Blog contests are an easy way to go viral with your blog. But what if you don’t have anything to give away?
Well, I’m about to tell you a little secret:
- You can get free stuff from companies to give away.
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 I sponsored directly.
In today’s post, I will be sharing some of the methods you can use to get free premium products for your blog’s contests and giveaways.
When you organize a contest on your blog, make sure you have a target to achieve. For example, you could be focusing on getting more email subscribers, Facebook fans, or Google Plus connections.
The way social media is changing and evolving, and with the influence that social media now has on search engine results, my suggestion would be to optimize your contests and giveaways to get more email subscribers or Google Plus followers for your blog. This is likely how it will benefit you the most in the long run.
You can start a contest with any amount of money and any prize. When you have the money, an iPad is always a good bet. Otherwise, you can start with something simple and inexpensive like a domain name or hosting (if you’re working in the blogging/WordPress niche).
Tech bloggers can organize software or other tech related contests.
Fashion bloggers can organize clothing giveaways.
Pet bloggers can have a contest for dog grooming products.
Whatever your niche, you can find a related product for contests and giveaways. Anything that you give away will be good. It really doesn’t matter.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you the power of the word:
Now let me tell you my marketing strategy for how I find sponsors, and how I run giveaways of premium products for free.
Get Free Blog Sponsors For Your Next Blog Contest
This is something that works well for me. If you are into affiliate marketing, you are probably receiving at least one email every month for promotional purposes (coupon codes, etc.). This is the first place where I will look for sponsors.
I’m an affiliate with most of the premium WordPress theme clubs, and I bring in decent sales every month. So if I believe that winning the opportunity to try a free product or service is going to help a ShoutMeLoud reader, I will 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. (Note: 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 be reaching when sponsoring my contest or giveaway.
But again, you don’t need to have a ShoutMeLoud-level blog for this to work. Ask the affiliate manager and see what they say.
2. Contact Form (Direct Email)
If you are not involved in an affiliate program (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 which you would like them to sponsor.
Much of the time, these emails go unnoticed, but you never know. There is always the possibility that if you write an exceptionally appealing email, you can get an instant reply.
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 themes.
I’m celebrating the 6th anniversary of my blog, and I want to know if you might like to sponsor a premium theme or (xxx) as a giveaway.
Just to let you know, ShoutMeLoud is an award-winning blog with over 500,000+ 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 contests (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 modify it to suit your needs.
Create a list of possible blog sponsors and manage this list in an Excel sheet.
Maintain rows for:
- Company name
- Contact person
- Followup 1
- Followup 2
- …and so on.
3. Buy Cheap and Give It Away
I know this is a guide on how to get stuff for free, but this is a very viable option if you want to host giveaways.
You can buy a premium product at a discount, and give it away in your contest.
For example, last year I bought a on a Black Friday sale, and later on, I used that product as a giveaway where the winner got that hosting package for free.
Such an approach is best when you have a decent budget. Otherwise, there is no point in spending your own money on contests and giveaways.
Find Free Sponsors For Blog Contest
Before approaching anyone with a proposal to sponsor a contest or giveaway on your site, think through your marketing approach. Every developer wants to spread the word about his/her product, especially themes and plugins which, once developed, require marketing.
Most developers will accept your sponsorship proposal because they will directly benefit from sponsoring your contest/giveaway.
Final tip: One mistake that 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. Side tip: If the product is related to your niche, a product review may also help you to create a better relationship with potential sponsors.
Let me know if you have used these or other approaches in obtaining sponsorship for your blog’s contests or giveaways.
If you have any comments or questions, feel free to ask away in the 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!