Something That Has Been Bothering Me Lately

Ok I was really debating posting this post, but I've seen other fellow handmade shop owners tweeting about the same problem I am running into, so I figured what the heck I'll go for it.

We all are familiar with giveaways on everyone's blogs. We tweet about them and post them on our facebook walls. Usually more often then not when you participate in a giveaway you hope it drives more traffic to your shop or blog and you hope to reach a new crowd of people that you normally would not have reached on your own.

I love it when I see my product up for grabs on someone's blog. Its just so awesome getting to read everyone's comments hoping they get to win a little piece of my art for their home.

What I don't like is bloggers who I have never really communicated with or bloggers who have never made an attempt to get to know who I am sending me a "copy and paste" email asking if I can do a giveaway on their blog.


This happens a lot. I see it more from bloggers who don't have a handmade shop and who just strictly have a blog. This is why it leaves a bad taste in my mouth (side note: the below information does NOT have to do with blogs I decide to sponsor and do giveaways with. This is strictly just about people who contact me who have never spoken to me before):

• Every time you ask a shop owner to donate a product for giveaway on your blog you need to realize that you are not the only person asking them. I get an email at least once a week from bloggers who I don't even know asking me this request.

• Asking me to give away my hard earned work is a big deal. You want me to cover cost of my materials, my time to make it, and any shipping fees that I need to cover to send my item to your winner. If I agreed to do a giveaway with every single person who contacted me I would probably be out hundreds of dollars in materials costs and shipping fees.

• When so many people ask me to do a giveaway I feel as though that they are just looking out for themselves. More often than not the first "mandatory" entry for a giveaway is "be a follower of my blog" ("my blog" as in the  blogger who is hosting the giveaway, not MY personal blog) don't get me wrong, when I CHOOSE to sponsor somebody else and they make "following their blog" mandatory that is totally fine because I decided that I wanted to work with them. I value the blogger I am working with and respect the fact that they want that to be a mandatory entry. But when a blogger comes up to ME and asks ME to give something of MINE away for FREE and THEN has that be a mandatory entry then I feel as though you are just using my work to get yourself more followers.

• Don't get me wrong, I know when you send out emails to shop owners you are pretty much saying the same thing so I am not TOTALLY against the ol "copy and paste" method, but I am against it when the first 2 words of your email to me is "Hey There!" or "Hi Friend!". If you are going to send me a copy and paste email at LEAST put in there the name of my shop and MY own name. I've had had bloggers email the SAME email once a month for 3 months, finally I had to call them out on it.

• I once had someone beg me to do a giveaway on their blog. I finally agreed to it just because I couldn't take the harassment anymore. When they hosted my giveaway they did not link to a single piece of any of my social media sites. The only way to enter the giveaway was to follow all of HER personal links. If you are asking someone to do a giveaway please include ALL their links to make it worth wild for you and the shop owner giving away something.

• In other people's defense I have had 2 people so far pay for my items to giveaway, and for those people I thank you for appreciating my hard earned work :)

• The only thing worse than asking me to give something away on your blog is asking me to give you one of my products so you can "review" it. Again, I have no problem with people reviewing my items, but I'd rather decide who I want to give my items to. Would you walk into Macy's and say to the sales clerk "hey, want to give me that sweater over there for free? I'll tell everyone on my blog how awesome it is".

All I'm saying is, the next time someone turns you down for giving away something on your blog just see it from THEIR side. I normally only do giveaways with blogs I sponsor or people in the community that I have cross paths with. I also sometimes donate products for a giveaway that is for a good cause. But please realize that the shop owner has to take care of all their materials and shipping fees.

Sorry guys, just HAD to get that off my chest.

UPDATED: Just to clarify, I am not upset with any handmade buds who I have grown friendships with over the years :) you guys can ask me till you're blue in the face haha! This post was more so directed at people who don't follow my blog, twitter, or facebook, do not know ANYTHING about me and have never attempted to make contact with me prior to asking me to give something away on their blog. When those people are constantly sending me a "copy and paste" email I just feel as though all they want to do is gain more blog followers for themselves. I know when my handmade friends ask me to give something away on their blog (whether it be just because, for a birthday, a blogiversary or maybe they think I'm awesome) then I know you guys are truly looking out for me and wanting to share me with your readers which I totally love! :)