Who doesn’t love to get a gift for doing nothing or small tasks online? Everyone does. In the past few years, competitions have been going on at many blogs and sites. Authors, writers, and sites owners are giving away a variety of prizes to their readers for their loyalty and to keep new visitors coming back for more.
Why is it so good to run a competition, anyway?
Running a contest is not a new thing in building loyalty among your existing readers, and it might also attract some new ones to your site. Think of it as a win-win relationship: give your visitors something back for their loyalty and they’ll reward you with traffic, popularity and even income from advertisements and sponsorships. Keep in mind that rewarding your visitors is also a way to show respect for them. Make them feel a part of your site.
Summary: why should I run a competition?
- It’ll help you to build loyalty among your readers
- It’ll attract more traffic to your site
- It’ll generate some incomes from advertisement
- It’ll make you gain experience and knowledge
- It’ll get you a few new readers too!
Running a Contests Do’s and Don’ts
Now, there are a couple of things you should consider when starting your own competition:
Let people know about your contest: running a contest needs advertisement. You can either promote it by your self, ask your friends and relatives to help you spread the word, or simply hire someone to do the job for you. Pick your prizes wisely: give away something that you would want to have for yourself. Prizes that have more relevancy to your sites topic will do better than those that don’t.
Find an effective way to give value to your site: encourage people to add helpful/quality comments in your sites (e.g., the best comment will win $100 via PayPal). Quality comments increase the value to your site!
Keep it simple: make your rules as simple as possible. Having elaborated rules to enter the competition could be a real turn off for your readers. Simple is better (e.g.,. post a comment to enter the contest).
Keep it short: long contests increase the chance of participation but it also tends to bore people. There’s no ideal length for a contest, however, we’d say that a week or two are good enough to gain exposure to your competition and keep your visitors interested.
Change the rules: never ever do this. It’ll hurt your reputation badly and disappoint those who have entered your contest. While there might be a very good reason behind it, changing rules can do more harm than good in most cases.
Downgrade the prizes: adding more valuable prizes to your competition won’t cause you any harm. However, downgrading your prizes to something smaller / simpler / cheaper won’t do any good to your reputation.
Stop normal posting: running a competition can take a lot of time and effort. However, people will still come back to read what you have to say. Keep the normal posts flowing as the competition goes on.
Require a link back to your site: while getting a few backlinks is always appreciated, you might get penalized for it by Google and other Search engines. Search engines are constantly tracking down sites that build up their backlinks artificially and punishes them by affecting their SERP (Search Engine Result Page the listing of webpages returned by a search engine to a keyword query)
Running a competition can be a great experience. You’ll surely makes mistakes (you’re human, remember?) but you’ll also learn from them and make your next contests better and better each time. Your readers will appreciate that, and in time your site will grow in reputation and traffic. What do you think? Ever had similar experiences? What happened to you when you first ran a contest? Haven’t started one yet? We would love to know your opinion on this so please leave a comment below.