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Create a Successful Giveaway Post

I am posting this how to for all newbie bloggers who want to now how to create a successful giveaway post on their blog. I have included what I do as well.   Running a giveaway is not only a great way to promote your blog or a product, but it’s also useful for increasing your social media readers.

Successful Giveaway Post

First you should use a giveaway tool app. There are several available, Giveaway Tools, Rafflecopter, Gleam.io are the top 3!

Giveaway Tools {I use this one}
A free Web application that creates an embeddable entry form for contests and giveaways.

  • Extremely easy to use for a beginner, as all you have to do is choose the settings and options for your giveaway and you will receive a small piece of code to place your entry form on your blog.
  • Offers a number of different built-in entry forms, including blog comments, RSS subscriptions, Twitter follows and there is also an option to create a custom entry type.
  • Option to share the same form code with others, which is useful for group giveaways.
  • The plugin also features automatic entry confirmation to simplify the process even further.
  • Can generate winner automatically when giveaway is over

Rafflecopter: very popular with a lot of bloggers

  • Free plan actions include Facebook, Twitter, blog comments, and custom actions.
  • Blogger plan for $7.99/month adds the ability to conduct polls, change start and end times (you can change the dates with free plan, just not the times), integrate Pinterest support, and the option to add a photo slideshow for your product.
  • Option to share the same form code with others, which is useful for group giveaways.

Gleam.io

  • Free plan actions include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Vimeo, visiting a specific URL, questions and multiple choice polls, and bonus entries.
  • Emphasize specific actions by changing how many entries they’re worth.
  • Pro plan for $39.99/month adds featured images, photo entries, and newsletter subscription services integration.

Setting up the post
The post is going to be what draws people in and encourages them to take action and enter your giveaway. Keep it simple, and keep it genuine. A great way to get a person’s interest is to review the product and then give one away. You’re showing them what the product is or does so they can decide if they HAVE TO HAVE IT!

I do the review separate from the giveaway, in the giveaway post I’ll post what I really liked about the product and then include the link so they can go to the page. {ex: I love my iCoffee Machine, the coffee tastes fresher and has so much more flavor than with the Keurig! I can use the reusable filters and kcups I already have, so no need to buy anything else (add your link to …. Check out our iCoffee review and video of how it works)!}  This also helps your bounce rate on google analytics go down because your readers are going from 1 page to another instead of leaving in a minute or seconds after landing on your page! The review post has more substance and increases its share-ability on social media sites.

Take great photos of the item. If you don’t have photos available (i.e. if a company/brand is providing you with a prize and will be sending it out for you) make sure to have them send you some high-res images (Higher resolution means more image detail) that fit nicely inside your content area. It’s not necessary to fill up your post with a dozen photos, so pick two or three of the best and keep it simple! Tons of photos tend to bore readers.

Successful Giveaway Post

Collecting entries and call-to-actions
Remember your initial goal of the giveaway, come up with a few required entry types. This is where you can ask your readers to perform an action to be entered into the contest.

If your goal is to increase RSS/Email subscribers, be sure to include a that the entrant “Subscribe” to your RSS/Email to be entered. If you wanted Twitter followers, have them “Follow” you on Twitter. Any social network site you want them to follow should be included, but do remember to keep it simple!

If you are looking for more Twitter followers, don’t include a bunch of other requirements such as following you on Instagram and Pinterest. The more options you give the visitor, the more flustered they are going to feel which may deter them from taking any action at all.

For example, some bloggers will have a massive giveaway with numerous “giveaway co-hosts” and will require you to Like, Tweet, Share, and Pin everything and every co-host. The list of “things to do” goes on and on and takes a lot of time for a visitor to complete. This is a turnoff for those who want to enter and win, but don’t have the time to sit and like, follow, etc every host. So you can see why it is important to stick with your initial goal, and keep it simple. If you are going to have or join a massive giveaway, I highly suggest not making those entries mandatory. Do something like a question, a word of the day, etc for a mandatory entry.

Besides your call-to-actions, you’ll want to collect other information from the entrants, such as their email address and location (if your giveaway is restricted to certain countries this is important!).  You will also need to list any rules, state when the giveaway will end, and share how you will contact a winner and don’t forget a response time, I usually give them 24 hrs, some bloggers do 48 hours. ALWAYS put in your terms the age requirement as well as you are not responsible for prize fulfillment. If you are helping promote a giveaway, you should have a disclaimer stating that you (your blog) is helping promote so and so’s giveaway and have not been compensated and are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Always refer back to the blogger who is responsible for the giveaway.

Promoting your giveaway
Once you have published your giveaway, you’ll need to promote it! You should start with your own social media networks and any giveaway promotion groups you are in. Be sure to make the announcement of your giveaway something that will draw readers in.  Why should they visit your giveaway? Create a nice vertical image announcing your contest and Pin it on Pinterest.  You can also use hashtags like #giveaway or #win. Schedule a couple social media posts for the future so that you can continue to get the word out at specific times. For example, maybe you schedule one for the afternoon, and one for the evening when people get off work.

If you are working with a company, be sure to send them the link and ask if they would mind sharing it on their social sites as well… it could mean an instant boost of traffic!  On your sidebar, if you are on self-hosted wordpress, be sure to have a giveaway widget so readers will see you have one and enter. If you do not have a giveaway widget, you can add an image of the giveaway product with link to the post using the following code: just be sure to place it somewhere visible.

Successful Giveaway Post

What you should not do
Don’t go around leaving comments on other people’s blog posts announcing your contest. That is called spamming and it won’t gain you any blogger credit. Instead, there are a bunch of giveaway sites you post your giveaway link to. Just search Google for “giveaway linkups”.

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