|Do's and Don'ts - When Applying for Awards!|
by Vitor Oliveira -- June 16, 2004
The first thing you should do when you apply for an award is read the PURPOSE of the award program...
Some programs specialize in a particular subject or type of site, such as music or commercial sites, and will only award them. If your site does not meet the purpose, then don't apply for the award.
After completing the above steps and making sure your site meets the purpose of the program, carefully read the CRITERIA for the award. This is the most important step in the application process. Never assume it's the same as the criteria at the other award programs you have visited. It isn't! The award giver has worked very hard to develop his own unique criteria, and it is the foundation of his award program. Read every paragraph of the criteria, and then read it again. Print it out and judge your own site based on the content of the criteria. Be brutally honest with yourself. Compliance with the criteria will determine whether you qualify for the award or not. If your site does not meet something in the criteria, change your site before you apply. This may take a little time, but it will help you earn the award. If you're not willing to make the effort, then maybe you don't deserve the award.
Do not skip the above steps and go straight to the Application Form. If you fail to meet any of the criteria, don't apply anyhow and hope the award giver will overlook it. He won't! There are some award programs out there that will give awards to anyone who applies, but the better programs have honor and integrity and will not do this. If you want an award that means something, then you've got to meet the criteria and earn it. Most award programs state how long you must wait before applying again. Make a note of when you applied and the time you must wait. If you don't earn an award the first time and want to apply again, make some changes to improve your site and apply only after the requisite time has passed.
Whether you receive an award or not, always try to respond to the award giver. If you receive an award, send a letter of thanks. If the award you received is lower than the program's top award, politely ask for help. Most award givers will be happy to help you. A few simple changes may be all that is required to earn you the award, or a higher one, when you apply again.
Never send a nasty email... If you did not earn an award, or if you think you should have received a higher one, don't complain to the award giver. You asked for the evaluation and it was provided freely and without malice. Try to learn from it!
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