If you’ve spent a bit of time in the blogging world, you’ve probably come across blog awards. You’ve probably also noticed that some people do them and others do not. I evolved from an award-doer to an award-don’t-er, so here’s my thought process along the way.
When I first started blogging, I really enjoyed blog awards. They were a good way to discover new blogs, and introduce others to some of the blogs I enjoyed. They were also a great way to get to know other bloggers and share a little bit about myself.
Right from the beginning I “cheated” on the rules of blog awards. Coming up with new questions to pass on to my nominees wasn’t something that came easily to me, so I just passed on the questions that I’d been asked.
The next step was that I stopped doing nominations. It took a lot of effort to come up with people to nominate, and try to think of who I had already nominated for another award recently. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to recognize other blogs; it was just that pulling ideas out of my head is hard for me and the amount of effort involved was just getting to be too much.
After a while, there were enough awards circulating and I’d been blogging long enough that I’d received each one multiple times. Rather than doing a post for each award I received, I decided to do a post each weekend in which I would answer the questions posed by anyone who’d nominated me.
Eventually, that too faded away. Awards posts are time-consuming, and even with the cheats I’d implemented it still took considerable time away from the things that I wanted to focus my blog on. There are a number of writing projects I’m juggling, and decided that I’d rather have more time available to focus on some of those core projects.
As my blog has evolved I’ve also consciously focused on creating evergreen content, i.e. posts that will still be of interest to visitors well after they’re published. Blog award posts, on the other hand, tend to get read by your viewers just after you publish them, then they never see the light of day again.
If you’re trying to keep a blog focused on specific topics, or if there’s a business aspect to your blog, awards posts may not fit with your primary purpose.
I didn’t want to be selective and do posts for some awards and not others, because I didn’t think that was fair to people who nominated me. And I absolutely appreciate being nominated; that hasn’t diminished as my approach to award posts has evolved. That’s how I came to my current system – in my weekend wrap-up posts I acknowledge any awards I’ve been nominated for and thank the person who nominated me. The system works for me in that I’m able to thank anyone who chose to recognize my blog, but I’m not putting in the time to come up with an award post.
Overall, I think that blog awards are an awesome way for newer bloggers to become engaged in the community. For people who enjoy answering questions, blog awards will always be a great way to do that. They’re also a nice way to show appreciation to fellow bloggers. At the same time, they’re not always going to be a good fit for every blog and every blogger.
As for how to know who does awards and who doesn’t, it’s not always obvious. Some bloggers may have a notice somewhere on their blog that they don’t do blog awards, and others you may simply notice that you’ve never seen them do an award post. My personal take on it is if you want to recognize another blogger, go ahead and nominate them, and mention with the nomination that it’s okay if they don’t do an award post. That way there’s the recognition without any expectation attached to it, and hopefully everyone’s happy. Similarly, you could adopt the approach used by Rory of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip, which involves gifting awards rather than doing traditional nominations.
Do you do blog awards? Are there any things that factor into your choice that I haven’t mentioned?