JC Tech: How to Run a Successful Blog Giveaway
I feel as though giveaways get a bit of a bad rep – people see them as a way to gain followers quickly who aren’t dedicated. But, after running a few myself, I think that you can run a really successful giveaway which rewards your readers, builds your following and doesn’t over inflate your followers. So let’s split this into a few common questions I’ve got when chatting about giveaways.
How do I run a giveaway?
So basics first – you can run giveaways just through a blog post, but the easiest way by far is through rafflecopter. When you are on rafflecopter you can select various activities which you can do to enter, then it will record all of the details, and automatically generate a winner! The usual activities can include:
- Entering an email address / signing up to a newsletter
- Following on twitter
- Tweeting a message – usually to promote the giveaway and get more to join
- Following on Pinterest
- Following on Instagram
- Visiting a G+ or Facebook page – it breaches their T+Cs if you specify that the person must ‘like’ or follow to enter the giveaway, so make sure you word this right – rafflecopter has some specific guidance.
I usually stick with the following on social media. Although you want the blog giveaway to be shared, tweeting a message can lead to a lot of spam so I no longer require that. I always include a free entry as well (more on that soon).
Once you have it set up on rafflecopter, you can then embed it in the blog post promoting the giveaway. Rafflecopter will generate you a code, which you can use. It’s easiest on self hosted blog but can be done on others, I know on wordpress.com that it won’t embed the widget, but will redirect you to another site.
I’ll then get promoting on my social media usually throughout the giveaway length – I usually go for 2-3 weeks which gives enough time for entries to pop in – I’ll link within other blog posts through this time too.
What do I give away?
Now this can be the hard bit, you want something which people will want to enter! Although I’m not a beauty blog, I find make up a really good thing to give away as it appeals to people who read my blog (mainly women!). Plus, it can then be posted internationally, some things can’t be sent by customs (nail polish, perfume etc.) so keep that in mind when you are choosing your items. Vouchers are also a good one, but again usually constrained to the country you’re in.
What about the legal bits?
So, when you give things away, you are starting to encrouch on some bits which are regulated by lottery law. You are doing a ‘free draw’, therefore I always add something into my rafflecopter which means you can enter by literally doing nothing – not even following on any site. I usually label this as ‘have a free one’. This means I know that the giveaway will always be legal. Along side this I always write T+Cs for each giveaway which covers any other doubt, this includes:
- Prize will be 1 Naked Smoky palette – Specify exactly what the prize is so there is no confusion.
- Giveaway will run from 12/04/16 – 26/04/2016 – So it is clear when the free draw is over.
- All entries will be verified – To ensure no one clicks to say they have followed when they haven’t.
- Open internationally, void where prohibited – This covers any countries which may have different gambling laws, and would be interesting for those looking to travel to India and other countries with strict laws.
- No purchase necessary for entrance – As above, to make it clear it is a free prize draw.
- This giveaway is not sponsored, prize paid for by me – To make it clear who is running the giveaway
It’s good to keep covered in this, as even if it is a little giveaway, it is out there on the big wide internet!
What about ‘compers’? How do I stop them entering?
Now this is one I hear a lot, but I think we need to think of this in a different way. It is common that people think the compers will just enter then unfollow or never come back to the blog again, but I’ve not found this. I’ve actually had some awesome readers who consistently come back who have come through as a ‘comper’ in a giveaway. I think that the most exposure you get, it can never be a bad thing, even if you get 20 real followers and 50 fake, it’s still awesome to get those people to your corner of the internet!
Sometimes the giveaways will end up on comping sites very early, sometimes not at all. I find the best thing to do is that if you do want it on there, put it on a couple of days before the comp ends, then it gives enough time for some people to enter but it won’t get a looooad of people coming through. Best of both worlds!
I think giveaways are a nice thing to do on the blog, and if managed well can really help grow your following and be successful. I usually do a couple a year, especially when it is the blog birthday and usually around Christmas!
Tell me, do you run giveaways? What do you think of them?