Tips for Successful Blog Contests

Drive Traffic to Your Blog by Hosting Great Blog Contests

Blog contests are a great way to drive traffic to your blog, but there are some important steps to follow to ensure your contest is as successful as it can be.

Pick a Prize

Man cheering in crowd
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Picking a prize might seem simple enough, but you should take some time to think about your prize to ensure you choose one that will help to make your blog contest successful. The more exciting your prize is, the more buzz that will naturally grow around it. However, you need to consider the monetary investment in purchasing your prize and shipping it to the winner. Also, prizes that are related to your blog's topic are typically the best because they bring added value to your readers.

You might be able to find a sponsor for your blog contest who will donate a prize. Companies will donate prizes to generate publicity. You can publish your request on sites like ProfNet. You'd be surprised how many responses you're likely to get.

Choose an Entry Method

The simplest blog contest entry method is to ask people to leave a comment on your blog contest announcement post. That comment acts as their entry. Alternatively, you could require people to answer a question in their comments to be entered into the contest. Alternatively, you could require people to post about the contest on their own blogs with a link back to your contest post on your blog to count as an entry into the contest.

You can give different value to each type of entry. For example, leaving a comment on your blog contest post could equate to one entry into the contest but blogging about the contest on their own blogs with a link back to your contest post, could give them 2 entries. It's up to you.

Choose a Start and End Date

Before you announce your blog contest, make sure you decide the specific date and times it will start and end to set entrant's expectations.

Determine Prize Delivery Restrictions

It's critical that you determine how you're going to deliver the prize to the winner up front. For example, if you need to mail the prize, you might want to restrict the contest to people within a certain geographic area to reduce shipping costs.

Identify How a Winner Will Be Chosen

Depending on how your blog contest is set up, the winner will either be picked randomly or subjectively (for example, the best answer to the contest question). For random contests, you can use a website such as to automatically generate a winner.

It's also important to set up restrictions around prize notification. You don't want to have to wait months for the winner to get back to you with their mailing address, so you can send the prize to them. Set up a limitation stating how much time the winner has to respond to you after you send their prize notification with their contact information for prize delivery else the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen.

Write the Rules

Make sure you include rules with your blog contest announcement post. Include the entry deadline, delivery restrictions, how the winner will be selected, directions for entry, and anything else you can think of to protect yourself.