- Hands up if you came across more than one blog that you read because of a giveaway. My hand is up. If you look on your twitter feed or facebook news feed right now there will probably be at least one post from someone about a giveaway that another blogger has going on. I came across a lot of great blogs via giveaways and after reading a couple of their other posts I knew they would be ones I would enjoy coming back to read so I entered and most of those blogs I still read today.
- Hosting giveaways: I love to host giveaways and with the exception of this recent CLICK giveaway we have bought every single item that we have given away. I look for things that I think you guys will genuinely enjoy receiving but I also never buy anything that I wouldn't keep for myself. Translated: we buy things in pairs OFTEN! One of the reasons that we haven't had more sponsored giveaways is based on the fact that I will not host a giveaway for an item I haven't tried or don't like. Until I've tried something and know if it's a brand I will stand behind I won't consider doing a giveaway.
- Entering giveaways: Having 10 different ways to earn entries into a giveaway can be a hassle and I'm sorry if any of our giveaways have ever annoyed you when I gave you all several options on how to earn entries. I feel like people think they stand a greater chance to win if they have more ways to earn entries but apparently most people just find it annoying. I've decided from here on out when we host a giveaway things will be different (haven't decided exactly how different yet) for a couple of reasons:
- People can't follow directions. Please leave each entry as a separate comment apparently means write one comment with everything you've done. Must be a public follower means comment that you follow publicly (but you don't) and leave no way to reach you.
- We do NOT host giveaways so we can get more followers. I can honestly say that I don't look at numbers unless I'm being asked to report them to someone else. I did when I first started blogging and it takes the enjoyment out of blogging. I started the blog to tell our story and share our lives not to chase numbers. We want you guys to follow our blog because you like what we have to say not because you have to for a giveaway.
- I follow A LOT of blogs (my google reader was over 1000 last Friday and I had it down to 200 by Saturday night but now I'm afraid to see what it's back up to). I always follow people back that follow our blog or people who follow me on twitter (unless they seem like spam on twitter). **If I'm not following your blog or following you on twitter please tell me so I can!
- There are several blogs that I followed and for months I read them and commented and never heard anything back from those bloggers. They never commented on our blog posts or even replied to my comments on their blogs. I am no longer reading those blogs because in the blogging world there are too many great blogs to read to waste time on ones who don't value their readers. One blogger did a post saying (and I'm paraphrasing) "Bloggers with little blogs will learn as their blogs get larger that you simply can't reply to comments or follow back those who are following you." Needless to say I immediately stopped following this blog because I felt like they didn't care whether or not I was reading.
- I reply to every comment we receive as long as reply back via email is an option. If someone has it set up where I can't reply back to their comment then I don't reply. Sometimes I will go back and comment on our blog but I know that I don't go back to people's blogs to see if they replied to my comment there so I don't expect people to come back to our blog looking for a reply to their comments.
BLOGGING IN GENERAL
- I try to blog Monday-Friday but life gets in the way and I don't always have something to say.
- When life isn't a crazy mess I read blogs every day and comment often. Usually I won't comment if I don't have anything to add or if several other people have already left a comment saying what I would.
- Sometimes I schedule posts that I write in advance but most of the time I write, read over it to catch errors, and post. This is why my posts are not at the same time each day and probably why I sound all over the place at times.
I say all of this to say that at the end of the day you have to stay true to yourself and stand behind what you believe. None of us answer to anyone else in the blogging world so don't compare yourself to others. Write what interests you and not what you think people want to hear. Blogging is what you make of it just as anything else in this world is.
Giveaways: I've thought about ordering a pair of Aspaeris Pivot Shorts to give away if people would be interested or a Handful bra. Would you be interested or is there something else you'd like to see in a giveaway? Do you hate lots of ways to earn entries in a giveaway? (Be honest!)
Following/Commenting: If we aren't following your blog what's your blog address? Do you have your email address in your blogger profile or where people can reply to your comments on their posts via email?
General: Is there anything I missed that you have a question about or that you would have addressed?