Bloggers are increasingly using competitions as a strategy for attracting traffic to their blogs. Running competitions on your blog has two main advantages.
- New readers – If you create a buzz about your competition, you are likely to attract many new readers to your blog
- Reader loyalty – Competitions will cause your regular readers to be even more engaged and loyal
When it comes to running a competition on your blog, the following are some things you need to consider.
1. Establish your goals
Before coming up with a competition, you should first decide why you want to have it in the first place. What is your major goal? How will you gauge the competition’s success? Some of the goals for a competition could be:
- Increase newsletter subscribers
- Increase RSS subscribers
- To reward loyal readers
- To get new members for forums/communities
- To create new content
Having a definite goal will enable you to format your competition appropriately.
2. Choose prizes wisely
There are several things you need to consider when selecting prizes for a competition.
- Relevant prizes – The prizes chosen should be appropriate for your blog readers. For instance, if your blog is about technology, offer a prize which is technology-related
- Worthwhile prizes – Prizes which are valuable will create a greater buzz for your competition. However, don’t spend too much on them since you don’t know how people will respond.
- Sponsors – Getting sponsors for your prizes will help make the load lighter. It will be easier to find a sponsor if your blog has a significant number of readers. From the onset, you need to let your sponsors know how they will benefit by being part of your competition.
3. Have realistic requirements
Avoid having too many requirements for participation. Make it as easy as possible for participants to enter your competition. If people have to do fulfill a requirement before participating, select one thing which is very simple. This way, you will attract more participants to your competition.
In addition, you need to ensure that the requirements are realistic for you. As the person running the competition, you can easily get overwhelmed by the details involved. Sifting through numerous entries and moderating them can be very time-consuming and frustrating. Therefore, before starting the competition, you need to get other people to help or find ways of automating the process.
4. Set a time duration
Deciding how long a competition will run is very vital. You should not let it go on for too long, but you need to ensure that it runs long enough for the word to spread, as many readers as possible to enter and sponsors to get value for their money.
5. Promote the competition
No one will know about your competition if you don’t market it. Your promotion campaign should begin with your own blog readers. You could place a widget promoting it below your posts or in your sidebar. Write a few posts about the competition while it is still running. You can also promote the competition by writing press releases, talking about it in forums, or even advertising it online.