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.
In 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:
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:
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.
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 oneon 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.
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