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How to Throw a Successful Contest On Your Blog

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I love throwing contests on my blog. It’s a fun way to give back to my existing readers, and sometimes obtain new followers in the process. I think my latest contest was a huge success (in terms of what I wanted to get out of it), but some blogs go about it completely the wrong way – asking entrants to do the impossible and pushing them away.

Here are tips on how to throw a successful contest on your blog:

  • Set Your Goals:
    Before throwing the contest, establish the goal of actually hosting it. Do you want to give back to your community, obtain new readers, obtain Twitter or Facebook followers, or something else altogether? This will help you establish the scope and rules of the contest.
  • Obtain Your Prizes:
    Make sure your prize(s) are applicable to your blog topic. If you run a tech blog, you may not obtain interest in giving away a Toys R Us gift certificate! As far as physically obtaining the prizes, you can purchase one yourself, use free promotional material you’ve been given, or search out interested sponsors. In the past I have used ProfNet to ask for giveaways or products to review. For my latest contest I went on Etsy and asked if someone would be willing to donate a product.
  • Set Reasonable Ways to Enter:
    Your entry rules should suit the prize and your goals. If you’re giving away a $10 gift certificate, you can’t expect people to create a video and obtain 10,000 views for your contest! I typically only require a comment to be entered, but I provide additional ways to obtain entries (based on my goal set above). For my most recent contest, my goal was to get new blog followers, so I provided an extra 3 entries if they signed up to follow. I also gave an extra entry (up to 3) for tweeting about the contest.
  • Clearly State All Rules:
    State all rules clearly. Nobody wants to enter, only to find out that you won’t ship outside of the United States! You should also define the start and end date/time of the contest as well as any people who are ineligible to enter.
  • Promote the Contest:
    Begin promoting the contest as soon as you have details – you can begin hyping it up before it even starts! Consider including it in Online-Sweepstakes and other sweepstakes/contest websites to obtain even more exposure. Tweet about the contest and encourage others to tell their followers.

Do you have any other tips for hosting a successful contest?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC


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  • Tracy Fox

    Nicki, thank you for sharing your ideas and experiences with blog contests. We’re launching our new website soon, and considering a contest to tie in with the launch, so I appreciated hearing what’s worked well for you.

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