How to Promote a Giveaway on a Blog

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Do you know how to promote a giveaway on a blog to get entries rolling in? Consider this scenario: You just published a giveaway or contest on your blog and are sitting back, waiting for the entries to come pouring in. Crickets! The worst sound a blogger can hear is the sound of silence. BlogPaws to the rescue! Publishing a blog giveaway or blog contest is the fun part; promoting it and making sure the right audience sees it are keys to success.

Here’s how to promote your next blog giveaway or blog contest like a pro:

Promoting a blog giveaway or blog contest

Post to Giveaway Websites

There are contest junkies out there: Folks who visit your site or your giveaway simply to enter the drawing. Many of these folks will fall off, unsubscribe, or only return for the next giveaway. This is a fact of life and part of the giveaway landscape.

That said, here are some giveaway websites to consider for promotion:

Online Sweepstakes: Free. One of the oldest and most frequently used giveaway promotional sites. This site tends to bring in solid traffic for any giveaways I’ve run.

Blog Giveaway Directory: Free and premium versions

Sweeps-Takes: Free.

Just Sweep: Free and premium selections.

Giveaway Promote: Basic listing is $6.

Contest Girl: “If you know of a sweepstakes that I don’t have on my site, please tell me about it.”

Win a Sweepstakes: Free.

Remember: Not all giveaway, sweeps, and contest listing sites are created equal. Read the rules, the terms, and only promote where it makes sense to your content and goals.

Hey, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

StumbleUpon can work in your favor by doing what it does best: Stumbling upon great content and shareable stuff on the Internet. StumbleUpon is free, and if enough people “stumble upon” your content after you submit it, you may get some decent traffic to the giveaway.

Social Shares

If you promote your giveaway one time on social, then entries are likely not to be super high from referral traffic.

Twitter can be your best friend with giveaway promotions. BlogPaws’ Director of Community Education, Felissa Elfenbein, says, “Promote the heck out of it on Twitter with hashtags including #giveaway or #sweeps or #win and get it into chore threads so that it gets retweeted to more eyes that will enter.”

She says not to view the chore thread to be your entries but to get it in front of the people that will enter.

What is a chore thread? If you are a member of the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost group, you are familiar with chore threads. These are threads or groups that take place daily or weekly wherein members post social media links and everyone partakes and reciprocates.

For example, in the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost group, Tuesdays are dedicated to Twitter re-tweets. Everyone in that chore thread must retweet the listed tweets.

Pinterest is social media search engine, not a social media platform. With that in mind and the Smart Feed feature, by the time a contest or giveaway gains momentum, it may be over. There are folks who use Pinterest for giveaways, and if you are interested, the folks at Rafflecopter have some solid Pinterest giveaway advice.

Pet blogger and long-time BlogPaws Community member Dawn Miklich has a Facebook group to list Pet Contests and Giveaways you can request to join as a blogger and/or someone who wants to enter giveaways.

How to promote blog giveaway or blog contest

Dedicated Newsletters

Do you have an email newsletter? Promote your giveaway with a section in the newsletter or a dedicated eblast about the giveaway if it is something of value to your subscribers.

Need help growing an email list? CLICK THIS: Expert Tips to Grow an Email List

Virtual Assistance Help: Strength in Numbers

Elfeinbein suggests the help of a virtual assistant (VA) with a giveaway.

“Honestly, if I had a giveaway, I would be paying a VA to list it for me,”  she recommends. “I don’t have that kind of time on my hands at this point.”

If you have a giveaway for a sponsor, such as a sponsored giveaway, hire a VA who will list your giveaway for you in a number of places for a nominal fee. The VA might be listing 25 or more other giveaways for influencers, so your costs are kept down while saving you time to promote in other places.

Linky Sites

The Wordless Wednesday blog hop is one of the longest running linky hops in the pet influencer space, and the original. Linky parties and hops are not exclusive to Wordless Wednesday.

Adding giveaways to linky sites may help with the giveaway traffic. Here’s list of linky sites for giveaways. Remember, not every site or linky hop is right for everyone.

Remember, hosting a blog giveaway is a great way to bring in new readers or build up your social media following. You can’t just set it and forget it. Giveaways are not a crockpot meal: You need to nurture them, promote them, stir and turn the heat up frequently.

Final Thoughts on Giveaways

Determine if your giveaway is legal: “Consideration” is something to keep in mind. If you give something away from a sponsor, prize or money, tread cautiously about how you proceed. If you require participants to like or follow you, the law may deem this “consideration.” Have you ever sent participants to a third party and then instructed them to come back to your blog? You might be treading into “illegal lottery” status. This is not to say you can’t run a giveaway, but understanding what is legal and illegal is imperative. Sara of SavingforSomeday.com shares important blog law posts worth a peek.

One of the many methods influences use to engage fans, draw traffic, and work with pet product and service companies is to host a giveaway or contest. It seems easy enough: You set rules, you post the contest, and you watch as entries roll in.

There are, however, rules and legalities pet bloggers need to know before posting any sort of product or prize contest or giveaway.

Links for More

Don’t stop now. If you are considering hosting a giveaway, there are a lot of things to consider, and BlogPaws has you covered. Check this out: The Mechanics of Hosting a Blog Giveaway.

Your Turn

Do you host giveaways or contests? Are you successful with entries? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Images: Floral Deco /  garagestock / Shutterstock.com