If you’ve been blogging regularly and faithfully for more than two or three weeks, you’ve probably received your first award. This post is primarily for NEW bloggers. Experienced bloggers don’t always stick to the letter of the Award Laws, but they have developed their own ways to respond to awards. This is my way.
In my opinion, awards are fun. Someone took the time to develop them. They are an invitation from someone who is reaching out and saying, “I like you. What you are saying is resonating with me.” They may also be a newbie and be saying to themselves, “I got this award, and I have to pass it on, or the whole blogosphere is going to blow up in my face.”
Panic-stricken they continue their muse, “Who can I give it to? I’ve only read three people’s blogs. How was I supposed to know I have to read OTHER people’s blogs? I thought I would just write, and people would come read it. And soon an online magazine would pick up my stuff and start publishing it. Hmmm OK, I know, I’ll give it to another new kid on the block.”
Whatever reason an award comes your way, there it is and now you have to make a decision. Are you going to respond, blow it off and pretend you didn’t get it, or hang up a “Do Not Disturb – No Blogs Awards Allowed” sign on your blog? I think most people respond, which perpetuates the award giving, but there is always the temptation to move on and ignore the award. I’m going to err on the side of acceptance for lots of reasons. First I’m going to tell you why I don’t want to hang up a “go away award givers” sign.
Very few newbies write well enough to tell people to go away and expect them to come back and visit their site. The only one I know who gets by with that is Ralph, and Ralph is just special. He doesn’t even have to write a post and people come and leave 80-100 comments in his box. You need to visit Ralph just to know it’s true, but beware, you will be hooked. Ralph just has enough “Je ne sais crois,” as one of his friend’s puts it, to pull it off. The rest of us starter bloggers, well … Only you can make that decision. Most people who don’t respond eventually have few people visiting their site even caring what they write. If that’s really what you want – and some people do – then, by all means, hang up the sign. And people will leave you alone by the droves.
So let’s say you get an award or two, what do you do to keep up? I don’t want to mislead you – it does take some effort on your part to participate. Here are my steps.
- Thank your award giver right away – even if you are not going to respond and pick the blogs you want to pass the award yet. If you don’t do this and forget who gave you awards, you can search your comments to find who has given you awards.
- First of all, you don’t HAVE to follow all the instructions exactly as written if YOU don’t want to do so. There are no award police. This is not a grant application that will be rejected if you don’t answer one of the questions. It’s not a chain letter that will break and bring you bad luck to you and your descendants for hundreds of years. So if the award doesn’t work exactly for you, be creative. It’s the thought that counts.
- Open a word document to copy and paste the instructions for your blog award(s) as well as the URL of the person awarding you. I usually open a new document when I have a couple of awards, rather than just one because I’m not really THAT organized. Answer the questions, and create a blanket invitation that you will cut and past in your awardee’s comment boxes later. I always try to let them know that they don’t have to feel obligated by my nomination.
- Open your reader. Copy and paste some or all of the blogs you follow into the document you created.
- Clean it up so that all you have are the links to the websites. This is important. You are going to use these links several times.
- We tend to pay attention to the first blogs we follow, and the most recent ones as well, so some blogs always get ignored. Highlight a group of blogs you follow from your reader tab on your stats page, copy and paste them into a new place on the page. Pick more than you need for the award. I included a sample of my document in pink.
My cleaned up list
- A year of reading the world
- a recipe sharing and bento blog
- The numpty novice with a compact camera and a laptop
- The Adventures of Justin Beaver
- Roxie’s Blog
- An electric journal of a castaway
- Views From My World
- Anna Scott Graham, Indie Novelist
- Erin Daniel Photography
- Coming East
- MY RIGHT TO BITCH
- The Bottom of a Bottle
- GLORIOUS METTLE
My award choices and blanket invitation/congratulations statement to paste into their comment box
Wonderful Team Member Readership
- An electric journal of a castaway
- MY RIGHT TO BITCH
- The Bottom of a Bottle
- GLORIOUS METTLE
As I meet new bloggers, I am always impressed by, not only creative blogs, but those blogs that can create a readership, and participate as engaged readers in others’ blogs. That is the reason I have nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Enjoy it as a compliment.
- Let’s assume that you have more than enough sights that you follow to choose from. If you don’t I’ll address that in a minute. Start down your list (on the Word document) and click on the sites. This is time-consuming because you want to “camp out” on each site for a bit to get to know them if you are not reading them regularly. I prefer working from the offline page rather than trying to keep track of them in my reader. I have to watch my internet usage, and it saves time. Don’t give awards to sites you really don’t know AT ALL!
- Write your post. You can cut and paste from your Word document including all the names. Paste the links into the tags of your post as well, so that your awardees get better coverage on Google. Remember award giving will help them build readership.
- Insert a picture of the award by copying the URL from your friend who gave you the award. Save and close it. Insert it into the post near the top and use the URL for that also. Publish your post, and copy the short link. Open your sidebar image and fill in the blanks with the title of the award, URL for the picture, and paste the short link for YOUR POST in the space that says link to an URL, near the bottom of the insertion. I also write the name of the award giver in the caption line. (see sample )
- Using your Word document, click on each website again, go to a comment section and paste in your blanket response. I always personalize it to respond to what I’ve read on their site as well. That should take care of it.
- As you regularly visit sites, check out the awards, write congratulation notes. Awards are a tool for making connections with others.
- Respond to people as they thank you for choosing them for the award. Be positive and always congratulate them because you had a reason for picking them. If you can elaborate on their return comment, it never hurts to tell them a few more details about why you chose them.
What to do if you don’t have enough followers?
- If you haven’t been blogging for very long and don’t have enough, then you can just put the award away for a while, or you can visit your favorite pages, and look at the comment sections and see who else you might like to have as a friend.
- Click on the links to the comments you like and check them out, looking at the about pages and a few posts. Don’t give awards to people you find out that you don’t really like. This makes them meaningless!!!!
What happens after you’re nominated for an award?
Nothing happens. No WordPress person is going to come and say, “You were nominated, and out of the 600,000,000 bloggers worldwide, your new blog is the best we’ve ever seen.” I say that because at first, I was so shocked to receive an award. I was so
naive vain, that I wondered when someone was going to tell me that I’d actually WON! The experience is the nomination. The fact that another blogger likes you is the prize.
I wish we did something like this with students so that they were not looking for the teacher to give all the praise. Students need to learn to do a good job just to do a good job and to appreciate EACH OTHER because they evaluate each other’s work and deem it valuable in some way. Everybody can be the BEST something.
I have many blogging awards in my sidebar, and I’m proud of all of them. My non-blogger friends think I’m really a master blogger when they see all those award seals!!! hahaha And to some of you lovely bloggers I AM!!!
Award giving builds community and caring between bloggers. No one can monitor all of this. We wouldn’t want them to!! We monitor each other. We visit bloggers because we want to read what they have to say. I started blogging in April 2012. A few of my blogger friends and I have started emailing so we don’t clog up the blog. I have given and received items from my friends in the snail mailbox. We have exchanged pictures. We have become Facebook friends or fans. We are really becoming more than just Cyber friends.
As a word of caution to all of this personal sharing, we all want to be safe. My husband wanted me to take off my location on my Facebook page, which I did. It is also not a great idea to include your birthday on FB.
Do you think I love blogging? Come join the fun. I hope this has made your award receiving and giving a little easier. 🙂
Featured Blogs are my alternative to awards. You can see my criteria on my Featured Blogs page. Patricia Drury is my pick for today. She is retired and relatively new to blogging, a newbie photographer with a Canon Camera with talent just bursting to be shared. She open and full of life. I think I’d like to BE in some of her photographs they are in such beautiful places!! See what I mean?
Anybody want to join me???