Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blogging Tips: Contests

Lately it seems like everyone is doing contests on their blogs. This got me wondering if I should try doing one, and what I would need to know to set one up. Researching this topic was pretty easy, and took me to some great blogs I had never seen before.

I searched for information two ways, on Google and on etsy. The results in Google were not as specific as I wanted, and included instructional tools that cost money. Moving over to etsy, I did a community forum search for "blog contests" and got almost 300 results. All I had to do next was dive in and read what people were posting about.

The forum titles included "how to" and "promotional" posts. The "how to" ones I read were not very helpful because they posed the usual "how to I get people to look" questions. Instead, peeking at actual contests gave me more interesting results. I found contests where readers could vote on favorite items, write in stories, or guess answers to questions. There was a lot of contest variety !!

Contests could have rules, so I was interested to find out how bloggers handled this. Some didn't list any rules at all for their contests, while others had very specific ones like limiting participation to US only, or only accepting one entry per person. I saw contests that asked voters to enter only if they were over 18 years old. This contest setup was getting more involved !!

Finding a way to contact contest winners could be challenging, I noticed, after seeing how other bloggers tried to solve the issue. Wouldn't it be terrible to pick a winner then not be able to reach them? Or to help the scummy spammers in the world by having nice people publicly post their email addresses only to be targeted with spam? Contests really need careful setup !!

On the surface the concept of a contest sounds like a fun and friendly way to meet people while marketing your blog or online shop. However, my research taught me that if I decide to do one, I should do a bit of planning so that everyone has a great time.

Share your comments about contests you have enjoyed, and what made them fun !

1 comment:

lauraslefthook said...

I found one way to get lots of entrants is to post your contest on sites like "Prizey" and others that keep lists of contests.

I did have the frustration of someone not getting back to me after I told them they won one time.

I am thinking that offering free patterns on my blog from time to time gets me more steady visits to my blog than contests do. Since I am hoping to have many more patterns in my shop, this should draw the right crowd for at least that part of my shop.