Are You The Next Blogging Idol?

Daniel Scocco from Daily Blog Tips is hosting Blogging Idol Season 2, which encourages bloggers to compete against each other to increase their RSS feed subscriber count as much as possible over 1 month.

I tracked Blogging Idol 1 with interest and observed those zooming feed counts. It was exciting to know that Blogging Idol 2 is going live soon, so instead of blogging the contest details, I decided to interview Daniel himself, who was kind enough to share with us some insights into this blogging contest.

Interview: Daniel Scocco on Blogging Idol 2

Q. Why did you start Blogging Idol?

Although I am not a fan of American Idol, I always saw the buzz that it generated both on television and over the web. Then one day I thought: “Hmmm, what if we could do a Blogging Idol competition, where bloggers would compete to see who was the most efficient/clever blogger?”

The idea sounded cool, and I gave it a shot. Luckily people liked it, and on the first edition we already had over 100 competitors.

Q. What challenges you faced in hosting Blogging Idol I?

The main challenge was to come up with a competition that would encourage bloggers to participate (people are lazy most of the times). The solution I found for it was to base the rules on the “largest increase of RSS readers.”

Bloggers are always trying to gain more RSS subscribers anyway, so using that criteria for the competition made it worth for them to join. They would just need to work on something they already were concerned with, after all.

Q. What techniques contestants used to increase RSS subscribers?

The traditional contests worked pretty well, where the blogger would convince some sponsors to donate prizes, and then carry a small competition asking for people to subscribe to his blog in order to run for a random draw.

The most effective technique that I found, however, was to place highly targeted email subscription boxes inside posts. One blogger, for instance, had a very popular posts that talked about Nintendo DS games. In the middle of that post he added an email subscription box with the following message “Put your email address below to receive more Nintendo DS games for free on your email inbox.”

It worked like crazy! (he got over 2,000 new RSS subscribers in 1 month)

Q. How do you counter and detect cheating in Blogging Idol?

On the first edition I basically monitored the activities of the competitors. Whenever there was something suspicious, I would get in touch with them. I required screenshots for example for many different things. Two competitors got disqualified.

Q. What is new and difference in Blogging Idol 2?

On Blogging Idol 2, apart from using the RSS increase to determine the winner, we will also have an open vote session, and a panel of 3 judges that will award points to their favorite bloggers.

Those two new dimensions were added to make it more difficult for cheaters to get away, and to make it more fair for smaller blogs that want to compete.

Q. Who can participate in Blogging Idol 2?
Anyway with a blog that has 2,000 or fewer RSS subscribers. The only requirement is that they have the Feedburner feed count feature enabled.

Send in you application now to join the fun. Blogging Idol 2 starts on November 1, 2008 and the competition runs for one month until November 30th. You might come out the winner and be crowned the next blogging idol … and there are $4500 worth of prizes to giveaway!

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.