Thursday, July 7, 2011

So, You Want To Host A Giveaway?

I have not been blogging for a long time, but one thing I have noticed are the insane amount of giveaways in the blogosphere.  You can find everything from coupons to diamonds.  Some of the more popular giveaways are of course for the Kindle, the iPad, and the occasional Wii.  The giveaways I see with fewer entries are books and handmade crafts...I am not sure why because I love both.  This post is about the low down, the nitty gritty of what I have learned so far (and of course I continue ready for questions).

First of all...why do you want to do a giveaway in the first place?  Know your reason.  Do you love the product and want to spread the love or do you want to build up blog traffic, or perhaps both?  It is very important to be passionate about the product in the giveaway, not everyone reads the review, but for those that do...this is your chance to sell it!  Your enthusiasm and passion for the product (or lack thereof) will show in your post. 

Some giveaways are sponsored by a company or producer (such as a book author or Etsy artist) and some are paid for by the blogger themselves.  I have done both.  There is far more pressure to a sponsored giveaway as you want to build that relationship with them than one you sponsor yourself.  When working with another individual or company there is a much higher level of professionalism must be able to spend a significant amount of time promoting both the giveaway and the company which we will cover a bit later.

Are you new, like me, and find this overwhelming?  Let's start with more basics and see what the other bloggers think.  You may find other bloggers very helpful when they share their experiences such as Little Miss Momma, she has great advice for starting out that I still need to refer to from time to time just because it is helpful.  Just Creative Design gets a bit more into the nitty gritty, but this post is still very helpful for beginners.  And then of course there is Darren Rowse who has made his name in the blogosphere and has extremely helpful advice in just about every area of blogging including giveaways.

There are great ideas for hosting a blog giveaway.  You can google the ideas, you can hop around and visit other blogs and see how they are doing it and you can even find books at your local library (marketing section) that will help you out too!  The first article I found was on and I found it very helpful, "10 Blog Contest Giveaway Ideas."  At the end of the article, there are several related articles to click into and gain more understanding of what you are doing and why.  Blog Coach has a great article on hosting effective giveaways.  The information available on the web is in abundance!

Where have you gotten your information for how to host a great giveaway?
Sponsors.  This will be your call.  As I mentioned earlier, there is a much higher level of professionalism required when working with a sponsor.  After years of certain bloggers taking advantage of the system, sponsors are getting very picky about who they will and will not work with for sponsorship...and for good reason.  Here is a post from a blogger who has also been a sponsor, see how she relates the information from the other side, click here Sponsors are going to want to know how you are going to drive traffic into their website.  You need to have spreadsheets available on demand when you start contacting them.  Google Analytics will be your very best friend if this is the path you choose.  Also, take advice from She's Smart as she writes about what she sees behind the scenes that most giveaway entrants don't think about. 

How do you track your giveaways, what are your main tools?
I have talked alot about promotion, but new people may  You can start by building the anticipation and write a couple of posts before your giveaway.  I have a blogger friend that is using this technique and it works!  After your giveaway post is submitted, you need to get out there and aggressively make it known online.  Some places where traffic has come from for me is the SITS forum giveaway thread and Picket Fence BlogsI also use a giveaway list from Frugality Is Free and it is broken down into days the link-ups take place.  Don't forget that your Twitter and Facebook Fan Pages are powerful tools when done well.

What are your main ways of promoting your blog giveaways?

In summary, connecting and networking and passion for the product is the key to a successful giveaway.  I wish you all the very best as you embark on the journey to build a better blog and promote the products you are passionate about!