Generally as many of you know I don’t write about blogging, partly because I don’t think I am an expert. Partly because I’m not sure my audience would find it useful, however I am just about the change that! Mudpie Fridays is now officially 18 months old and although I am still very much a hobby blogger, I have been learning a lot and I thought I would start a little series to share my learning and also some of the wonderful posts I read from people that really do know what they are talking about! So welcome to the first in my ‘Learning to Blog Series’. I can not commit to a weekly time slot for this but hope to post at least monthly.

Now Im not sure about you but I tend to find many blogging related things come around a little like buses i.e. you don’t get any of a particular post type for a while and then you get a load all at once. In this instance for me its been #giveaways. This has meant I have been honing my skills somewhat in promoting them, as there is nothing more depressing than not having any entries.  I have also found that by running a successful giveaway not only does it increase traffic, but actually a lot of the social media followers tend to stick around to see what else you are going to run. The day one competition went live I had over 500 people access it.


Before I go into how I do this, I thought it be to share how I run a giveaway. As I am not yet self hosted (although watch this space – she smile nervously) I use Gleam. Its free for the basic version which is more than enough for what I am doing. Its a simple six step process:

Step 1 – Name the competition and set the beginning and start date, I like a giveaway to run for at least two weeks.


Step 2 – set minimum age and how the user can enter. Some companies will require you to set a minimum age of 18. Although the application allows you to collect email addresses you need to have paid for this, and I am always concerned about data protection so do not do this.


Step 3 – This is the fun bit – how to enter! There are lots of options here, normally I will select my main social media platforms (and those of the company I am doing the giveaway for) and also for a comment on a blog post. All of these are free. I am generous, for each social media action they complete they will get 3 entires into the giveaway.

Top Tip – wouldn’t it be nice for the entrant to market the giveaway for you? Yes! Well I also set up a tweet which includes my handle (so I can RT) and then give them 5 entries to the giveaway plus the option to come back and do it daily. This way I find competitions can be self perpetuating. Also make sure the link included is not to the gleam application but to your blog post.


Step 4 – Details of the prize, you enter the name here and the number of winners. Its important you do the second part correctly as the application will only allow you to select that number at the end.


Step 5 – will automatically send the entrant an email display a confirmation of the number of entries they have done and how they can do more – reinforcing the idea of the daily tweet. However as I don’t use default email options then I don’t use this function.

Step 6 – gives you the code to install in your site, I literally copy and paste into the html portion of my post.  You can also set up a Facebook link to run the competition from your page.

It really is that simple. So once its published then what do I do?

  • I am automatically set up to share the post across Twitter, Facebook and Google +. Although more recently I have been scheduling posts on Facebook to try and increase reach.
  • A relevant graphic for Instagram which promotes the giveaway
  • Share into Facebook groups which it is relevant for.

Not rocket science really as I would do this for all posts, but for a giveaway I do some additional bits too (all the links should take you to the actual pages to add in your competition)

  • Link to ‘giveaway/product’ linkys. The main ones I use are – #TriedTested (Family Fever and Going on an Adventure), Blog Competition Linky (Umeandthekids) Giveaway Linky  (Twin Mummy Yummy) and Blog Comp Linky (Super Lucky Me)
  • Add my link to The Prize Finder, Loquax and Compeition Database – you need to register with all of these before posting, and you may find like I have that compers have already added your link so you will not be able to do it again.
  • Visit community giveaways such as Britmums, Tots 100 and Bloggers Required, where you can add your link. If you want to Bloggers Required will also promote your competition but you need to pay for this.
  • Facebook Groups – the two I have used so far are
    • Comper Friendly Blog Competitions where there is a thread for each end date. If you check the pinned post you can find the link for yours.
    • UK Competitions and Referrals – new one for me but they allow you to post directly to the wall.
    • I also use the tags #giveaway, #socialsaturday and #saturdayshares when promoting the giveaway on my own page

I hope this is useful especially  if you are relatively new to publishing competitions. If you are a seasoned hand then I would love to know if you do anything in addition in the comments below.


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 Linking up with #Sharingthebloglove  #PickNMix and #TheList




  1. serenityyou Reply

    Great post Clare. I love having giveaways on my blog and I love entering them too. I have won a few things already that I have put away for Christmas #BloggerClubUk

  2. My first giveaway went live last week and has a week left to run. I’ve done most of these but there are a few more things I could try. Thank you for sharing your experience #BloggerClubUK

  3. Thank you for a really useful post. I’ve used Rafflecopter in the past but this looks much better. Have bookmarked your post and will put the information into practice soon.

  4. Ooh very useful to know – will bear this in mind for the future xxx #bloggerclubuk

  5. Fab post! I’m very new to blogging so everyday I learn something new! Looking forward to more ‘learning to blog’ posts! #BloggerClubUK

  6. Agent Spitback Reply

    This is very useful information. I am bookmarking your page for future reference. Thanks for sharing. #bloggerclubuk

  7. I always used to struggle with hosting giveaways, until I discovered the prize finder etc. I have used rafflecopter, but Gleam sounds good, I might give it a try next time. Thanks #BloggerClubUK

  8. I am going to tuck this away in case I ever figure do it. Giveaways scare me…mostly because I really dont think I can figure them out.


  9. flyingsolo7 Reply

    You never stop learning as a blogger do you. Not something I have ever thought about doing until I read this… #BloggerClubUK

  10. I have ventured into the world of giveaways yet but am bookmarking this for the day that I do. Very detailed and useful. Thanks. #bloggerclubuk

  11. This is so useful, thank you so much for sharing! I’m running a giveaway in the next week or so and wasn’t really sure how to do it as usually I run it solely from my facebook page! I’m going to try these ideas out, thank you! #BloggerClubUK

  12. Really useful tips here. I haven’t used gleam before but sounds like a good option.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  13. Ooo I haven’t ever done a giveaway so I shall have to keep this for future reference in case it ever comes up. Well done for writing such an informative and easy step by step guide, I’m sure it will be really helpful to lots of people. #bloggerclubuk

  14. Fab post! I recently wrote a post on hosting giveaways too and have started a bit of a mini series on blogging called Blog Basics, although I didnt announce it as I was scared of committing to regularly doing them and I quite like the freedom of writing them as and when I feel I have something like this to share. I always love reading others posts like these so its quite nice to write one for a change 🙂 Emily #BloggerClubUK

  15. organisedjo Reply

    Thank you for writing this post, it is very timely as I am sorting out running a giveaway and I did wander what I needed to do! #BloggerClubUK

  16. elituesbay Reply

    this is great! I’m going to take not of your little step by step guide cause I’m planning to run a giveaway sooner than later for the first time (bit scared) but your guidelines will be quite handy. Thanks!! (btw, looking forward for more posts on this series 🙂

  17. Thank you so much for sharing! I am yet to host a giveaway but I have bookmarked this post for when I do!


  18. I have yet to venture into giveaways…I know it’s something I should do, but what to give away! Anyway keeping this for when I finally do super useful as ever! #SharingtheBlogLove

  19. Muma on the Edge Reply

    Oh my word, this is literally the exact question I just posted in the parent blogger UK FB group: how to run a giveaway!!
    Thank you Thank you, so much. I have taken notes, and bookmarked you page. This is exactly what I needed. A brilliant step by step guide, the most useful blog post I have read since @pinkpearbear did the follow / nofollow one!!
    I have my first giveaway towards the end of October, cannot wait now, I’m no loner dreading it.
    Big Love, L

  20. I will be doing a giveaway next month so this is really helpful! Thank you for this blog post, I look forward to reading your other posts 🙂 I have only been blogging a couple of months myself but things have taken off quicker than I expected! 🙂

  21. twotinyhands Reply

    I’ve not used social shares or Saturday shares before. Thanks #bloggerclubuk

  22. Hi Clare, I have never seen a post that explains how to host a giveaway before. So excellent tips! I would have had no idea where to start, at least now I know where to read if I ever do.


  23. Susie - This Is Me Now Reply

    This is fantastic. I am new to blogging but I love how he blogging community shares their knowledge and are so friendly. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to a giveaway but I’m bookmarking in the hope that if I can spare more time and get things to take off, that I might be able to!
    Great to join up to #BloggerclubUK – my first time! Xx

  24. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons Reply

    I’ve shied away from running giveaways, but this is a really straightforward guide that makes me think it can’t be too hard! Bookmarking for potential future use 🙂 Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  25. Lizzie firstooth Reply

    I’ve always struggled to promote a giveaway without it looking spammy and to know which entries are the best to include. Really great tips lovely! #bloggerclubuk

  26. Family Makes Reply

    Great information – I’d really like to run giveaways so I’m pinning this or when I get a chance to do one! Thank you #TheList

  27. I’ve not yet done a giveaway on my blog yet but this will be really handy when the time comes, thank you for sharing it #bloggerclubuk

  28. This is a fab post! I’ve run a few giveaways and whilst I use rafflecopter it pretty much does the same things. I must start including the tweet one as an entry option, I always forget to do this one! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  29. Pingback: Sharing the Blog Love - Showcase 14 - Hot Pink Wellingtons

  30. Rebecca Taylor Reply

    Thank you for this – so helpful! I have had to stumble my way through giveaways and am slowly getting there but this is great! Thanks for sharing. #Sharingthebloglove

  31. Brilliant post! I have yet to host my own giveaway but these tips have made it so easy for when i do!


  32. thefrenchiemummy Reply

    Some nice new tips I wasn’t aware of and I will use in my next competition. Merci #sharingthebloglove

  33. I literally knew NONE of this! Thank you so much, I am off to promote my latest giveaway, thank you!!! #sharingthebloglove

  34. bigbabybelly Reply

    Ok awesome, I am literally going to use all of these tips for a giveaway I’m running now!! GENIUS THANKS! #sharingthebloglove

  35. Kirsty - Motherhoodery Reply

    What a great post. I’m no-where near working with brands yet, but I love to save useful posts for future reference. This one has been bookmarked! Thank you for explaining it so simply. x #SharingtheBlogLove

  36. organisedjo Reply

    Fab tips! And perfect timing for me as I’m about to run my first giveaway so have made lots of notes ? #PickNMix X

  37. Great tips 🙂 I usually use rafflecopter for my competitions, but I think I might try Gleam next time as it is so easy to enter with! Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

  38. This is so helpful and useful! I’ve had a few giveaways but they never reach very far as I wasn’t sure how to promote them! I prefer entering comps through Gleam though as it’s quicker! #sharingthebloglove

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