To Pimp Or Not To Pimp?


Each week we invite a different  blogger to guest edit the Tots100, and select their 10 favourite blog posts for our Friday Ten at Ten round-up. We also ask our guest editors to submit a guest post and tell us what’s on their mind.

This week our guest editor is the writer of the anonymous blog, The Boy and Me. This lively blog has been going for fifteen months now, but it may be considerably longer because our blogger has spent some time in the DeLorean car from the Back to the Future films. We think that’s a pretty cool claim to fame!

Our blogger will be back on Friday with her Ten at Ten, but in the meantime she asks a question about pimping. No, not that sort of pimping . Should we even say pimp? Let’s see what The Boy and Me has to say…

The Boy and Me writes:

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again; blogging award nominations! With the MAD Blog Awards nominations now open, it stirs up the parent blogging world into a frenzy that I never thought imaginable. Suddenly twitter is inundated with people explaining their reasons why they would like you to nominate them, links to blog-posts and discussions of who to nominate and why.

Before I go any further, I would like to state that I think blogging awards are a Good Thing. I also think that the MAD Blog Awards has categories that encompass many genres of blogging, and with new awards added since last year, they give many more people the opportunity to be recognised for their hard work in a wide range of areas. I will sit down with a bar of chocolate and a strong coffee (or Bailey’s if it’s evening) and spend several hours cogitating the categories and who I truly feel would be a worthy winner of that award. I like to do my research and I like to be fair.

How then do you feel when confronted with tweets and blog-posts asking to be nominated? Should bloggers ask? Or should they wait to be nominated?

In my opinion, nothing can beat the experience and euphoria of realising people like your blog enough to nominate it without having been asked. I’ve never asked as I don’t want people to feel obliged, but does that make me a fool? Am I missing out on something here that means my blog isn’t getting recognition that I would like as much as the next blogger?

I’ve discussed this at length with some blogging friends (mainly over direct message as I don’t wish to cause offense). Having taken part in another voting competition (that was part of a blogger outreach campaign), asking for votes is not something I wish to get involved in again. I vowed then that I wouldn’t, but before I knew it I had become engrossed in repeatedly asking people to vote for me. It brought out a side of me that I didn’t like, and it’s not something I will do again. As a result of that experience, asking for nominations or votes is not something that sits comfortably with me. For me a ‘thank you’ post if shortlisted is as much as I am prepared to do.

On the flip side, is asking people to vote for you a sensible thing? It could be argued that by blogging or tweeting your desire for nomination then in fact you are raising awareness of your blog. Let’s not forget that there are at least 3000 parent blogs in the UK, readers can’t be expected to remember every single one when nominating. If you don’t ask, are you saying “I don’t want to be nominated!”?

So is pimping your blog for an award begging or is it raising awareness?

Sally Whittle is founder of the Tots100, Foodies100, BlogSummit and the MAD Blog Awards. When she's not working, she can be found blogging at Who's the Mummy, or having fun with her 8 year old daughter, Flea.

Discussion55 Comments

  1. Saying you’ve been nominated is one thing or putting a badge on your site asking people to nominate you. When people start asking you on twitter, facebook and blog posts then it’s going a little to far. It puts me off voting for them.

    I’d also take it a bit further and not allow folk to nominate themselves in the first place but then I suppose that’s just a personal choice and easy enough to work around.

    • Even if you did vote for yourself you will only get one vote, that wouldn’t be enough to become a finalist! Thank you for commenting.

    • I’m inclined to agree with you in all honesty, something about nominating yourself doesn’t sit easy with me. But maybe it’s just not the ‘British’ way of doing things?

  2. I’m with you on the whole thing. I don’t blame bloggers for registering their interest, but the whole promotion thing isn’t for me. As you say – if they really liked your blog then they’d vote for it no? I put my votes in and knew exactly who to vote for – I don’t think a blog post about it would have swayed me in a different direction.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so. However, maybe reading a blog post when considering a category that you don’t have an immediate nominee for would help?

  3. As organiser of the awards what I’d say is this:

    Part of the fun of the awards is being nominated by someone else, it’s a great surprise and it’s wonderful to know someone filled in that form and thought about your blog. That’s what it’s all about – celebrating the blogs we love.

    That said, there’s a lot to be said for letting your readers know awards are going on, if you’d like to participate.

    We provide a range of badges that allow you to share the awards without asking for votes, and we suggest that people write a post, perhaps sharing some of their own favourite blogs, or personal award memories, rather than Tweeting asking for nominations.

    We don’t criticise anyone who wants to do this – it’s within the rules, and perfectly okay. You know your friends and followers best, and you know what’s going to be appropriate within your own community.

    But if hundreds of bloggers are ALL Tweeting asking for nominations, particularly if award programmes are running simultaneously, then the risk is that it starts to look like spam and may well become counter-productive for everyone.

    • The badges are an excellent way of showing interest in being nominated without actually asking directly. The influx on the timeline is what intrigues me, surely people may end up being unfollowed if they keep on for long enough?

  4. I think it is really hard to know what to do for the best. On the one hand, I feel very cheeky for asking for nominations, but on the other hand perhaps you need to ask in order for people to remember you?

    It does put me off if people ask a lot though.

    • See that’s sort of my point. If you have ask so folk remember you then why should you be nominated? It’s supposed to celebrate the best out there and the best are usually easily remembered.

      • I think I must follow too many blogs (600+) so I find it difficult to remember everyone I like. On the other hand there are a few categories where I knew immediately who to nominate.

    • I’ve got a memory like a sieve so I don’t mind seeing blog posts about the MADs. I’m adding blogs to my list of who to nominate as I see them appear on my Google Reader.

    • This is where I can see both sides to the reasoning, but as Bob says, if the blogger feels the need to ask then maybe the impact has not been made in order to be nominated? I don’t know, seems harsh to type it like that.

  5. Oooh great post. I think you already know who you want to vote for, so a tweet isn’t really going to sway you.

    I spent a long time deciding whether to ask for nomintaions. Finiall i decided to write one blog post about it for two reasons:

    Firstly letting non bloggers know about nominations. I know a lot of my readers are people in real life who have no idea what the blogging awards are.

    Secondly I think sometimes it’s hard to know what category blogs fit into. My blog is under 12 months so does fit into the new category, but unless people have been following my posts since the very beginning how would they know?

    Of course it’s much nicer to be spontaneously voted for so if anyone wants to vote for me……

  6. I think it’s my own insecurities that mean I wouldn’t ask to be nominated – because then I wouldn’t know whether anyone liked my blog.

    But if I was less of a wimp I would totally do what Sally suggests and write one of those blog posts and defend my title.

    I really enjoyed last year, so I thoroughly recommend that people do get involved.

    I don’t mind people asking for votes on twitter, but to be honest, when I see the final nomination list, it probably won’t affect my choice. I don’t like seeing Facebook groups or forums filled with requests for votes because it’s just noise. But I’m probably just grumpy ;o)

    • Grumpy? Never! I get your point though. If you don’t ask to be nominated – and then you’re not nominated – you can say it’s because you didn’t ask!

    • I perfectly understand where you’re coming from; it would be my worst nightmare to ask and ask and still not be nominated. My ego couldn’t take that!

      And I don’t think it’s you being grumpy.

  7. I’m with Kate – I was nominated on a site I’d never heard of and flattered, but the idea of asking doesn’t sit well. I tweeted that I was on it but have left it at that now. Personally I know which blogs I like and will gladly nominate, but am wary of promo – particularly as by nature parent bloggers are very busy and the likelihood is those who have time to tweet/network a lot then rank higher than other deserving bloggers. That’s not really just about the quality of the blog then, more of a popularity/networking contest. But hey that’s the world – the oscars work the same way 😉

    • Well, if it’s good enough for the Oscars… I would say that I think that the tweeters/networkers will still need to have a quality blog to back up their popularity.

    • I understand your point entirely. Oh if only these awards were based on the ability to spell and construct a complex sentence, then we would be laughing.

  8. Until all the “coming soon” stuff started happening about these awards, I had no idea they even existed. And once I was aware, I knew that there was no way I’d be asking for nominations or votes. To me, it is far better to be recognised by your peers than to beg them or have to remind them of your existence.

    I was shocked when I was nominated for a Brilliance in Blogging award in the video category. I was so pleased to be shortlisted, and I felt like I’d done something right. When I saw it, I tweeted a thank you to whomever nominated me, and I placed a notice on the sidebar of my blog just to allow people to see that I WAS nominated.

    I don’t plan to blog about it or ask for votes. If I deserve an award, then I’ll win it. If I don’t win, then it is because someone else deserved it more.

    I heard someone saying recently that it’s “just a popularity contest.” Erm… yes. It is. That’s the point. A blog becomes popular because they have something worth saying, and the more people who follow that blog, the more likely they are to vote for it.

    Anyway, I personally am chuffed to bits to have seen my name in a shortlist, and I would be pleased if I won. But I write the blog for me, and I give myself all the recognition I need! 😉

    • I have written a blog-post about having been nominated in the ‘other’ place, and my reasoning there is to say ‘thank you whoever nominated me because I don’t know who you are’. Like you, I feel that if I deserve to win then I will, if not then the better person will win. To be nominated independently is flattery enough.

  9. I’m all for it. I work in marketing and say we all need to marketing ourselves with no shame. Everyone knows about Coca Cola, but they still market themselves all over the place and try to get you to buy their product. As I’m a very busy and socially active working mum, I miss a lot of stuff in the social media sphere and sometimes (criminal I know), don’t read the official tweets or Facebook status’ from the ‘pros’ Tots100, Brit Mums etc, but I do see the tweets or FB status’ from my blogging friends and it reminds me in a gentle way to go and make that VOTE…

    • That’s a very good point about Coca Cola, but I guess bloggers are a little different to massive corporations. Having said that we all need gentle reminders from time to time!

  10. I have written /tweeted about the awards to let people who aren’t in the blogging community aware of the them. The way I see it is that people either want to nominate you or they don’t and as long as you don’t overdo it then politely asking people who enjoy reading your blog to nominate / vote for you isn’t that bad. The blogging community is huge and it’s impossible or everyone to agree on how things should be done!

    • Very true! That’s a good point about making non bloggers aware of the awards. I’m sure if my mum had a computer she would nominate me in every category – well I hope she would!

    • I see exactly what you’re saying, just the once to say ‘hello this is me, I wouldn’t mind winning’ is a polite way of doing it. But then wouldn’t it be nice for someone to think that of you without asking?

  11. Its only recently I discovered blogging awards, with the MAD blog awards being the 2nd one I have heard about. I am relatively new to blogging so think I have a while to go before I am swimming in the pond with the big fish. Personally I think you should let your followers know about them and then allow them to choose if they think you deserve a nomination.

    • I like fish, I’d like to be a nice goldfish with a swishy tail.

      On a serious note, letting readers know about them is a good idea. I think I’m most comfortable with the badges.

  12. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you don’t let your followers know, and then you don’t get nominated, you’ll be forever wondering if you would have got through if you’d drawn more attention to yourself. If you start tweeting requesting votes every 30 minutes, you’re going to start getting passive aggressive tweets very quickly.

    As with all things, there’s a balance to be struck. Personally I like to make sure my followers are aware that the awards are happening and that I’d like to be nominated, without irritating them by asking repeatedly. I’ve posted once on Facebook, and I’m planning to write a blog post which I’ll tweet a few times, and then I’ll leave it.

    I know a lot of my followers are oblivious to the parent blogging community, so I like to draw their attention to these things happening.

    • Aha, that wonderful word: balance. Balance is so important. I think that writing a post about the MADs to let your followers know is a good thing. Like you say though, tweeting repeatedly can get a little tedious! Good luck this year :)

    • It’s a balancing act of highlighting yourself enough to remind people about your blog, without actually irritating them enough to think ‘ha well I’m not voting for her/him now’.

  13. What a great post. It feels like you’ve taken some of the words straight out of my mouth.
    I am really not a fan of being asked or begged for nominations. I think nominations should be (and hopefully are) an honest and personal thing. I don’t like being asked for nominations anymore than I like tweets that tell me I should look at or retweet something. I want to nominate who I want to nominate and that is that.
    I kind of feel differently about being asked by people to vote and don’t mind that as much. Something about the fact that they’ve already made the short list means that I don’t mind people trying to raise their profile a bit by letting people know they’ve been nominated.
    I have been thrilled to discover I’ve been nominated for MAD blog awards by people, and to hear that I’d made the BiB short list. I was happy, thankful and oh-so-grateful, but I still don’t think I could bring myself to annoy everyone by repeated asking for their vote. I’d rather people vote for who they think deserves it, which is exactly what I do.

  14. I’ve never asked to be nominated, I don’t feel comfortable with that & don’t display badges asking to be nominated. I was gobsmacked then when I heard that I had reached the shortlist stage for the BiB awards and because I’m there & have a 1 in 20 chance of winning I want votes so I now have a ‘vote for me’ badge on my blog, have asked my friends to vote for me & have tweeted it a few times. I’m not expecting to win……far from it, but I would hate to end up at the bottom of the pile with no votes at all.
    It definitely brings out the competitive side in some of us….all in good fun though.

    • I know exactly what you mean, I’d never ask to be nominated and highlighting that I’ve been voted doesn’t sit completely easy with me. However, I also don’t want to be the billy no-mates at the bottom of the pile. More importantly I wanted to blog and thank people for having thought to nominate me in the first place.

  15. I’m a bit of a hypocrite, I’m afraid.
    On one hand I won’t nominate anyone who asks to be nominated and I’ve had lots of fun finding some really good blogs that are untouched by MADness, and nominating them.
    On the other hand, I’m expecting people to know that my failure to ask means that I don’t want to be nominated myself!

  16. Oh interesting, I have tweeted the post I wrote in regards to being short listed, not begging for votes more so I felt so touched that it was a way to sincerely thank those who did think of me and vote for me.

    Blogging is competitive and I like to stay clear of that side of things but the odd tweet aint going to do any harm I don’t think BUT yes if every other tweet became about awards it would start to bug me x

    I say if you want to tweet then do so, if you don;t then don;t as with blogs and bloggers we are all different and have different views so I say do what’s right for you and your blog x

  17. I don’t mind people posting that they’ve been nominated and pimping that post now and again, but I logged onto Twitter and tweet upon tweet upon tweet was vote for me, vote for me, vote for me and it seemed pretty needs and OTT.

    The award results are lovely, but i don’t like the pressure it seems that bloggers put themselves under to come out on top instead of enjoying them and taking them as a bit of light relief in the blogging calendar. Some are taking them so seriously, and I think they should be fun.

  18. Great post lovely. It’s fab to see so many different points of view on the debate.

    As you know, I’ve only just started blogging so aside from nominating as usual that’s all the awards are about for me this year. I’d like to think that next year I won’t feel the need to pimp. If I were to be nominated for any awards, I’d much rather be there because I’d made an impact and people had been kind enough to nominate me without me having to ask/prompt them to do so. Plus asking for things like that makes me feel quite uncomfortable. However, I also respect those that do feel able to ask!

    I do also agree with the points about the non-bloggers. If no one blogged/tweeted about the awards then how would they know?

    I think all in moderation is fine. Blogging about the awards and the odd tweet is fine. Begging to be nominated etc is not. x

  19. Pingback: TheBoyAndMe · I Might Be Goin MAD

  20. I am SO glad that you have written this post. This stuff has been driving me up the wall. I haven’t worried about offending people too much by saying it too. Anyone jumping around shouting ‘pick me pick me’ can take it. In my mind, it devalues the award itself if it becomes more about who sells themselves the most…sorry, pimps themselves. Sorry, I am very sharp tonight…think it’s PMT 😉