‘Tis the Season for Blog Contests: Tips for Creating Effective Contests

by Michelle Salater on December 15, 2010


Ah, the holiday season is in full swing. A time when everyone is catching up on last minute shopping, making travel arrangements, decorating the house, and planning holiday dinners. Relieve your blog readers’ stresses and get their minds off holiday obligations with an exciting blog contest. What better time to thank your blog readers for their loyalty than to offer them the opportunity to win a great prize?

The excitement of entering a contest is something that attracts readers and encourages them to join the discussion on your blog.

Below I’ve broken down the essential elements for a successful blog contest:

A GREAT Prize: The core foundation of a successful blog contest is a great prize that people would take the time to try to win. A contest without a great prize is as good as a wasted blog post.

When you’re deciding on what prize to give away, consider what your target audience would need or want. For example, if you run a wine blog, don’t give away something such as Spanx Shapewear. It has absolutely nothing to do with wine or your target audience. Rather, give away a prize that has something to do with wine such as a case of wine, a gift basket with wine related products, or a wine journal. You can be sure that your contest will be successful when you are offering a prize that is in line with the purpose of your blog.

If you wish to host several contests a month or a year on your blog and you don’t want to purchase a prize every time you host a contest, consider finding businesses related to your blog purpose that are willing to send you a product to feature as a giveaway on your contest post. A great giveaway is not only beneficial for you and your readers, but companies who provide you with their product for a giveaway benefit from exposure on your blog.

Two of our favorite blogs that offer contest giveaways are Leslie Loves Veggies and The Good Stuff Guide. In fact, Leslie Loves Veggies is currently offering a 9-piece chocolate assortment giveaway from our client, Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Patissier (and there are already 68 entries to this contest).

Contest featured on Leslie Loves Veggies

When you’re writing up the post for your blog contest, be sure to first describe the prize being offered and any details your readers might need / want to know about the prize, such as what’s included. Also, specify how the winner will be chosen (Will there be a judge to determine the winner? Will the winner be chosen using Random.org?, etc.)

Submission Guidelines: After you’ve described the prize your readers will win, it’s time to provide them with detailed submission guidelines. Tell your readers what they need to do to submit their entries for a chance to win. Be very specific and share your contest with a friend or co-worker, prior to publishing, to get some fresh eyes on it and to ensure that the guidelines are perfectly clear.

For example, you may wish for participants to comment about the contest on your Facebook page, subscribe to your RSS feed, comment on the contest post, or subscribe to your newsletter. If you’re hosting a contest that requires participants to send in photos, videos, or essays, be sure to tell them where to send their submissions to.

Also, provide your readers with additional ways they can enter the contest, such as retweeting your post or sharing it on Facebook. This way, you get more exposure across social media channels and increase your chances of reaching new markets.

Contest Dates: Tell contest participants the date and time the contest begins (ex: Monday, December 14, 2010 at 11 a.m. EST) and the date and time it ends. Specify when and how the winner will be chosen, as well as when and how the winner will be notified.

Terms & Conditions: To prevent angry blog readers or a lawsuit, be very clear about the terms and conditions of your contest. Below is an example of the terms and conditions we use for all of our blog contests:

“No compensation for commenting or promoting this contest will be given in either cash or products unless you are a chosen winner or registered affiliate of the contest. Sumèr, LLC, will not be held liable for any participant’s comment, and the participant states that by commenting and associating himself / herself with a specific business that he / she has the right to publish a comment on behalf of that business without compensation of any kind. All comments submitted become a part of Sumèr and can be published in the comments section of the Sumèr blog. The winner also agrees that the mention of his or her name on the Sumèr blog as the winner is acceptable.”

Have you hosted a successful blog contest? We’d love to hear about it!


If you like this post, you might also like:

  1. Tips to Increase Conversion This Holiday Season
  2. A Blog Contest to Celebrate Our Newly Redesigned Website
  3. Contest: Enter For Your Chance to Win Joseph Jaffe’s Business-Changing Book, Flip the Funnel
  4. Holiday Contest: Win a Copy of Jim Collins’ Good to Great
  5. Effective Ways to Market a Webinar or an Event You’re Hosting
  • Leslie M.

    Thanks for a great post!!
    Leslie Loves Veggies

  • https://writtenbysumer.com/blog webcopywriter

    Thank YOU. We absolutely love your blog and all of the wonderful giveaways you feature on it.

  • https://topsy.com/writtenbysumer.com/blog/2010/12/tis-the-season-for-blog-contests-tips-for-creating-effective-contests/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Blog Contest: Online Marketing Tips — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michelle Salater, Michelle Salater. Michelle Salater said: Have you ever done a contest on your blog? Was it successful? We share our tips https://ow.ly/3pEDy [...]

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