New Year's Reflection: My last year's bad experience as a blogger.. What should I learn from this?

Photo credit: Michael Jastremski for

As a blogger, there are many things, whether it's good or bad I can always learn and experience..

On these first days of year 2014, I want to write and share to you one my bad experience as a blogger last year.. I hope this won't happen to other bloggers.

As you know, as a blogger, sometimes I got emails from some people or a PR (public relation) from some companies/brands offering me to host a giveaway sponsored by their businesses/companies/brands. During my time blogging, I've never thought this kind of bad experience could happen to me. I always have a positive thinking to the company/brand/PR who approach me offering any business cooperation.. and I've never experiencing thing like this.. usually all went well, until at the mid-year 2013.. a business owner or brand (no need to mention its name) sent me an email offering me to host a giveaway sponsored by their brand. As always, I got excited thinking that I will make my blog's readers excited, too, by giving them a chance to receive item or thing they might be love :)

I accepted the offer, then hosted the giveaway contest. The contest went well and at the end I announced the winners (I even was allowed to pick more than one winner.. wasn't it excited?! ^_^). Then I sent the winners' details to the sponsor.

The sponsor replied my email two times. The first: saying that they have received the winners' details and will soon send the gifts, and the second: saying that they have sent all the gifts. I then emailed the winners, saying that I have forwarded their details to the sponsor, so they should receive their gift soon.

About one month after I announced the winners, some of the winners began to email me asking about the gift that they haven't received until that time. I replied to them saying that I will forward their emails to the sponsor and ask for the tracking numbers of their package so that each winner could trace their package.. So, in the mean time, I emailed that company/brand several times, but they never replied my emails until now. The very long distance between where I live and the company's base also make thing difficult (I live in Indonesia, the company is based in USA).

Two months after that, the winners have not received their gifts yet. Some of the winners had been keeping asking me about the gift they didn't receive. I feel sorry.. but all I could do is deeply apologize to the winners..

Until now, the winners still haven't received their prizes, and there's no email or explanation from the sponsor about this :(

As a blogger, when we hold a giveaway contest/competition sponsored by a company/brand/ business, usually our position is like a moderator/facilitator, a medium or a host using our blogs as the media to run the contest. We also act as a promoter for the brand. As for the gift for the winner, is the company's responsibility. If they do not send the gift properly, it definitely will break down the company/brand's image and trust.

But sometimes the readers do not understand this mechanism. They tend to blame the blogger. Perhaps, I am made mistake, by trusting blindly and naively to any company/brand/business that asking me to make a business cooperation. It also crossed my mind that I'm willing to buy another items as an exchange to the gifts and send them to each of the winners.. But, the shipping rates are remarkably expensive!! And also not only one.. there are several winners and they live diversely in this world (Canada, Africa, India, etc.). This is out of my budget.. I can not do this :(

One thing that is not right is: there is NO EXPLANATION from the sponsor/company about this, whether they REALLY have sent the gifts or not, do they have the tracking numbers of the packages or not, whether this is a company's mistake or the shipping company's fault, whether they can re-send the gifts or not and why..

What do you think? Do you have any opinion about this?

How can I pick which company/brand/business I can trust on? What things should I consider?

Should I buy items for the winners and ship them out with my own money as an exchange to the sponsored gift? Even though I did not accept any money to host the company/brand's contest and to promote their business (in regard to this contest) via my blog and social media. I did accepted some money from the sponsor but it's only for an ad banner on the sidebar of my blog.

(Particularly for the contest I talk about here) I even did not use this giveaway contest as a chance to ask readers to submit for my blog post newsletter or follow me via social media (follow me on twitter, submit my blog post via email, etc. eventhough I could do this) as a requirement for the contest's entry. I purely only want this giveaway contest will increase my blog's traffic and make my blog more popular, make people want to visit my blog and read the contents, and it's up to them whether they want to submit to my blog post or follow me via social media, or not. Also, I want to make my blog's readers excited and happy by giving them a chance to win an item they love :)

From the winners' point of views, shouldn't they be "easy going" on this? I mean, shouldn't they think: this is a free gift, this is a contest/competition, I could be picked up as a winner or not, if I win this, then I'm lucky! If not, that's allright for me. So, if I were them, I will not "push hardly" for my gift, even though it IS their rights to have the gift and it IS the sponsor's obligation to send the gift as they promise. If I were them, I will just 'let it go'.. Am I wrong by thinking this?

Please share your opinion, Lovelies, especially if you are a blogger, have you experienced thing like this? What did you do and learn?

What things should I consider when I need to pick which brands/companies/businesses or offerings I can trust on?

The important thing is.. I would be way more careful when I decide to host a sponsored giveaway contest (actually I'm kind of afraid to do this again ^_^) because I do not want falling into the same bad experience..

Have a wonderful year ahead, Lovelies! :)



  1. Thank you for your explanation. I was unaware of the circumstances surrounding the giveaway mentioned in this blog. I was wrong to place the blame with you. For that I am deeply sorry. The blame is solely with the company that asked tou to host the giveaway. It is too bad that this company chose to put you in this untenable position. You seem to have done all that you can to see that us winners received our hijabs. The only thing that I can think of to prevent this from happening would be to see if the company has a history with giveaway contests. If they do was the giveaway successfully completed. If not, what were the problems and what has been done to prevent these problems from happening. Again, I am sorry that i placed the blame with you. Please accept my apology and keep up the very good work with your blog.

  2. Dear Rachel, thank you so much for your kind words and understanding. It means a lot for me. I also has sent you a message to your FB account. Hopefully this experience won't stop you to participate again in giveaway contests held on my blog in the future, if any ;) I really appreciate your participation, thank you so much for your participation.

    One friend of mine on Twitter gave me a very good advice: to state the contest's terms and conditions (T&C) clearly for participants/contestants.
    One more thing I've learned from this.. :)

  3. Slm Rania

    First of all I would like to apologise for getting upset about the whole giveaway issue. I was not aware of the whole situation until you brought this post to my attention by sending the link. I also feel bad for the way things went and would not have been upset if I knew this was the case. Anyway I hope this does not happen to you again Inshallah. thank you Naseehah

  4. Dear Naseehah,
    Thank you so much for your understanding.. it really means a lot for me. I deeply apologize that you and other winners of the contest haven't received your prize until now.. I really feel bad about this.

    My blog and I are merely a medium for the contest. The delivery of prizes is not under my control. I really hope this thing would never happen again in the future..

    - Rania

  5. Until last week, I have been tried to contact the sponsor again, but still.. there hasn't been any reply from them.


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