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Use a blog contest to drive traffic and boost your blog.

Dec24

Written by:
2009/12/24 10:07 AM RssIcon

Prize Want to drive traffic to your blog or website? Want to increase your subscriber base? Want to find new readers that will come back and convert into loyal readers? Then a sure thing is to run a contest on your blog. A give away. A freebie.

Blog contests are a simple and fun way to increase traffic and a sense of community on your blog. People love free stuff. But they also want to earn it. A bit of an oxymoron. Nevertheless a contest has the ability to achieve both goals.

People love to compete and blog contests are a great way to create a buzz of excitement on your blog.

What is a blog contest?

In the simplest terms, a blog contest is exactly what the term implies - a contest hosted on your blog. Because it is your blog, the rules, boundaries, context and substance of the contest are entirely up to you. For example, you can determine the method of entry, duration of the contest, prize, and more. It’s all up to you.

Contests provide blogs with a cost-effective way to generate traffic, build a mailing list, and gain inbound links. And for the visitor, he gets the chance to win something for nothing (or for very little work).

Characteristics of a good contest.

Running a good contest is a skill. There are certain characteristics that a good contest should have or you risk a crash and burn. You might find that for all the effort the contest does not work.

Entrant Requirements Should Not Be Hard To Meet – Don’t make it difficult to enter nor make it too difficult to win. The contest must require a little work, but easy enough that any Tom Dick or Jane can enter and feel confident of winning. KISS -  Keep it simple…

The Prize Needs To Be Worth The Effort. The prize must fit the work or effort that goes into the contest. In fact the prize could be worth more than the effort put in. How easy is it to enter a raffle to win a car. They don’t make you pick the car up do they?

The Contest Should Run for a Reasonable Length of Time – This is a difficult one. Depending on the type of contest. But the general rule is not to let the contest run too long that people lose interest, or too short that no one can enter. 1-2 months should be a good benchmark.

If you want to have a continual contest, then make regular prize giveaways over the duration of the contest. Once a week or once a month.

Target your giveaway - Maybe you want to reward people for commenting on your blog.  Maybe you want to reward people who fill out a survey, subscribe to a RSS feed, join a forum or do some other specific thing on your site.  Reward the behaviour you want to encourage.

The contest should be properly promoted – What’s the point of having a contest if no one knows about it. Use every avenue open to you to promote your contest, including your blogging buddies, mailing lists, social media etc.

The contest must be affordable – Do not run a contest that  you cannot afford. If the contest bankrupts you and your blog closes down, then you are the loser. Make sure you can keep the promise of your offered prize.

What are the benefits of a blog contest?

You might ask, so what's the big deal with a blog contest. How will it benefit my blog. Well here are a few ways that a blog contest can benefit your blog.

Back links – Free stuff spreads like wildfire. A free contest will attract many bloggers and chances are high that they will write about it on their blog and in so doing offer a back link to your blog. The actual contest.

Traffic – You will receive traffic via your promotional efforts as people flock to see what they can get for free. Use those people to help promote and drive more traffic. Simply add a condition to participate in the contest, tweet this post and add a link via your comments.

Advertising – As you get free back links and more exposure from the increased traffic and marketing you will also find that you are cashing in on free advertising. Your blog will be exposed to different blogs and bloggers who might recommend you to others. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising.

What type of prizes can you give away.

Remember your blog contest must not break the bank. If anything try to have prizes that cost you nothing or very little. Sponsored prizes are best. The traffic that you get and the boost to your site must be worth more than the prize to you.

  1. Products related to your blog
  2. Services from other companies
  3. Your expertise and services
  4. Books
  5. Electronic gift certificates
  6. Money
  7. Advertising on your blog
  8. Guest post
  9. Free subscriptions
  10. SWAG (Stuff We All Get) like mugs, caps, T-shirts, etc.

 

Conclusion

A good prize, and a good contest can really boost your blog. If done correctly you can benefit greatly from it. But done incorrectly it will be a waste of time.

Why not go ahead and try it? Perhaps you can think of another type of contest with different prizes. Let us know in the comments below.

Remember you can win a weeks worth of free ad space just for commenting. The best comments during the week will get a weeks free advertising space. Check out: Win free advertising for your blog

 

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