How To Host A Contest On Your Blog That Gets 352 Comments

How Get Traffic To Your Blog Giveaway

The twilight contest is officially over. The winner has been chosen and will be announced below the fold of this post.

There were over 300 comments on that post, and I know at least one person was seriously annoyed at the idea that giving away a book you can buy on Amazon for $18 generated more interest than, let’s say, a very expensive DVD box set.

I also know that it sucks some serious ass to offer to give away something for free and have no one want it. It’s the blogging equivalent of “not even if you were the last man on Earth!”

So I’m going to tell you how to get a bunch of people entering your contests. I’ll also tell you I learned all this crap by complete accident – but still. I’m observant. But first, I’m going to lecture you a bit about why giveaways are the absolute worst way to generate new readers to a personal blog.

Basically – people who show up to enter your contest by adding a comment are at your site to enter a contest. That’s it. They drop their name in the bucket and move on. And it’s not because they suck or are greedy or there’s anything wrong with the. It’s not because they hate you or because your regular content sucks. It’s because they came to enter a contest.

End of lecture.

Now… how to host a contest on your blog that generates an ass ton of comments:

1. The monetary value of your prize is irrelevant

People mistakenly assume that if something is expensive it will generate more interest. I held a contest once where the winner got to choose between a gift certificate or a video post dedicated to them. They picked the video.

When choosing a prize (or considering which prize offers to accept from companies), consider the perceived value of an item. The Wii Fit contests are huge not only because of cost, but because tracking down a Wii is damn near impossible in some cities. A gas card giveaway on Mocha Momma’s blog a few months ago was a big deal because people immediately thought about the fact that they were selling off organs to fill up. And the Twilight book? It’s nothing if not timely considering the Twilight Mania running rampant right now.

2. Make the contest easy to enter, and easy to win.

If your goal is to get as many entries as possible, then your requirements need to be aimed at the least common denominator. Requiring people to be witty or funny or capable of completing multiple steps will drastically reduce your response.

Remember, people have shit to do. They’re entering your contest on a lark, with an “ah screw it, maybe I’ll win something” attitude.

3. Make it easy for other people to promote your contest.

The idea of offering people an incentive to talk about your contest isn’t revolutionary. Every blog contest you’ll ever stumble across will offer an additional entry for “a post on your blog or displaying our button!” The problem with that is it requires far too much effort for most people to post about your damn contest. (See above.)

It does not, however, require much effort at all to send out a twitter. It’s more effort than a comment, but barely.

4. You can do all of those things (as I have before) and still get a shitty response.

5. Unless you’re Dooce or The Pioneer Woman.

6. If you really want to generate a massive response, go to where the People Who Enter Contests hang out.

No. Seriously. There are places for these people. There are websites and lists where someone compiles lists of contests and other people just go through the lists entering contest after contest after contest.


Hundreds of people came to this site from a placed called Online Sweepstakes. I have no clue how they heard about it, but the response was insane. You can add your own giveaways to their listings.

A few other places to post your contest: Contest Blogger, Contest for Moms (assuming it is one), and Contest Alley.

So that’s it. Follow these steps and you too can have 352 people on the Internet pronouncing your beauty.

For what that’s worth.

Now, the winner…

Thank you to everyone who entered, and thank you especially to Jane from The Giveaway Connection for asking me to host this.

Congratulations to Diane Penna, who said:

You’re so beautiful! 

Okay, so here’s the deal. I have all the hardbacks to the sequels, but only the paperback for Twilight. I would LOVE to win this. Oh, and I was really LOL about your Jacob and Bella…the book made it really, really hard to not think it, if even just for a millisecond!

Oh, and I tweeted (twittered?) this page too, and plan on adding you to my RSS feed if that helps!


You completely disproved the earlier part of my post. So, thanks for that.

Photo by Smoking Permitted.

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