Step 1: Know Thy Audience.
Giveaways are exciting, because let’s face it - everyone loves free stuff! But what they love even more is free stuff that they’ll actually use and care about. When thinking about hosting a giveaway on your blog, make sure the prize you choose is in keeping with your blog’s theme, your personal style and the needs, wants or likes of your audience. It’s not always the most expensive prize that gets participants fired up – sometimes it’s the practical.
Step 2: Keep It Simple.
With the prize chosen, you’re one step closer to launching your giveaway. It’s time to get building. But where do you start?
It’s the Internet to the rescue. There are a number of free blog giveaway management tools that make building your contest a snap. Our favorites will have you up and running in minutes.
Rafflecopter has both paid and free versions of their contest software, but the free version is fairly robust and can be setup in as little as three minutes. In addition to providing entries to people who comment on your giveaway blog post, you can also encourage additional entries via the following:
Rafflecopter also provides an easy template for creating contest terms and conditions. It’s easy to set-up, easy to use and gets rave reviews from bloggers and participants alike.
One of the things we love about PunchTab is its seamless integration with a variety of platforms including Wordpress, Blogger, Drupal, Typepad, Shopify, Ning and more. And just like Rafflecopter, it allows for multiple methods of entry by performing specific actions:
Although it’s still in its beta phase, Giveaway Tools is another service for launching your giveaway quickly and easily. We especially recommend it for our friends with Etsy shops. As with Rafflecopter and PunchTab, there are a number of ways to enter:
Step 3. Take It Social.
The great thing about blog giveaway services is that they naturally encourage cross-promotion between your blog and social channels. In addition to using engagement with your blog’s social media channels as an entry mechanism, you should also be using your channels to promote the contest. Think of it like a “chicken and egg” thing. You need both to run a successful giveaway.
Step 4: Follow the Rules.
We know legal jargon can be scary, but it also serves purpose – protecting you just in case you end up with sore losers in your giveaway. (It happens!) Thankfully, there are a multitude of tools to make the process of writing contest rules and guidelines easy. Rocket Lawyer, for example, is a free sweepstakes rules generator that provides official rules for your contest in minutes.
Step 5: Keep It Fresh.
We understand that repetition is important to drive action, but we also know that no one likes to repeat themselves. We’ve put together a short list of ideas to help you keep your content fresh when promoting your contest:
Step 6: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
You’ve collected the entries, swapped stories, cruised your comments and now it’s time to choose your winner. If you used one of the giveaway tools we recommended in Step 3, you’ll have easy go of selecting a winner at random (after all, it’s important to not show favoritism).
From there, you’ll need to announce the winner on your blog and send them their prize (arguably the most important step of this process). It’s also important to ask winners to share of photo of themselves with the prize. It makes for a great follow-up post for your blog and gives them a little more time in the limelight. Sounds like the recipe for a win-win to us. ;)
This blogging tip brought to you by Mom Bloggers Club and Mommy’s Club. For more from Mommy’s Club, including giveaways and contests, follow them on Twitter (@themommysclub), Facebook.com/themommysclub.com