Wednesday, 12 June 2013

How to Leverage Contests to Get the Most Traffic for Your Blog?

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | |

An often overlooked strategy for getting more traffic and engagement with your blog is to host a contest or give-away. A lot of bloggers think that give-aways are only for promotional sites. However, if they are used effectively, any site can use them to double or triple their traffic in no time. 

host contests on wordpress, tumblr, joomla and blogger to drive traffic
Host contests to drive traffic
The key to getting a lot of traffic to your blog is to really understand how to get the most out of your giveaway. You can just throw up a giveaway offering a gift card to Starbucks or a free dinner at Outback and expect readers to start falling over themselves trying to get to your site. You have to know how to make the right choices every step of the way to make your contest or giveaway the most effective. Here are a few tips for how you can leverage contests to get the most traffic for your blog: 

Pick a Really Good Prize

A Starbucks gift card isn’t going to have anyone running to your site – even if you write for coffee lovers. However, if you have an iPad up for grabs, you’re bound to get everyone running to your site – no matter what you write about. The key is to choose a really good prize, as well as one that is relevant for your blog. If you want to convert the traffic that you are getting, you’ll want to make sure you’re attracting the right kind of traffic. That means that if you write a parenting blog, you’ll want to offer baby gear or clothes. If you write a financial blog, you’ll want to offer financial software or books. 

If you sell your own products and services, you can consider offering one of them as a prize. However, you should be sure that your products and services are very popular before deciding on this route. Otherwise, you won’t get the traffic that you want. 

Offer More than One Winner

The more people have a chance to win, the more they will enter. You can automatically increase their chances of winning by offering up more than one winner. Two prizes may be enough to generate more excitement, but you could consider as many as 3 to 5. This may increase your costs for the contest, but it will also increase the traffic you get and give you more opportunities to engage more potential readers.

Offer Lots of Options for Social Sharing

One of the most important things you want to do with a contest is to generate a lot of buzz so that you can get more traffic to your site. One way to do this is to offer a lot of options for social sharing in exchange for more entries. Some common options include liking your page on Facebook, following you on Twitter, following you on Pinterest, sharing the contest on Facebook, tweeting about the contest, or pinning an image. The more options you offer in exchange for entries, the more exposure you are going to get on social media, leading to more traffic and more readers.

Promote It on Relevant Sites

There are dozens of sites that list contests and giveaways for free. You can blitz these sites with your giveaway, but that would be a waste of your effort. In order to get the most traffic to your site, you need to target other blogs that are in your niche. Not only will people be more interested in visiting your site to learn more about your giveaway, but those people are more likely to become regular readers after the contest has ended.

Follow Up with Lots of Great Content

A lot of people host contests and don’t think about what to do next. As a result, the traffic they get from the contest starts to atrophy over the next month or so. If you really want to leverage your contest for more traffic, you are going to need to follow it up with lots of great content. Now that you have the readers in the door, show them what you have to offer and give them a reason to stay awhile.

Contests are a great way to promote your site. Just make sure that you leverage them correctly to get the maximum traffic and to convert it into subscribers. 
Author's Bio: Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching culinary schools in Massachusetts. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.
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