Everyone knows that a giveaways can be beneficial to bloggers, if done correctly. They can help you gain new followers, reward current readers, and possibly land you future opportunities with brands. Just like with everything else in blogging, there are right ways and wrong ways to run giveaways. Below are a few tips to keep in mind if you want your giveaways to work for you.
1. Include easy entry methods.
Most people that enter giveaways do not want to jump through hoops just for a chance to win, so be sure that your entry methods are quick and easy to complete. Avoid having too many mandatory entries – in fact, I recommend nothing be mandatory other than a “give me a valid email in case you win!” type of entry.
It can be tempting to require newsletter signups or Facebook page likes, but these can land you in hot water (the latter is actually against Facebook’s TOS if you make it a mandatory). Plus, these are a turn off for many people and the number of entries your giveaway receives will suffer.
2. Avoid offering too many entry methods.
To go along with number 1, be sure that you aren’t offering 10+ giveaway entry methods. A long list of methods looks overwhelming to many entrants, and they are likely to move on to the next giveaway. The less they have to do, the better.
3. Don’t inflate your entry totals.
Avoid beefing up the total number of entries by making every entry worth 25 points. Base the number of entries for something on how much effort it takes. Leaving a blog comment, for example, should be worth more than a quick tweet or Picket Fence vote. A huge number of entries already received within 2 hours of your giveaway going live is very discouraging to an entrant. Plus, the inflation isn’t a true representation of how many entrants your giveaway gets.
4. Use a giveaway platform to manage entries.
Several companies have seen the need for platforms that manage giveaways for bloggers – take advantage of these! Rafflecopter is probably the best known (and the one that I have the most experience with), but some bloggers prefer Giveaway Tools as well. These tools make it easy to create and manage your giveaways as well as choose winners and verify entries once the giveaway is over.
5. Don’t run too many giveaways at once.
The more giveaways you run at once, the more time you will need to spend with promotion. Think about it – wouldn’t it be easy to focus on running 2-3 at once rather than 15? Some bloggers can in over their heads when they begin running giveaways, and they can quickly burn you out. This results in less promotion, which isn’t fair to the brands you may be representing. It can also harm your own efforts in gaining new followers.
Plus, if you spend an hour a day promoting giveaways, that’s time you are taking away from blogging or promoting your real content.
6. Promote giveaways as much as possible for maximum exposure.
If you want to run successful giveaways, you have to get them in front of people who will enter them. Submit your giveaways to the following places for free to increase their entries:
There are also several blogs that run weekly giveaway linkies that you can gain traffic from. Blogging with Simply Stacie has a great directory of more places where you should submit your giveaways.