements of Blogging" theme.  I think many of you will not only enjoy the Battle, but you might also have some fun with my thoughts about the song I've chosen and the questions I've put forth to you the readers and voters.  

       Here's a hint about my next song pick:   Originally written and performed by a Motown great, the song pick comes from what I consider to be one of the greatest albums of the Rock Era.  The versions I'll be putting up against each other are by a New York punk band collaborating with a well-known West Coast based grunge vocalist and an artist originally from Ferguson, Missouri who first came to fame with a couple of huge California based bands before going on as a solo act.  This is going to be a fun Battle!

        What do you think might be my "Elements of Blogging" topic for the letter "M"?  (hint:  It won't be the first time for this topic on Tossing It Out)   Any guess as to the song or any of the artists hinted at?




70 comments:

  1. Giveaways are a good idea but only every so often as I have found on entering too many bloggers are taking part.....which is good for the person who wants people to come to their blog.
    I was sorry to see The Bangles lost out on BOTB, but to be honest the other band won justifably.
    Have a good day Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Since the point of a giveaway is to attract more visitors then when they have a lot of bloggers taking part they've fulfilled their mission.

      Lee

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  2. I did a few giveaways way back when I first started blogging - photos I think but then I realized it wasn't for me. I am happiest with a small band of friendly types - I don't need to go wide, I like going deep.

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    1. If you're not in a sales marketing mode then giveaways are probably more hassle than they are worth for what benefit you may receive from doing them.

      Lee

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  3. Is there a prize for the best comment?
    Just kidding!
    I've done giveaways for my books and when hitting a really big milestone. Right now I have a scavenger hunt going on, but while it starts at my blog, it sends people to other blogs to win. Which is actually more fun, as those bloggers are getting a ton of comments. (And they are amusing to read!) Most of my guests don't do giveaways though. I think part of that might be because most use Rafflecopters and I won't post those. (Sorry, my blog takes enough time to load as it is without adding one of those.)

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    1. Your scavenger hunt is very clever though I didn't understand what was happening at first--kind of the story of my life though.

      Lee

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  4. I have giveaways all the time, I have two going right now... both for t-shirts one of mine and a wrestlers prize package. :)

    Sadly I don't have the readership like I used to, but that is my fault for having too many sites.

    Jeremy

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    1. Maybe you need to do some site and strategy evaluations to try to understand what's working and what's not and why.

      Lee

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  5. I have never tried Giveaways but it seems a good idea. I am not sure if my readers will be enthusiastic about it but no harm in trying... Lets see if i can figure out something after April. Thanks for these tips.

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    1. I think you as the blogger have to generate the enthusiasm and promote the giveaway extensively. You need a buzz.

      Lee

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  6. I'll guess your M will be Music (or Music videos, MP3s, - music related such items).

    I will throw a rafflecopter giveaway on my blog (one is happening right now) once or twice a year. I've found that the sites which exclusively promote the giveaways tend to bring in people who lack any genuine interest in the blog itself. HOWEVER, if the goal at hand is simply to grow numbers (on other social media fronts, especially), it can be useful. Bigger prizes, oddly, do not draw in better/ more interested people. The opposite actually happens. A $10 Amazon giftcard will only bring people who already have some interest in you or your site. A $500 Amazon giftcard will bring a bunch of people who are really only there because they want the prize, and you won't see or hear from them again until your next huge giveaway. This is what my research has shown. (Other people might have had different experiences.) I can say that I'm guilty of this as well. A huge Amazon giftcard has gotten me to comment, like, and follow several people who share topics that are of no interest to me. (For example- baby blogs. I'm not a parent. I have no desire to join the debate on disposable versus washable diapers. I don't really care.)

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    1. Music seems like the obvious topic and I was very tempted, but that was not the first thing I thought of which considering BOTB is a bit strange.

      Your Rafflecopter observations make a lot of sense. I too might sign up for a substantial prize at a blog I normally wouldn't visit, but for the effort involved a small prize seems hardly worth the time. If nothing else I can see where the giveaways might be attention getting might help get your name remembered.

      Lee

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    2. Yes, indeed. There are also author giveaway blog hops, where you have to hold a Rafflecopter (or similar) contest in order to be part of the blog. I haven't seen one in a while, but usually it's 200 blogs and only 3 days for people to get to all of them. (Factor in the world-wide timezones, and it's really more like 2 days!)
      I took part in two of those. Over 80 comments on the posts. So obviously there's some merit to that. But another I took part in, only three people stopped by. So it boils down to who runs and promotes it, I guess.

      Delete
  7. I did a few giveaways with my memoir, but I really didn't know what I was doing back then. Still don't, really, but I'm going to take a course with Jane Friedman starting next week to learn more. Challenge seems to be a success this year once again, Lee. Kudos.

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    1. Things have been going very smoothly with A to Z so far. So are you taking a marketing course or what?

      Lee

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  8. I love giveaways! They are indeed a great tool for some bloggers. I hadn't really given it much thought until now but I think doing a separate blog for my jewelry would be a great way to utilize giveaways to build traffic. I'll definitely be mulling it over. And you've certainly given some great hints, yet I'm still in the dark and wouldn't even venture a guess...but will look forward to the next Battle!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Any product marketing blog would likely benefit from doing giveaways.

      Lee

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  9. I tried to do a few contests on my own awhile ago, but there was pretty much zero response or interest. If I were going to run a contest which had serious interest, I'd have to have help from numerous other bloggers in promoting it.

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    1. Having the promotional help definitely is of benefit to the success of a giveaway.

      Lee

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  10. I'm trying out a giveaway on my blog right now, but I think I made the participation too "thought-intensive" for lack of a better word. It's my first attempt though and it was just kind of an after-thought upon finishing up the post. I'm working on building blog traffic right now so maybe another give-away in the future that has simpler criteria will be more effective!

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    1. Simple is usually a good plan. Too complex and I think people just give up on trying. I think the Rafflecopters are kind of complex, but I guess a lot of people are used to them now.

      Lee

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  11. Giveaways can be fun and a great way to get some attention. I did one last year during the A to Z when I was about to hit 100 followers. I do like to participate in others' giveaways, especially if it involves free books!

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    1. I've won a number of free books and that has been very nice--especially the autographed copies.

      Lee

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  12. Yeah, I thought KINDRED SPIRIT should be the clear winner, because to my ears, they made The Bangles' version sound thin by comparison.

    And the last I looked at your Battle while the voting was ongoing, it seemed that KS was beginning to build an insurmountable lead.

    I liked the little twist of having the same lead singer go up against herself in the Battle. Interesting one, Lee. And, you sure got a lot of votes - both contestants in double digits.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Having A to Z and IWSG at the same time was a boost to my voting for sure. We'll see how well that is matched an April 15th.

      Lee

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  13. Hi Arlee Bird

    Responding to your comment on my blog. Unfortunately I cant make it this year :( Please delete my link

    Thanks for checking and good luck

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have never done give aways and probably won't but I will never say never. Glad Kindred won

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  15. I love to enter giveaways! I enter lots of them and have won a few! I've never done it though b/c I don't have any idea how those random generator thingies work that select the winner.

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    1. I know--it does seem complicated, but I guess it probably really isn't.

      Lee

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  16. Apologies - it shouldn't have taken me this long to get around to the challenge founder!

    I love entering giveaways, and I've had a couple of my blog for my books. I didn't notice an increase in traffic - it was more of a way to reward my regular visitors.

    I had a giveaway for 3 copies on Facebook once, and only 3 people entered!

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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    1. Apologies not necessary! There are plenty of blogs to visit and I've been getting my fair share of visitors so far.

      It would be interesting to know more stats. Yours are not especially encouraging, but you're right about rewarding regular followers.

      Lee

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  17. I think I mostly, at this point, don't think much of giveaways. In years of giving books away, they have generated a total of two reviews. And no one I have ever given a book to specifically for review purposes has ever followed through with the actual review. Which is funny, you know, since that's what book bloggers are supposed to do.

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    1. Maybe they're scared you'll yell at them if you don't like their reviews.

      Lee

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  18. I do giveaways from time to time and will probably be planning one soon with the release of my second novella. It's a good way to get people's attention.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. Good luck with it. So far we're hearing some mixed reviews about the effectiveness of the giveaways.

      Lee

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  19. I often stop myself from trying for giveaways because they often use up my time. For instance, if I win a book, I really ought to read it and write a review. But what about the pile of books and stash of ebooks waiting to be read?

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    1. I know what you're saying. I've still got books I need to read.

      Lee

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  20. I've pretty much stopped entering to win books because I win all the time. I'm overstocked on reading material and I feel an obligation to not only read what I win, but review, too. Lots of time involved.

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    1. I've won several, but I can't say I win all the time. With your luck maybe you should be entering the lottery instead.

      Lee

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  21. Interesting post - no idea what I'd give away - jammie dodgers, maybe..

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    1. Because I had nothing to give away I started the A to Z Challenge! You can celebrate special things without doing a giveaway.

      Lee

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  22. I've done a few giveaways in the past, mostly fun things, like guess the dog's weight, closest one won something or around Christmas here and there, but not for a long time. Sometimes I'll enter a giveaway, but only if it is simple to do so.

    betty

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    1. Some giveaways get me so confused that I don't know how to do it and just give up.

      Lee

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  23. I have won a couple of giveaways (got Alex's new book in one of them) but can't imagine ever doing them myself. I am part of Alex's Scavenger hunt at the moment.

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    1. It's nice to help others with their giveaways. There have been a few authors I've done giveaways for.

      Lee

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  24. I participate in giveaways sometimes, but I have never done one myself.

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  25. I have won lots of books in giveaways and once a gift card but I never go to a blog just to enter a contest. I donate to other contests but don't run any myself.

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    1. I enter a giveaway when I come upon one, but I don't seek them out.

      Lee

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  26. I've entered a few, mostly on Facebook. Haven't won a book giveaway in quite some time (last year I think) but won a c.d. from a fellow blogger that absolutely blew me away.

    I've tried a few giveaways myself, but the complete lack of response on some of them (on one where I held a contest for a new title for my re-release, I garnered exactly one entry from all my good friends, and that was on Facebook) has got me thinking twice about doing it again.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. You're another who's citing less than overwhelming responses to giveaways. I guess you just have to do it the right way or something. I'm suspecting that your experience is more common than not.

      Lee

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  27. Giveaways and contests don't interest me much, but it might be an idea, to get a little more exposure. I wouldn't want to do it often, though. Glad my choice won "Battle of the Bands". ☺ No clue about your next BOTB subjects, but my guess for your "M" post is MUSIC. From one music lover to another!

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    1. Debbie, most of the giveaways that I've won were just due to my having commented. Usually the announcement has taken me by surprise as I didn't even know I was in the contest. As I told an earlier commeter, music seem obvious but that's not it. Good guess though.

      Lee

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  28. Why does April 1st BOTB seem like weeks ago now? I'm pretty sure I voted Bangles, but don't recall why.
    I never do or participate in giveaways. I really tried hard to guess Alex's. what are the Kargrandes - but blew that.

    Can't wait to see what's happening here on the April 15 battle :}

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    1. A to Z makes days seem like weeks.

      Lee

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  29. Sometimes giveaways interests me, but till now I haven't hosted any giveaways... :)

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  30. Last weekend I was part of a scavenger hunt for YA authors and my visitor numbers spiked nicely. Since I knew I'd get new visitors from that and from A to Z all month, I decided to do a giveaway to try to increase my newsletter subscribers. So far, so good. It's not fancy, but adds some fun to the website.

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    1. A to Z is a good time to spike the blog punch.

      Lee

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  31. I bought a lottery ticket today which I do not normally do.

    In that spirit, I never enter raffles on a blog. I have enough mugs, t-shirts, books to last the rest of my life.

    I purchase people' books. I don't mind getting a less expensive older book with the current book. I am not rich. I am a retired teacher.

    What crosses my mind the most is that someone should not give away their hard work. I don't like the idea of reading someone's book and not paying them something. Now the books I get at the thrift shop are another matter.

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    1. The way I see it is like free samples in the store. You give people a taste of something and hope they'll want to buy more. Of course this only works if an author has a decent back catalog.

      The other thing about the giveaways is that hopefully the winner will post a review that is hopefully a good one and the ones who didn't win will have their interest piqued enough to buy a copy.

      Free must work because businesses have been doing it for decades.

      Lee

      Delete
  32. I've done both: signed up for giveaways and offered them. The giveaway temporarily increased traffic, but it was not sustained.

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    1. Giveaways are not the only things that have that effect on a blog. A blogger has to constantly be inventive and exciting to keep the momentum going.

      Lee

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  33. I had conducted a "Giveaway" for my crafts(Specs N Scissors) blog to thank everyone for helping my facebook page reach 500 likes. Not sure if that helped me increase the blog traffic since the intention was entirely different. But I did complete my first Giveaway successfully. :)

    Thanks for the challenge. :)
    Third consecutive year participating in A to Z Challenge via my poetry blog. Connected with so many fellow bloggers.
    Cheers,
    POETICbug
    http://poeticbug.blogspot.com/

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  34. I thought this was a really good BATTLE with a nice twist. You always manage to make it interesting. I have no idea what you might be doing for 'M', but I'm sue it will be fun.

    Looks like you and everyone else are in full swing with A to Z. I'm impressed that the BOTBers are able to fit it in with their alphabet posts. Very impressive indeed.

    Look forward to your post on the 15th.

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    1. I combined BOTB many times and I think I've managed that fairly well. Blending the theme into the BOTB picks is a fun challenge and I think we've all done some interesting thematic combinations.

      Lee

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  35. I'm a newbie blogger, so it's great to learn tips. I'm excited to look into a giveaway.

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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  36. I did a little giveaway a while back, but it didn't go that well because I didn't have enough of an audience. I'm planning some for the future, though. I think they're a good idea.

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    1. A successful giveaway must have a reasonable audience as indicated in some of the above comments.

      Lee

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  37. That was a good battle, Lee. Maybe some of your A to Z following will continue to participate in BoTB after April....?!?!?

    Giveaways... They seem to work for some people. I see a lot of book giveaways. Do they really help promote the author, generate reviews, and create buzz? I don't know. I've heard various things on that front.

    No idea about what you're doing for the letter M. It'll be here before we know it, though!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'd like to think people will come back for BOTB, but so far aside from regular participants (well, most of them) and my regular visitors, the only way I've drawn new voters is to leave bunches of comments on other blogs. Even then many will visit the post and not vote.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee