How to Make your Blog Competition a Success.

I have had a few people recently ask me how I have managed to get so many people to enter the competitions that I run on my blog, and I thought I would do a quick post to try and help some of you out and let you know hopefully how to make your blog competitions a success!

I’m going to be doing a few blog posts with blogging help and tips that people have been asking me for advice on. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I have done my research before doing anything on my blog, and I have discovered a lot of things unfortunately via trial and error, so I thought I would save some of you the error part!

Now there is some controversy with some claiming that running a competition on your blog is ‘buying’ stats and readers, but at the end of the day it really depends on how serious you are about making your blog a success. I’m not saying you can’t be a success without competitions, but any increase in stats is going to help you along the way.

Big companies wouldn’t think it a bad idea to run competitions to attract people, as at the end of the day it works out as a cheap form of marketing as people share your competition and your site for you. If you want a successful blog, in my opinion you need to do what you can to drag those people in, don’t wait for people to chance upon your blog. Shout out loud and proud that you’re here and want them to visit, and if a competition is what’s needed to make that a success, then do it!

How to run a Blog Competition - acornishmum.com

So you have something to give away on your blog (it really doesn’t need to be something big and expensive!), the first thing you need to work out is how you are going to run that giveaway. You could just have people come to your blog and leave a comment to enter, and whilst this will add to your blog stats numbers, I do see it as a bit of a waste.

I always use rafflecopter for my giveaways/competitions. The main reason I do this, is that I can set extra entry requirements such as ‘follow me on twitter’, ‘tweet this message’ and many more in addition to commenting. *It is the free version of Rafflecopter that I use, it gives you more than enough options for what you need.*

This way not only do I get the site views from comment makers, but by also setting it so that people can gain entries every day by coming back to tweet a daily message (see what I have to say about hash tags below to help you personalise this message effectively), I get these site visit numbers as well, plus the additional social media followers.

Rafflecopter also keeps an eye on your entries for you, tells you how a person has entered, and will even randomly select a winner for you if you log in to rafflecopter after your competition has ended. I find this the fairest way to select a winner, and the easiest way to also find the winner’s email address and contact details to let them know that they have won!

If you want to run a rafflecopter competition pop over to www.rafflecopter.com register and follow their instructions on how to start. It can take a little time to get used to setting up a rafflecopter, but well worth doing and familiarizing yourself with in my opinion.

Some people also use gleam, which I have entered competitions through before, but have never run a competition with, but if I ever do use it I will add to this post for a comparison.

Once you have your competition ready to go live on your blog, make sure that you include the words ‘competition’ and ‘rafflecopter’ (or gleam or whatever you use!) in your Meta Description for your post. Compers who like to use rafflecopter entry are likely to search for these terms, and hopefully you’ll pop up ready for them to find!

Right so now you have a live blog competition….but no one is entering it. Unfortunately you can not always rely on people finding you through search engines, Mr Google (and his friends the Bingster and Miss Yahoo) is a very busy fellow with lots of people vying for his attention.

However there are ways to get your competition out there for people to see. Post it on all your social media, and ask others to share/retweet it etc. I find Twitter the best for doing this personally, as the way Twitter works with so many tweets appearing at once, it’s unlikely to ‘spam’ or annoy your followers as much if you tweet about your competition every couple of hours over the course of a day.

When sharing your competition link to Twitter make sure you try to include the following hashtags #Competition #win #RT as someone who used to enter competitions, I know that one of the most common Twitter competition searches is ‘RT to win competition’ therefore if you have these hash tags in your post people will be more likely to find your post, and hopefully be tempted to enter.

The hash tag RT is important as well, as then hopefully your lovely twitter friends will retweet the competition for you, as will some random people you don’t know!

Another way to get your competition out to the masses is to add it to a site such as Loquax. I am already a member of Loquax from when I used to enter competitions myself (if only I still had the time!) and so I list my competitions on there through my account, but you can easily register.

With Loquax you can list your own competitions, but they appreciate a link from your blog (this is my second link to them on my blog).

Be aware however, that some competition sites do not allow you to add your own competitions. All is not lost though, as a lot of people who use Loquax will also use other competition sites, and will hopefully share your link on the ones that you can’t.

You can also add your competition link to a competition link up on someone else’s blog, I personally always try to add mine to the lovely Rachel’s competition linky over at her U Me and The Kids blog, as she is fab about publicising your post with tweets.

So now hopefully you have a live blog competition that people are finding, entering and sharing! Good Luck and let me know if this post helps you at all.

Stevie x

**To comment on this blog you do not need to leave your name, email address or website if you don't wish to. Any information entered will remain private and will not be shared with anyone other than the site owner.
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24 Comments

  1. 2 May 2015 / 3:24 pm

    Thank you lovely. That is a great help :-) I will definitely follow your advice. I shall just have to consider my last give away as a test run. Three entries is very dismal indeed. I’m tempted to giving them one book each, but then that wasn’t the original “prize’ As the saying goes…you live and learn !

    xx

    • 2 May 2015 / 3:33 pm

      Let me know how the next one goes! :) I really do hope it helps, and you know if you aren’t sure you can always ask me. I don’t promise I’ll always know the answer, but I am happy to try and help!

      Stevie xx

  2. 2 May 2015 / 4:05 pm

    This is so timely as I’m thinking about doing my first competition! Eek scary! It’s one of my blogging goals for May! Thank you so much for all the really useful information and tips x

    • 3 May 2015 / 10:05 am

      No worries lovely, and if you get stuck on anything you know you can give me a shout! Good Luck :)

      Stevie x

  3. 3 May 2015 / 10:06 am

    Hi Stevie! I was impressed with the Rafflecopter site, but as I don’t plan to have a give-away on a monthly basis as at the moment (as I’m buying the “prize” myself), I don’t really want to shell out for a monthly fee. I see that there is a free plan. Do you use it, or one of the others? xx

    • 3 May 2015 / 10:11 am

      I use the free one, and it gives you everything you need so don’t worry! If there’s an option you want to add that says it’sa premium one, then you just use the ‘add your own option’ option and can choose any you want anyway! In the header bit of the option where it says ‘add our own option’ you can edit the text to say wht you want so that it fits in with the other options as well.

      Stevie xx

  4. 3 May 2015 / 2:15 pm

    Great Information! I’m running a competition next week!

    • 3 May 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Hope my post has helped :) I hope your competition goes really well!

      Stevie x

  5. 4 May 2015 / 7:20 pm

    This is fantastic!! I was sent a product for review this week and they also offered me a giveaway prize so I think I’m going to go for it. I really appreciate your advice- going to pin this for future reference! Xx

    • 4 May 2015 / 10:37 pm

      Aw glad I can help lovely! If you get stuck on anything feel free to let me know, and well done on the product contact :)

      Stevie xx

  6. 5 May 2015 / 8:10 pm

    Great useful post! As you know I’ve already picked your brains on this. :) x

    • 5 May 2015 / 10:06 pm

      Thanks lovely, and I never mind helping you out and I know it works the other way too! ;)

      Stevie xx

  7. 15 May 2015 / 1:36 pm

    I’m an ex loquax user from my comp days too. I find Prizefinder is the one that sends the most traffic. Everyone raves about MSE but I don’t find much traffic comes from that nowadays (that’s if a comp ends up on there).

    You might want to change your ‘like on facebook’ point, because Facebook don’t actually allow like or share competitions – well they’ll let you do them, but not to gain entries. Commenting or visiting is fine, hence why there’s an option in RC for visiting but not for anything else. G+ is another where you can’t have any type of competition which uses G+ as an entry requirement.

    • 15 May 2015 / 9:45 pm

      Thanks for commenting and letting me know, I was under the impression it was only asking to ‘share’ that wasn’t allowed as I have seen other bloggers still asking for likes but I will edit the post accordingly lovely! I do well out of traffic from MSE, but will check out prizefinder so thanks again.

      Stevie x

  8. 26 July 2015 / 9:51 am

    Brilliant post, thank you. I’m running my first competition at the moment using gleam. I’ll definitely be using some of your tips from this post! I’ve not heard of loquax so will check it out. I got told off for posting my own comp on mse, oops!

    • 26 July 2015 / 11:04 am

      Oops, yep mse doesn’t like that at all which seems a little odd to me, as they want the competitions on there?! Luckily after doing a few competitions yours will start to be put on there by people who have entered your competitions before and also use mse :P

      Stevie x

  9. 11 September 2015 / 6:33 pm

    I once ran a Twitter competition that NO ONE took part in. Even though the prize was pretty sweet. Sigh.
    Thanks for these tips, am bookmarking them for the next time I venture into competition territory. #blogstorm

    • 11 September 2015 / 9:42 pm

      Oh no nightmare! The hash tags definitely help competitions to be found on Twitter, hope all your future ones are better! :)

      Stevie x

  10. 12 September 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Good tips. I run my first competition recently, and it was actually a lot of fun. I’m not sure how many people will revisit my blog, but my Twitter following is looking a bit healthier since then. Super Lucky Di has a competition linky as well. Rafflecopter is fab, but be careful with the dates: I thought I’d set it to 12 noon, but it was actually 12 midnight, so the competition really ended a day earlier than I thought, which was a wee bit embarrassing. Might just be me who can’t tell the different between AM and PM though. #blogstorm

    • 12 September 2015 / 10:17 pm

      Oh bless you! I do have to stop and think on the am and pm thing sometimes though with 12 ha!

      Stevie x

  11. 28 September 2015 / 12:48 pm

    I’m just setting up my first competition so this is very helpful. Thanks!

    • 28 September 2015 / 2:19 pm

      Fab, glad to help :)

      Stevie x

  12. 28 September 2015 / 2:17 pm

    I always wondered how people got some great entries and fab to know about a competition linky! I can’t use competition sites unless I’m running a UK competition which I haven’t for a while, I need to start thinking outside the box! #blogstorm

    • 28 September 2015 / 2:21 pm

      Ooh definitely more tricky!

      Stevie x

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