How to Make your Contest a Success!

Contest is the easiest medium to attract readers to your blog. With a little investment, you get a lot in return like increase in readership, traffic and comments. But not all contest get the desired results.
Success of a contest is very important to get the maximum goods of it. Bloggers always wonder that what should they do to make their contest a success. Here are some points i have learned while organizing and sponsoring a number of contests.

How to make your blog contest a success

1. Its all about the prizes

Prizes are the core of a contest. If your prizes suck, your contest will too! Prizes are like magnets for readers. Good ones attract a horde, Bad ones scare away even the few that come their way. So a lot depends on the type and the number of prizes you give.
It is always better to give out hard cash than any other service or product (even if it has the same worth) because your readers may or may not like the product your giving but they will always like the money(Actually it’s all about the money :)).
Number of prizes also matters, if you have prizes to give to 10 different people then it increases their chances of winning and hence increases the participation.

2. Make it Super Easy

Contests having a lot of requirements is a sure way to repel people. Contests having few requirements and easy tasks have the best turnout. For example, it is a one minute job to subscribe to your blog, but is at least an hour job to write a whole review about your blog. So obviously more people are likely to subscribe than write a review.

3. Make it a regular feature

Organizing contests on a regular basis increases participation. After certain time period the contests become known to a bigger audience and hence one gets a huge turnout after 1 or 2 contests. And the best about this is that it also converts a number of casual readers into serious blog readers.

4. Random is the way to Go

This is a bit debatable, but in my opinion contests which select winners on a random basis get a better response than the ones that require people to be best at something (eg. Have the best review or the Top commentator). For the sole reason that via Random, anybody can win(i.e have equal chance of winning) but via the other methods, only the ones that are leading have higher chance to win.

5. Broadcast

The most important step is to let others know that you are organizing a contest. A simple way is to tweet about it, if you have a good following say about 5000 then atleast 80-200 people will get to know about and the figure may shoot up if there are further retweets.
Secondly you can post your contests in popular contest blogs i.e blogs that post about latest contests online. These blogs have a huge number of followers who are eager to participate in new and interesting contests.
Another time consuming but effective solution is to contact some authority bloggers. It is a bit tedious but if you contact a number of bloggers, you mind end up getting some reviews of the contest.

Have you organized a contest on your blog? What has been your experience?

  • DiTesco

    Good tips Gautam. I myself am trying to launch my first contest and hopefully will do this soon. I do agree that contest should be easy and winners selected on a random basis. Increase their chances by getting more entries is the right way to go. Thanks

    Recent blog:=- Forget Making Money Online – It Sucks #2

  • Dennis Edell

    4. Random is the way to Go – I do see your point, and agree to a poin. I gotta say though, my commenter contests I was running were HUGE evry month. πŸ™‚

    BTW, I just found you via someone elses commentluv and have now subscribed. πŸ˜‰

  • Klaus @ TechPatio

    I agree that the "random winners" are usually the best. Of course if you're running a "leaderboard" then the better the participant the better the prize he/she should have, but then it's not really a "contest" as such.

    Prizes would really have to be big for me to consider spending a lot of time on it. For instance I recently saw a video on YouTube where they gave away ONE camera (A flip HD, I think) for entries where the requirement was for the user to record them doing a special magic trick they could see after downloading a free report. Nah, that's just too much effort for a cheap camera πŸ™‚

    Recent blog:=- New Cookie Law Will Require User Consent Before Placing Cookies

  • Tycoon Blogger

    you are so right, contest are a great way to boost traffic. Like you said, keep it easy. I think that is key because nobody has time to jump through a bunch of hoops even if the prize is great. My rule of thumb is if it takes me more than 5 minutes to enter, I'm out.

    Recent blog:=- Get more twitter followers fast

  • gautam

    It can also be optional like giving more entries to those who review than those who subscribe and all those entries add up and increase the chances of winning the contest

    Recent blog:=- How to Make your Contest a Success!

  • gautam

    Yes Commenter contests do get a lot of partcipation, because it takes a minute to comment and some of the blogs are dofollow, so you get a backlink to your blog too!.

  • gautam

    That is the point i was stressing on, not everybody has that amount of time to participate contests like this and so the entries are really low.

  • gautam

    Yes me too 5 minutes is the time spend, unless the prizes are too good, and i want them really badly.:)

  • work at home

    Hi Gautam nice post. Yes contest is really very good way to attract visitor and get backlink to your blog. I like to join in contest. I already win in one blogging contest of Peter Lees blog.

    Recent blog:=- New from google work at home affiliate network

  • Indo Contest

    Great Article…

    Recent blog:=- Win a New 32GB iPod Touch at GadgetLite

  • Simon | Teenius

    Awesome post, really enjoyed reading it! πŸ˜€ Personally I ran a contest on my blog earlier this month, and am planning to do so again later on in the month… it's a great way of getting exposure to your blog. My traffic tripled when I did it! πŸ˜€

  • gautam

    YEs it is very good to win contest, you get all the free stuff πŸ™‚ That's so cool

    Recent blog:=- How to Make your Contest a Success!

  • gautam

    That's really good. Traffic tripling due to contest, then you should do it more often.

    Recent blog:=- How to Make your Contest a Success!

  • work at home

    Gautam I want a help from you. I have changed my blogger template, the template is really very nice. I have to change the width of sidebar of my blog, so that I can put two 125*125 banner, side by side. I can no do that. Please help me by telling what I have to do, if you want I will send you the template code. Please inform me bro. Thank you.

    Recent blog:=- New from google work at home affiliate network

  • Aswani

    Yes, I agree contests can make you and your blog very popular. I myself have been part of many blogging contests but at times I found it too difficult to understand the basics. It is very important that you explain things in simple terms which is easy to understand rather than being more technical which often leads to the loss of interest amongst those willing to participate. Great tips !

    Recent blog:=- Microsoft Paying You, Not Fake – WOW !

  • Sunny Bhasin

    Thanks Gautam πŸ™‚
    This wil help me in my future contest which will be conducted after i get some descent traffic πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Twitter goes viral when it comes to contest πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ 😎

    Recent blog:=- List of Best PDF Search Engines

  • gautam

    Yes contest helped me gain a lot of subscribers and it will do that to you too!.

    Recent blog:=- How to Make your Contest a Success!

  • gautam

    You have to change the css and increase the width of the sidebar.

    Recent blog:=- How to Make your Contest a Success!

  • gautam

    Yes the mantra is to keep it really simple and so more and more people can participate

  • Ruchi

    Great tips, These days all bloggers find contest to be easiest way to drive traffic to their blog, but many fails. I guess your post will be helpful for many blogger.

    Recent blog:=- Is Excessive Blogging Hurting your Relations

  • TechChunks

    I couldn't agree more. We had our first Contest on where we gave away prizes worth over $1000. Broadcasting, keeping it simple and using helped us a lot ot gain lot of participants. Great post! 😎

    Recent blog:=- LinkWithin Widget: Reduce Bounce Rate and Show Related Articles on Your Blog (Review)

  • gautam

    That's a huge amount you gave away.
    For 1000$ there is no need for anything is else, because the money is huge!

  • Will

    Hi Gautam, The contest concept is obviously a good one and as a newbie blogger in the summer I was very attracted to Keller Hawthorne's Fresh and her WP Design contest (link below) which ( amazingly) I actually won. I say amazingly because my design definitely wasn't the best one at the time, but hopefully it's now improving bit by bit. Anyway, I promoted the contest quite a lot and the prizes were very cool, but even better has been the added interest shown in my new site. Anyway,now,after 6 months of blogging, I'm nearly ready to start running my own contests ( planned for early next year) – and this post is very helpful. So thanks! Very best wishes , Will
    P.S. I'm on your Google Friend Connect here – and it would be great to see you at my site too ( and if you'd like to be on the site itself in the blogging category…..just let me know!)

    Recent blog:=- β€œSite Of The Month – September 2009β€³

  • gautam

    You won a really good contest. And the best part of winning a contest is that you get additional exposure for your website.
    Best of luck for yur future contests

  • shari

    Any suggestions on how to get more sponsors for contests. We have had some great contests and are trying to get some more – but its not easy. (

  • gautam

    Try contacting sponsors directly or try twitter and contact people who can benefit from your contest

  • umanwork

    history on site prostitutki piterburg 😎

  • Blogging Tips

    Good tips Gautam.I am a new visitor to your blog.Your blog is nice.

  • Excellent insight here — thanks for the info on blog contests.

  • Hi Gautam! It’s great to be nudged and informed about this post of yours. I just got back and I need some good info, there you are sending me this post through SU. That’s what I love about quality posts, no matter how old they are, if they are good deserved to be reminded and spread around. I personally was attracted by the #4, make it random. I’ll say it’s important to recognize what’s the main goal of the contest. Sometimes random can be of a good impact to the contest as well. I like that.

    Keep the good posts coming! ^^

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..8 Lessons Derived from Vacation to Boost Your Blogging Experience =-.

    • I personally tried random, and it had a fantastic response

  • Raj

    Hmmm, Even I am thinking of running a contest… Thanks for the wonderful tips πŸ™‚

  • Raj


    u just mentioned above that I shall ask an authority blooger if he would be interested in spreading the news about my contest.

    Will you be interested in spreading the news about my contest ?

    Thanks in advance πŸ™‚
    .-= Raj´s last blog ..Are you using Affirmations to be more successful in your life ?? =-.

  • Install Communication Software

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  • thank you for your important information
    .-= Ψ§Ψ³Ψͺآافة´s last blog ..xxxxx =-.

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  • Thanks Gautam for this great Tips. I have organize few contest but it failed.But now I can make it into Success.

  • thank you for this important information we need more and more to learn πŸ™‚

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    Thought is nice.