Monday

Secrets to Hosting a FABULOUS Giveaway

One great way to increase traffic to your blog? Host a FABULOUS giveaway! I do cross promotion giveaways on my Blog about once a quarter and they are always big traffic sources to my blog. I do these giveaways on grand scales rather than do one giveaway item at a time, because they are far more beneficial to everyone involved!



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 Readers. Sponsors. You.

Think about how your giveaway helps everyone involved. My Readers have a chance a HUGE prize package from multiple Sponsors. Sponsors receive traffic from the host. I receive lot's of traffic to my blog.

Readers

If the Sponsored items are not what your readers are looking for, they are less likely to Share, Like, or even enter your giveaway. That is a loss for everyone because you weren't thinking about what your readers really want! Cater to them! They are the reason you are hosting a giveaway. One great way is to ASK them! Yes, put it out there on your Facebook page! Today I asked on my Facebook page who my readers wanted to see as Sponsors on my next giveaway. This not only gives me ideas on who to contact for giveaway, but if the company is tagged on my page and see's that I am hosting a giveaway AND that my readers want them involved chances are FAR more likely that they will Sponsor a giveaway to my blog!


Sponsors {Bloggers, Companies and Direct Sales}

You also need to ensure that you treat the Sponsor like a customer! I want every Sponsor that ever provides their products for one of my giveaways ALWAYS wants to participate in a giveaway hosted on my site.  The reason my giveaways are cross promotions is that my Sponsors gain far more views in my cross promotions than they would for providing one blog author an item for a giveaway.  They get way more bang for their buck :) Also, the overall giveaway "pot" is HUGE and they literally have to provide very little {most of my "buy in" amounts are $20.00 in the form of a Gift Certificate} for a rather large return on that investment. I also like to keep the "buy in" amounts low because I LOVE my small businesses! I want them to have the opportunity to participate as well without breaking the bank! Furthermore, for my blogger friends and Independent Reps who are looking to increase their following, I provide an option for them to participate as well with a low "buy in", but they usually provide $15.00 in paper crafting products with FREE Shipping to the winner.

You.

You wil receive all of the benefits of the Sponsors without paying anything. I put my Facebook page in the entry requirements right along with the Sponsors. Since I am hosting the giveaway and doing all of the leg work involved it is entirely acceptable. The cost to you is the time involved to organize such an event. It is a LOT of work, but if you are looking for traffic, if you do it right you will see a return on your time!

How to get started

  • First, be realistic but set high goals. Be realistic about who will likely Sponsor you, but don't be afraid to ask large companies! A couple of years ago I asked a Company that had over 70k followers on Facebook to be a Sponsor. I literally had just a couple hundred Readers at the time. They said to ask again when I had over 1k fans on Facebook. No problem! I found out what they were looking for, and when I got back in touch with them I mentioned that they had asked me to reach out to them again, and guess what they are now a Sponsor!                                                 Note: You are also providing backlinks to the Sponsors page which is very valuable to any Company or Blogger. Backlinks help sites rank higher in the Google Algorithms so don't always expect a NO! As long as you have a good number of readers and followers and your site provides quality information to your readers a $20.00 gift certificate is small time compared to the Marketing Costs of other promotions. Also, these posts are usually left on a bloggers blog for the entire duration of their blog! This means that the Sponsors will likely still be receiving hits to their store from your page for years to come!

  • Where to find Potential Sponsors. Go to a Company Directory Page and start there. A simple Google search within your Niche is another great place to start. Other Bloggers Side Bars also offer a lot of options for companies that are willing to Sponsor Blogs. Try searching for other Giveaways similar to the one you would like to host! 

  • Make a list. Draft a list of potential sponsors and include columns for Companies Name, Contact Name, E-mail address, date contacted, yes/no, comments. Fill this in as your responses come in. 

  • Draft a Sponsor Request Template, but personalize it specifically to your contact or the Company. Yes, have a template with your blog sites stats, past giveaway posts stats and number of entries and what the company will need to provide if they decide to participate, but personalize it to them. Is there something specific their participation in this giveaway will do for them? Answer that question in your request. Personally I can tell when I can help a company reach a much larger audience and I directly tell them so in the request. Do not exaggerate how this promotion will benefit them! Remember, you want Sponsors begging to be in your giveaways! If you fall short of what you promise you will provide they will likely not Sponsor again. 

  • Begin Contacting potential Sponsors. Update your list as responses come in. Always note the companies questions and update your Sponsor Request Template to answer these! If you answer their questions up front in the initial contact they a more likely to Sponsor you

Setting up your giveaway
  • Select your giveaway platform. This would include inlinkz, random number generator, or Rafflecopter. I use the free version of Rafflecopter for "likes" to sponsors Facebook Pages as well as allowing for additional entries for Tweets and Shares from Readers. 

  • Select how contestants should enter. Blog comments, Facebook Shares, Tweets, Liking a Facebook Page. I utilize a number of these through Rafflecopter to ensure a wide reach of the Giveaway. Let your readers share your giveaway as an entry! 

  • Provide any terms and conditions necessary. I always give a time frame { 7 - 10 days is the normal window } that the winner must contact me to claim their prize. I do not want to have to go back to the Sponsors three months later to try and get the winner their prizes because they didn't contact me. Consider shipping as well. ASK your sponsors if they are willing to provide international shipping. One way to ensure this isn't an issue - Do Gift Cards to the Sponsors Stores! The Winner gets a pre-determined amount. Anything above that price, including shipping costs must be paid to the Sponsor.



Promoting your Giveaway

There are so may places that you can utilize to Promote your Giveaway. Everyone loves FREE right! So there are blogs and facebook pages dedicated just to posting about giveaways!

Here are a few resources to promote your giveaway:

Blog Giveaway Directory
Homespun Friends Giveaways and Freebies
Giveaways and Blog Candy
Blog Giveaways- List yours Here
Only Giveaways
Blah Blah Bloggie Giveaways

Use your own Social Networking Sites to promote your giveaway and request that the Sponsors also share about the giveaway on their sites.

Once the giveaway has ended and you have selected a winner post the winner to your blog, thank your Sponsors and list them again! When the winner contacts you to claim your prize message your Sponsors and give them the Winners information {and it wouldn't hurt to thank them again!}

Have you Hosted a Fabulous giveaway and have some tips or anything yo add? I'd Love to hear from you!

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