Okay, so I very, very rarely enter awards and particularly not blogging ones – I think they can really help to give bloggers/vloggers a push and acknowledgement of the immense work that they do. In most respects, they’re very well deserved.
The only ones I’ve entered in recent history are The Red Hot Woman awards from Red Magazine and I’ve been delighted to be shortlisted twice. I’ve also been a judge for the Johnson & Johnson awards and will be again this year, so I’ve seen both sides of the camp.
The trouble with beauty blogger awards is that a) you have to enter yourself and as we all know, bloggers don’t tend to do that very readily, and b) everything in the beauty blogosphere has changed so much that there is a very clear demarcation between the ‘top tier’ I suppose (and for want of better words) and those who haven’t quite made it there yet.
For Red, I got asked a lot about my stats – that’s not really an indicator of quality and over the past few months I have learned more about stats than I care to mention. Under some Google restrictions – it’s complicated and I’ll explain further what I mean after it’s all been sorted out – my stats have taken something of a hit but miraculously, what has also happened is that my bounce rate is virtually nil. That means the core (and it is still a very generous core by anyone’s standards) are not there by accident; they are on BBB because they really do want to be. They’ve had to actually get themselves to the site on purpose. In general if you rank highly on Google search, you will get anyone and everyone clicking through but as soon as they see it’s not what they were after, they click away again very quickly. So, while they will count as a unique visit, they were a pretty pointless one. I get asked for my uniques as though it is the holy grail of all SEO things – and yet, surely the true value has to lie in the return visitors who come back to genuinely engage with the content.
If you asked, let’s say, John Lewis Beauty Halls if they’d like the same shed-load of beauty-interested women willing and able to buy skin care, perfume and make up, to visit their store every day or if they’d like a lot of random visitors who aren’t interested particularly and thought they were in Comet, I think the opt for the former. So to be honest, uniques are really not the full story. The full story is the returns; the beauty faithful, if you like.
So, while awards are all well and good, I feel what’s really needed is some attempts to find the new, edgier bloggers who have the very difficult task of grabbing an audience share that is so dominated by so few. I hope that any new bloggers don’t let their stats hold them back from entering any blogger awards – I’ve learned my lesson with stats having gone up and down over and over again over the years. I don’t feel I need an award to validate what I do (which is a good job, since I don’t actually have one!) but anything that promotes good bloggers is good with me.
Personally, I really do not like the stats-grabbing awards (where you have to click through to the magazine site to register your vote and the endless Twitter call outs for you to do so are really only call outs for more clicks to their site), but other than that, if you have any hesitations about entering, stop! Just do it.