How To Find Free Sponsors For Running Contests On Your Blog

Free Sponsors for Blog Contests
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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.

To run giveaways on your blog, you can use Gleam, which is the most popular giveaway tool at the moment. Here is a detailed tutorial on using Gleam to run a contest.

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:

  • FREE!

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

1. Affiliate Marketing

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.

Check out: 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 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.

Regards,

Harsh Agrawal

www.shoutmeloud.com

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
  • Email
  • 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 HostGator account 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!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

33 thoughts on “How To Find Free Sponsors For Running Contests On Your Blog”

  1. 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.

  2. 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 !!

    1. SmartAboutThings

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

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

    1. Sitakanta, as a startup you can also consider promoting yourself or your brand by becoming a sponsor.. πŸ™‚

  4. Devesh @ Technshare

    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.

    1. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ?

    1. 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…!!

  7. Pritam @ Specky Geek

    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.

    1. 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 πŸ™‚

  8. vijay | bayofblog

    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…

    1. 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!!

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

    1. Yah Ankit, this is a followup to your question..
      Though you asked few more questions, which I will try to cover in future posts…

  10. 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….

    1. 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. 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.

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

    1. I would look forward for a contest from your end..N hope you will realize the benefit of contest soon…

  13. Khushdeep Singh

    Nice post Harsh. Really good tips for those who will plan to organize a contest in future. πŸ™‚

    1. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. shashank chinchli

    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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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