Sooner or later your going to be asked to run a competition on your blog. This happened to me a couple years back, when Halfords wanted to give away some kit. I’ve learnt a lot since then and think I’ve finally got the hang of it. My current competition is going so well it has more than 1,000 comments. I’ve put together a guide below for running competitions below. Enjoy, and if you have any questions please leave a comment.
Why run a competition?
This first thing you need to decide is if you want to run competition on your blog. What value will it add? Will it detract from your main content? A well constructed competition can add value to your blog by offering your readers the opportunity to win nice, relevant prizes. Competitions can also increase your reach and readership.
Should I charge to run a competition?
It depends. I didn’t charge or accept compensation on my last one because I thought it was a good topic, and P&G came up with a fab prize that I knew would be very popular. But I have charged in the past. How much? That is entirely up to you, but I’ve seen figures from £25 to £250. If you do charge, or accept any type of compensation, make sure you disclose it.
How to create a successful competition:
- Keep it simple. Single Parent Dad ran a competition a way back when for a Wii, but no one entered because the promoter wanted them to do two somersaults backwards while drinking a glass of milk with a straw. Not really, I think they wanted video content. The barrier to entry was too high for busy parents. In my last competition, the promoter (P&G) wanted to highlight that they were working on a green project. So we created a simple quiz question and all you had to do was read the post for the answer. Easy Peasy.
- Pick the right prize. The PR company usually does this, but sometimes they ask for suggestions. Pampering days go over really well. So do vouchers. I once did a competition for tired mum who had children with sleep issues. The prize was fab — a counselling session with a sleep expert, but the audience was very limited.
- Have the PR company send out the prize for you. Trust me you don’t want to send a huge package out on your own dime. It saves you postage.
- Decide how you want people to enter. Do they need to answer a question, or visit a site and then come back and leave a comment? Do you want to give one entry for a tweet, post or facebook mention?
- Don’t forget the T&Cs. To avoid frauds and false advertising, competitions are regulated. You can use the ones on this post as a guide.
- Pimp it out. I listed my last one on The Prize Finder, and it subsequently got picked up on a money saving forum, Coffee Break Winner, Competition Hunter and the Loquax, and traffic went wild. Tweet about it and link to your facebook page. Don’t forget to add it to the competition section on British Mummy Bloggers.
- Post your winner. I usually put all the names in a hat and pick a winner. There are also some random number generators you can use.
What has worked/not worked with the competitions you have held?
Photo Credit: Cyrstian Cruz