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 are 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 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 over on the widget bar.

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 author, writer and blogger Sally Cronin. I’ve even gone so far as to invent another new award, The Men’s Really Hat Award, in response to a 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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152 thoughts

  1. Accepting and passing on these awards have never brought me any new followers. Mostly I have responded out of respect for the person who nominated me. But I do feel they are at odds with the content of my blog, as I think one or two other commenter mentioned. I would prefer not to take part in many cases but don’t have the heart to say no to someone who has been kind enough to nominate me. Like you, I think it may be time to go award free. And it does give a little warm glow to be nominated, there’s no denying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting in that these awards have never brought you any new followers, Ali. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone not get at least a few new followers from it. Of course there is always the chance that those nominated in the awards already follow you. I suppose it depends on how many awards posts you have participated in and when. I know that in my early days of blogging they were a great source of adding followers and connecting with new bloggers, but I think that dwindles as your blog becomes more established.

      I completely agree with you, and the others who have mentioned it, that not all blogs are suited to these awards.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think my blog was already quite well established when I got my first award. I think I always knew most of the Bloggers on the lists, but I could be wrong. It never made a noticeable difference anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was an earlier comment that these awards were first created and awarded to those blogs that had under 250 followers. Those rules seem to have gone now and I think that is why we’ve seen a huge influx of them. If they went back to only applying to blogs with less 250 followers then I’m sure they would benefit everyone in their early days of blogging. That’s why I think they start to have less of an effect after a certain milestone for a blog has passed.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with what you say although, right from day one, I’ve always visited other blogs and commented on them. I think the awards are an added bonus for gaining followers and meeting new bloggers, but once they’ve done their job then for me it’s time to move on from them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent advice, Hugh. Awards do indeed have a time and place in a blogger’s life. I was nominated and accepted several “Back in the day” and although I don’t have an awards-free blog, I currently thank the people who nominate me. I do accept “nominations” and challenges for events, which is different. Tweeted and stumbled Hugh! Happy Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Terri. I agree and think challenges are different to the awards but they too can become overwhelming. I tend to do the challenge once and then gracefully turn down the challenge if it comes to me again. However, like you, I always thank the blogger who has nominated me.

      Stumbled Upon is something I really need to get my head around. I’ve no idea how it works. It’s on my ‘to do’list.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent question Hugh, and one I haven’t abided by my own decision. I agree with everything you wrote here, and contemplated going award-free many times, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I remember receiving my first award, I was blown away and felt that I at least counted for something in the blogging world. Yes, it is time consuming to follow the protocol, yet I feel terrible refusing, and so I took on a path, sort of like Sally, and I do participate, but have stopped choosing ‘X’ amount of bloggers to pass along. I offer the award to all my blogging friends to help themselves, because if they are bloggers, they are all deserving. Again, with the exception, like you, for the #Girllovechallengeblog, I chose to answer all questions and pass it along, as it must have struck me interesting, as it did you, to inspire you to create the ‘Hard Hat’ challenge. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems many almost cross that line and go ‘award free’ but then tun back at the very last moment, Debby. Some commenters have even gone award free and then reversed that decision. I don’t refuse nominations because I always go back and thank anybody who nominates me but some do get a little upset if people they nominate then don’t carry out the rules of the award. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to go award free. That first award is always very special but, for many, the sparkle and excitement soon wears off especially when the same award is nominated over and over again.

      The Mens Hard Hat challenge was a bit of a spoof on my behalf, but it seems to have down very well with everyone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can truly understand why a blogger would want to go award free. I received a few back for my old blog when I was still more active. But in all honesty the acceptance post feels more like a bit of blogging homework than anything else to write. I Think I should just declare my current blog award free, not that I think I’d get that many awards with my current blogging schedule.

    When they are for a blogger I particularly love, I love reading them. I like reading the little questions bloggers answer on them (even if I don’t like answering them myself)

    Anyway – I think they have their place in the blogging world, as you have mentioned. + I think awarding a blogger with an award is an excellent way to get that certain bloggers attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it starts to become a bit of a trawl I think that is a good point to go award free. Many find that decision quite hard to make and some have even reversed their decision, but so long as we all thank the person who has nominated us then I think there’s no harm done if we say ‘no thank-you’ because our blog is award free. There are, after-all, many other ways we can gave bloggers attention and I’ll be writing and publishing a post about that, hopefully quite soon. 🙂

      Like

  5. Interesting topic. Initially awards were interesting, but then they weren’t. I actually included this in BIG bold letters in a poem all about Me in my “Not so Secret” section (which is my “About Me” page.
    I’ve had “Liebster” six whole times
    So now that I’m immune it’s fine.
    People probably don’t read it – but it is there. Glad to say haven’t had one for long, long time, but that may be because I am not interesting enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think the interest in this subject is very interesting in itself, Claudette. I’ve had a great cross section of comments on the subject giving some very good reasons why or why not blogs have gone award free.

      Again, you’ve hit on the fact that these awards tend to very appealing and interesting in their early days but, after that, then for many they can lose their appeal.
      At least you have a page stating you are award free.Many (including myself until a few days ago) don’t and that can add to the disappointment when somebody turns down an award.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great topic, Hugh. I loved the first awards I received, but I made it a point of always contacting the people I was thinking of nominating ahead, to make sure they were interested in the award and had the time to take part (as some can be very time consuming). I quickly got to the point where not only it took a lot of my time but I couldn’t find people prepared to accept them and I decided to go award free. I have noticed that it doesn’t matter if you have a widget or not, people will still nominate you regardless (although I must admit that I had some many widgets in my old blog that’s not surprising people wouldn’t notice them all). It’s a matter of priorities. If one award I particularly like the idea of comes along I might pass it on, but… I prefer (must try and make time for that) to dedicate a post to bloggers I follow every so often…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a funny feeling this was going to be a great topic, Olga. Seems everyone has a view about it and I’m certainly loving that very much.

      I totally agree with you that these awards can take up a lot of time. I can remember writing my first awards post and not really caring about the time because I thought that would be it for a while. Then another award came in, and another, and…you get the picture. They’ve certainly done their work for me over the many months I accepted them and I would never say no to anybody to not participate in at least a few. However, they can become overwhelming and I think have lost what they were originally suppose to do in that they were a form of gaining and getting to know more bloggers for those blogs that had less than 250 followers.
      Nevertheless, many people still seem to enjoy participating in them and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
      I’ve only had my ‘award free’ widget for a few days and so far no more nominations, but I’m sure you are right and that a few will still come in.

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  7. Just adding my bit in as a new blogger. This is all very interesting. I have been nominated for one which I accepted ‘cos I’m new to this and it seemed like a good thing to do. I spent quite a bit of time looking into it. However, I changed the rules in how I responded. Limited the question answering to make it more manageable. Nominated other bloggers with a statement about what I liked about their blog. It somehow seemed more respectful and meaningful to do that. And I wrote a follow up post of an Ode to the award. That was probably more fun. It did not feel right to include an onerous list of questions and conditions so I left that bit out, leaving it up to each person to do what they wanted. I did let each of them know I had nominated them. Not sure what I will do if ever I get another nomination. An award page sounds like a good idea. There was a spin off to one of my nominations. Jane Basil of Making it Write was inspired to develop a ‘No Awards Award’. I did get some new followers and found some other very interesting blogs to follow myself as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome! It’s so very nice to hear from somebody who is a new blogger about this subject.
      I can guarantee that if you are new to blogging then these awards are a wonderful and fantastic opportunity to gain followers and get to know many other bloggers. I can also guarantee that you will get nominated again. Once that first award comes in then others usually follow. I’ve seen some bloggers write up to four posts a week accepting nominations and passing them on. Of course it does depend in how you respond to them and what your requirements are when nominating other people, but they can certainly be great fun in the beginning.

      I don’t have an awards page myself but do display my ‘award free’ blog logo. However, it probably won’t stop the odd nomination coming in and I’ll deal with them as and when they do. I’ll certainly contact any blogger who nominates me and thank them.
      It’s great to hear you got some new followers and that you’ve also found some other interesting blogs. I think that’s what these awards are all about.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. There are definitely pros and cons to awards and circulating challenges. One thing I’ve noticed is that they are more fun when there is a feeling of flexibility–that people can choose to run with any follow up aspect or not and that if you do run with it, adding your own personal flare is OK .. in fact it’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

  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. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. 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.

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    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 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 ?

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    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.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. 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.

    Like

    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.

      Liked by 1 person

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