How to Run a Contest on Your Blog

Do you run contents on your blog? Have you considered it?

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.

Note: If you do a contest in relation to a social network, check their Terms of Use before posting anything on the platform.

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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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

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.


Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, what a good idea. I hadn't thought of running a contest on my blog, but I'm thinking about it now. It's a great way to generate content for a blog and social networks.
Maybe we'll do one here at Writers on the Move!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen. Contests are fun and they don't have to be complicated, which not everyone realizes. And, that's a great idea!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

So, explain the kind of successes you have had with your contests. Karen, running one on WritersontheMove would be a great teaching tool for all of us who have never done it!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Deb, really cute headshot!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Carolyn!

Debra Eckerling said...

I have been running my monthly goal-posting contest for years, Carolyn. I get lots of engagement from it on my Facebook page, and it's in line with my goal-setting and accountability platform. The real prize is people who have success from posting and reporting on goals, but one lucky reader is surprised with a prize each month!

Linda Wilson said...

I agree with Carolyn, Debra. Your photo is darling. Your post has been a big help to me because I'm planning to burst out into the marketing world with a contest connected to my book. Thanks so much for the great info.

Debra Eckerling said...

You are welcome, Linda! Thank you. And best of luck with your book.

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