A Note on Giveaways
Short version: I’m not going to be doing many more giveaways. I don’t believe that my target readers care about them, the time commitment for getting them posted and advertised is too great for the benefits, and I don’t care for the unintended and unexpected consequences.
Long version: If a blogger writes an uproarious, yet thought-provoking, commentary and no one reads it… what was the point?
As a brand-new blogger, realizing that people were reading my blog – that people actually cared about MY words, was intoxicating. Then companies started to notice that people actually cared about what I said. And they started offering to GIVE ME STUFF just so I could tell people what I thought about it. I joined some blogger groups to find out how to increase my reader base (and quite honestly get more stuff to review). And I discovered giveaways. So I did a few and I had very strict guidelines for myself as far as the types of giveaways in which I would participate. And that seemed to go okay. I participated in just a few giveaways – and only ones that I thought my readers would be like.
Then I went to the NFPA/FSFAPA Conference in June, and had a literally life-changing experience. (yes, I realize that is painfully cheesy, but it’s true) I realized that my life focus had been all wrong – it was no longer enough to be a CPA who is a foster parent; foster care advocacy needed to be my focus. There were a lot of details to work out, but I knew that this blog would be integral.
I also knew that I needed to increase my following, for two reasons:
- it’s difficult to be influential and affect change if you’re only talking to 12 people
- in order to work less and focus more on foster care advocacy, I have to replace at least some of that income. More readers still means more opportunities for sponsored posts and reviews.
So I vaulted onto the giveaway bandwagon. And I basically lost my mind AND my focus.
Yes, I’ve gained more facebook and twitter followers. But it’s hard to be proud of the numbers because I know that it’s not actually people who are interested in what I have to say. I actually no longer have a reliable way to measure how many people care what I’m thinking. And I would say that most of the “followers” I’ve added have no experience with or interest in child welfare (as evidenced by a recent rash of facebook comments that make me wonder “why are you even following me?”).
I sincerely apologize that it has taken me this long to realize how far I’ve detoured. SuperDad says I shouldn’t entirely swear off giveaways – that I should just go back to my initial very specific restrictions. I haven’t decided about that, but I’m sure I’ll let you know when I do.
Meanwhile, I have managed to narrow down my new direction – my purpose is going to be to advocate for and educate foster parents. I will have more information on that soon, but for now, this post has already gotten far too long.
- if you started following me for my earlier content and have continued following me in spite of the giveaways and lack of focus – thank you for sticking with me and I’ll try to do better from here on out.
- if you started following me because of the giveaways, but have become interested in foster care, adoption or transracial parenting – I am so glad you found me and I hope you’ll enjoy my renewed focus on what really matters to me.
- if you started following me because of the giveaways, and are only interested in giveaways – well… my feelings won’t be hurt if you realize you’ve found yourself on the wrong train.
Hint: It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.