Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tips for running a blog giveaway

Since I have a few days left in my makeup giveaway I would like to share some of the tools I utilized to run my giveaway since there were well over 16,000 entries.

Benefits of having a giveaway:
Hosting a giveaway is a great way to reward your readers, gain exposure for your site, gain followers and increase your blog traffic.

Reasons to host a giveaway:
My giveaway was a milestone giveaway, meaning I did it to reward my readers and to celebrate how far my website has come. You can host a giveaway for numerous reasons and even have it sponsored by a company.

Terms and conditions:
When you have decide what you want to give away create official rules such as age restrictions, whether or not the giveaway is international, how long you want to run the giveaway for and all rules of the giveaway. You should also add a disclaimer on whether or not you purchased the products. It is best to have a clear and concise set of rules and guidelines that are easy to follow. If you would like to see the rules I wrote for my giveaway click GIVEAWAY and scroll to the bottom of the post.

Keep in mind that if you choose to open the giveaway internationally you may greatly increase your following and visitors but it will also raise your shipping costs. Consider the weight and size of the package you will be shipping and the various shipping methods.

Hosting sites
Once you have decided on the rules choose a hosting site. You can research online to decide which hosting site is right for you. Two of the most popular are Punch Tab and Rafflecopter. Using a host site allows you to keep track of all the entries and choose a random winner who qualifies. Rafflecopter is the one I used and it gives you the option of joining for free or signing up for a paid account with more features.

Deciding how people can enter
Once you choose a hosting site decide how you want people to enter the giveaway. On Rafflecopter you can create your own custom entry options. Some of the ways people can enter the giveaway is by following your blog, following your various social media accounts, leaving a blog comment etc. I gave entrants the option of adding my giveaway button to their websites or blogs as a way to gain more exposure for my giveaway. For easy instructions on how to make a button for your blog or giveaway click HERE

Whatever options you choose make sure entering the giveaway is easy and that you don’t have too many ways to enter.

Add a photo link to your sidebar

When you run a giveaway your giveaway post can get lost as new posts are placed in front of it. Make sure to have a colorful photo link of your giveaway clearly visible on your sidebar so that people can go directly to the post to enter.

Using Social Media:
The best way to get your giveaway out there is by using social media. Create a nice picture of your giveaway (the more colorful the better) and plaster it all over the web. Don’t spam but pin your giveaway, tweet about it, share it on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube and where ever else you can at least a couple times a week. Also ask your friends and family to post and share it on all of their social media sites as well. You can also add the giveaway link in your profile on each social media site.

Post it on Contest Sites:
Post your giveaway on contest sites like Contest Girl and other contest sites that allow international giveaways to be posted. I also posted mine on a Facebook page that runs giveaways which you can find by clicking HERE. You can also contact contest blogs about posting your giveaway. One blog I used is Giveaway Route sometimes these contest blogs will post your giveaway without you asking.

Let your community know:
If you want to get people to your blog then why not post some colorful flyers in the community. Some stores, grocery stores and community centers have community boards you can post things on so use them.

To ensure that you have time to gather entries for your giveaway keep it running for at least a few weeks. This will give people time to hear about it and enter. The fewer days and the less time your giveaway is open the fewer entries you will receive. I ran my giveaway for a month. Although having it open for a few weeks is good, having it open for too long can be counter productive as people may get bored and stop checking your site.

Closing the giveaway:
When your giveaway closes make sure to update your giveaway post title as CLOSED and remove the icon from your sidebar.

Announcing a winner:
Try to pick a winner within 2-3 weeks from the end of the giveaway. Make sure to contact the winner privately via email  and/or social media BEFORE the announcement is made in case they do not claim the prize and you have to pick another winner. Once the prize is claimed making a new post to announce the winner will increase the chances that people will notice the post. Mail the prize within 2 weeks or as soon as possible.

Cons to ruining a giveaway
If you want to have a giveaway on your site to increase your readers, reward your followers and promote your blog then you should know that not everyone will be interested in your content. Some people who come to your site for the giveaway will only be interested in getting free stuff and may not even take the time to glance at your posts or bother coming back unless there is another giveaway. If this is an issue for you then you should narrow down who is eligible to enter and win in the rule section of your giveaway.

I hope this post was helpful. Happy blogging everyone :)


  1. 12,000 entries?! That's crazy! I just posted a giveaway and I've got like 27 entries, so thanks for the links to publicize it.

  2. Thank you for gathering all these tips. I'm thinking of making a giveaway of one of my crochet patterns but I'm scared that noone will participate:)

    1. Don't be scared hun, you never know until you try, and if you send me a link I will participate :) I estimated that I would get 3-5 thousand entries but I really worked hard at using social media and getting my friends to help spread the word and it turned out great.

  3. This post is super helpful :D For the moment I am not doing anymore giveaways because I've noticed that a lot of people don't even care about the blog, they are only for the prize and I don't like that. I will surprise my readers from time to time with small gifts :)

    1. I know what you mean, I noticed that as well. Many people do go to the giveaway post directly and do not check out the rest of the blog before following and participating, I guess that just comes with giving away free things. Some people that have entered seem like giveaway fanatics in that they only tweet about contest sites and have entered every contest on the web. I wanted to do this giveaway for the people who actually read and want to read my blog. If you want to have a giveaway for other bloggers or maybe just even your readers maybe you can make that a condition in your rules, that only fellow bloggers and loyal readers can enter? It may be a bit hard to monitor though.

  4. Fantastic post and much needed. I come to your blog via a comment you left on Lucky. Great blog and I look forward to more posts.


  5. Thats very helpful thanks for sharing :)


  6. Wonderful post, I really enjoyed reading and I would love to be able to reach a substantial milestone soon and hold one giveaway as well ^_^

    <3 Celly
    TheSnowFlowerrr - Beauty and Makeup Blog

  7. Thanks for sharing those giveaway sites that you can post your giveaway on. I never thought about that! The first giveaway I did on my blog was an epic fail. I didn't know what I was doing/did not promote it and made it for too short of a time! I think like 2 people entered, haha!!


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