When I woke up at 8am this morning, I wasn’t expecting all the drama that’s seen the blogging world speak up about bots on Instagram. I’m not on Instagram, I’m not fazed by it, nor do I really care.
What I do care about is why it take things like this for the blogging world to speak up? Why are we not speaking up more about unpopular topics? Why are we not uniting as a ‘community’ and having a full-on discussion about topics so many people are scared to talk about?
Surely the blogging world is a place where people are allowed to have a discussion, are allowed to have an opinion and are allowed to speak their mind. Problem is…this is just a dream!
Opinions tend to get people into trouble, and yet we forget as bloggers, that we can’t please everyone. Not everyone will agree with what we say, as we’re all different. We’re all different as we’re made up of different DNA, which results in the person we are.
If you put me in a room full of bald blokes, are you going to say we’re the same, as we have Easter Egg shaped heads? Are you going to say as because we have beards, we’re the same?
NO-ONE IS THE SAME!
I say this, as I know today’s post is going to be an unpopular opinion for some. I know, as just by speaking to a few people this morning about my worries uploading today’s post, there was a mixed reaction. Isn’t a mixed reaction a good thing? Isn’t a bit of controversy good for the soul?
We have a powerful outlet in blogging to showcase who we are as individuals, and part of who I am is speaking up about the unpopular topics. I do it in volunteering and I do it in blogging.
SPEAKING UP IS PART OF WHAT I LOVE DOING!
Quite simply, when I talk about the pros and cons in running giveaways in this post, there will be things where I let out my inner thoughts out. These thoughts will not be to everyone’s liking, but sod it! Sod it, as I get to speak my mind. I get to speak my mind, explaining why I think these things as John’s Road to Volunteering is my space on the internet, and if you agree, great! If you disagree, that’s also great! It is OK to agree or disagree with something.
HAVING AN OPINION IS OK!
So…in terms of running giveaways, I don’t like them! I’ve never hosted a giveaway, nor do I intend to host one in the future. You might say I can’t give an opinion on them if I haven’t run one, but seeing a different blogger run one every single day, I think I’m allowed to speak my mind.
THANKING YOUR READERS
Pro: Speaking your mind, can also mean thanking your readers. Thanking your readers can come in many forms, and will differentiate from blogger to blogger. Some bloggers will see giveaways as a way to thank their readers for their loyal support and that’s OK! Do what works for you!
Con: Don’t let your readers determine when you run a giveaway. It’s all well and good, shouting out from the rooftops, that you’re hosting a giveaway until April 21st, but don’t let that be a chain of giveaways. Don’t let your readers think a giveaway will happen every 1K you gain on your follower count. You determine when they’re run, not your readers!
Pro: Working with brands is an exciting opportunity, many bloggers receive. When working with a brand you get to understand how PR works, you gain knowledge on how to collaborate, and you’re provided an opportunity to reach a new network.
Con: The new network is used as a form of cheating for the brand. Don’t let a brand dictate how a collaboration works, as it’s a two-way process. If a brand sees the opportunity to gain followers, they’ll take it. Gaining new followers can increase revenue for the brand, and could be used as a way of using the blogging world. When collaborating with a brand, make sure it’s for a good reason, and has purpose for you and them.
Pro: When you reach 1K or any number really, giveaways (as mentioned above) are a great way to recognise your readers. Hitting a milestone can be a great feeling (depending who you talk to) and it’s natural to want to give something back.
Con: Giveaways are not the only way to thank people (I send Christmas cards to my blogging friends). When you run a giveaway, have 2,500 retweets, you’re most likely going to gain a few followers. There’s no harm in gaining a few followers, but it is harmful to the blogging world and to yourself, when you host giveaway after giveaway with the intention of boosting your numbers.
Boosting your numbers is a dangerous game to play, as you will be caught out. You will be caught out effecting everything you do from then on out, and will put you in the red zone. People will be wary of what you do on your social media channels and on your blog, as the authenticity factor is being questioned.
Put your blood, sweat, and tears into your blog (not literally!), and work your ass off to have the impact you want. Many of us spend hours each week; some hours each day, working on our content, our photography, and understanding who are audience are and the best way to engage them.
The numbers game will attract the wrong crowd and the wrong attention. Come on! We’ve seen it happen today! There are so many great things happening in the blogging world, run by amazing individuals that one tosser who thinks they can buy their way to the top isn’t going to ruin anything. We’re more likely to unite!
There’s nothing wrong with speaking up, when you have something to say. Speaking up is part of parcel of being a blogger and as someone who is publicly sharing their thoughts, this needs to replicate in the way we react to events like today.
Whether it’s events like today with 100s of people sharing their thoughts or a post like this. We need to embrace and cherish the wide variety of thoughts we have in the blogging world and we need to use them to move forward.
We’ll move forward, using the shit around us, as moments of education. We learned today what bots are. We learned today what I think of giveaways. Tomorrow we’ll learn something new.
The most important thing is you do you.
Do what you feel is right for you and work with it. Just don’t be a tosser putting their hands in their pocket, as what’s in your pocket will run out eventually.