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How To Hold A Successful Blog Contest

Written by Erz on Sunday, December 02, 2007

This article is part of How2Blogger’s Super Sexy Holiday ‘How To’ Contest which you can see at How2Blogger’s ‘How To’ site. You stand to win $100 in a random drawing. Contest ends 29th December 2007 so check out the contest post for full entry details!

So how do you hold a successful blog contest?

1. Open it internationally - How many people are there in the US versus the world? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Don't get stuck in the mire. You may say that there are enough bloggers from the US for your contest to be feasible. True, but why stop there? If you can attract 100 US bloggers, there may be 1000 internationally-located bloggers you have excluded. And that is where things get murky. It is dangerous to exclude anyone! Instead of increasing the popularity of your site, it can work the other way. Imagine you are the one left out - you may form an impression that this site is only for people in the US no matter how relevant your content may be. And these people may NOT come back to your site and they may also tell others NOT to visit your site. Word-of-mouth can work both ways. You may not know it, but you may have just stabbed yourself in the back though your intentions in holding the contest were good!

2. Offer attractive prizes - That is not to say giving away a pencil is wrong. It is not. But if you want your blog contest to be very successful, you will have to dangle a bigger carrot. And your carrot should not be targeted at too specific an audience. Again, I am not saying that being specific is wrong. But to catch more fish, your worm should be pitched at a large audience so your prizes should be attractive to the masses.

3. Make it easy to enter - If you have too many rules or conditions for entry, it will make your blog contest less attractive, no matter how good your prize is. That's typical of human beings!

These are not exhaustive, nor are they radically new ideas, but these are 3 basic criteria which I believe in. While you may say that they are common sense, there are many contests which do not fulfil these criteria. So things may not be as straightforward as one may presume. A case in example is Problogger's recent wildly successful birthday giveaway. Look carefully and tell me if the giveaway fulfils these conditions. Then look at several contests which have fallen by the wayside. You judge for yourself.

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