A guest post from Olivia from Frugal Bon Vivant (a blog about enjoying the good life on a budget).
We’ve already established that doing a giveaway can be an excellent way to promote your blog. So now that you’ve decided to do a giveaway – and it’s been live for three hours with zero entries – what do you do? If your goal is to reach new readers you’ll need to promote the giveaway – especially if you don’t have an established reader base yet. Here are 6 tips for promoting your blog giveaway:
1. Give away something of value
This sounds like a given, but there are so many small hodgepodge giveaways out there already (personally, I love Etsy giveaways, but hardcore promotion of a $5 item isn’t going to earn you points with most people). A good rule of thumb is a $50 minimum value – if you’re planning to promote to a new audience. Plus, many blog giveaway promotion sites require the prize value to be $50 or greater.
2. Keep it simple!
Make sure the entry requirements scale with the giveaway’s value. For example, if you’re giving away a $50 gift card make the entry requirements quick & easy, like “leave a comment with the words ‘i heart cupcakes!’” Requiring six steps to enter is a quick way to see your incoming visitors bounce. Requiring just a comment and then allowing people to get “bonus points” by following you on Twitter, re-tweeting, friending on Facebook, and subscribing via RSS will create much more goodwill. In my experience, only 17% of the entrants did a bonus option.
3. Keep it short
I found that one week is a good time limit. If you let it drag on too long, your readers will stray, but if it’s too short you won’t get as much promotion and traffic out of your giveaway.
4. Leverage your network
Promote to your existing blog network (via Twitter, Facebook Pages, reminders at the bottom of new posts etc). When appropriate, share the giveaway with your personal network too. Don’t be pushy or repetitive, but posting a link on your personal Facebook page with a “Hey guys, I’m giving away xxx on my blog tomorrow!” can generate quite a bit of traffic from friends and acquaintances that are interested in you, but might not have checked out your blog before.
There are many blogs devoted to listing giveaways, but most of them are a waste of time. I submitted my giveaway to about 30 sweepstakes and giveaway websites, and only saw multiple entries from four sites, but overall those 4 sites generated 85% of my contest entries! (see chart) Another idea is to look for other bloggers in your niche who are doing giveaways and swap links — by mentioning each others’ giveaways. Remember, this needs to beneficial for both of you, so think about what would make you want to swap, if another blogger requested the same from you ￼.
6. Expect attrition
Anytime you’re doing a giveaway, you’re going to get more traffic, followers, subscribers etc, but when the giveaway is over some of them are inevitably going to drop you like third period French. Fortunately, there will still be some entrants who saw enough value in your blog to stick around. The day my giveaway ended, I had 6x the RSS subscribers and followers on Twitter than what I had started with. Within a few days though, 10% of them unsubscribed/unfollowed – which to me was an acceptable attrition rate and I was stoked to see that I was creating enough value after the giveaway for the 90% of my new “friends” who stayed.
If you’re still in the planning stages of your giveaway, try to think of creative ways to do a cheap giveaway… Have you won anything recently? Or received a gift that you can’t return? I gave away a Sansa slotRadio mp3 player (valued at $99) that I won from another blog giveaway that had only 21 entries – fairly good odds – so shipping was my only cost.
How have you successfully promoted your blog giveaway?