Speaker Spotlight: Running Successful Giveaways

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Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

When it comes to wearing hats, Layla Morgan Wilde wears many and as her bio states, they all contain cats! We chatted on a recent #BlogPawsChat on Twitter and emailed back and forth for our interview on her upcoming presentation at the BlogPaws 2014 Conference entitled: Running Awesome Giveaways.

If you receive something from a giveaway you know why you appreciate it but if you’re the one Layla Morgan Wilde and Lil BUB.bmprunning a giveaway, what’s in it for you?

Layla said, “Everyone loves to win and get free things. That said, not all readers who enter giveaways become loyal followers, but from the extra generated traffic there will be new followers. Giveaways can act as a hook or incentive but how loyal the followers are will depend the overall content or value of the blog.”

As an aside, that is why we are hosting a session on creating engaging content at the Conference. Check out the schedule here.

Running a giveaway, she said, will drive traffic to a blog. “It can be a chicken or egg situation. The blogger wants traffic, but hasn’t grown the audience yet but the blogger won’t be able to secure a sponsor without the audience.”

How easy will it be for a blogger to run a giveaway?

As with anything there is a learning curve, she shared. “My presentation will address many of the questions and concerns including the rules and regulations for running a giveaway.” She said they are pretty straightforward.

What makes for a great giveaway?

“There’s no question, some giveaway items are more desirable than others but it depends on the individual blogger’s audience. In my experience the higher priced items are more popular or practical items a reader routinely buys,” she said.

Layla piqued my interest when I asked, “Other than getting free ‘stuff’ why do individuals like giveaways?” Her answer? “Lots of reasons including some surprising ones.” The catch? You will have to attend her session to find out what the reasons are! She is as mysterious as a cat, don’t you agree?

Random draw or content-driven contests – which is best? She said that a random draw is always more fair and that’s what she does. “Bloggers have been known to select friends or favorites as winners, but why risk alienating your readers by doing that?”

She will discuss various tools for choosing winners for giveaways.

As we wrapped up, Layla shared, “I never intended to be a ‘giveaway queen.’ Doing giveaways helped me grow my brand as a holistic cat behaviorist and my platform as a writer. From the first day I launched Cat Wisdom 101 three years ago my goal was to grow my cat consulting business and pet loss counseling, attract a literary agent and the increasingly difficult goal of landing a traditional book deal as opposed to self-publishing. I’ve achieved the first two of those goals and getting close to the third goal. I can envision partnering with a pet brand but eventually moving away from giveaways to focus on other goals.”

Layla Morgan Wilde-Grumpy Cat1About Layla:  Layla Morgan Wilde is a holistic cat behaviorist, an award-winning writer/photographer and founder of the premier online magazine, Cat Wisdom 101 where they enlighten and entertain cat lovers with unique content. For the past three years Layla conducted hundreds of pet product reviews and giveaways. A passionate advocate for cats, she founded the Toronto-based Annex Cat Rescue in 1997 and her Etsy shop of unique feline art benefits the ASPCA. In addition to blogging at Cat Wisdom 101, she’s blogged since 2008 at Boomer Muse, contributes to Petfinder.com, Pet360.com, Catster.com, Nordic Spotlight and Huffington Post. Wilde is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Her Etsy shop of unique feline art benefits the ASPCA. She lives in Westchester County, NY with three feline muses who are helping her write a book on holistic pet loss. Connect with Layla on Abouther website, FacebookTwitter, and on Etsy.

She has an almost 20-year-old Siamese cat named Merlin, who rules the roost. Domino is a former feral Snowshoe who lived on our porch for seven years. He’s now a lap cat who prefers sleeping under fine linen. Odin is an adventurous one-eyed rescue cat and our # 1 product tester.

BlogPaws Conference Shout Out

I’m beyond excited to attend BlogPaws this year not only as a speaker but a judge AND it’s my first year attending. Many of my friends and colleagues have told me how incredible it is to experience everything under one roof: the networking, seeing pet products live, hands-on learning and of course, fun. Pet people are awesome. As bloggers we live online much of the time and there’s no substitute for face to face meetings for meaningful connections.