How To Run a Successful Blog Contest

by Justin

  • Clip to Evernote
  • Clip to Evernote

There is not a better way I know of to get a ton of traffic to a blog than a blog contest…

You’ll see a screenshot of a recent blog I launched in the gaming industry (non-im) that got over 8,000 visitors in it’s first 2 weeks. All of that traffic I owe to the power of blog contests.

Not only traffic but I gained Facebook fans, Twitter followers, email subscribers, RSS subscribers, and tons of relationships with other bloggers in the niche who watched my site EXPLODE onto the scene.

Who Can Run a Blog Contest?

I’m no magician, anyone can do this…

All I did is find out what the market desperately wanted and then gave it away on my blog under special circumstances. The circumstances were that they needed to leave a comment, send some tweets, and various other word of mouth tasks in order to collect points.

Whoever got the most points at the end of the contest, wins the prize!

Hundreds competed…

Dozens and dozens and dozens of readers write articles for me, tweeted my blog, shared it on Facebook, subscribed to my list and RSS, and posted links to my contest in their forum signatures. All parts of the contest for them to get more points.

I don’t say any of this to brag but to illustrate just how powerful a blog contest can be. My aim is to make you so envious of my results that you’ll read the rest of this post to learn how to host your own blog contest immediately.

The 3 “Must Do’s” For Hosting Blog Contests

1.) Define your contest goals

Are you trying to increase RSS subscribers or generate sales for a new product. Once you know what your goal is then you know about how big your prize needs to be and what the “rules” of the contest will be.

If you are trying to drive sales to a new product (we teach this in depth at littleguymethod.com) then you will want to give away copies of your product as the prize to build desire for your product. However, if you are just trying to increase subscriber counts or have readers create new content for you then you may want to go with some kind of unique gadget.

2.) Chose your prize

Two most important things to remember about prizes for blog contests are to pick something relevant and highly demanded. For example in my niche their were these 4 cards that everyone wanted and they were worth $50 each. Super highly sought after to them but to 99% of the rest of the world they were just pieces of cardboard.

You also don’t have to always buy the prizes yourself. Tons of marketers would kill for a piece of the exposure a good blog contest will bring in and they’ll be more than happy to “sponsor” the prize in exchange for some of your eyeballs. I got Keith Baxter to offer a state of the art web cam on one of my contests years ago, and SitePoint to offer one of their courses as well as co-host my event.

3.) Make it easy to participate

You want them to participate, but if it’s too hard for them then they won’t and you’re contest will die before it even gets started. Make sure you provide detailed instructions of any tasks or choose tasks that are really easy to perform.

Remember that because we are Internet marketers we know what an RSS feed is and a screenshot and how to create a link. However, to 99% of the rest of the world that is like speaking Greek to them. I found some great instructions for RSS and creating links on Youtube for my contests.

How To Guarantee a Failed Blog Contest

Don’t tell anyone about it! Yep, if you want to make sure you never have to give out a prize for your blog contest then simply never tell anyone about it.

What I mean is you must promote your contest. I see so many people write the blog contest post, publish it, MAYBE tweet it once and then sit and wait for the tidal wave. It doesn’t work like that… You still need to market your contest!

I’ve been very pleased with buying Facebook Ads for my contests a long with asking some other bloggers to blog about my contest in exchange for me to blog about something of theirs one day when they need it. These things do go viral but they require a little “pump priming” to get things going.

Another great way to get the word out about your blog contest is to submit it to ContestBeat.com or MyBlogContest.com as well as contact the owners of “contest blogs. These are blogs that do nothing but advertise different contests online, like ContestBee.com.

Getting Started on Your Own Blog Contest

It doesn’t matter whether you are launching a new blog or just trying to increase popularity of your current blog. NOW is always the best time to run a blog contest.

All you need to do is define your goal, pick your prize, name your terms, and then write a blog post telling them world about it. Then start promoting that blog post and you’ve got yourself a blog contest. Whether it becomes successful or not depends on your ability to know whats valuable to your market.

If you have done your research then you should know what they buy, what they fear, what they desire, and what they hate.

Here are a couple blog contests I’ve run or helped with that you can use as examples…

http://johnnyspike.com/win-a-playset-of-force-of-wills

http://successfool.com/contest-your-chance-to-become-a-social-marketing-rockstar-for-free

I’m sorry but others are on sites I’ve since sold or need to keep hidden. You can find examples of blog contests on just about any popular blog though. It’s a tool used by all the top bloggers due to it’s effectiveness.

If you’d like to learn more about running blog contests and even earning 5 – 6 figures in a single weekend with them then I suggest you checkout my course, LittleGuyMethod.com.

P.S. Make sure you ask your questions about blog contests below and tomorrow I’ll post answers to them all in a follow up QnA article.

Go Bigger,
Justin Brooke

“All It Takes Is Action And Action Builds Confidence”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Horwood July 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm

My first blog contest I was lazy and it flopped. I didn’t promote it other than a few tweets & pretty much the same way I promote my regular blog posts…I had a whole 0 people enter even though the prize was worth $50 & all they had to do was leave a comment.

You’d think I would’ve known better, but I got lazy and thought that the small number of people already reading my blog and following me on Twitter would just get it started and it would go viral…I’m just that smart.

For anyone who’s wondering, the Little Guy Method is awesome and you should get it & follow it.

Justin, I have one question:

When your blog is brand new & you’re not a well known name in your niche (or maybe not a well known name at all), how do you convince potential sponsors that your blog contest will succeed and give them exposure & be worth it to them?

(I have some ideas & I know how I would go about it, but I’d like to see what your ideas are)

Even though I’ve purchased the Little Guy Method, I still found this post beneficial (specifically the URLs to submit blog contests to).

Thanks Justin,

Shawn

Reply

Jeff July 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

Wondering how you create and offer something of a product that the niche would want, when a niche is full of people who are passionate about such things and have most likely already gathered up all they need or just a lot of info on this subject matter. Yes, I know, a negative thinking, loser mentality, but I am trying to break free from it, hopefully soon.

Thanks,

Jeff

Reply

Justin Brooke July 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

1.) When people are passionate about something they buy a lot of stuff about that thing. How many weight loss books does an overweight woman have? How many courses does the avg Internet marketing newbie buy? How many fishing poles and lures does a fisherman buy?

2.) There are new people entering markets all the time

3.) Stinkin thinkin like this is what we call mental garbage piles. We go through it too. It’s preconceived notions we make up in our minds with zero evidence to prove it yet we believe it to be true and hinders our success. You must learn to start recognizing these garbage piles and take out the trash.

Reply

Marc July 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Glad you finally unveiled the johnnyspike site – I was curious about what you were up to. I don’t have a clue about the game but it’s a sweet looking site and awesome to see the engines your building.

Reply

Fitrihadi February 17, 2011 at 4:35 am

ouh thanks for the info. I wanna run a contest at my blog and now I know how to run it the right way :)

Reply

Nelson December 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Hello,
I’m interested in running a blog contest. But how did you manage the point system? Like how many points did you know so and so made to win this prize?

Reply

Ashley June 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Great information. I am now ready to host my first ever contest, using the power of rafflecopter. Many thanks for this article. Loving it.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }