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Your Most Pressing Travel Blogging Questions: Facebook Or The Blog? Where To Run Your First Contest

Earlier this year, I asked you what your most pressing travel blogging questions were. LI asked how and where to best promote a blog contest, especially if your blog is fresh out of the Internet womb.

question mark

Floating In The Extremes

A blog contest has the potential to excite your readers, encourage participation, and draw new audiences to your site. Conversely, a contest can also make you feel like you’ve fallen flat on your face in a public display of disappointment. Running a successful contest – that is with more than mom participating – is a tricky prospect, no matter how large or small your audience is.

simple mathEase And Eas(ier)ness Of Entry

A critical component in running a successful contest is making things simple. That starts laying out the basics – what the person will win and how they enter.

Make entry into your contest as easy as possible, especially if you’ve got an audience on the smaller side. When LI asked whether to post a blog contest on Facebook or her actual site, I’d say do both if you’re just starting out.

While every contest is different and can go a number of ways, they tend to build momentum over time. When people are online they’re lazy – you’ve got generally under a minute to get their attention so make the most of it. With a larger audience you’ve got more people to funnel to a blog post or a Facebook page but for newer sites you’ll need to cast your contest net wider.

snowball on a hillGive Yourself A Lead But Not Too Long

Travelers tend to neglect the places that are close to home partially because of the mentality that they’re so close, “I’ll get their eventually.” Well, we all know how that goes and a blog contest is the same way. Give people 6 weeks to enter and chances are you won’t get much more participation than a contest with a 1 week entry deadline.

People are consistently dumping emails, calendar tasks, and interesting articles into “to do” lists which are the digital equivalent of black holes. Never to be seen or heard of again your contest announcement should get people to enter on first read; because it will be gone by the time they get back around to it (if they ever do). That’s also where a simple entry comes in – your readers will be more inclined to do something that takes 3 seconds to understand and even less time to do.

I’ve got a few more solid pieces of advice for running a successful contest on your travel blog but do feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comments below.

[photos by: FrozenCapybara (question mark), Jer Kunz (simple math), redjar (snowball)]

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Corinne @ Gourmantic May 16, 2011, 19:27

    I guess it would depend on if you were trying to build your Facebook fan base or bring traffic to your blog? I agree that it has to be easy to warrant an immediate action.

    • Anil P. May 17, 2011, 11:44

      I think with entry it’s best to go with where your audience interaction is strong and somehow use the contest to shift folks to where you want to improve, if that makes sense 🙂

  • flip June 4, 2011, 12:58

    your timing is just perfect man… im planning to have my first contest in a month or two and im reading different posts about doing it… thanks for this one…

    • Anil P. June 4, 2011, 13:25

      Glad my timing was good on this one – good luck with the contest. Send it my way when it ready 🙂

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