To Award, or not to Award: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. … Continued
Hamlet, Don Charisma style and yes I have no idea what it means, my English Lit was a B or C I think. I’m getting better at working with poetry and stuff, but still a long way before I understand Shakespeare and start writing my own poetry !
So anyway, look here’s what I learnt during my awards day, about blog awards.
Awards: The Good, The Bad and the quite Repulsive
So Awards Day over, a marathon, I accepted maybe 10 awards in one day and gave awards to more than 100 bloggers. 18 hours from start to finish. Why put myself through such a task ?
Well it started with Shaun Gibson when someone awarded me the “I am part of the WordPress Family Award”. This was the first award I accepted and I accepted it because it really touched on my own core values. Awards are more or less in tune with my core values, some I appreciate more or less depending on what it’s called and what it’s for.
Having said this, there are some lovely, inspiring and truly positive people here on WordPress and eventually after a massive backlog of awards, I decided it’s time to thank them and accept ALL the awards offered.
I’m glad that I accepted all of these awards in one day, because I learn’t so much so quickly and because it was a fun and enjoyable experience.
It was also a chance to share a little bit more of myself, which I feel helps people connect with me and my blog. I could try to project an illusion of perfectness, but honestly, I’m not that perfect. Perfectness a tough act to keep up, and never much scope for improvement LOL
My blog trolls post I felt was quite revealing about myself, felt quite exposed when I finished and I was quite reluctant to post it. In fact it took two more experienced blogger’s peer review and their “signoffs” before I did. I was a very successful post, I think basically because most people had experiences with having to deal with numb-skull people and were able to connect with what I was writing. I think I was worried people would think harshly of me, but my experience was entirely the opposite, I was praised very highly for bringing the issue to light.
“Hate” – Some people don’t like awards. I was a little like this to start off with when I started my blog. I don’t know whether it’s some kind of humility, that they think they’d be being big-headed if they accept awards. Others might be worried about being “spammy”. Others might be “shy”, not want to reveal to much about themselves in public, which makes sense. Others might be worried about being judged unfairly or harshly. Or could be that some bloggers feel that awards are “unprofessional”. I don’t really know, silence they say is golden, but not a lot of feedback comes from silence and therefore not much learning. Perhaps one of the anti-award bloggers will comment on this post and fill in the blanks for me?
“Love” – Others seem to love them, the chance to share a compliment publicly, publicly naming other blogs they like/love and sharing a little bit about themselves. It’s also a great way to meet new friends, it’s how I met Shaun Gibson, he’s colourful, yes, but you couldn’t wish for a better blogger friend. And also a good way to promote ourselves and what we’re doing. I had a great deal of positive feedback, from my awardees and from people who follow my blog.
“Repulsive” – Nah, not really, personally I think awards are great, a great way to have something to blog about for new bloggers, a great way to show appreciation and compliments, and a great way to make new friends. However I’m not everybody and some people are repulsed by awards, this is their choice.
My “System” that emerged
What I discovered after my N’th post was that there is a formula for writing an award post. Mine goes something like this (yours may well be different) …
A) SUBJECT – Tell them it’s an award, from whom and thankyou – for example
“The Versatile Blogger Award, Paulette (totallyinspiredpc), thankyou:)”
B) Intro – Tell people that you’re a little excited and what award it is again. Tell people a little anecdote or joke or whatever ice breaker, mine was to include pictures of “my fans” and say only kidding (not really my fans, Justin Beiber’s or whoevers). That got a little stale after a while, so try different things there.
Side note: I always include a picture in every post as the picture shows up in the WordPress reader, facebook, twitter etc. It takes you a little more time, but your post much more likely to get read.
C) Refer to your awarder – Just show the link to your awarders post and thank them again.
D) Accept the award – Graciously and humbly accept the award
E) Give directions on what an awardee needs to do to accept the award – goes something like this :
To accept this award, the awardee must do the following:
- Display the Award on your Blog.
- Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who awarded you.
- Present (number ##) deserving Bloggers with the Award.
- Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
- What they must do, for example 7 interesting facts, answer 10 questions etc
F) Show the badge for the award – a picture of the badge
G) Meet you own conditions of accepting the award – eg answer 10 questions, 7 facts about yourself etc Personally I didn’t go into too much intimate detail, just some ordinary, perhaps witty facts about yourself. Keep you’re most special bits for your friends and family.
H) Who you are awarding to – list the links to the blogs who you want to give the award to
I) Comment for copy&paste – Lastly I put together a little comment in notepad, which goes along the lines –
Hey, I’ve awarded you the “Versatile Blogger” Award, yay !
Once the post is published I used the links from my own post to visit each site’s “About” page and give the award.
Took me a while to figure out there was a system, but once I figured it out saved me a lot of time. The only award that I’ve accepted that doesn’t exactly follow this system is the “Inner peace” award, but you can figure that out for yourself.
Who to give awards to
I’m fairly random with my awards. But here’s some suggestions :
- People who obviously spend a lot of time on your blog, commenters, likers etc.
- People who you’ve developed friendships with
- People who you like their blogs
- People that you can find in the reader, who look like they deserve an award (and obviously aren’t “no awards” blogs)
Try and mix and match it a bit, some old faces some new ones.
A couple of people asked me about this. Blog awards are fairly relaxed, and also bloggers tend to be fairly forgiving. Here’s some useful things to know to help in doing blog awards “the right way” :
- As I understand it, it’s possible to accept an award multiple times.
- Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t accept the award, they don’t have to. If they don’t reply or respond, just ignore it – no problem, maybe they’ll do it later or maybe it’s not right for them.
- You can take as long as you like to accept an award, but would be polite to let your awarder know that you’ve accepted and just need to schedule time to do you acceptance post.
- Check to see if the blog has a “no awards” badge before awarding.
- Take the time to thoughtfully word what you are saying to your awardees, with them in mind.
- Try not to make the award acceptance post too much about yourself, and make sure the awardees know it’s as much about them.
- Blog awards can get a bit like Chinese-whispers rules wise, with inexperienced bloggers leaving bits out or in some cases people being lazy and not explaining things properly. THEREFORE Be professional about receiving and giving awards. Seek for authoritative rules, from the originator if possible, OFTEN it’s not possible to find the “source” rules. You might want to review Sopphey’s post on liebsters or Shaun’s Original Post on I am Part of the WordPress Family. Take the authoritative rules over what your awarder has said.
- Always do separate posts for each individual award. I’ve accepted awards that were combined and this was very hard work to figure out the rules and exactly what was going on. Don’t be lazy, please think about the people you’ve giving awards to. Also combining awards can take the “value” out of awards. Don’t do it.
Blog awards can be fun and helpful to you spiritually by making new friends and encouraging other people. They can also help you promote yourself and your blog. A friend mentioned chain letters as an anology, some people like them some don’t, personally I think anything that helps me promote myself is a good thing.
Try and do your best to act professionally when doing awards. Take it seriously enough that others feel genuinely complimented by receiving an award, and make sure your post is clear so that understand what the rules are.
Use my “system” to help you save time and make the award process smother/more enjoyable for you and your awardees. You could use the “Copy a Post” feature in WordPress editor (under “Writing Helper”) to copy a previous post, and change the relevant bits, which will save you even more time.
And one last thing, I ended up using the “Gallery” widget on WordPress to display my badges, well multiple widgets actually. The first one has a title “Awards” with two badges, the next has two badges (no title), the next has three badges (not title) and so on. Seems to present quite nicely.
Good luck and happy awarding.
Resources & Sources
All images courtesy Google images, which are from THE PUBLIC DOMAIN