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!
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.