From SouleMama to Pioneer Woman to Dooce, the queens of the mommy blogging kingdom all love their giveaways. Giveaways have the power to draw new readers to your blog and to generate extra online buzz about your content. In fact, Ana Hoffman from The Traffic Generation Cafe attributes giveaways as one of the top 20 ways she increased her readership from zero to 15,000 people in under six months.
Only you can determine whether or not a giveaway is the missing ingredient to your blog’s success, but the following ideas can help you decide what to give away, how to use your giveaway effectively and how to pay for the giveaway.
According to the New York Times, Heather Armstrong’s blog Dooce may generate close to $1 million per year. But, even as one of the best-paid mommy bloggers on the planet, Armstrong still uses giveaways to strategically draw more followers to her realm. Last year, she tied a giveaway to her Facebook page, and every new Facebook follower was entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 gift card. The large value of the prize enticed people who may have not been that interested to follow her anyway.
Although any giveaway — like Christmas gift baskets at FTD.com or custom-made necklaces from Etsy.com — can draw more readers to your page, you may want to focus on niche giveaways that will draw the type of readers who will truly appreciate your content. An advocate for natural living, homeschooling and attachment parenting, SouleMama offers giveaways that resonate with readers who share those passions. Her giveaways are often things like all-natural dolls from Bamboletta that appeal to her granola-infused readership. Regardless of which aspects of parenting your blog focuses upon, find your niche and go for it.
Once you decide what to give away, you still have to figure out how to pay for it. The majority of SouleMama’s giveaways are sponsored by the company who makes or sells the product. To encourage those companies to sponsor the giveaway, SouleMama gives them a bit of space in her blog. Typically, this involves a short interview with the sponsor as well as a few enticing photos of their products.
Sponsoring Your Own Giveaways
Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman, in contrast, claims that buying things she likes and offering them to her readers is far easier than working with a sponsor who may want you to plug their product in a restricted way. Drummond started her giveaway craze by simply pulling out unused gift cards from her bureau drawers and offering those to her readers.
To get her readers more engaged with her site, she offered the gift cards as a prize for a picture caption contest. Even now that her readership is well in the millions, her cookbooks are on bookstore shelves all over the country and her spin-off cooking show is on the Food Network, The Pioneer Woman still continues to host her own giveaways.
To help you get started, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com provides a few simple steps. He advises keeping the entry requirements simple and the entry period short.