Giving out free stuff is a great way to promote your blog. It’s a great way to promote just about anything. It creates buzz and makes it fun for you and your readers. As most of you already know, i’m a big fan of this marketing tactic. I’m always giving out free stuff like Ipods, Cash, and domains. I also see a lot of other bloggers doing the same thing. It’s great for blogging but you better set limits for yourself or you might end up in the poor bloghouse.
Every once in a while, i’ll come across a random blog that’s giving away something huge. Like a Macbook laptop or something like that. I get the stats on that blog and start scratching my head. Why is this blogger giving out something that he can’t afford?
I think it has to do with the fact that blogging doesn’t cost any money. If you set up a small retail operation, it’ll cost you at least $2000/month. You have to pay for rent, utilities, phone, inventory, insurance, employees, workers comp, blah blah blah. It’s a headache. That means that you probably have next to nothing for marketing. But with and internet operation, you don’t have to pay for shit. Even if your site is on a dedicated server, it’ll only cost you a couple hundred a month. You have all of these money left over to use for marketing. I think that’s where most people end up throwing their money away.
If your blog is new and only have a few hundred visits a day, why spend over a thousand dollars for a prize? If you’re blog doesn’t make a thousand dollars, why give it away to one of your newbie readers? It’s just bad business. You’re just showing off. I saw this with bloggin-ads and winningtheweb. They ran some pretty hefty contests. I’m not sure if they’ll ever make the kind of money they already spent. Bloggin-ads had a Macbook air contest. From what i heard, the winner never received the prize. (If i am wrong, someone please let me know and i’ll update this post.) Now bloggin-ads is trying to sell for $7000 at sitepoint. The high bid right now is $3500. You see what i’m getting ad. If you minus the macbook air and all the other ebooks, themes, and junk that was used to promote that site, that blog was a money losing venture. It doesn’t help when a “make money online” blog ends up losing money. “Lose money online” doesn’t have a nice ring to it. I don’t think people are entering that phrase into search engines either. And winningtheweb, does that blog make any money?
Rant done. I think these blogs are perfect examples of the chow effect. Newbie bloggers enter this niche and think that they can spend a few bucks and turn their site into monsters. It doesn’t work out that way. Any idiot can spend money and start up a new business. But a true businessman can create profit out of nothing. Of course, having deep pockets help, but it could also prove to be your Achilles heel. If you rely on it too much, eventually you will run out of money to throw away. Think about that the next time you want to spend over your limit on your blog promotion.
Recently, my mom has been lending out money to one of her close friends. This lady’s husband died in a shooting at his business. He had life insurance so his wife ended up with around 3 million dollars. It was tragic and all of a sudden, but at least she was taken care of financially. She started up several businesses with her new found cash. She over spent her budget and all of them eventually failed. Someone that drove a Benz 500 and lived in a 6 bedroom house in Southern California, now lives in a one room studio apartment. She is selling her Cartier and Rolex watches to friends for rock bottom prices just to survive. It’s a sad story, but things like this happen when you don’t know how to manage your money.