Do Blog Awards Matter?

This was one of those “awkward” posts to publish for reasons that will hopefully become apparent as you keep reading. If I offend anyone or seem ungrateful, I apologize and I certainly don’t mind one bit if you disagree with me. I’ve just been sort of annoyed of late by all the blog award shenanigans going on and I’ve been wondering if others have been feeling this way too.

It seems there are more and more blog awards being handed out these days which makes me wonder, do blog awards matter?

Admittedly, I have had one such blog award badge displayed on my side bar for quite some time now. I’m no different than anyone else.

Who doesn’t like a bit of recognition for their work?

But now groups/organizations often ask me (and other bloggers) to put up their organizations’ “badges” on my site or Facebook page, so supposedly my readers or followers can see it and then vote for me (or not) to win an upcoming award they intend to hand out. Sometimes you can nominate others for blog awards. Yes, sometimes you can even nominate and/or vote for yourself. And once in a great while there’s even money involved.

Sometimes I wonder who is really benefiting from all this passing out of badges and blog awards. 

Maybe I’m missing something, but generally this stuff makes me wonder if it’s more about free advertising than passing out meaningful awards.

If you’re an organization giving out a badge or award, shouldn’t you decide yourself who or what defines your “winner”?

If your organization wishes to give out an award, why not do it based on your own criteria because unless you’re running for a political office, it’s awkward to ask people to vote for you.

All this voting creates a weird competition in the blogosphere which I feel is potentially harmful.

Do all these blog awards really matter? 

In all honesty, I have no idea; more than likely some do and many don’t.

I do know one thing.

The best “award” for most bloggers (or at least for this one) is having readers. Seriously, it’s true; and a comment letting me know that what I’ve written has made a difference in someone’s life is like icing on the cake.



Do blog awards matter?

Do you feel it’s awkward to ask for votes?

Do you think organizations should choose “winners” themselves?

24 thoughts to “Do Blog Awards Matter?”

  1. Hi Nancy,

    Great post on a topic that has been on my mind now and then, too. I agree that the best reward is helping others through the written word and having good readership. I did receive a couple of “awards,” and yes, turns out the badges were really free advertising for the organization issuing the award.

    I guess it depends on the individual whether the awards matter much. To me, they don’t really. Like you, I care about readership. I will vote for people I support, out of loyalty.

    You didn’t ruffle my feathers, although a post that ruffles a few feathers is warranted now and then.

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I don’t believe you are feather ruffling. I voted recently for an award that I believed ought to be won by a blogger, but I didn’t vote everyday as I was urged repeatedly. That just kinda got irritating and I find it annoying when companies do unlimited voting. I don’t think I could ever enter a competition like that as I would not be comfortable asking people to vote for me day after day – but that is me personally. Other people are way more comfortable with that. Anyway I never look at blog awards on the side of blogs, I look at the writing and the content and I stay a follower because of that.

    1. Mon, You’re right, of course, in this too everyone feels differently. And sometimes I wonder if anyone ever looks at any of that stuff on our side bars! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  3. I’ve thought about this recently myself. Of course, great minds think alike! It seems apparent that the major reason for the “award” is free advertising for the site. I don’t know that it’s harmful, but I don’t think it’s any reason to feel we’ve received some great honor. It may even be a more palatable version of spam. (I know that’s a bit harsh.) I agree that the best award is when I receive feedback from readers that my posts have helped them in some way or given them the short reprieve of a good laugh.

    1. P.S. After what I wrote above, I feel it’s fair to say there are some awards that offer a give-and-take that’s similar to the relationship that bloggers have with each other, such as when we add each other to our blog rolls or interact by commenting on each others’ blogs. Just wanted to add a balanced perspective. Not all are merely free ads. As for the competitions, I’d never want to compete with any of the wonderful people I’ve met online. I’d keep myself out of the race and just vote for them.

      1. Eileen, Thanks for adding your additional thoughts. I’m not saying bloggers shouldn’t ever put up these badges. I’m not saying that at all. Heck I have one up. It’s the voting aspect that’s sometimes involved with these things that I find bothersome. And of course, this voting thing doesn’t and shouldn’t necessarily, bother everyone.

    2. Eileen, Yes, great minds, ha! I think it is mostly about free advertising and I don’t think asking for that from bloggers while offering little or nothing in return is fair. Thanks for your comments on this.

  4. Hi Nancy,

    I think you bring up a great point and one I’m pretty well versed in, therefore I can shed some light. Many of you probably know me (I run a large medical website, but I’m not here to self promote). In short, no, most of the blog awards out there don’t mean anything. It’s a cheap and shameless way for organizations to promote themselves and generate links back to their websites. The websites doling out these “awards” are the ones who are benefiting, unless they are offering something for you in return. if they are simply telling you, “youve been chosen one of the top 1,000 blogs on the internet, please post this award button,” then its a cheap scam for them to generate promotion for their website and/or links.

    There are a few that are legitimate and reputable, but they are far and few between. It makes it very difficult on someone like myself, who runs a legitimate website, to run a campaign like this because of the plethora of shady ones out there. I take great pride in the top cancer blog project I run, and I’m probably one of the few guys on the web who actually reads the blogs beforehand and I even comment and contribute where I can.

    At the end of the day, the easiest way to tell how legitimate they are is by first checking out their website and then asking what this “award” entitles you to. Hope I have been of some help :o)

    1. Michael, Thanks for offering some insights from the “other side.” It’s good to hear you actually read blogs before choosing the ones you put on your list. I appreciate that. I’m also glad you compile your own list and don’t go the voting route.

  5. Nancy, as someone who is only an occasional blogger, I have been intrigued and somewhat amused by all of the awards, but at first I thought that I just didn’t understand the culture. Thanks to you and the many other fantastic writers that I follow, I have learned quite a bit, including that a site that displays a lot of awards does not necessarily mean that the writing is good or that it will move me. Keep doing what you do. I will keep reading your posts with or without awards!

    1. Dr. Attai, Thanks for adding your insights here. It’s interesting you mention you’ve been amused by all the awards. Even that says something to me. Awards are nice to receive, but they are not why any us of do what we do. Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words.

  6. Hi Nancy! I have to admit that I very often delete these nominations without acting. Like you, I’m often suspicious as to what they actually mean and don’t feel like offering free advertising. It’s too bad because I’m sure I’m weeding out some good opportunities with the bad…Great post!

    1. Laurie, It’s really good to hear from you. It sounds as if you and I are on the same page on this one. Often times that delete button comes in pretty handy doesn’t it? Thanks so much for taking time to comment, Laurie.

  7. I am of two minds. Competitive at heart, I like to be recognized. But with some caveats.

    First, I won’t compete for an award–monetary or no. If you have money to dole out, then create a criteria, call for nominations, and then have a committee that decides the recipient based on that criteria. Don’t make me beg for votes. That’s crap. Make the process transparent and just do it. Don’t ask bloggers to do it for you.

    Second, if I feel that my display of a badge can increase my reach, then I’ll post it. If I don’t feel like there has been any benefit I’ll take it down.

    Third, the best award is readership. I love to receive the little WordPress bits that are passed around from blogger to blogger. This kind of recognition comes from my peers and is warmly accepted and appreciated. Even though devoting a blog post to what could be construed as a chain letter isn’t always what I want to do, occasionally taking a break and recognizing fellow bloggers is a nice respite.

    For me my greatest reward (and surprise) comes from knowing that I have made a difference in people’s lives. It’s why I teach. And while I started to blog to make a difference in MY life, I continue because my readers tell me that it makes a difference in theirs. Regardless of what badges or links may appear or disappear on my blog, that I’ve both received and made an impact is the Medal of Honor for me.

    Great post, Nancy!

  8. I don’t see any harm in them. People know good quality and if someone wants to add a badge to their site well that’s fine by me. We all know it is a marketing thing to get backlinks.

    1. M.D. It’s all about marketing isn’t it? That’s exactly my point. I personally don’t care for asking for votes, especially when money is involved. I appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you.

  9. Nancy, I love the way you have all of us thinking about these awards. I agree the best thing is when readers read what you have to say, and especially comment or write me an email because they have been moved or learned something about what I have written. I agree with Scorchy about paid awards. I don’t want to have to beg for votes and especially when they make it complicated to vote for those you are asking for votes from. If I have been nominated or won a graphically nice looking award and I can figure out how to get it on my site, I like to put it on if it looks nice. But again what matters most is the readers!

    1. Susan, It is something to think about isn’t it? I agree with Scorchy as well. I’m not against any of these awards, I just feel uncomfortable asking for votes sometimes. To each their own. Some don’t mind a bit. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll be eating my words and begging for votes!

  10. Sometimes I think people forget why they started blogging in the first place. If it was to receive awards, maybe they are in the wrong place. For the most part I believe we start out for the right reasons – to inform and to rant, discuss vent our frustrations. least in many ways I do. The only reward I truly appreciate is when someone responds and tells me I helped them or lets me know that what I wrote was relevant to what they are going through. I don’t feel the need to compete for a cyber sticker telling me how wonderful I am.

    Thanks Nancy…. Love Alli…..XX

    1. Alli, You said it well. Awards are great and I don’t have anything against them, but like you said it’s about so much more than that. Thanks for being one of my valued readers, Alli. And thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one.

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