How to get 1,000 comments on your next blog post

winI thought that would get your attention. The actual title for this post is “Your guide to running successful blog competitions” 😀

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 ÂŁ25 to ÂŁ250. If you do charge, or accept any type of compensation, make sure you disclose it.

How to create a successful competition:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Good luck!

What has worked/not worked with the competitions you have held?

Susanna Scott

Photo Credit: Cyrstian Cruz

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  1. 13 September 2010 / 11:35

    Hi, I am a comper and a blogger so I see it from both sides. Lots of people don’t like compers entering on their blogs as they think they just want to duck and run but not all of them do. Getting your comp listed on sites will get you traffic and some of it will stick – this particularly applies to parenting blogs as there appear to be a lot of mums doing comps out there.
    If you really want more “genuine” entries, make it more involved but not to the extent you mention.
    I say be as clear and transparent as possible. If your entry is going to generate further contact – via email etc – mention it, and if possible, make it easy for them to opt out either then or after the comp has closed.
    If you want your comp listed on MSE (which is where I find my comps), please ensure that you yourself don’t post it – it is not allowed under the forum rules and it will be removed for self-promotion; repeat offenders will be banned. The best way to do is to ask one of the regular compers to post it for you. I’m happy to do that for anyone that wants it, and so are most regulars; some are on twitter, or you can just PM them via the board. Be also aware that it is common practice for the person posting the comp to give the answer; but if you don’t want that done, they will respect that and ask that the answer is not posted on there. This has caused friction in the past, but it’s easily resolved.
    Think that’s it. I love comping, although blogging has kind of usurped it recently but I can definitely see the benefit of running a good comp on any site, be it blog or a more commercial operation.
    Hope this helps.

  2. 13 September 2010 / 11:37

    Thanks for the tip on MSE, will try that next time with your help.

  3. 13 September 2010 / 14:56

    Great tips, Susanna. I haven’t run a competition on my personal blog yet but it can be such a fun thing for readers. In the past, on, I was constrained because the blog was part of the Times. The great thing about doing one on your own blog is the freedom. If the company offers a great prize, you do it. If you think the prize offer is “eh” and are too busy that month, skip it.
    One thing I did learn on Alphamummy – sometimes you can be surprised at which prizes generate the most interest.

  4. 15 September 2010 / 08:25

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  5. 17 September 2010 / 07:21

    I just went to enter your competion but it says comments are closed and the deadline is next Friday 🙁
    The answer is 15% anyway!

  6. 24 September 2010 / 00:11

    Thanks for the link to Loquax – we have a guide about competitons that bloggers might find useful – just explains a few things to consider (although it does need an update to cover FB, Twitter and Blogging).
    The issues we’ve noted about comps on blogs is that some bloggers do get quite protective (e.g. “the prize is for regulars only”) and perhaps don’t quite know how to deal with the extra interest or if answers are posted (so people don’t visit sponsors or see the rest of the blog).
    Anyway hopefully for your next comp you’ll submit to Loquax first – you’ll also find a discussion thread for your site on our forums, plus do feel free to post the winner in our winners section or ask us for a RT on Twitter.

  7. 24 September 2010 / 06:49

    Hi Jason, thanks for your comment. I will definitely post to Loquax first next time, I got a ton of traffic from the site. Mum bloggers are just strating to get into competitions big time, so very thanksful for your advice. Please be in touch with me, perhaps you could do a session on competitions at CyberMummy.

  8. 02 November 2010 / 07:38

    Well there’s a good tip. I have been asked loads of times and am very unsure as to how to play it. Also my blog spans loads of topics..being social it adds to the dilemma.