Tips for running a blog competition/giveaway – what you need to know

We all love a good giveaway and these are a great way of getting your blog noticed by a wider audience and to help build your social media channels a little at the same time, they are also a great way of saying thank you to your readers.

Just what the prize is and how you get it is of course up to you – you can purchase your own gift to giveaway or even ask companies you are working with if they would be interested in you running a giveaway alongside a review perhaps – I find this is a great way of pushing that review and gaining more exposure for the brand – a win/win for you both.

Things you NEED to know before setting up your giveaway:

•    All giveaways need clear start (or launch date) and end dates, once the giveaway has started you can’t change the end date without letting ALL entrants know

•    There need to be clear T&C’s – who can enter, who is excluded, when will the winner be notified by, how long do they have to claim their prize etc.

•    Under the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) you as the host are responisble for any prizes which aren’t received by the winner. If a company ceases trading or doesn’t send the prize you are responsible for sending a replacement (the same or similar to the same value)

•    You can’t ask for payment as an entry requirement – this is classed as a lottery and requires the correct licences

•    A prize is something the winner doesn’t have to spend their own money to redeem – a 20% voucher isn’t really a prize

•    You can’t ask entrants to like your facebook pages as an entry requirement – you can add a ‘visit my FB page’.

•    You can NOT pass on entrants details to companies, by entering they agree for you to pass over the winners details for delivery of their prize only. All other entrants details remain private unless you have specified differently within your T&C’s but this has to be clear – one way to do this is to make an optional entry where they can leave an email address to sign up to a mailout/company website

Competition or Giveaway?

These are two different things – If you are running a giveaway the winner is chosen at random (using rafflecopter, gleam, or even a name from a hat). Competitions require a little more effort from the entrant and are won on merit: draw a picture, caption a picture, write a poem, create a recipe etc.

Make everything clear:

Make it easy for your readers to know what they are entering to win – if the prize is a voucher make sure they know if it can be used instore or online, is there an expiry date, does it exclude sale items etc.

Tell them how they can enter – are entries mandatory? Do they have to complete all entries or can they pick and choose which they want to do?

Moderating entries:

Whichever way you host your giveaway you will want to ensure that the winner has completed the entry requirements which they claim to have done, if they say they follow you on twitter double check that they do.

Capturing entrants details for easy moderation:

The most popular ways of hosting giveaways is to use Gleam or Rafflecopter – these are both free and easy to set up.

I am not familiar with Gleam myself but have entered many giveaways via it and entrants can login and just click a button to complete each entry option.

Setting up rafflecopter is easy and once you have set up one remember to click duplicate giveaway next time so you won’t have to re-enter all your social media details again (just change the brands details where applicable). You don’t have to use the paid version to add additional entry options, just select “create your own”.  Making links clickable will increase entries too – click on the link icon when setting up the entry options, add the information you read in the first brackets i.e. Follow on Instagram, then add the url into the second set of brackets.

Getting your giveaway noticed:

There are many Facebook groups in which you can promote your giveaway/competition, if it’s for a brand add it to their page, a local attaction? Then add it to a local fb page.

You can tweet it out using hashtags to attract attention – #win #comp #competition #giveaway

Add a picture to IG showing the prize, use hashtags too

You can also add to sites such as Prize Finder, Loquax and Super Lucky Di

You can’t add it to MSE yourself or ask someone to do for you however after a few days you’ll probably find it has already been added for you.

*Post Update*

If you are a member of Tots100, Hibs100 or Foodies100 and want to be ranked in their blogging charts then you need to be aware of their new giveaway rules. As of 1st May vouchers or money giveaways will have new rules, self funded giveaways aren’t allowed (this actually isn’t new but they will be keeping an eye on the entry requirements of the giveaways), if you are giving away paypal cash, Amazon vouchers etc, then you can’t ask entrants to follow your social media channels for extra entries, you also can’t ask them to click though and comment on other blog posts, click to other pages for an extra entry.

You can host these types of giveaways for brands IF they are relevant to the post, i.e if working with Amazon and writing about their Prime membership you CAN giveaway an Amazon voucher but you CAN’T add entry options to follow your social media accounts.

This will have an impact if you work with brands and they offer vouchers which aren’t relevant to that brand, i.e, if working with an insurance company and they offer a voucher because that voucher isn’t brand relevant, you can ask for a hamper or equivalent to giveaway instead.

To read these rules for yourself click here

For further guidelines please visit Di’s post on hosting a legal and successful blog giveaway and another on how to run a Facebook giveaway.