Beauty Blogging 101: To Giveaway or Not to Giveaway?

Hello again, dolls. First, I like to preface these types of posts by saying that I am by no means one of the most successful bloggers out there. I don’t write these posts necessarily because I’m expert, but because I think we should all share what we know about blogging. You might be thinking of doing a giveaway on your blog to increase traffic. Let’s take a minute to discuss the pros and cons of doing a giveaway.

Are giveaways really worth it?

You have to think of the costs and values of doing a giveaway. Better prizes attract more entries. This means more expense to you, but potentially more readers. By reaching out to companies you admire, you may be able to convince them to sponsor a giveaway. You get to do a giveaway at no cost to you, they get advertisement for the price of their product. It’s win-win. On the other hand, if you chose to purchase the products for your giveaway, you should be willing to think of how much you want to spend to attract x many new readers.

And how many new readers will I attract?

Unfortunately, this number is difficult to calculate. On my most successful giveaway, I had about 300 entries, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to readers. Many people are existing readers. Many people will enter your giveaway and never return to your page again except if they care to check the winner. Even if you get new Twitter followers as part of your giveaway, I find that many people make Twitter accounts specifically to enter giveaways, and likely to don’t check them like they do their personal accounts.

What about traffic? Will my blog get more views?

From experience, I can confirm that your blog will in fact, get more views. On one particular giveaway, in which I had less than 50 entries, my page views still doubled for the first few days. Keep in mind though, that this increase in traffic will not last longer than the giveaway and will probably start to decline even before the giveaway is finished.

Okay, I still want to do a giveaway. How can I get people to enter?

One major deterrent to people is having to do a thousand steps to enter a giveaway. I might be willing to follow your blog. I might be willing to comment on your blog. I might follow your Twitter or Instagram. But if you make following you on Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook a requirement to enter your giveaway–I’m not biting! I might not even have all those social media accountsΒ (personally, I don’t!) What you should do instead is give people options. Having multiple methods of entry is great, but it works better if your readers can pick and chose which method works best for them. Bonus points if you give them extra entries for following on more than one account.

Second tip that I have to get people to enter–list it on a giveaway site. There are thousands of new giveaways on the internet every day. Listing yours on a site that specializes in finding giveaways will help get yours noticed. I personally like to use Giveaway Promote.

Third tip: Allow readers to get extra entries by sharing your giveaway on social media. Maybe their friends and followers will enter too!

Final tips?

I have several final things that I want to say, so I’m going to list them out below:

  • Giveaways are a great way to reward your loyal readers, but they don’t always attract new ones
  • Prizes that work for a range of people and fit within your blog = happy readers. I know you think that particular shade of bright orange lipstick is so so chic, but will it be flattering on all your readers? Maybe instead, let them pick the shade from a particular brand or line.
  • When your giveaway is finished, alter the title of your post to reflect this. I like to put (CLOSED) next to the title. It’s kinda frustrating when you see a post on someone’s sidebar for a giveaway and see that it closed 6 months ago. Save your readers the extra click and having to read the post
  • Always honor your giveaway. It can be discouraging when only a few people enter your giveaway and you may wonder if it was worth it to give out a prize at all. But, I’ve seen bloggers that have had only a handful of entries (think less than 10) still give out the prize. And I think that’s really cool! Sure, no one will know if you decide not to give out the prize, butΒ doing so earns you respect (if only from me). Lastly, if you’re working with a company that wants at least x many new followers to do the giveaway, be up front about that. And if you come up short, you can write to the company and ask if they’d still be willing to give out a prize. You’d be surprised how often that can work out in your favor.

So what do you think? Have you ever done a giveaway? Would you consider doing one? Let me know in the comments below!

59 thoughts on “Beauty Blogging 101: To Giveaway or Not to Giveaway?

  1. This is a gret article. I was just considering whether or not I should try to have a giveaway on my blog, since I recently hit 100 subscribers…the pros and cons are certainly things to be carefully considered!

  2. Such a great post V – thanks so much for sharing your tips and advice, I personally found it really helpful!!! I’d definitely consider a give-away at some point in the future… possibly when I hit a certain number of views/followers etc. This will certainly come in mega handy on things to consider πŸ™‚ Karen X

  3. I’m really new to beauty blogging, er, or blogging at all, really! So I’ve been contemplating a giveaway to bump up my readership lately. This post is really useful – thanks so much! I’ll have a think and see if it’s something I can do, but this advice will certainly help me out. πŸ™‚

  4. Great post – super informative. I have had a lot of success reaching out to companies that I love, and that is the best! I definitely saw a ton more traffic to the blog, especially if the company who sponsored it shares it on their social sites, too.

    I also ran a giveaway where I bought some items (not even expensive items!) and it did cost me upwards $30-50 all together… between products, shipping, paid advertising to promote, etc. It is pretty costly and I have definitely cut back on running these types of giveaways.

    • That’s awesome! Something I really want to do as my blog gets older is to reach out to more companies instead of waiting for them to come to me. I’d love to know any tips or advice that you have

      • That is exactly what I did! I waited until we had some traction, then would reach out to the CS departments about a possible giveaway/review. They like when you review, of course! Be ready for some rejects (and some who don’t even answer… rude!) but there are a ton of companies who are super excited to team up πŸ™‚

  5. if I did a giveaway I think I’d do it more to reward my current viewers.. If i attract new ones that’s great, but I wouldn’t majorly advertise it because I’d want to reward people that actually follow and interact than to give a prize to someone that just made a fake account. πŸ™‚

    ps I nominated you for the sisterhood award! Check it out here!

  6. I am going to be doing two small giveaways on my channel soon. I plan on doing a giveaway for each 100 follower milestone. So, I am 2 giveaways behind (I just decided to do that this year, so I want to thank the 200+ people who have followed me and do two giveaways). I am going to be doing a book giveaway in Feb on a book that I reviewed and enjoyed. In March, I will do the second giveaway which will have a few small samples of beauty products or one or two full sized products. I cannot afford to send a big package of beauty products, but I can send a 5 USD (as in postage) package for my readers. I don’t know how much weight 5 USD will allow me, but I think it equates to the weight of 2 paperbacks. AS of right now, I am a quarter of the way towards another giveaway. I cannot wait! I really love that I can now afford to do giveaways on my channel to reward readers!

    • That’s so awesome! That was the other thing I forgot to mention: price of international shipping. Anyway, that’s so cool that you’re able to do that. Best wishes

  7. Fantastic post, doll. I have been iffy about doing a giveaway because im fairly new to the whole blogging thing. This post put things into perspective for me, so maybe ill try it out soon enough!

  8. I tried a sample giveaway–just to get rid of my absurd amount of samples and got one response! I find that there are so many beauty blogs out there, it’s diffucult to find a following. My personal blog gets much more traffic. Great advice in this post. You’re right on!

  9. When you do giveways personally, not sponsored do you do internationally since ive noticed a lot of people on wordpress are international. Also how do you select who wins if you have over a handful of applicants?

    • Honestly, I’ve had pretty good luck getting companies to sponsor the handful of giveaways that I’ve done so far, so I’ve never done a personal one. If I did, I’m not sure that I would offer it internationally due to the shipping costs. As for picking a winner with only a handful of entries, I either use Rafflecopter, which picks the winner for you, or if I don’t use Rafflecopter, then I have people comment to tell me that they’ve entered. When I do it by comments, I assign all the comments a number and ask someone else to pick a number between 1 and x. Hope this helps!

  10. thank you so much! I just started but I’ve always wanted to do a giveaway. I always enter them for my other favorite people but I never win. I’d like to make someone happy by giving them free stuff. I hope you don’t mind me reposting, I’d like to save it as a reference for when I hit a nice follower mark

  11. I really like the idea of giveaways rewarding loyal subscribers and readers! One of my fav giveaways was when I’d purchased a pricey foundation & brush and hated it and offered it up to a subscriber – my only criteria was whoever commented first. It was great to give them the opportunity to try something that didn’t work for me.

    It also annoys me when someone doing a giveaway insists on having you enter by liking/following on a bunch of specific social media sites that I often don’t have/use. I just don’t bother to enter. For me, some of my fav YouTubers and bloggers hardly ever do giveaways. That’s not my motivation for following them. I follow people who I enjoy.

    What a great discussion V! πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I hate having to enter on multiple social media accounts! I like to give my favorite bloggers shout outs on twitter, especially when they’re doing a giveaway, but something about that what you HAVE to do along with 7 other steps is a real turn off. Thanks for taking part in the discussion

  12. I’ve been thinking for a while about doing giveaways on my blog, which is linked to the local radio show I present. So I see them a great way to attract more listeners to the show as well as followers to the blog.
    Thanks for the hints and tips – and thanks for the ‘like’ on my latest post too x

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