Every blogger wants more traffic. Even if you are ranked #1 in Alexa (Currently Yahoo), you will still want more traffic, because it means more popularity and essentially more money into your pocket (if you blog for dollars). So what do contests bring in and how do you test if they are worth while?
Starting a Blog Contest
The first step to take before holding a contest is to check your blogs’ statistics. See how many unique visits you get per day/week/month. This will help you analyze how to promote the contest to hold.
If you get 10k unique a day, then you will want to publicize your contest within your blog rather than promoting more outside of your blog. Chances are out of 10k unique visits 50% will at least be somewhat interested in your contest. If you don’t have a lot of visits a day, then you will need to promote your blog contest on other blogs. Invite people to come check it out. (Don’t Spam, just send a nice comment to the author of the blog inviting them to join your contest, make sure you sound human, or you will be ignored!)
Analysis of your traffic will also help you decide the duration of your contest. If you are holding a contest with a small amount of traffic to your blog, you will want to stretch it out enough so the word can spread about your contest. Vice versa, if you have a lot of traffic already, you will want to hold more smaller contests.
Next, you need to decide what type of contest to hold. What will you give away? If you have a cooking blog, you might want to give away a cooking book. You also need to remember that you don’t always have to spend money for a contest. You can sometimes get sponsors that are willing to giveaway a prize in return for exposure. A lot of times you can even hold a contest where it doesn’t cost a penny to you. (I am currently holding a contest on Blab Web where I am giving away a blog review to someone, which costs me nothing. You are welcome to enter!)
You should also put some thought into the rules for the contest. Since the point is to drive more traffic to your blog or website, you need to create something where people essentially give you something in return for “the prize”. At Blab Web, for example, the rules are simple, you have to subscribe to the RSS feed by email and comment under the giveaway post saying you have. This way I am gaining more RSS subscribers that will raise my traffic in return for the blog review people have a chance to win.
All in all, contests are up to the blog/website owner to come up with and the decision whether or not to hold one at all. It also depends on how you market the contest for it to be a success. People need to want enough of a prize to want to enter, but you also cannot give away something big.
Get more tips on better blogging and web talk by Romil Patel on his blog at BlabWeb.com. Got some tips to share, you can also write a guest article on QOT.