Whether you choose to engage or not with Blog Awards, you can’t help but have noticed that what began as a rare and probably well intentioned event a couple of years ago, has now segued to a very regular occurrence; the world and his wife are hosting ‘blogger awards’. 
Here’s the thing. Combined, UK beauty blogs have literally hundreds of thousands of readers and where awards ask you to post a logo and direct readers to vote for you at the award site, what happens? A huge surge of hits for the award-givers site. And of course, the more readers a blog has, the more readers they’ll send. And then guess what? They win. 
I’ve written before that magazines hosting blogger awards doesn’t sit easily with me. I’ll put my hands up and say that the suggestion that they may want to harvest readers didn’t initially occur to me and I was rather hoping for better relationships between magazines and blogs. Some hosts have discovered that it is much harder to get ‘voters’ than they had initially expected, showing something of a lack of understanding of the beauty blogosphere; others managed quite well but rather ruined everything with careless tweeting about what they ‘really’ thought about beauty bloggers. My personal reasons for being rather against magazine awards (although I did enter Red Hot Woman awards, but that is a general and established award system that held a blogger category this year) is that I don’t really like the assumption of superiority. They’re different, we’re different. Nobody is ‘better’ in my eyes. It would be a very interesting test to see how thrilled magazines would be if they won an award from bloggers. More on that to come. But, post tweeting, the essence of which can just stay on twitter and not be brought here, we are really no better off in terms of relationships; and my feeling is they’d like our stats far more than they’d like goodwill.
In terms of commercial sites, the principles are pretty much the same. But, there’s a difference in how some sites treat their ‘awards’. Some are very anxious for you to slap a big logo on your site asking for votes; to vote of course, you have to go to their site. And sometimes, they want you to leave your email address. Hello, mailing list. Again, that means bigger visitor numbers and better stats. It seems there is no better way to get a stats spike than to hold a ‘blogger award’. Saying that, some commercial sites, particularly the smaller beauty sites, are much more sensitive than others to bloggers and have long-term blogger relationships developed over time, and genuinely can see the two-way street far more easily than others. Often these are from smaller sites and can genuinely benefit some beauty bloggers and if you like and trust the site, then why not?
However, for the most part, blog awards simply boil down to relying on blog readers and bloggers to send visitors to the award host site. In terms of appointing a judge and jury to decide who is the best blogger, again, this isn’t something that has ever been done to good effect before so whether that is a viable option, I’m not sure. I don’t really know how many magazines and sites would actually put the resources into appointing and hosting when there are no click-throughs to show the money men. Besides, nobody in print these days can really afford to be so altruistic.

This post is meant primarily for debate purposes because Blogger Awards are a very hot issue right now. So where do you sit on the Blog Awards debate? Are you happy to send readers possibly to boost stats and get put on a mailing list, or is it something you don’t even really think about? Would you like to win a Blogger Award or don’t you care?

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