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{Blogging Tips} Tips for Running Successful Giveaways

In the previous post, {Blogging Tips} How to Host a Giveaway, I covered some of the basics of why you should consider running giveaways on your blog, how it benefits you and your readers, and most importantly, how to connect with partners to sponsor fun prizes!

This post will go over some of the “nuts and bolts” of setting up your giveaway… How to make sure it’s fair, some tips, and how to promote it so people will find it.

Rules and Regulations:

There are a few types of rules that need to be considered when running a giveaway. One, if this is part of a product review, remember to add a disclaimer to the page, with a “received a sample product to try, but all opinions are my own” type of message. Or, if it’s simply a donated prize, I still like to add, “This giveaway is sponsored by XYZ company and the prize will be fulfilled by them,” or something of that nature.

There, there are YOUR rules. How do you want your giveaway to run? If you are the one shipping the prize, do you want it to be open to US only, or will you open it up to Canadian residents too, or even worldwide? If you’re working with a sponsor, this is an important question to ask them before posting your giveaway. It’s frustrating for a reader in Canada to read your giveaway post, and not see it listed as to whether or not it’s open to them.

So, make sure to add your rules to the giveaway post- Here is an example: “Giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada, 18+. Giveaway starts on June 22, 2010 and ends on June 30, 2010 at midnight. The winning entry will be verified. Winner will be chosen by Random.org, and will have 48 hours to respond and confirm, or an alternate will be chosen.”

You want to make sure the date is clear, because someone might stumble across an old post and not realize it’s closed. {I have dates on mine, and still have people leave entries on old giveaways!} It’s important to verify the winning entry, to make sure they followed your rules. Example, if you have a mandatory entry, did they complete it? If they say they are a facebook fan, are they? Make sure everyone plays by the rules.

Next, there are some wordpress plug-ins that you can use to choose winners, such as And the winner is…, and I may start using that. I just use Random.org, which is super simple to use. Do you have 200 entries in your giveaway? Then enter 1, and 200 in the generator box, hit “generate”, and it gives you a winning number. Find that comment, and you’ve got your lucky fan!

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How to promote your giveaway:

Running a giveaway is a lot of work, so you want to make sure that you promote it well, to maximize the benefits that both you and your sponsor will get from it.

Adding your giveaway to contest listing sites can give you a major boost! Here are a few that I use:

  • Online Sweepstakes: This is by far my favorite, and is always one of my #1 sources of traffic for giveaways! You have to set up an account, but it’s free and pretty simple. Online Sweepstakes Sign Up.
  • Prizey.net: Another site where you’ll need to set up a quick account, but very easy to use. Prizey.net Sign Up.
  • Contest for Moms: Submit your giveaway for a free listing in their directory, or pay for a featured listing. Contest for Moms Sign Up.
  • Giveaway Scout: You have to set up an account, and link back to them from your site, {by adding their button}. This site is super cool though; they automatically search all registered sites, and send out daily newsletters with new giveaways, coupons, or freebie posts. I’ve been in it many times. Giveaway Scout Sign Up.

Another great way to promote your giveaway is on blog linkys. I’m sure you’ve seen these… It’s super easy, you just go to the linky, add the direct link to your giveaway, your email, and the name of your event, and hit submit. The linky will automatically add you to it! Easy peasy.

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Some great linkys:

  • Ice Fairy: This is my “go-to” linky list. Check it out, Icefairy’s Master List, and you could spend all day finding new linkys. You can go straight to the sweepstakes sites to list your event, or search blog linkys by day.
  • Savings Lifestyle: This is another big list of blog linkys, and you can search by day. Savings Lifestyle Linky You can go to this one daily, and link up.
  • Brag all About it: She has a great Sunday link up! Sunday Linky.
  • Golden Ticket: Great low entry linky, if you have 200 entries or less. Your Golden Ticket Linky.
  • Mommy’s Sweeping: Another low entry linky! Momma Sweeps.

There are TONS more out there too. If you have a linky that you host on your blog, or even a favorite one that you use regularly, share the link in the comments!

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Do’s and Don’ts for Giveaways:

Ok, every time someone posts their do’s and don’ts, there is someone who disagrees. I’m ok with that. I’m just giving my opinion as someone who entered tons of blog giveaways before starting my own… The things that I love, and the things that prevented me from entering. If you have different thoughts on these, feel free to share in the comments, so people can get different views!

  • DO make sure that the giveaway is easy to enter. The mandatory entry should be somewhat simple, like- “Check out XYZ website and tell me another favorite product”, not, “Check out XYZ website, tell me your favorite product, then go to their Facebook page and leave them a comment and follow them on Twitter”. I’ve seen this before. It’s great to give lots of bonus entry options, but make the mandatory one simple and easy to understand.
  • DON’T have your CAPTCHA’s on! I’ve given up on entering in so many giveaways because I got tired of fighting with the CAPTCHA every time.
  • DO remind people that they should leave a NEW, seperate, comment for each new entry. One comment = One entry. Don’t leave one comment listing all of the tasks you did, or it’s just one entry. A lot of people don’t understand this.
  • DON’T forget to share your giveaway on your own Twitter and Facebook pages, both blog and personal!
  • DO give people a giveaway entry option to get a bonus entry by sharing your giveaway to their own Facebook and Twitter. This can really help get your giveaway out there quickly!
  • DON’T forget to pick your winner promptly when the giveaway ends, contact them right away, and ship the prize quickly. I’ve had a couple of times where life got in the way, and I shipped a prize a little late… And I hate making someone wait! So plan ahead, to make sure you give yourself time to get it wrapped up.

I’d love to hear what you guys think… And what your best tips are. Please share some of your thoughts in the comments: Is there something that stops you from entering giveaways, or something you find confusing? Do you agree/disagree with my list? Do you have a tip that you’ve found to be super helpful?

Also… RAFFLECOPTER. This is the hot new thing in giveaways right now. I don’t have much to share, except that like most of you, I love it, and it makes me MUCH more likely to do the bonus entries in a giveaway. So much faster and easier. I just got an account with them, and will be using it for the first time very soon…. Until then, I’d love to hear feedback from those of you who ARE using it: Have you had any problems with it? Is it easy on the bloggers side too? Any tips?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Related Content:

Day 1: {Intro} What are your blog goals?. Who I am and why I started blogging, share your goals, and what to expect in this series.

Day 1: Day 1: {Blogging Tips} Earning an Income from your Blog. How affiliate marketing works, how to use Ad Networks, and Selling your own Ads.

Day 2: {Blogging Tips} How to Host a Giveaway How to build partnerships for prize sponsorships.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been hosting giveaways for awhile, but I’m always looking to improve them. I just used rafflecopter for the first time (http://www.ninthstreetnotions.com/2011/07/silk-headband-giveaway-with-lark.html), and so far I’m really loving it. Set-up is simple, and hopefully choosing the winner will be just as easy – it looks like it will be.

    • Sunshine and Sippy Cups says

      I’m going to try and use Rafflecopter for my new giveaways this week, and see how it goes. I’m always a wee bit nervous to do something new in a giveaway… But I know that personally, I LOVE using it to enter, so we’ll see how it goes… :) Thanks a ton for the feedback on it!

  2. Great post. Thx for the Sunday linky shout out!

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