Contests are a great way to generate content and traffic to your blog, as well as encourage engagement with your community. Plus, it gives you material to share on your social media sites.
A regular contest translates into low-maintenance, ongoing content. For instance, I run a contest every month on my website and community for writers: Write On Online. Anyone who posts goals on the website or Facebook page, throughout the month, is entered to win a book from Michael Wiese Productions, a screenwriting and film publishing company. A winner is chosen at random.
Here are a few easy options of free contests to run on your blog:
Photo Contest: Have entrants share an image, related to a theme or in some way, your business.
Essay Contest: Ask readers submit a story of a defined length on a specific topic.
Sweepstakes: This is the lowest barrier to entry. Your audience members simply need to enter their email address for a chance to win a prize at random. This is another way to add subscribers to your newsletter list.
To create a contest, you must also establish and publish rules, a deadline, judges (if applicable), and prizes ahead of time. Prizes can be as simple as a copy of your latest book or consulting time from your business specialty.
Now, here's the best part. Contest give you automatic blog posts, since you need:
- Contest launch and rules (you'll also want a standard page on your blog with rules)
- Deadline reminders (for early-bird and regular deadline, if relevant)
- Winner announcement and posts
Contests don't have to be complicated, they just need to be representative of your site.
What do you think? Do you run contests on your blog? What kinds of contents to you find most effective? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages.
Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.