When WordPress first introduced a blogging award on one of its early online blogging courses, I thought it was one of the best ideas they’d come up with.
Not only was it a way of introducing student bloggers to each other, but also to the wider blogging community. For most of those who participated, they helped gain more followers, more ‘likes’ and more comments.
If like me you remember ‘chain letters’, blogging awards work in much the same manner.
Should we accept blogging awards if they come with demands?
I remember how delighted I was when I got a comment informing me that my blog had been nominated to receive an award.
Given that I’d only been blogging for a few months, that comment produced a big smile on my face. I spent the next few hours telling everyone I knew that my blog had already been nominated for a blogging award.
Now faced with a list of demands (as I saw it) of what I had to do if I wanted to accept the award, I duly wrote my post. This involved answering lots of questions, mentioning and linking back to the blogger who had nominated me, and nominating another 15 bloggers for the award.
Weeks after that first award post was published, I was delighted with the results it had produced. Not only had the award nomination gained my blog lots of new followers, but it had boosted my confidence in becoming a blogger.
The whole process had been fun to do. People got to know more about me from the questions being asked. My blog stats rocketed and, most importantly of all, I was able to pass on the good fortune of the award nomination to other bloggers.
The snowball effect
Of course, more followers meant more comments. More followers also meant more awards, but these were different from the first award I’d been nominated for.
I asked myself if bloggers were now making up their own awards and whether or not it was a good thing.
As the award nominations came in, my writing time started to get swallowed up with writing posts and answering questions about nothing else but accepting blogging awards.
New award nominations were popping up in my email box, daily. As the whole thing snowballed, they started to become more of a problem, rather than of help to me.
Please make no mistake about it, blogging awards are a great way to promote new bloggers and put them in touch with lots of other bloggers. They can help build up blogging communities and put you in front of brand new audiences, but they do come with a downside.
Should bloggers invent new blogging awards?
I even went as far as to invent my own award – ‘The Mildred Awards’ which, at the time, went on to become one of my most viewed and commented-on blog posts.
In the early days of blogging, these awards can propel both you and your blog, but be careful in allowing them to take over your blog.
Ask yourself if your readers are beginning to get fed up with reading post after post about awards you’ve been nominated for. Are the people you’re passing on the awards to getting fed up with being nominated by you all the time?
Are you passing on awards between each other by nominating the same bloggers all the time? Does that look good? Or do you do it because you don’t want to upset anybody?
When I started getting behind with accepting awards, I began 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?
How a milestone helped.
In February 2015 (on the first anniversary of my blog) I decided it was time for my blog to go award-free. I’d seen other bloggers do the same thing, and I knew it was time for me to accept that blogging awards had done their job for me and my blog. It was time for my blog to move on.
I wrote and published The ‘Mildred Awards’ post and made the announcement that my blog was now ‘award-free.’
I can’t tell you just how good that made me feel. I felt as if I’d taken a huge weight off my shoulders. After all, I had come to the world of blogging to write about anything I felt like writing about – not just about awards.
However, that did not stop the award nominations from coming in.
How to deal with bloggers who keep nominating you for awards when your blog is award-free.
Of course, I thanked people for nominating me and informed them that my blog had gone ‘award-free.’ Most were happy with my decision, but there were a few who saw it as a bit of an insult that I was not accepting their nomination. One blogger even went as far as to say that they were really disappointed that I was not taking the award and that they were unfollowing my blog!
That was a tough conversation, 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 ‘Mildred Awards. post) to know my blog was now award-free?
I duly put together the following image and displayed it on my blog.
You’ll see it on my widget bar to the right of this post. (Scroll down to see it). It hasn’t stopped award nominations coming in, but it has drastically cut them.
Do blogging awards work?
Yes, they do. However, I believe they have their time and place in the blogging world, and my advice is to let them go once they have done their work in establishing both you and your blog. Do you agree?
How to award bloggers without nominating them for an award.
There are many other ways bloggers can reward each other. For example, visiting blogs and reading posts on a regular basis.
However, for me, the best award is leaving good meaningful comments on each other’s blog posts. You don’t need to do this on every single blog post you read. One good meaningful comment every once in a while is far better than no comments or lots of short comments that don’t really say much.
Instead of leaving comments such as ‘Great Post, ‘Great Tips’, ‘Great story’ or ‘Well done,’ write a few sentences saying why you thought it was a great post or such a good read.
What was it about the post that stood out for you?
What is it about the post that makes it such a ‘good post’?
Which tips did you enjoy the most, and why? Have you tried any of the tips out? Do you have any new ones you can add?
Leave a comment that gives the writer more reply options other than just being able to reply ‘Thank you.”
I believe this is one of the best awards you can give other bloggers. Do you agree?
The kind of comments you leave on other blog posts act as an indication of who you are, what kind of blogger you are, and whether or not your blog is worth checking out and following.Hugh W. Roberts – February 2015
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 posts on a blog? I’d love to know your thoughts. Join in the debate by leaving your comments in the comments section.
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