Blogging Awards – Do They Work?



Blogging Awards-2

At the time of writing this, it’s well and truly awards season what with The Baftas, The Oscars, The Brits, The Soaps Awards, The Mildreds…

‘Screech…come to a grinding halt!’ The Mildreds? What the heck is The Mildreds? I’ll come to that shortly, but for now, I want to delve into the wonderful world of blogging awards and how they can gain you lots of followers as well as lose you valuable writing time.

I remember how delighted I was when I got a message from another blogger informing me they were nominating my blog for an award. That comment lifted me a few inches off the ground and I spent the next few hours telling everyone I knew that my blog had been nominated for an award. That was during my very early days of blogging and even though I was faced with a list of ‘demands/ what I had to do’ if I wanted to accept the award, I duly wrote my post, answered lots of questions from the blogger who nominated me and nominated another 15 bloggers for the award.

Weeks after that first award I was delighted with what had happened. Not only had being nominated for the award brought my blogs lots of new followers, but I was able to pass on the award and be thanked by those bloggers I’d nominated, which in turn brought me even more followers.

These awards were fun to do.  People got to know more about me from the questions being asked, my blog stats were rocketing and, most importantly of all, I was able to pass on the good fortune that blogging awards brought to other bloggers.

Of course, more followers meant more comments. More followers also meant more awards and, before I knew it, my writing time was starting to be swallowed up by answering comments and writing posts about nothing else but accepting awards.

Blogging awards are a great way to promote your own blog as well as put you in touch with lots of other bloggers. They can help build up your blogging community and get you into the blogging communities of other bloggers. I even went further and invented my own Awards ‘The Mildred Awards’ which became my most viewed and commented-on post for many months. In the early days of blogging these awards can do wonders for both you and your blog, but be careful and don’t allow them to completely take over your blog.

When I started getting behind with accepting awards I had been nominated for, I started to panic. What would people think if I didn’t accept their award? Would I start to lose followers because I wasn’t passing the award on? Would people stop nominating my blog for awards?

In February 2015, I decided it was time for my blog to go award free. I’d seen other bloggers do it and I knew it was time for me to accept that blogging awards had done their job for my blog. I wrote and published The ‘Mildred Awards’ post and made the announcement that my blog was now ‘award free.’ I was then able to move on and get on with the rest of my writing. After all, that is what I had come here to do.

However, that did not stop awards coming in. Of course, I thanked people for nominating me and announced to them that I had gone ‘award free.’ Most were happy with my decision but there were a few who saw it as an insult. In fact, one blogger even went as far as to say that they were really disappointed that I was not accepting the award and that they were unfollowing my blog!

That was a tough conversation I had with that particular blogger, but I also saw that I was partly to blame. Why? Well, although I’d announced in February 2015 that my blog was now award free, there was nothing else on my blog stating my decision. How could I possibly expect anyone (having not read the post) to know I was now award free? Hence, I put together a widget which announces I am award free which you will see on one of the widget bars at the foot of my blog.

Whilst I don’t accept awards anymore, it doesn’t stop me accepting the odd one. I recently accepted a Champion Award given to me by the author, writer and blogger Sally Cronin. I’ve even gone so far as to invent another new award, The Men’s Really Hard Hat Award, in response to an award currently doing the circuit which can only be given to female bloggers. ‘The Men’s Really Hard Hat Award’ is a spoof award that makes only one demand on those I nominated. It’s had hundreds of views and some really wonderful comments.

So, should you accept blogging awards?  Yes, you should. However, they have their time and place in the blogging world and, as far as I am concerned, my advice is to let them go once they have done their work in establishing both you and your blog. I know some will disagree with me and that’s why I want to know your thoughts.

What about you? Is there anything you particularly like or dislike about blogging awards? Have they worked for you? Have you ever accepted them? If not, why not?  Do you get fed up with seeing award after award post on a blog? I’d love to know your thoughts.

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  1. Hi Hugh,
    Interesting post. In my blogging journey so far I have been fascinated to see some bloggers who are new to visiting my blog & somehow manage to like quite a few posts in what seems to be double quick time. Invariably these people do not comment on any of them so this tends to make me wonder have they really looked properly at it.
    I have no experience of awards but I imagine i would be sceptical of being nominated for an award by a blogger
    who has liked my posts without really looking and engaging with me.
    This is of course only my view.

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for your comments on this post.

      I’ve also had those bloggers visit who either like a post within seconds of me publishing it, or who ‘like’ lots of my posts within a few seconds of each other and without leaving any comments on any of them. Then there are the ones who leave a comment such as ‘great post’ on lots of my posts but never tell me why it’s great. I often see the same blogger(s) do the same on other blogs.

      Blogging awards (such as The Sunshine Blogging Award) are really good when first starting out as a blogger. They help connect bloggers together and can bring in lots of followers and comments. They can also help build your blogging community. However, they can take up a vast amount of time in writing new posts as you usually have to pass the award along and nominate several other bloggers for the award. I stopped accepting them after a year because I could no longer see them as a benefit. Once I felt established as a blogger, I knew it was time to no longer participate in them. By then, I knew I wanted to continue to blog and had built up a good following and community (of course, I also had to other things to help build my readership).

      1. Thanks very much Hugh for such a prompt response. So far there have been times when I am conscious that there have been people or posts I have promised to get back to and I try my level best to keep on top. I know an award hasn’t been mentioned but somehow I feel it may not be for me, we shall see. I may feel differently when I get into, what is my understanding of what blogging means to me.

        1. You’re doing it correctly, Margaret. There will come a point when you know you will need to decide if blogging is or isn’t for you. 80% of those who start a blog have usually given up on it (for various reasons) within the first 12 months. That increases to nearly 90% within the first 24 months. Some do come back to it, but most of them don’t stay long. If you allow it, blogging can become overwhelming and make you feel guilty for not keeping up reading and commenting on posts. It should never come to that, but always be about fun and enjoyment.

        2. Yes, coming up to the 2 year mark soon. We shall have to see.
          So far I do feel the process has helped my personal growth and mostly I have enjoyed it. We shall have to see. I need to do my homework.

  2. How very opportune – there’s a bit of a conversation along these lines going on at the moment in my little corner of blogland. Totally with you.
    I just popped over following a link from Kyt Wright about the doggies – I’ll get back to that now!

  3. The nicest thing about an award for me, is being able to answer the questions so my readers learn a little bit more about me. I like interviews, and being nominated for a blogging award is a little bit like that. I have accepted a few, but did not see any change in the popularity of my blog, maybe that’s because I didn’t follow all the rules (or because I’m in my third year of blogging with Roaming About).

    1. It could be for not following the rules, but I think these blogging awards usually come in waves during the early stages of blogging and it is then that they have the most effect. As our blogs mature, awards posts become less effective in bringing in more visitors and followers as they are not seen as unique posts. Many readers will have seen the same awards before and, although your answers are going to be different, it’s more to do with the format of what they are reading. They can take up a considerable amount of time to respond to and read and, as we all know, time is of the essence these days, especially when we’re following lots more blogs than we were in our early days of blogging.

  4. When I started blogging I was desperate for an award and I would have done almost anything to get a nomination! But once I got a nomination, it served more of a purpose to share the blogs of others than to change my output or content.

    It’s a lovely acknowledgement but I don’t feel it really changes the content, so I too am an award free blog, although ironically I love reading posts that address their nominations.

    1. I think the whole awards idea was created by WordPress for those new to blogging so they could network with other bloggers. It certainly got me many follows and I followed back many other blogs. However, after a while, the award nominations have done their work and I think that’s the time to move on from them. They are a great idea and I’d always recommend new bloggers to give them a try.

      Thanks for your comment and for joining in the debate, Tyrone.

  5. I have never been nominated for any award since I started .Does that mean that my blog is not interesting ? But my followers have been increased,likes on blog have been increased.So does that mean,I am not very well known in blogging circle ? But there are fellas who regularly admire my content.So what could be the reason that I have not been nominated yet ?Can you suggest ?

    1. No, not at all. Nobody should ever measure their blog success by the number of awards their blog has been nominated for.

      WordPress first created a blog award nomination, a few years ago, as an incentive for new bloggers to get noticed and gain more followers. The award has its merits during the first few months of blogging but, after that, it loses its appeal to many people who see awards as nothing more than a chain letter. Unfortunately, many bloggers went on to create their own awards and there are now hundreds of these awards doing the rounds on WordPress. Your blog may well have been nominated in the past but you simply do not know about it. One of the biggest mistakes people do when nominating other bloggers is that they create a pingback, to the blog they are nominating, but link the pingback to a blog’s home page. Pingbacks only really work by linking to a particular post or the ‘about me’ page of a blogger. If linked to a blog’s home page then the blogger gets no notification that their blog has been linked to.

      Many bloggers, like myself, have chosen to go ‘award free.’ The reason is that creating posts to accept these awards can take up vasts amount of time. I almost ended up creating little but blog award acceptance posts! When I made the announcement I told my followers that the best award they can give me is to comment on some of my posts. That seems to work very well, although I still do get the odd award nomination. When that happens I always thank the blogger who has nominated me and explain that my blog is now ‘award free.’

      I hope that helps? I really would not worry about it. It sounds to me as if you are already doing a splendid job with your blog.

  6. They can be fun, but I do one type of award once. For example, I was nominated for a particular award four different times from four different people. I did it the first time, but I didn’t do it again for the other times, telling them thank you but I didn’t want to be a hog, or something to that effect. I like doing different awards, just once. Some of the ones I did, I broke the rules, but I made it clear that I would. I made some slight changes. I felt it was more fun and playful that way. Also, made it interesting enough for me to do. I am careful of nominating others because the awards are like chain letters and people don’t like chain letters. Sure, the awards supposedly bring other people to your site, but I don’t think the awards bring enough to justify the time spent on them. That’s why I alter some awards so I cut the time spent and still show appreciation to the person who nominated me.

    1. Thanks for leaving your comments about this topic, Karina. I think many of the rules get broken for one reason or another. I agree that these awards are a great way to get to know new blogs and gain new followers, but I think they serve their time after the first year of blogging, otherwise we could get up writing nothing but posts about accepting awards. They were only set up for the purpose of those new to blogging who were wanting to interact, build blogging communities, and gain new followers. For most, that participate, that is what they do, but then it is time to move on from them.
      I hope they’ll always be around so they can work their magic, but I think going ‘Award Free’ is a good idea after they have served their purpose.

  7. Great post Hugh on a subject that comes up a lot in blogland. I feel just the same as you, they are wonderful in the beginning, but it is easy to become immersed in posts about them as time goes by. They take an awful lot of work! I’ve got a policy now that I’ll always accept them, and acknowledge the award giver in a post to thank them and link to their blog, but I find the task of nominating impossible now as I honestly don’t know who to select. So I do a general sweep, which is probably a cop out, but I don’t know yet how best to handle it. And I haven’t gone so far as to go award free. A delicate balance, and what feels right I suppose. I’m shocked that you had that response from another blogger though, that they would be offended. I thought they were obligation free? Oh well, can’t win ’em all 😉 xx

    1. One of the reasons I was put off them was because of all the work they required, Sherri. I don’t mind the odd one every now and again, but when they all come on the one train it can become quite stressful trying to accept them all and writing new posts for them. I certainly think they have their time and place and they certainly do a great job in the early days of blogging.
      As for the blogger who unfollowed me because I would not write a post linking them to the award they had nominated me for, I just put it down to one of the rare occasions of blogging.

  8. This is interesting. I have been thinking about this since I was recently nominated for my first award. However, when I read the description about what was involved, I decided to acknowledge it and thank the person but pass on it. It’s a trade off, but I think for now I would rather write what I want to write about and accept that my followers likely won’t come as quickly. I have seen a number of other Awards Free blogs so I guess I do have some company! Thanks for your perspective, Hugh!

    1. Yes you do, Deb. My blog is now award free and, like you, I know of many other blogs that are also the same. At the end of the day it all comes down to how the person who owns the blog wants to deal with these awards. My only advice to anyone is to not let these awards stress you out. They are great for networking and gaining new followers when you first start out in the blogging world, but they do have their time frame.

  9. Blogging awards and challenges certainly have their place and are a great way of connecting with and celebrating other bloggers but time is precious and I don’t tend to do awards any more either, though like you I do make the odd exception, hence my recent #Girllove blog award… I tend to be a bit creative with my response to awards and challenges often interpreting them in my own way, (rules kind of lend themselves to being broken!!) I’m surprised to hear that one of your followers got so upset by your not accepting awards any more. I think awards are a little icing on our blogging cake that we can either leave on or omit depending on our circumstances, let’s face it these awards take a lot of precious time to write…… but as long as we thank the blogger in question, (which of course you would have done,) I can’t imagine what could have offended. All awards should come with an optional clause. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your input on this, Marje. It’s very much in line with what many others have said. At the end of the day it’s up to each and everyone of us as to how we deal with these awards. I’ve gone ‘award free’ for a number of reasons, but the most important reason was the time aspect. I think these awards have their place in the blog world and I do firmly believe that that time is towards the beginning of our blogging adventure.

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