Saturday 11 February 2012

Winning (or How To Get Ahead In Blog Competitions)

No, this isn't a tribute to the massive arse that is Charlie Sheen.  It is literally about winning! 
As I tweeted earlier this week, in the last year, I've won over £200 worth of prizes from blogs.  And this is without really trying.  I don't search for competitions; I only enter those of people I follow on Twitter or links tweeted by people I follow.  And I only enter competitions with prizes that I would actually like (ie. I skim over all the baby stuff comps!).
So I thought I'd write this blog as a guide to blog competitions from a competitors point of view.

Firstly, the latest thing in comps seems to be Rafflecopter.  This makes entering said competitions very streamlined and allow for more than two ways to enter.  And it does it's job well, so long as the instructions given by the blogger are clear and precise and all the links point to where they're suppose to point.  It's not without it's drawbacks though.  It's quite impersonal and the temptation not to even read the blog and skip straight to the Rafflecopter box is strong.  

All blog competitions require you to leave a comment.  We know, when entering, that what we write isn't important, but it's still nice for us to get creative.  So suggest a question, a scenario, a thought competitors should add.  It makes me read other comments and relate more to the blogpost as more than just a competition.

Tweeting about a comp is obviously the best way to get your post out there, but where possible, let tweeters compile their own tweet as it saves the identical tweet occuring several times on our TL.  Again, maybe suggest a prompt.

If you require a Twitter follow for entry to the competition, try then to interact in some way with your new followers, otherwise, once the competition is over, they will simply unfollow. (Yes, I do this all the time).

On a personal level, I hate to "like" pages on Facebook.  I already do "like" a lot of blogger pages, but that is simply because I like them.  I won't "like" a page just to enter a competition.  I will, however, "like" a post on a bloggers page as it means that it doesn't clog up my stream.

If you decide to have a competitor email subscribe to your blog to enter, I would suggest that you use a facility where they are sent each actual blogpost rather than a reminder of a posting.  I only recently subscribed to several blogs, have them sent to my phone and read them on the move.  Have yet to figure out how to comment by email, but I fear that may require a phone upgrade.  (Anyone running a comp for a new phone??!)

And finally, make sure the winner finds out that they have won.  I was recently sent an email to say I'd won which ended up in my spambox.  And if they are happy with their prize and are nice like me, they will tweet you a photo once they receive it!
 My Experience Day Prize from Lakes Single Mum's blog
My Trollied dvd from Typecast's blog

I don't know whether I know enough about blogging for this post to be informative, but I certainly know enough about winning!  And if you have a competition running, feel free to include your link in the comments box!

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