If you are a wedding blogger (or just regular blogger) who has been wanting to run a giveaway for a while but are not sure where to start, this article is a great place to begin. Read on for suggestions on why you should host a wedding blog giveaway, ideas on what you should give away and how to determine a winner, plus many more pointers.
And when you’re done setting up your giveaway be sure to submit it to Wedding Day Giveaways here for us to share the news!
What Are the Benefits To Running a Blog Giveaway?
Increased blog activity and traffic as well as attracting new readers. And don’t forget rewarding current readers and vendors you may have a relationship with! It’s also a great way to network with new vendors and access new opportunities and partnerships.
When Should I Do a Blog Giveaway?
Great times include the celebration of a milestone on the blog, a holiday, to announce a new vendor partnership or advertising opportunity … or just because!
What Should I Give Away?
A good guideline is to give something you would like to win yourself! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but items worth over $25 (US) tend to get more entries, and items like gift cards or where the winner can pick from a selection tend to do better than very specific items.
That being said, you know your audience best. And don’t be afraid to think big. I’ve seen everything from wedding photography packages to entire bridal gowns or even cash or iPads given away on some medium tier wedding blogs!
If you are not going to purchase the item yourself or provide it in some other manner, great spots to look for items include local vendors you already know, Etsy sellers or sites that you see advertising on other wedding blogs or hosting similar giveaways.
Who Should I Partner With?
I get it – it’s scary to send a cold email to a vendor asking them to provide an item for free or at deep discount for a giveaway. The first time I hosted a blog giveaway, I contacted three big hopes, and not only heard back from two (vastly exceeding my expectations of no one,) but ended up giving over $100 worth of prizes from those two vendors. That was the first time I had ever given any prizes away.
You can support your request by being professional and prepared. Including traffic and statistics on your blog plus clear guidelines for the giveaway, the begin and end dates and including ways to benefit the donator will help sell your pitch. Will the entrants like their Facebook wall, visit their storefront or spread the word about their business? Don’t discount the power of word of mouth advertising!
Isn’t My Blog Too Small?
If you have one reader, you are probably big enough to host a giveaway. You’ll be surprised at how many entries you will get and what the power of proper promotion does. I know I was surprised at the number of entries and increased traffic I got for my first giveaway!
When you are contacting potential giveaway partners and you feel like you are too small to mention your traffic, just don’t! And if they ask, be honest. People are kind and looking for opportunities too. Chances are they will still say yes.
Keep It Simple
Have you ever tried to enter a giveaway and had to complete multiple steps just to enter once? Like this, comment this, visit that, enter here… Kind of discouraging and not so fun, right? Keep it simple and on focus, and you are more likely to have more entries.
How Will People Enter?
Will they like your Facebook page? The giveaway partner’s Facebook page? Tweet about it? Make a Pinterest board? Write an essay? Tell a story? Take a photo? Leave a comment? Observe other giveaways and see all the options available and consider what is best for your readers and for your time.
How Will I Keep Track of Entries?
Although some blog giveaways track entries by hand – often thousands of entries – that’s not always necessary. Free or low cost tools like Rafflecopter and Splurgy manage giveaway events for you. They collect and track contest entries as they happen for you to sift through at any point to determine eligibility, then randomize at the end when you have a winner. They even make plug in for Facebook associated giveaways and cool little widgets to embed on your blog and your giveaway partner’s blog.
If you are judging entries on merit, such as photographs, Pinterest boards or essays, that’s up to you to decide!
What About Legal Mumbo Jumbo?
For Terms and Conditions, it’s pretty easy: again, keep it simple and clear to understand. Be upfront about any limitations you have to impose. Is this your giveaway only open to brides getting married in the next three months living in Australia? Let your readers know, and it will be less disappointing for all involved. Rafflecopter has a template you can use, but there are many online. You can also use your favorite blog as guidance. Important information to include:
- Dates – When the giveaway begins, when it ends and when you will announce a winner
- What – What exactly are you giving away?
- Where – Where will you accept entries from?
- How – take into consideration how much shipping might be and how you will get the item to the winner
Compose Your Contest Post
Write up your post. Include photos of the item, an introduction to the giveaway partner if you have one and clear instructions for entrants on how to enter. Write compelling tweets and Facebook posts, too. Share any information with your contest partner to make sure you’re both on the same page. Then click publish and wait for the entries!
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Share it on Wedding Day Giveaways, tell your readers, Tweet about it, shout it from the rooftops! Don’t be constantly spamming about it, but remind people as the contest runs to enter and give them a last minute reminder. It’s totally normal for there to be a surge in entries in the final hours of your contest.