How a Sweepstakes Can Transform Your Website or Blog
Your website or blog is in need of some serious traffic. You usually have pretty good numbers, but they were down last week and this week isn’t looking much better.
Have you considered a blog sweepstakes to ramp up traffic and new readership?
Know Your Stuff
First of all, what is your business? Are you a chef? A content writer with a busy freelance schedule? A stay-at-home mom with a crafting store on ETSY?
I know that I get a little excited and hopeful when I hear about an awesome contest, whether it’s a chance to win a shiny car, a dream vacation, or even a brand-new home (you have to love HGTV for coming up with that).
Hosting a sweepstakes on your website or blog is easier than you may think. Not only do I have some helpful tips to get you started, I also have the know-how to help you obtain prizes that your audience will be genuinely excited about.
First of all, you want to make sure the prize targets readers you want to return, but also creates a widespread interest. If your business is handmade jewelry, offer up one of your own best pieces. Make sure the photo is of high quality and that the piece is worth a price that will attract readers. I might not enter a contest for a $10 bracelet, but I will certainly enter one for one that normally costs $100.
If you obtain a prize direct from company or P.R. representative, make sure to include a link to the company and some information about the prize. Often the company will provide these specs for you. If you have a culinary website or blog and can obtain a prize like a microwave or refrigerator, these are very attractive prizes to the people who surf sweepstakes websites. A set of napkins? Not so much.
If you have a website or blog that gets a good amount of traffic, companies are happy to send you items for giveaways or product reviews. For a sweepstakes, my favorite go-to is Profnet. After you sign up for a free account, you can request items for your sweepstakes from corporations and public relation specialists. You can be as general or specific as you like.
Decide how long you want or need the contest to run for. A worthy prize can last a month. A smaller prize should only run for about a week or two.
Submit your contest to a sweepstakes website. My favorite is Online-Sweepstakes. In fact, I think this is the only way to guarantee that your site or blog will be seen, and that people will enter your contest. I have found great success in using this particular forum. Its users are die-hard sweepstakes fans and they enter contests daily; it is practically their religion.
There are a variety of ways to allow your readers/customers to share your sweepstakes. If you allow your readers to actively share the sweeps on their Facebook page or write a Tweet about it, there is more incentive involved; more chances of entering means more chances of winning, so the readers are happy to share.
With a soft share, consumers receive an reminder (often a polite pop-up) that asks the reader to share the post with their friends and family on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. A direct share incorporates the call to action (CTA) in the copy itself; it is up to you as to whether or not you want to take this more forward approach.
Abide the Law
Remember to attach a “no purchase necessary” message to any and all promotional materials. For more sweepstakes laws, read more at this link.
You can embed code from Rafflecopter to make running your contest simple; another option is to simply have readers enter with a name and email address in the comment section of your website, article, or blog.
Reap the Rewards
When the time comes, make an announcement on your website/blog and on social media to let people know that the contest will be ending soon. Sometimes that update alone creates a traffic frenzy!
The skinny? Set a goal, create the sweepstakes offer, promote, choose and announce a winner, and then track your progress. Don’t forget to give credit where it is due; mention price points and the source of your prize. You will enjoy a spike in traffic – and hopefully a new and improved readership!