Reverse psychology

When I first started blogging, I read a number of articles about increasing readership. One of the suggestions that appeared in various places was to have “give-aways”. It was an idea that I toyed with, but it seemed to me that unless I already had the readers, no one would know about my give-away and so it could only work with additional publicity. Since I couldn’t work out how to achieve this, I put it to the back of my mind.

Donated squares... I would still welcome more!

Some of the squares you’ve sent me

Then, in December, I had the idea of making my masterpiece blanket. Initially I thought that I would make all the squares myself, but some tentative enquiries via Facebook revealed that some of my friends would like to contribute. And so, I bit the bullet and asked for squares – I put my request out on Facebook as well as here on my blog… and was amazed by the response. I have had offers and received squares from people who I never knew read my blog as well as from existing friends, I’ve had loads of feedback (comments and likes) and traffic on my site has increased in a way I never expected (I’ve just exceeded 20,000 hits).

Admittedly, I have been writing more often during this period, but this cannot solely explain the level of engagement by you out there and the positive comments and support. I am aware that everyone who makes a square is giving me time, but that also they are handing over real money, at least postage and, in several cases, yarn bought specifically for the purpose.

Since I have never run a give-away, I cannot make a comparison, but it is very interesting to see that the converse, i.e. asking my readers to give me something, has had such a positive response. I think this says something about human nature – there are many, many kind and generous people in this world. The project is turning out to be a great way to discover this.

So, I wonder… have you ever run a give-away? If so, did it have a positive impact on your readership? And is it better to give than to receive?

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