We Have a Winner!

Last post, the focus was running a blog contest—this post, ideas for a contest.  Given our remarkable if not impressive imaginations, the sky’s truly the limit (a valid statement worth repeating).

To restate, my intent: have a nothing-fancy, e-book giveaway at the end of March.  Yeah, kind of obvious.  That’s okay, because this suits my goal for the interim . . . but down the road, who knows what thrilling/sensational contests may transpire?  (I’ll keep you posted, literally.)

So, over to you.  You’re contemplating having a contest, but aren’t yet sure what to do to compel folks to follow you or buy from you and—most importantly—stick with you.

There are two basic types of contests:

  1. Entrants provide an email address to enter: this is a random-draw contest.  When the deadline arrives, you indiscriminately select a winner.
  2. Entrants submit “something” to compete for the prize: this is a best-entry contest.  These can be quite fun, but should be fairly straightforward; too time-consuming or intensive, and people won’t enter.

Let’s consider a few concepts:

  • best / most fun / silliest selfie, photo, or vid (perhaps with a caption or slogan relevant to your site’s theme or product/service)
  • social media notions that inspire potential entrants to share photos or vids that highlight your site, product or service
  • promotional post or composition about why your site is so awesome
  • fun / first-rate reasons why folks should follow your site, buy your product, invest in your service (and so forth)
  • compelling “why I should win” pieces of writing
  • thought-provoking quiz or trivia questions (perhaps about your site, product or service)
  • regular product and/or service giveaways (you determine how often and how much).

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Depending on what you’re selling or blogging/writing about, you might want to run a specialized contest: most adorable pet or baby pics, stunning travel or holiday photos, yummy dessert/dish recipes, inventive or inspired drawings or designs.  You might even go for something like “The 500th Follower Wins”.  Again, imagination is boundless.  Have at it.

Decide how often you want to run a contest, too—once annually, twice, thrice?  It’s up to you.  But don’t do one [or many] simply for the sake of it: make sure you identify why you’re having a contest.  What’s the ultimate aim?  Determine your prize(s).  Decide how you’ll choose your winner(s)—we’ll look at this in a subsequent post.  Organize all pertinent components accordingly, because you don’t want any [flabbergasting] surprises.

To reiterate an essential point, keep it all simple and sweet—always.

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