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Blog Awards – The Award that Keeps on Awarding

I think most of us are pretty familiar with blog awards. Maybe you’ve gotten one, given one, or read someone’s blog who had one and were completely jealous wanted to get one. I’m guilty of all three. Since I started blogging last September, I see the same two blog awards popping up over and over. Maybe there are more? But in the circle of blogs that avidly stalk read these are the only two that I know about.

The first one is the Stylish Blogger Award, and the second is the Versatile Blogger Award.

For both of these awards the recipient has a list of rules to follow.

1. Make a post & link back to the person who awarded you this award.

Great. Awesome. I love sharing or acknowledging other bloggers who think I am freakishly fantastic.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

Okay. That’s easy enough, right? I mean, we are bloggers, we share stuff about ourselves all the time. I think readers like hearing about our strange, but oh so real addiction to Chipotle. Or how we used to have straight hair but we got that forever regretted perm in 6th grade and have reaped the consequences ever since.

3. Award anywhere from 7 to 15 recently discovered great bloggers. Or else!

Oh, um…okay. Wait, really? Seven to 15 different bloggers? That I “recently” discovered? I know I read a lot of blogs, but I definitely don’t discover new blogs every day, or even every week for that matter. How’s about we cut this down to 4? Maybe even 3?

And okay, it doesn’t really say “or else”, but sometimes it feels like it. Am I right?

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

This again is great, awesome, and lovely. You get to make a blogger’s day by basically telling them, “Hey, I like you and your blog. You are a blogging rock star and here’s the award to prove it.” It would be wonderful if it stopped there. But it doesn’t. That blogger then has to follow “the rules” and award a whole other group of bloggers, who have to award other bloggers, who have to award other bloggers…and you get the picture.

It kind of starts feeling more like one big chain letter than an award designed to tell a blogger that they are special.

These “rules” are what make me start to question the sincerity of the award. Yeah, I realize that statement probably makes me sound like a person who shouldn’t be getting an award. It’s definitely not my intention. I, like all bloggers, LOVE to get positive feedback. I love when I see comments from readers who can commiserate with me about my crafting/home décor addiction, or when they tell me they also have a wild and crazy two year old insomniac who
rules the roost.

What I don’t enjoy is feeling pressure to pass on this award to the gazillion people the rules say I must send it to. I start to worry about the people I am sending it to. I wonder if they are feeling the same pressure to send it out. Or since I am a rule breaker and don’t send it out to 7-15 bloggers, is the person who sent it to me going to be offended I didn’t follow the rules? Are they going to think I am ungrateful or unappreciative? Is someone going to feel left out or offended that I didn’t acknowledge their blog? Are they and everyone else going to stop following my blog now? (Yeah, I have driven myself that crazy with the worrying and wondering. I’m nothing short of insane, I know.)

So here is what I have decided and have put into practice. When someone gives me a blog award (eh, not that they will after this) I thank them profusely (either by email/blog comment/Facebook/Twitter, whichever way I know they will get the message), and try my darndest to let them know I appreciate them thinking of me, following me, and reading my blog. I realize that this might not be enough for the person who gave me the award, but because of my crazy stressful thought process it has to be enough for me.

AND Instead of sending on blog awards, I try to show blogs love and appreciation in SIX different ways, that can’t remotely be considered spam like at all.

  1. I support blogs or bloggers I like/enjoy by tweeting about their awesomeness.
  2. I share a link to their blog or blog post on my Facebook page.
  3. I Stumble Upon and like their blog post so it can be shared with lots of other people.
  4. I share about a blog/blogger in one of my own blog posts.
  5. I guest post on a blog, or have a blogger guest post on my blog.
  6. I read blogs I like and I LEAVE COMMENTS! Sincere and engaging comments that let the blogger know I really do like their post/blog.

Hopefully you all won’t feel like I am a blog award hater after this post, because I really have loved the blog awards I’ve received. I just feel like I have found other outlets to express appreciation for other blogs/bloggers that still allow me to keep my sanity.

About the Author:

Jennifer is the talented blogger behind Always in Wonder. She’s relatively new to the craft blogging scene, having started in late 2010 after the birth of her daughter. Visit Always in Wonder for crafty tutorials and the occasional story about her darling family. Jennifer lives with husband Justin, son Levi and daughter Rian in California.

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40 Responses to “Blog Awards – The Award that Keeps on Awarding”

  1. I totally agree with this. Blog awards have started feeling like chain letters to me (especially when you get a couple in a row and suddenly you have to list 4000 blogs that you like – sure I read about that many, but it takes ages to put all those links in a blog post!). I try my best to give the person how awarded it to me some link love, but don’t have the energy to follow the rules. Looks like I might be joining you in blog award purgatory!

  2. Amen! Thank you for addressing this.

    kisses
    heather

  3. heather says:

    Thanks for writing for us, Jennifer. You treated this topic soooo well!!

  4. Amen sister! This is a topic that need to be talked about! Just tweeted it out for ya!

  5. Elizabeth P says:

    maybe a little off topic, but what about the blogs who offer extra entries in their contests if you do 8 -10 different things ? It honestly takes all the fun out of it, and I won’t do a contest that involves much more than a FB comment and a blog comment —- perhaps this would be a good topic for you next time.

    • Jennifer says:

      While I think that a lot of entries sometimes becomes overwhelming for the person entering, I like that they are completely optional (or at least on most blogs). Either you do them or you don’t. If the giveaway had 8-10 different things you had to do just so you could enter once then I would probably say forget it. Unless it was something I really wanted like a SILHOUETTE! I think extra entries are just like the lottery or a raffle. If you want to up your chances you buy more tickets. 🙂

  6. Oh I am so guilty of not responding to blog awards. It’s terrible!!! Probably why I have not gotten one in a long time. lol *IF* i ever get another one, I will be sure to thank the giver and do what you suggested. 🙂

  7. Steph says:

    I LOVE how you ended it with so many great (and much better) ways to acknowledge fellow bloggers, besides these awards. Thanks for writing about this!

  8. Great way to cover this topic, Jennifer! I typically reply to awards in the same way you do: Thank the blogger (email, FB etc) but I do not pass them on.

  9. Vicki O'Dell says:

    Great post! I got my first award and was really put off by all of the rules I was supposed to follow. I emailed her and told her how much I truly appreciated the thought but that I just wasn’t into the rules so much. Luckily, she still reads my blog! 🙂

  10. Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only person who’s felt undue pressure from this kind awards. Sad to say I’ve gotten both and not followed through on either.

  11. Randi says:

    Great post – I’m not a fan of the awards at all. I’ll take a nice comment or a facebook link any day!

  12. Kathie says:

    So glad you put this out there! I have been the recipient of such awards so many times but there is a hefty price to pay in all of the “work” that comes along with accepting it! I accepted the first few but finally had to just do as you said, thank the giver for thinking of me and say I could not accept. I felt terrible and worried that I was offending but if I wouldn’t have, I would’ve been spending way too much time on awards and not on my blog which is what I like to focus on.

  13. Thanks for this post. I do love that people find my blog, and think of me to send me the awards, but as you said, if everyone blogs about their favourite 7-15 blogs…do we all get the award? How long would it take until every blogger had received the award? This is like one of those calculators to see how long it would take the entire world to be infected after the first zombie bite. Maybe…

    Yeah, so anyway, thank you, and you are so right about the other ways to show appreciation of other blogs.

  14. amy says:

    Jennifer, you did such an awesome job! I totally agree with your points. I’m flattered to get awards, but I just don’t have time to deal with them. It could take hours per week. I think your solution is great!

  15. Lizzy says:

    This is a great post! I am so glad I am not the only one that feels this way.
    I got my first “Stylish Blogger Award” and thought..oooh nice! I read the rules and it wasn’t so exciting any more. Then when I got my second one the same or next day I no longer felt special at all. But I refused to play the game. Seemed just plain silly to me, and I knew after looking at lots of other blogs that mine wasn’t really that stylish after all and the award didn’t feel so genuine.

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh Lizzy I felt the same exact way! Ha, there’s no way my blog is stylish, ha, and after posting a few pics of myself I think readers would know I’m not stylish either. ;P

  16. Great thoughts! I’m a brand new blogger (2 months) and got one award after a few weeks and was flattered, and sent it on, but felt a little awkward doing so as well 🙂 I think you described some great solutions, and feel much better knowing I wasn’t “missing something” before!

  17. Brenda says:

    Wow, way to go girl!!! Sure wish I had found this post earlier. I am also flattered when I receive an award, but somewhat stressful.

  18. Theresa says:

    I received my first one of these last week and was bit surprised at the “rules”. I looked at more as a way of connecting with other bloggers and in some cases, giving a new blogger a shout out and some love.

  19. I just posted this to Facebook. This has to be discussed without hurting feelings. I love your ideas and thank you for sharing!

  20. QC Kelsey says:

    Great post!
    I’d seen many blog awards across blog land … got my first one a while ago and followed the ‘instructions’ and though they were not ‘recently’ found blogs, I tried to pass on the award as I thought I was supposed to do – to my dismay, none of the people I passed along to accepted … I felt like I had done something horribly wrong. I got my second one a while ago – I thanked, then wrote stuff about me … and forgot to pass it along. Now I don’t feel bad! 🙂

  21. Michele says:

    Aaah! thank you for writing this! The whole blog awards thing, though I loved the awards and the appreciation that prompted them, was one of the main reasons I actually started posting on my blog LESS! I dreaded getting one of those awards that said I had to do all these million rule things!

  22. Michelle L. says:

    Excellent post! I say we all hereby award every blogger on the planet both of these puppies right now, and it ends here.

  23. This was so right on. Although I’ve never received an award, after seeing blogs that have received them, after a while they all look the same. I have never understood the rules. If you give someone an award it should be meaningful. You have been inspired by that person for whatever reason and chose to acknowledge them. That should be an honor not a “chain reaction”. I prefer to leave a comment tell them I was there and what I liked to give them encouragement. Thanks for posting this. Hugs, Mary

  24. Michele says:

    love it Michelle L, great idea!

    cool topic. i’ve never posted or accepted “awards” I’ve received. I’ve written several apologetic emails explaining as nicely as possible what I thought of awards and why I didn’t feel right accepting them… I wonder about their authenticity and if they really mean anything at all…

  25. Lynda says:

    I’ve never received any awards (boo, hoo). Requiring the winner to award to 7 or more blogs is a little much. My hubby’s blog got an award awhile back and he didn’t choose my blog as one of his 7. Even though he loves my blog he said he couldn’t since we were family! Caused a bit of discussion! I’m just happy to know that my blog is read by my circle of blogger friends. Great topic!

  26. Cat says:

    As a reader of blog (but not a blogger) I generally don’t pay any attention to these awards. I have always had the feeling that they are like chain letters and get handed out left and right, pretty much as you describe. Obviously they mean something, because no one is going to hand out an award to a lousy blog, but I don’t think readers really pay attention to them. I should think bloggers already have a hard enough time getting their posts done without adding in this extra work. Besides, there seem to be an infinite number of blogs, so even if an organization (more than one person!) made a concerted effort to find the best blogs out there, how could they know they had reviewed them all? It would probably still be a scatter shot sampling. Maybe if enough bloggers break “the chain” the fad will disappear. I don’t believe it really draws anyone to a blog, and we each come to our own conclusions about whether we like a blog and want to continue reading.

  27. Cath says:

    The fewer graphics and blinkies down the side, the quicker a blog page loads. That makes me a happy reader. I don’t pay attention to blog awards. I’m interested in the blog’s content.

  28. Renee Hanlon says:

    What you say makes total sense to me. I would love just receiving some supportive or helpful comments so I have some feedback. It’s really hard starting a new website and blog and not knowing how I’m being received.

  29. Alexandra says:

    I hear ya, I hear ya..but, still..there is nothing like the first time you receive an award when you’re a new blogger.

    It was such a thrill, I told my husband.

  30. Karyl says:

    Hi! Guess what? Earlier today I received a Versatile Bloggers Award. I had seen it once on another blog. Of course I was thrilled. But then I started wondering if it was like a chain letter. I googled “Is Versatile Bloggers Award like a chain letter” and found your post!

    So, it is. But that’s ok. I’m still happy. But glad to have found your post. Helpful. 🙂

  31. Chrissy says:

    This is an perfect post Jennifer! I just got “nominated” for the Versatile Blogger” award and came here looking for help for the very same reasons that you listed above. Thank you thank you thank you!! This was exactly what I was looking for! (I may or may not have already sent a note through the contact form though, pretty much saying everything that you already said, before it dawned on me that maybe I should search the site and see if it’s already been dealt with. Ooops. That can be ignored. Sorry. ::bagoverhead::
    Chrissy

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