Everyone loves a freebie, which is why blog giveaways are so popular. Whether you’re looking to attract a new audience or rewarding the one you already have, giveaways are a great way to boost traffic to your blog and increase your followers on social media. To get in on all the action, take advantage of readily available free and low-cost Internet tools that will help make your giveaway a success.
Giveaways differ in the way winners are chosen and in the laws by which they are governed. A prize giveaway where winners are chosen at random is known as a “sweepstakes,” the most common type of blog giveaway. In a “contest,” winners are chosen based on some skill or merit. In a “lottery,” an entrant must pay for a chance to win. Before beginning your giveaway, read up on the laws to ensure compliance.
For your promotion to perform well, your prize should be aligned to your blog audience and be something people really want. Buy the item yourself or team up with a company to provide the prize. Register your blog at Giveaway.ly, for example, and you can accept offers from advertisers interested in co-hosting promotions. You can also make money from the giveaway by charging the sponsor a small fee.
Set-up and Management
Write a post announcing your giveaway. Include prize details, entry requirements, eligibility information, giveaway dates, how the winner will be chosen and how the prize is to be claimed. Customize your entry form using sites such as Giveaway.ly, Rafflecopter, PunchTab and Giveaway Tools. Each one provides an embeddable widget that automates the entire giveaway process, from collecting entries and site statistics to choosing and announcing a winner. Entry options can be as simple as leaving a comment on a post. You can also give entrants the option for “bonus” entries by having them like a sponsor’s Facebook page or subscribe to a newsletter. In addition, it’s a good idea to set up an email so that entrants can inform you of any technical issues they encounter or questions they have.
Promotion and Conclusion
Remind people about the giveaway often through social media, starting with your own and friends’ networks. Ask your sponsor to help spread the word. In addition, tap into your blog community. Bloggers in similar niches often like to run giveaway “linkys” where you can post the link to your giveaway. When the sweepstakes period ends, the giveaway widget picks the winner. Notify the winner and make an announcement on your blog. The sponsor is typically responsible for shipping the prize within a certain period of time and paying all shipping costs.
Let sponsors know the outcome of the giveaway by providing key site statistics, such as how many visitors you received and other information collected by the giveaway widget. Thank the sponsor for participating in the giveaway and forward the winner’s name and contact information. This builds good relationships with sponsors and creates a potential for future opportunities when they see the value in working with you.