Group blog giveaways have been around for awhile. Group giveaways are events where bloggers come together to offer one large or several smaller giveaways during a specific time period. For me, many group giveaways have proven themselves as excellent sources of new traffic, new visitors, and new engagement on the blog.
As could be expected with anything that is almost exclusively online, group giveaways have evolved – a lot. In this post, we’re going to take a look at a few different group giveaway options, as well as share some of our thoughts and experiences with each type. Here’s a quick graphic that breaks down the different types of giveaways we’ll be discussing here:
The key to any successfully group giveaway is organization and good communication. Failure to have both may create problems with other bloggers (errors in code, problems with links, etc.) as well as problems for readers (things don’t work.) Make sure you review our post on tips for hosting a group giveaway to get an idea of the “basics.”
Group Giveaway Hops
We love hosting and participating in group giveaway hops. These events typically bring in like-minded new readers, generating lots of new traffic and visitors to the blog. We, and several other blogs, are usually successful at securing a larger grand prize due to the high visibility and online exposure these events offer. While finding a giveaway sponsor may be a challenge for smaller blogs, the large participation is a great selling point to help pitch sponsors. These hops are usually free to join.
We are also fans of group giveaways where several bloggers chip in money towards a larger prize. Whether it’s a new camera or an Amazon gift card, the larger prize items usually draw in more giveaway participants. You’ll find that most of these giveaways are priced to cover the cost of the prize.
Some hosts build in a nominal fee to cover any advertising costs (giveaway posting, blog button design) and/or their organization time (emailing participants, verifying links, coding social media pages, managing the giveaway form, etc,) which can be considerable. Check out our “How to Run a Successful Blog Giveaway” post for a glimpse into what goes into giveaways.
Group Giveaways (with Perks)
On the surface, these are very similar to regular group giveaways, with the exception of additional ways to get visibility/social media follows for your blog. There is almost always a fee for social media links and recently, there are options to pay more to be considered a co-host, to have blog comments as an option, hosting a social media follow page, or for additional links.
There usually is no limit to the number of bloggers who participate, so the entry form can become very long (we’ve seen some with over 300 different entries.) Be aware that some readers may have negative feedback when entry forms are too long. Imagine – if you had to enter a contest and you can either fill out one form or fill out 200 forms. You still want to win so you might fill out the 200 forms, but you might not like it either.
Free Group Giveaways
Free group giveaways are a more recent trend. It typically involves a smaller ticket item that someone has received for review, and the host then offers other bloggers the chance to get their social media links on their giveaway. It is usually free with the exchange of posting the giveaway and sometimes there is an option to pay an extra dollar or two for additional links. Sometimes these events are limited, sometimes not, which can result in having 100+ entry options for a $10 prize.
Personally, I am not a fan of these giveaways. For the past several years, bloggers have tried to establish our blogs as legitimate businesses that offer valuable marketing and advertising partnerships. While this is a great way to spread the word about a giveaway, as well as an easy way to gain more social media followers, it is giving the sponsor hundreds of dollars worth of promotion, absolutely free. While I’m sure the sponsors love getting the free advertising, it can work to undermine the hundreds of hours of work you and other bloggers have put towards establishing their site as a reputable advertising partner. In fact, a disturbing trend has started to appear, with sponsors expecting free advertising because a blogger has coordinated one of these free events.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that many new bloggers are looking for ways to grow and make a name for themselves by providing this extra brand exposure for their sponsors. However, once you start giving advertising away for free, it will be almost impossible to get them to start paying you the industry standard pricing once you’ve built up your blog. It’s always assumed that once you’ve gotten your numbers up and have increased traffic, that they’ll start paying you fair prices, but that’s not always how it works out. Veteran bloggers know this from experience.
Admittedly, I love blogging whether I’m getting paid or not, but when a person starts trying to monetize their blog, there are professional standards and guidelines that you’ll want to adhere to. One of those things being – nothing is free. Remember that hosting a giveaway is a benefit to both the you AND the sponsor. You are doing them a “favor” just as much as they are doing one for you. You’ll be investing a significant amount of time, coordinating, managing, and promoting the giveaway. Your time is valuable and you should be fairly compensated. If you consistently host free giveaways, you’ll make it that much harder to charge the fees that you should be earning.
When managed and coordinated well, group giveaways – whether they’re hops or prize based – can be an excellent way to grow traffic and readership for your blog. As you can see, there are many different types of giveaway events. Make sure you read all of the event details and requirements before joining any blog event.
What group giveaway events do you like?