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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