How to Find Free Sponsors for Blog Contests & Giveaways

IN Blogging

Blog contests are one easy way to go viral with your blog.

First, you need to choose the right product for your audience.

In the past I have given away many premium products related to my niche in giveaways. Some of these prizes had blog sponsors, and some of them were sponsored by me directly.

Free Sponsors for Blog ContestsIn today’s post I will be sharing some of the methods you can use to get premium products free for your blog’s contests and giveaways. They key here is good, clear communication and optimal organization toward the maximum result.

When you organize a contest on your blog, make sure you have a target to achieve. For example, getting more email subscribers, Facebook fans or Google Plus connections.

The way social media is changing and evolving, and with the influence social media now has on search engine results, my suggestion would be optimize your contests or giveaways to get more email subscribers or Google Plus followers for your blog. This is likely how it would benefit you most in the long run.

One can start a contest with $1 or $1000 – or really any amount. The iPad is perhaps one of the easiest choices when you have a good budget or your contest is backed up or sponsored by a big company. Otherwise, you can start with something simple and inexpensive like a domain name or hosting for a blog if you’re working in the blogging/Wordpress niche. Tech bloggers can organize software, anti-virus or other tech related contests. Whatever your niche, you can find a related product for contests and giveaways.  I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you the power of word “free“!

Now let me tell you my marketing strategy for how I find sponsors and how I do giveaways of premium products for free.

For your information, in the giveaways mentioned above I have paid directly for domains and for the Thesis theme.  Apart from those, everything else has been free.

Get free blog sponsors for your next blog contest:

Affiliate marketing:

This is something which worked really well for me. If you are into affiliate marketing, you are probably receiving at least one email every month for promotional purposes – coupon codes and so on. This is the first place where I will look for sponsors.

I’m an affiliate with most of the premium theme clubs, and I bring about decent sales every month. So if I believe that winning the opportunity to try a particular free product or service is going to help a ShoutMeLoud reader, I contact the affiliate manager and ask for the company to sponsor a contest. In my email proposal, I make sure to illustrate how their company will benefit from the contest results, and I make sure to remind the affiliate manager that I am bringing decent sales to their company. (Even if you are not making any sales, there’s no harm in asking them to sponsor your contest anyway!)

I also make sure to include the stats of my blog to give them some idea of the audience they are going to reach when sponsoring my contest or giveaway.

My proposals are accepted most of the time, as ShoutMeLoud readers are mostly bloggers and webmasters.

Contact using contact form:

If you are not involved in affiliate marketing as described above, you can write an email to the owner of the company you’re pitching and tell him/her that you are organizing a contest and you would like them to sponsor the contest in a particular manner. Much of the time these emails may go unnoticed, but you never know – there is always the possibility that if you manage to write an appealing email, you might get an instant reply.

Worth Reading: 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Pitching People Via Email

My sample email would look something like this:

Hi Mark,

This is Harsh from ShoutMeLoud.com, and I just wanted to take two minutes of your time to propose a possible marketing collaboration. I run a niche blog (ShoutMeLoud.com), where I talk about blogging, WordPress and MMO.

I had a close look at your Premium Theme Gallery, and I believe my readers would love to know more about your theme.

I’m celebrating the 6th anniversary of my blog, and I would like to know if you might like to sponsor a premium theme or xxxx as a giveaway. Just to let you know, ShoutMeLoud is an award winning blog with over 432,000+ readers. By sponsoring this contest, your product will be getting great exposure to another segment of possible buyers.

We have already run a few giveaways in the past, and here is how we organize our contest. (Here you can refer to earlier contests.)

  • Link 1
  • Link 2

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Harsh Agrawal

www.shoutmeloud.com

This is just a sample email, and you can always make changes to make it better and more appropriate.

Create a list of possible blog sponsors and maintain them in excel sheet. Maintain rows for:  Company Name, Email, Contact Person, Followup 1, Followup 2 and so on.

Buying stuff and giving it away:

A third approach to hosting contests and giveaways on your site is to try to buy any premium product at a significant discount and give it away in your contest. For example, last year I bought one Hostgator account on a Black Friday sale, and at a later date I used that product as a giveaway, and the winner received the hosting for free. Such an approach is best when you have a decent budget, otherwise there is no point spending your money on contests and giveaways.

Prior to approaching anyone with a proposal to sponsor a contest or giveaway on your site, think through your marketing approach. Every developer would like to spread the word about his product, especially themes and plugins which, once developed, require marketing.  Most developers will not only accept your sponsorship proposal, but will benefit from their sponsorship of your contest/giveaway.

Final tip:  One mistake which many bloggers make is that they don’t maintain communication with the PR team after the contest is over. Try to maintain communication with your sponsorship company’s PR team, and make sure to keep an eye on their regular updates. If the product is related to your niche, a review may also help you to create a better relationship with potential sponsors.

Let me know if you have used other approaches to obtain sponsorship for your blog’s contests or giveaways.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to use our comments section below.

And as always, if you have enjoyed this article and found it useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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Blog post by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1050 articles.

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Comments

  1. Vivek Parmar says

    without having any decent traffic running a contest is for nothing and you can’t get as much you think off.
    contest are useful for established blogs or teh blogs having high traffic??

  2. Jeorge Peter says

    It is nice to have a contest this time for its the holidays, everyone’s finding a way to enjoy and have something on their free time.

  3. Jens P. Berget says

    I don’t run any contests yet, but it’s a great way to get more attention and more traffic. As you’re saying, the one thing that really works is to contact affiliate managers for stuff you’re already promoting and earning money from (because they’re earning money from what you’re doing, now it’s time for them to help you).

    What you could also do is to write a blog post and ask people to sponsor you. If you already have a fairly popular blog (and your blog is very popular) a lot of people with great products might be interested to sponsor your product in order to get attention.

  4. shashank chinchli says

    what to say Harsh…?
    This post was expected from my side..
    I was planning to fire this question to you bro!
    Really thanks for such a good article,really means a lot to newbies in this field
    thanks a lot!

  5. Bilal Ahmad says

    That’s great tips harsh.
    One of the most effective way that works is to build interaction (in term of using there products etc) and then ask for sponsoring a contest. It works great.

  6. Khushdeep Singh says

    Nice post Harsh. Really good tips for those who will plan to organize a contest in future. :-)

    • says

      Khushdeep a contest really helps any blog and if any one will follow above mentioned tips, he can organize some kickass contest without spending anything..
      It’s all about good communication and interaction with others…

  7. Kartik@DailyTechPost says

    Great post..I never thought of hosting such a contest..but will try it in future..and your tips will certainly help me :)

  8. Sreejesh says

    Harsh, I think you are making use of the skills you learnt from Convergys :) Anyway good approach bro. Thanks to your clean character for letting other bloggers know about this great business trick. Happy blogging!

  9. Donny Gamble says

    A lot of bloggers don’t take advantage of this very much because most bloggers either have an eBook that they have created or some type of product or membership program that they would like to give awat.

  10. esoftload says

    thanks harsh, i got some new info from here, before i was spending my money for the giveaways… will try to convince some sponers for my blog….

    • says

      Try to get in touch with people who create product similar to your niche..and you will get prompt reply…
      Make sure, sponsor should know what benefits they are going to get…

  11. ankit says

    Hey Harsh, awesome post dude ,I had asked same question to you via facebook .Got the answer.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. vijay | bayofblog says

    Excellent write up Harsh, Now I would like to tell one thing that, For all those things working by practically we need some decent traffic on our blogs, So that sponsors quickly approve for a such contest…

    • says

      I agree Vijay.. Sponsors would like to sponsor something if they are going to get some benefit in terms of traffic or branding.. and for that said blog should have decent traffic!!

  13. Pritam @ Specky Geek says

    Great tut! I am also planning to giveaway something on SpeckyGeek.com, maybe webhosting with a domain name. I am also looking for writers and guest bloggers to add flavour to the blog.

    • says

      Webhosting is one of the popular giveaway and will help you to attract many new readers…
      Though make sure, you are ready to convert them into regular readers..
      Most important thing is, you should have a strategy to market your contest..Since if you are giving away hosting from your pocket..
      It’s going to cost a lot :)

  14. Jimmy says

    Nice post Harsh. For new blogs buying stuff and giving away is the best method i think , because sponsors will consider our blog’s reputation for sure. And when was ur first giveaway ? was it a sponsored one ?

    • says

      Jimmy I believe my first contest post was a sponsored post..
      Till now I bought Hostgator hosting, Thesis theme and .com domain from my pocket for giveaway…!!

  15. Basant says

    Liked the way you’ve pitched that mail…brief & to-the-point. Also, you are right when you say about un-noticed mail of contact forms. But who knows even if you get 1 or 2 responses out of 10 pitches, its worth & after a few months you’ll have some useful contact list.

    • says

      Seenu I do that often.. Like my last contest (Thesis theme) and even .com domain and .in domain giveaway (details) is going to be from my own pocket…

  16. Devesh @ Technshare says

    Hey Harsh,

    Awesome post dude. These are awesome ways to get sponsors.
    I think contacting them through email is the best way to get sponsors.

    Thanks for sharing! Retweeted.

  17. sitakanta says

    Great points. eespecially since I am considering ways to promote my new startup. These tips are going to come really handy.

  18. Pradeep says

    Great ! post harsh helped a lot seems this work only for the well setup blogs having great traffic and great readers like you have.
    do you think it will work for some new blogs.
    Thanks a lot !!

    • SmartAboutThings says

      Pradeep, you have to have at least 500-1000 visitors a day I think, in order to have some valid contests going on

  19. Siva says

    Awesome post !! Will try for sure.
    In addition, I see some of the people looking for sponsors in Popular forums. It also turns out to be good.