I Don’t Want That Target Gift Card
I have been blogging on and off since 2007 and have noticed some very interesting shifts in the blog world since then. I remember back then it was like every blog I read was a semi-anonymous person just writing interesting content about the things they loved and/or hated. There were sometimes advertisements, but there was no need to constantly shill products and host giveaways in order to bring in new readers.
Don’t get me wrong – I love giveaways and sponsorship opportunities and I am not trying to snark on anyone’s blogging method. I’ve swapped all sorts of ads with bloggers similar to me and actually will be doing a giveaway sometime this month. And a product review. This post is inspired by a very specific type of sponsor/giveaway process that I don’t understand – something I tweeted about a few weeks ago that immediately lost me like 10-15 followers because apparently this stuff is NOT A JOKE.
Here are the things about giveaways and sponsors that I feel have gone from “oh cool, you found this interesting small business and would love to promote and give away their gorgeous handmade goods” to “I WILL LITERALLY BUY YOUR SKIN IF IT MEANS YOU WILL CLICK ON MY SITE.”
1. Starbucks/Target/Amazon/Sephora/PAYPAL CASH giveaways: I’ll tell you this right now – there is nothing I love more than a Target that has a Starbucks embedded right inside it. I will KILL THAT SHIT. Nothin’ better than an iced latte while filling your cart with hundreds of dollars of things you don’t need, such as $2.50 knee socks in every print ever and those delicious gummy vitamins that make my mouth go numb from a B overdose when I “accidentally” take too many because they taste just like gummy bears.
HOWEVER, hosting a sponsor’s giveaway to a store that is the capitalist version of twee comes across as very disingenuous. Sometimes they include a month of advertising on their blog as well, then you go to their blog and one of the top posts is a giveaway from one of THEIR sponsors to Target. It’s like a big ole circle jerk for who can buy the most colorful knee socks and cheap cocktail rings. Blogging is all about being creative, so giving away something that is extremely uncreative and takes no effort makes me think the givers are not much different. I’d say this is an alright spot for an awkward segue to my next point:
2. Group giveaways: I guess we have Rafflecopter to thank for this. A lot of the giveaways mentioned above do not exist on their own. A blogger will host a group giveaway with all their sponsors, who each contribute a prize, such as – you guessed it – an ad space and Target gift card. The first time I saw one of these I thought “damn, that’s like $200 to Target, fuck yea!” I got halfway through the 76 ways to enter via Rafflecopter when I gave up because my carpal tunnel was flaring, then next time I opened my Reader I realized all I did was follow a bunch of blogs and Twitters that were also loaded with group giveaways to Target. I even saw one offering “Paypal cash” as a prize. Like, literally buying me for considerably less than my hourly rate.
3. Excessive paid promotion: I love giving tweet shout-outs to my sponsors because they are really cool people, but if you sponsor me, do not expect my Twitter feed to be loaded with “hey, do me a favor and go friend ___ on Facebook!” and then “oh, and follow their pin boards too!” and then “go check out ___’s giveaway to Applebee’s on their blog!” HOW ABOUT YOU SHOW ME PICTURES OF YOUR CAT, OK? I should probably shut up because one of my most recent tweets is an entry to a giveaway for a Kitchen Aid mixer, and the rest of it is pretty much my entire Instagram feed. It’s atrocious.
I love a giveaway that offers a quality good from an independent small business owner looking to promote their shop (or for a Kitchen Aid, shut up). I don’t even mind outfit posts with “c/o” littering the item descriptions because I like seeing how different people put outfits together, whether they got the items for free or not. I am also not any sort of authority on blogging, so if you read this and think “oh that little snatch is totally talking about me,” take it with a grain of salt because I really don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about and you probably have way more readers than me. I also don’t want to be the girl that calls out and rips apart other bloggers for the way they do business. That’s not my intent at all. I just want to find some bloggers that like writing about their life and don’t have to hand out coffee gift cards and host a link up with 288 other people to do it.
February 1, 2013
This entry was posted in Business and tagged blogger circle jerks, blogger group giveaways.