How to run a giveaway to increase traffic to your blog

How to run a giveaway to increase traffic to your blog

How to run a giveaway to increase traffic to your blog

Run A Giveaway
Like A Pro!

One powerful strategy to boost page views, increase email subscribers, and drive traffic to the like button on your blog’s Facebook Page is to host a giveaway. People love to win stuff! With the right planning and with clear goals in mind, you can host a successful giveaway. This week on Maine on the Blogs we’ll show you how with this simple step-by-step plan to get you started.

Step One: Focus On Your Goal

Sometimes bloggers will host a giveaway to promote a book they wrote or contributed to. Other times, bloggers will host a giveaway to support a cause that is in line with their blog’s theme. As the holidays roll around many bloggers will host giveaways to draw attention from new potential readers who may be shopping and looking for deals. Whatever your blog need may be, a giveaway is a great strategy to increase your audience engagement.

To get started it is important to choose what your specific focus will be. Are you looking to increase your readership via email subscribers? Are you trying to grow your blog’s social media components? Your answer to these questions will determine how you conduct your giveaway.

Step Two: What Would Your Audience Want?

If you are a blogger who covers book reviews then perhaps your audience will want a book from a prized author. Parenting bloggers may want to consider giving away toys or baby gear. Folks who blog about sports may want to consider giving away tickets to a popular sporting event. Whatever the item or items that you choose make sure that it fits your audience. The objective is drive up engagement toward your focus goal (social media followers, email subscribers, etc.)

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Sometimes you can contact retailers, clubs, event managers, authors and others to request prize items for your giveaway in exchange for blog posts highlighting their awesomeness during your giveaway.

A few perks to paying out of pocket for your prize items include possibly being able to write off your purchase during tax season (talk to your accountant). Since you are investing in your blog – or brand – you are more likely to work harder to make the experience a success.

Step Three: Choosing A Plan

Choosing how to host a giveaway can get tricky if you spend too much time Googling how to do it just right. While there are many different formulas for success, there are two basic forms for conducting a giveaway that can help you achieve your goals.

1) Keep It Super Simple

If you have a small blog with few followers then you probably don’t need to invest in a website that will organize your online event for you. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose a prize that you think your audience will want.
  2. Decide what you goal is – in this example we’ll say it is to increase your email subscriber list.
  3. Announce your giveaway on your blog and corresponding social media.
  4. Create a blog post with instructions for readers to do something specific such as sign up for email subscription and then leave a comment saying they did. You can always check to see if the folks who signed up are the same folks who left a comment saying they did.
  5. Choose a winner then announce it in a new blog post.

2) Use A Site Like Rafflecopter

Sometimes a super simple method like the one described above just isn’t going to work. In this case you can sign up for something called Rafflecopter, which is a free service (for the basic package) that organizes your blog giveaway. Rafflecopter is particularly useful for WordPress and can be plugged into the widgets section easily. Through Rafflecopter you can announce your giveaway, track participants, ensure a random winner, and so much more.

Step Four: Thank You Note

When your giveaway is over be sure to do a follow-up blog post that tells all of your new and old readers how the experience went. Be sure to thank everyone who participated and announce the winner. A thank you post will help you to leverage your new growth by welcoming new readers while simultaneously acknowledging your loyal readers. This will help to keep eyes on your blog and hopefully keep your readers – new and old – coming back for more!

With some planning and a goal in mind you can host a giveaway that is fun, can spread the word about your blog, and may increase your social media reach as well as grow your audience!

Whatever your success may be it is important to keep in mind that a giveaway is a strategy and when your giveaway is over you should take some time to consider the experience as whole. Did you make new professional connections that can help you as a writer? Did you gain new readers for your blog or followers for your blog’s social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? Did you find that you suddenly had more interaction with your audience such as comments or emails?

Leverage all of the new information you learned about your audience through this experience by crafting blog posts that speak to what your readers demonstrated an interest in. If you think the giveaway was a big enough success you can begin planning another one!

Have you ever hosted a giveaway before? What strategies did you use? Let us know your story in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Scary Mommy, Disney’s Babble, and Momtastic. Sarah runs a popular Facebook page, @Housewifeplus where readers laugh and share stories from the parenting trenches. She is a co-author in several books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine and National Public Radio.