Are Blog Giveaways Worth It?

Blog giveaways - are they real or a scam? Are they free? How to win free prizes?

I wanted to do something a little strange today, and address some basic information about how giveaways work. Due to a few emails that I have received recently it’s become clear that some of our readers are confused about how our giveaways work. It’s really quite understandable, because most people still haven’t even heard of blog giveaways. When you stumble upon them for the first time, it’s logical that you may be confused or even skeptical.

Blog givaways are they real? How to win? Are The sweepstakes free?

Are blog giveaways real?

Of course, I can’t say that every giveaway on every blog has been real. I can say that all of my blog giveaways are authentic, and the same is true for most other blogs.

How do bloggers afford to do giveaways?

Most blogs (mine included) that do giveaways regularly do not purchase the products themselves. The products are usually sent to the winner directly from the company who makes the product, or a retailer that sells the product. Though some bloggers do choose to buy products to giveaway to benefit their readers, or they giveaway items that they have created or just do not want any more.

Why do companies sponsor blog giveaways?

Primarily to increase exposure to their product and their brand. They typically choose bloggers who have a large readership and who has an audience that is a good match for their products. Also, to gain social media followers, to create a social “buzz”, and/or to get their product in the hands of new people.

Are blog giveaways free?

Yes! Legally, blog giveaways are considered sweepstakes which MUST be free to enter. On one or two occasions I have seen bloggers who are not aware of this who tried to charge per entry but requiring a fee to enter makes the giveaway a raffle as opposed to a sweepstakes, and raffles typically have to be registered with local government though that may vary by where you live. You will never see a giveaway here on Emily Reviews that requires any kind of cost or fee. I occasionally will refer to our giveaways as sweepstakes and/or contests on the blog or on social media because people use that terms when seeking out blog giveaways. However, our giveaways are sweepstakes and not contests. Contests require some sort of skill, where the winner is not chosen at random but is instead decided as “the best” such as a an art contest. In our giveaways the winner is always chosen at random (My entry form, giveaway tools, picks at random so every entry has an equal chance of being chosen).

I’ve been entering your blog sweepstakes for weeks and haven’t won anything.

This is the question/comment that I have been emailed about a few times recently. On rare occasion I’ve even seen this used as an attempt at “proof ” that our giveaways are fake. It is very possible to enter a lot of giveaways without winning anything. Therefore, if you have entered a lot of giveaways but haven’t won, that doesn’t work as proof that the giveaways are not fair or authentic. To understand how this is possible I will use an example with very simplified numbers. In truth, our giveaways do not all end with 1,00 entries, some are lower and others are higher.

Lets say that every single giveaway here at Emily Reviews ends with exactly 1,000 entries, and you do exactly 2 entries for each one. That means you have a 2 out of 1,000 odds of winning each giveaway. That is equivalent to a 1 in 500 odd, so to be statistically likely to win one giveaway, you would have to enter 500! However, it is just a statistically likelihood, so it’s still possible to enter 500 and for your entry to just not get drawn, or you may luck out and win your very first giveaway. It’s chance.

How do I increase my odds of winning?

You can dramatically increase your odds of winning by doing more entries for each giveaway. Here on my blog, we allow one tweet per day. Most of our giveaways run for roughly 14-16 days, so doing a tweet per day can gain you 15 entries. We typically only offer about 12 other entries and they are each done once per giveaway (not daily), so tweeting daily more than doubles your odds of winning even if you do ALL of the other entries. Lets say you do all 12 other entries, plus 13 daily tweets. Now you have 27 entries. So if the giveaway ends with 1,000 entries you now have a 25/1000 or you are 12.5 TIMES more likely to win than the person who only did two entries for that giveaway. However, this is still a 1 in 40 odds of winning if that giveaway has 1 winner and ends with 1,000 entries.

To further increase your odds of winning, enter giveaways with fewer total entries. We occasionally have giveaways end with only 600 or so entries. If you do 25 entries in that giveaway your odds are higher. We also sometimes have giveaways with multiple prizes. If a giveaway has two winners that doubles your odds of winning compared to a giveaway with just one prize and the same number of entries.

I think it probably goes without saying, but make sure you are not lying about doing entries, too! The entry form that I use (Giveaway Tools) has a verification system so if you claim to follow on Twitter but then unfollow before the winner is drawn then it will not allow that entry to be chosen as a winner because you are not in fact following as you claimed. Other entries are verified manually. We don’t let cheaters win!

Also, make sure you check your email regularly. We contact winners by email and they have 2 days to reply. If you’re entering giveaways but not checking your email you may have missed some notifications in which case the blogger will eventually choose a replacement winner.

How can I tell if a blog’s free sweepstakes are scams?

Sometimes there isn’t a clear way of finding out, as far as I know. However, many blogs who have giveaways will have posts on their Facebook fan page wall, or will get tagged on Instagram or Twitter when winners receive prizes. Here is a link to my Facebook Comments where you can scroll to see a few comments and even pictures of people saying thanks for the prizes they have gotten.

If you ever win giveaways here at Emily Reviews we would love for you to stop by the Fan page and add a comment and/or picture of your prize so that others will see it and know that our giveaways really do have winners!

Do you have any other questions about giveaways? Leave them below and I will answer them in the comments or maybe even add to this post!

 

 

Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 25 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I am a calorie counter who loves soda. I budget to save money so I can spend it on my dogs. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Blue October. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.

Follow Emily on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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This post currently has 26 responses.

  • elicia p

    I do not think this was strange. Many people thing giveaways are scams. I love how you outline the stats of winning. I have seen on other bloggers FB pages calling them scams because they did not win. I want to scream when I see that. Do they call the lottery commission a scam because they did not win!

  • ellen beck

    I have first hand knowledge you are not only legit but a trusted blog. I will say for most blogs, many combine with so many others it is really a toughie to win. Do blog giveaways take work? Yes, and your chances go up the more work you put into them.
    Are some scams> Yes to that too. I have blogs I enter at and some I steer clear of.
    You do a great job, keep it up.
    Oh and the other thing, if someone ONLY has giveaways no content (posts) it is an indication something isnt quite right.

  • Clarissa Hiciano

    Thank you for this. Iam still new to entering blog gieaways.

  • Jeanine Carlson

    It’s funny how many people do not understand how odds work. They think that if they entered so many times, their name has to be drawn and if it isn’t, the giveaway is a scam. I have seen very few that don’t look like everything is on the up and up. Thanks for being up front and for explaining the ins and outs!

  • Peggy Nunn

    I was not sure when I first heard about giveaways too. The more I learned the better I did at winning. I have been doing giveaways off and on for many years. You always give the winners user name. I feel better about bloggers that do that. I have won many of your giveaways over the years. There are a few bloggers that I watch daily for new giveaways. I have supplemented my Christmas and birthday gifts of the years with wins. I can say your blog is authentic. I did not realize there was a fan page, I will post any future wins there.

  • Darlene Owen

    I love your giveaways, I have you bookmarked on my computer so I don’t forget to enter your giveaways. It is always good to then let your sponsor know you won and love their product and who was the person doing the giveaway.

  • Michelle M

    Great information! I enter a lot of blog giveaways and I have had the luck of winning a few.

  • darla

    It’s interesting you should mention this. For some reason, maybe the problem is on your widget or all giveaway tools widgets, or me..it wouldn’t let me tweet daily. I would try to do it and it would say, tweet has went through or whatever. Now I’d go to my twitter and no new tweet was made. The giveaway widget would allow the first tweet to go through, but not the ones after that.

    • darla

      just to clarify I of course know your giveaways aren’t scams :). I was responding to your tweet daily suggestion, because I personally wasn’t able to do that.

    • Mary West

      I had this problem on one giveaway that I’ve noticed so far. I go back daily to tweet daily and noticed it wasn’t showing that tweet from that particular blog. I never did figure out why that was happening, I just kept searching out that one particular blog to tweet daily. It’s definitely not just you.

      • darla

        Interesting. Thank you for the reply! for some reason it always happens to me on this blog, with the giveaway tools widget. Other giveaways I enter don’t use giveaway tools so I have nothing to compare it to.

        • Hi Darla,
          Can you try to do a tweet entry on one of my current giveaways and see if it does that still? If so please email me (emilyreviewscom@Gmail.com) and let me know which giveaway it was and what your twitter handle is. I will have it looked into to see what may be causing the problem. Sorry that you’ve had trouble. Please always feel free to reach out if you have problems or issues with anything on my site. Often times technical problems are specific to a certain browser type, windows version, etc so if its not a problem that occurs on my computer/browser/etc then I won’t know about it unless someone who is having the problem emails me and is willing to answer questions about it so we can solve the problem. 🙂

  • Kim Avery

    As a recent winner i can verify you are not a fake! As a matter of fact with in hours of responding to your email I received confirmation from the company my prize was shipped! People have to remember that you aren’t responsible for shipping the prize. If they don’t receive their prize it’s usually not the bloggers fault! I have had that happen before and I’ve kindly let them know and as a result the company sent me a bigger prize as an apology! Also even if the odds seem good it’s really the luck of the draw! Just recently I had over 200 entries and a friend had less than 50 and she won! Thankfully I haven’t found any bad ones and doing these giveaways win or lose keeps me sane while I stay home recovering from a foot injury and further surgery!

    • That is a good point – sometimes companies forget to ship. For my blog if that ever happens please email me and I will check back in with the brand/sponsor to remind them to ship. Though it can take up to six weeks for a prize to get shipped out in some cases (often if the brand ran many giveaways across lots of blogs they will wait for all the giveaways to close so they can ship once instead of 20 individual times, etc) but yes please email me if your prize doesn’t arrive. I’m happy to bug the brand multiple times until the prize gets shipped if need be.

  • cheryl larimer

    Good info, thanks!

  • Mary West

    I’ve entered giveaways for years and I too try to supplement Christmas with giveaway wins. It has helped me out in some tough times. It really is the luck of the draw, you win some, you lose some. If there is something I really really want to win, I’ll go to google and search to see if any other blogs are having giveaways for that particular item and enter as many as I can. That increases your chance of winning what your after, however, I have entered several giveaways for one particular thing, tweeted daily on multiple blogs, and still not won. It’s all pretty much luck.

  • Darcy Koch

    Thank you for taking the time to clear a few facts up. I, myself, have more than once sent a message to a blogger if I have a question about an entry. As you said, the more entries the better odds of winning.You can’t just do a few entries and expect to win. I have won at least 2 giveaways from your blog (maybe more). I also appreciate it that you do not have so many entries to complete that one ends up spending a lot of time doing them like some bloggers. Keep up the great job.

  • Jessica W.

    This should easily clear up any confusion for anyone who thinks blog giveaways are a scam. I love this site! Thanks for all the good info!

  • gloria patterson

    It’s like flipping a quarter sometimes its HEADS sometimes it’s TAILS.

  • Linda Szymoniak

    Oh, they are definitely worth it. When a major corporation has a giveaway, chances are you’ll have such a minute chance of winning that it’s hardly worth the time to enter. I found that while the prizes given by blogs are smaller, the chances of winning are much better. I enter many, many giveaways every day and while I don’t win every time, I have won enough to make it more than worth my time. What has frustrated me is how many of these blog giveaways – blogs I have, in many cases, followed for a long time – are being posted on freebie and giveaway pages, so the number of entries has really gone up. And, the chance of winning has gone down.

  • Sarah L

    I’m a contest junkie…. I have won from your site, but entered many, many more. I consider this my part time job and it’s great for winning presents that you couldn’t afford to give.
    Thanks for all the work you do putting up your blog.

  • Margot C

    Oh they are real alright. It’s my only vice (no smoking, no drinking, no watching TV even).

  • Sara Estep

    These are real. A few years ago (with less children) I had time to enter religiously. I did every entry and came back daily to do the daily entries. The more time I put into it the more I won. It was tons of fun 🙂

  • Terra Heck

    This is a great post for those curious about blog giveaways. So far (knock on wood) I haven’t come across any fake blog giveaways. And, unless the blogger is offering up the prize themselves, they’re not responsible for prizes. Most companies are great about sending prizes out but once in a while you’ll get a company that never answers or sends out the prize. It’s a rarity though, and blog giveaways are worth entering.

  • I do your giveaways all the time. I won one of them. Just something I have seen before and I think you should cover is. The Sponsors, sometimes they back out of sending prize. It only happens maybe 1 in a 1,ooo times . People need to understand you don’t have the prize to mail out. The sponsor does.

  • Jessica Cox

    I would just like to add once you start you become hooked on blog giveaways, I have won a couple of times from Emily Reviews, its been a while on my part, but this is a very legit site that you can win from.

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