Why I’m Saying NO to Mom Blog Group Giveaways

“Like me” for a kindle!
Now like these other 97 people and their grandmothers…

“Subscribe” to win a $500 amazon gift card!
And then visit each of these 50 blogs, hunt through all the banner ads to find their subscribe boxes and subscribe to them too…

“Follow me” for an ipad!
Now visit this link, follow these 10 people, come back to the rafflecopter and confirmed you followed these people by entering your twitter handle.
Now visit this link, follow these 10 people, come back to the rafflecopter and confirmed you followed these people by entering your twitter handle.

No, I’m not being redundant. However I am being generous by not copying and pasting the above line 12 more times to exactly mimic a giveaway I once TRIED to enter.

fotolia 17657428 Subscription XL11 Why Im Saying NO to Mom Blog Group GiveawaysSometimes I wonder, what the hell, we as mom bloggers are thinking.

Do we think we’re the only person in the world who has a job to do, kids to care for, a hubby to feed, a house to clean?

What makes us think it’s cool to dangle lovely prizes before a fellow mom blogger and then make her sit there for hours completing 506 entries to get it while the kids whine for mommy, dinner burns and the laundry gets backed up?

Because we’re giving away a cool new electronic toy? That justifies it? “Oh…well…she could win an iPad. Isn’t that worth the time suck?”

She could.

And why do we sink our $3 or $5 into these group giveaways anyway?

Why not just buy something and give it away ourselves?

We’ll get to that in a sec.

When Google+ pages was new on the scene, I blindly entered After Bedtime Blog as a sponsor for a giveaway that promised to give one lucky mom some crap gift, I can’t remember, and promised the sponsors a quick way to build a community on Google +.

After Bedtime Blog was circled 256 times during the giveaway.

So why did I invest my $5 into this group giveaway asking for a simple G+ page circle in return?

Community building.

Following increase.

Call it what you like. It’s all about increasing your reach across the web.

Getting more exposure to your blog to increase your blog traffic and build your brand awareness.

Why didn’t I just buy something and give it away myself in return for the blog’s G+ page being circled?

1. I don’t have the same reach alone as I would when joining 80 other sponsors.

2. I don’t have the time to invest in managing a big ticket prize giveaway myself.

3. I sure as hell don’t have $500 to shell out to giveaway an iPad.

And what was the payoff from this group giveaway? After Bedtime Blog’s G+ page has 256 “followers” that are in no way engaged with me nor am I engaged with them. I did try to work it when it was fresh and newly followed, but how do you engage with 256 people you’ve never said hello too? It’s just me talking and them ignoring.

And I can’t blame them for ignoring…I do the same damn thing.


If I don’t know you, and I enter your giveaway where I have to like, follow, circle and subscribe to 79 other people, I won’t have time to get to know you honey.

I’m too busy trying to win a damn prize.

I came across this interesting post on ComLuv.com  According to Mark Masters of  the ID Group,

“Social Media Competitions Suck At Building New Customers”

And ya know what? The same goes for building a community around your mommy blog.

I know, you’re a busy mama and group giveaways hosted by someone else seems like the ideal way to build your stats to impress the PR folks while you’re busy scrubbing the tub.

I hear ya sister, truly I do.

I don’t blame you either.

I’m just saying, I am never sticking my $5 into a group giveaway again.

Not because I had a bad time that one time I did do it.


It’s because I know that as an entrant, I don’t have a moment to give a damn about you or your blog.

I want that prize and I need to follow ever Michael Jackson fan on the globe for a chance to win.

Final Words:

Being a blogging mom is busy enough. There’s better ways to build our communities.

Nothing worth it comes easy.

Well, nothing except smooth legs and hidden love handles…but even then you’ve got to find time for.

Story Time for Moms – Shaved Legs
Get More: Story Time for Moms – Shaved Legs

Art Credit: © Leah McDaniel

34 Responses to Why I’m Saying NO to Mom Blog Group Giveaways

  • Alison says:

    Yes, group giveaways are a time suck. And personally, I don’t like Liking FB pages with my personal profile, I do it via my blog’s page, but too bad, it doesn’t count as a like.

    I admit, with my 9-cookbook giveaway, I did ask people to follow the cookbook authors via FB, Twitter and Pinterest, although not mandatory. The only reason I did that was because I was getting those prizes and shipping, for free. I didn’t have to do any reviews, I didn’t have to buy the books. I just had to sit down, connect with these authors and ask them to sponsor a book. In return, I’ll do some pimping.

    That’s, er, okay right? Ahem.

    But no, I won’t pay to participate in a group giveaway. In fact, I am limiting my giveaways to once every 3 months at most.
    Alison recently posted..ThreeMy Profile

    • Vanita Cyril says:

      lol Alison, there’s nothing wrong with hosting giveaways and pimping the sponsor.
      i’m just saying, a blog can’t benefit from the group giveaways where u have to like everyone and their daddy’s best friend’s mama.
      seriously, where would i, a work at home mom blogger with preschoolers running my days, find time to read a blog and get to know the blogger if i’m busy liking everyone else sponsoring the giveaway. why would we do it to fellow mamas?
      Vanita Cyril recently posted..Why I’m Saying NO to Mom Blog Group GiveawaysMy Profile

  • Vidya Sury says:

    Just staying on top of the daily routine is such a challenge. Imagine running around entering giveaways. :-) The only giveaways I do enter are the ones that only need a comment answering a question, that too at a blog I visit regularly. I’ve relented and entered rafflecopter giveaways a couple of times and won a book once :D The rare giveaways I do on my own blog – I do request facebook likes for the giver, who is usually a regular visitor and only insist on a tweet. Nothing tough

    I can imagine the group thingies. I once got invited by a twitter follower to enter a massive giveaway where I was expected to like/tweet about thirty people AND come back and prove it. Eeesh.

    Definitely more productive ways to spend the time! :D You are right about not wasting time doing those things. They are not even like blind dates.:D Which I don’t advocate anyway.

    Vidya Sury recently posted..Postponing JoyMy Profile

  • You always make me go, “YEAH!” when I read your posts. I am so on board with you. All of that extraneous junk makes me want to scream. You end up clicking on 18,000 different things and then you forget what you were even trying to win in the first place. When I’m giving away stuff I hate feeling like people are just passing through to win something, too. I know I’ll never see half of those people again. I’d much rather have folks who are actually interested in what I’m saying.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted..I’m Slightly NervousMy Profile

  • Laura says:

    Keeping it real as usual!! That’s why I love reading your posts. I’m guilty of this not going to lie but I never enter them, seriously who has the time. I do save my good prizes for my readers :).
    Laura recently posted..Annual Goal Setting WorksheetMy Profile

  • PragmaticMom says:

    I can see how the group giveaways look enticing especially when the prize is $500 or more. But you are right, if there are more than 5 or 6 things to do and if they are not easy, I never finish. It’s just too much work and the odds of winning are too low.
    PragmaticMom recently posted..Mom of the Month in Massachusetts!My Profile

  • Sue says:

    Howdy, now what I liked was the fun video, that was Likable/twittable/pinterestingly worthy of attention, oh and of course the post was oh-so-true.

  • Carly says:

    I enter A LOT of blog giveaways, but don’t much time on the group ones. I leave a comment, tweet, and move on. I don’t have an hour to do all of the entries. Even reading through all of the blog and social media names to see if I follow any takes away too much time that is better spent entering other giveaways. And since I’m constantly hitting the 2000 following limit on Twitter, I need to be selective about who I follow these days anyway.

    The day when sponsors realize that having inflated social media numbers doesn’t translate into “engagement”, i.e. higher profits, is inevitable. I’ll miss the blog giveaways, but this current cycle of buying building useless followers so that you get better giveaways to attract more useless followers is unsustainable.

  • Ann says:

    Yes, I have seen a couple of these. I didn’t know how they worked though. Thanks for explaining it. You know, reading this and other comments makes me want to rethink how I even host giveaways. It would be nice to promote to would be follows instead of just giveaway follows who will not be back.

  • Jenny says:

    Hello! I’m a new visitor to your blog and apparently have been living under a rock. Thank you for explaining to me this insane phenomenon I discovered only just tonight. I was doing some light research this evening on audience-building (“light research” = sitting in my bathrobe in my 9-year-old’s bed eating turkey pepperoni while surfing the Web). My god, I came across one too many “mom blogs” that were so light on substance and so heavy on competitons and giveaways that it gave me a real *bleck* feeling. Is this what it’s come to? I don’t get it, especially the blogs I’d see that had smart little names that sounded like they once had some real personality. Who would think that by clicking on blogs with names like jennyandmikeshappylittleclan.com [not real!] that I’d get a bunch of iPad offers, reviews of anti-perspirant, and invitations to join up with some group weight-loss challenge? It just seems kind of depressing, and I don’t get it, and it freaked me out. However, between my turkey pepperoni, your blog about the whole thing, and that little video snippet, I think I’m okay now. Thanks. :)
    Jenny recently posted..Why (Our) “Redshirting” Is None of Your BeeswaxMy Profile

  • Mayura says:

    Hi Van,

    I think I have nothing much to say as you have said it all :D lol…

    Instead of giveaways I’d love knowing folks so I can be there for their birthday parties when I know ‘em well, to have some great time and eat some cakes (or pancakes?!).

    Any page. blog or whatever goes with people and if people are all idle there then that’s worse than not havin’ a page if no one taking anything or engaging, right? ;)

    PM: Now where’s my cake for last year? ;)

    Mayura recently posted..How to Schedule Your Social Media Updates with BufferMy Profile

  • I couldn’t agree more. Although I did win a physic reading over at Going A-Musing!! It will take place on Thurs. But of course you’re not talking about blogs like Vidya!!
    Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted..5 Ways I Found Balance In ThailandMy Profile

    • Vanita Cyril says:

      i love vidya’s giveaways and i dont think she’s ever been a sponsor on a group giveaway.

      and u know it’s not that the giveaways are bad, i’m just saying i would never invest my $5 into being a sponsor on a group giveaway. it’s too much like a one night stand. no one will remember me or my blog tomorrow.

      that’s right! u did win a reading with Mystic Tarot! Congrats! you are going to love Kate.
      Vanita Cyril recently posted..Why I’m Saying NO to Mom Blog Group GiveawaysMy Profile

  • JanBierens says:

    Only fun when you have nothing really to do. It’s just to much work to keep up with things. I say it’s not worth the investment. Not from the organizers point of view or the person spending a couple of bucks…
    I noticed them too, but i have never participated in them. What I saw was the same people participating on each other sites and raffles. Just like ‘we’ do, commenting on each other blog posts. It’s the same – in a way – except it does not costs any money.

    Or am I missing the whole point here?
    JanBierens recently posted..How to get Great Blogging IdeasMy Profile

  • Alex says:

    I’m on the fence on this one. As a reader, I LOVE entering contests and giveaways, although I stay away from most of the really huge ones (iPad, etc.) because the chances of winning are too low for all the work you have to do. I do interact with the blogs I’ve followed from that, I read the emails, etc.

    However, with my own blog, which I just started, I don’t really want to pay any entrance fees to get in on these huge things, but I am signed up for a couple of smaller ones that were free. I have also made a commitment to only make posts with some kind of personal content, even if they are a product review, contest, or deal, because I want my readers to know me and come back because they are entertained as well as educated on deals, freebies, etc. We’ll see how it goes! I’m new to this, like I said, so maybe I’m just being silly :p

    • Vanita Cyril says:

      i like entering giveaways too girl, i’m just wary of the group ones and sharing what the real deal is for an entrant. i’ll tell you what prompted this post, my bloggy girlfriend suggested i enter a group giveaway with her for only $5 and i asked, well would we be giving away and she said an ipad. so let’s say $400 divided by $5, that’s 80 sponsors, all asking for likes, follows, tweets. who’s going to have time to notice me when they’re doing all of that?

      and welcome to blogging Alex! you’ve got the right idea girl, not silly at all!
      Vanita Cyril recently posted..Shed Negativity From Your Life (And Your Blog)My Profile

  • laurie says:

    Sick on the couch for a few weeks so thought I would do these sweeps. It was not long before Twitter ,Pinterest, and FB were not happy about me posting. Pinterest said I needed more followers before I could post anything else. Your right I never really read much that had to do with the blog itself that I was on, only what I had to so I was entered to win. I did win a $100 prize right away so it made me want to try it again. I’ve read more on your blog than any of those I entered on. Doing 20 min. hitting the keys till you feel your fingers are numb is maddening. To much time rechecking to see if I’d won. I’m now over them can get off the couch and get a life again without the sweeps. Will continue to enjoy your blog.

  • I wrote about this several months ago and like on of the commentors mentioned a lot of the group giveaways have an option of either paying $2-5 or $10 to be in it or free if you do a post about it prior to the start and tweet etc. What I am finding is that so many bloggers are doing this just to raise their stats and so these inflated stats are not even true factors anymore for the reason that say one of the 50 pages you have to like on FB has no likes before these types of partnering ventures. Well after 40 or so they now have 8000 Likes but if you go to their FB page there are hardly any comments, no interaction at all. This is because these people did not even need to visit the page they just like it right from a group post where they just click like, like ,like etc. So they never visit any of those pages and they are not real fans just something bought for show you would say. PR firms are getting privy to this and taking notice. I know as a review blogger I have received some pretty sweet sponsors all by my little lonesome and one thing they tell me is they like how I use original photography and really review and use the products. It makes a difference. So many use stock photos and then the bloggers that just host joint giveaway after joint giveaway have no credibility, they simply copy and paste. Nothing on the blog is original. So while at first I though it was to appear to be bigger to PR companies I have now found what it is that they are jumping on is the advertising that they get paid just to have someone click on their website, that is it and that I believe it what they are doing The CPM is it? Myself, I won’t do these and like I said I have awesome giveaways and my fans and readers have real chances of winning not like being struck by lightning . I just think the people entering would get wise and see the more bloggers that do this the less the chance of winning and it is now going to be like entering the Publishers Clearing House. You would think after seeing a decline in the amount of individual winners they would notice and boycott but it does not appear that way and so many bloggers are ready to sell out for stats.

  • Amanda says:

    I know I am late to the game, but I wanted to put my two cents in anyway. I completely agree that giveaways sponsored by a group of people are a bad idea to get people who are really interested in what you have to say and are engaged in your content. I was asked to join a group of 8 other bloggers for a giveaway, but backed down because I don’t want my blog to be some sort of “giveaway machine” where people are only interested in my blog for my giveaways. The group is now boasting that they have a huge list of companies who want them to host giveaways, seriously, about 8 companies and pretty much ever review they do comes with a giveaway. To me that just dilutes the quality of your content. Although my blog focuses on a tight shopping-minded niche, I want to be recognized for my personality and writing, ya know what I mean? This turned into a bit of a mini-rant and I do apologize. I suppose this was weighing heavy on me!
    Amanda recently posted..Clubs of America – An Awesome “Of the Month” Subscription Service!My Profile

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Vanita Cyril

Vanita Cyril

Entrepreneur | WAH Mom | Supporter of Mom Entrepreneurs Everywhere

I'm one wicked SEO demystifying, WordPress theme designing WAH Mom who tweets, pins, blogs and conquers the world while simultaneously searching for blankies, proof reading English assignments and burning dinner.

Yes, I do burn dinner daily.



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