So you got the blogging thing down and you are ready to hold your first giveaway (or maybe you have been holding giveaways, but you aren’t getting great entries).
Here are some great tips for hosting a giveaway on your blog.
There are 3 main “ways” people host giveaways on their blogs – Rafflecopter, Giveaway Tools, or comments.
* Rafflecopter is that super easy fun form that lists everything in a vertical form; shows point value and you click on the entry, do it, and then click the green button that says “enter” or “I’m a fan” or some other fun thing.
Rafflecopter offers a free version and a paid version. There is nothing wrong with the free version, but the paid version does provide you a few slight extras that can come in handy (you can add a prize image to the entry form and it gives you a few more entry options)
Once upon a time, when I started blogging, Rafflecopter was the way to enter giveaways. Unfortunately, Rafflecopter tends to have glitches – often – so people have found other methods to enter. (Glitchy as in Rafflecopter would stop working and you couldn’t enter or it wouldn’t count entries). I personally still fall back on Rafflecopter when I’m in a rush because frankly, it’s the easiest to work with for both entrants and bloggers.
* Giveaway Tools is another “form”. It isn’t as laid out as Rafflecopter. You enter your email and your name, click begin, and you start your entries. I will say, the one thing I like about Giveaway Tools is that I do not have to leave the site to “tweet this” option and it confirms my entry right then. As an entrant, it is an easy tool. As a blogger, I tried it when it first came out, I wasn’t a huge fan, but I may be willing to give it a try again.
Like the latter tool, Giveaway Tools also has a free version and paid version. From what I can tell, the only difference between the two is that with the paid version, Giveaway Tools will help promote your giveaway (more on that below).
I have not heard about Giveaway Tools being glitchy, nor have I ever heard of it not working properly during a giveaway.
* Comments is a method that from what I hear used to be popular and has again gained popularity to avoid using the above tools mentioned.
A comment giveaway is just that. The blogger will list in the post the methods for which you can gain entry (ie: like this page on Facebook, follow this person on Twitter, etc.). In the comments of that post, you leave a comment for each entry you did.
For example, to enter, I have to like the sponsors page, follow them on Twitter, like the blogger’s page, follow the blogger on Twitter, and retweet an embedded tweet (you can see an example here of a giveaway I did with comments only).
I would go through and do all of the things requested of me and then leave a comment for each thing I did. One comment for liking sponsors page and then leave my Facebook name; followed sponsor on Twitter and leave my Twitter handle; retweeted the tweet with the link to that tweet.
If you are the blogger, there is a plug-in called And The Winner Is… that will randomly choose a winner (on wordpress). Otherwise, you could easily use Random.org to choose a random winner.
With this method, there are no glitches (unless your blog in general isn’t working).
* Once you pick a “tool” to use, you will need to set up your entries.
Ensure that no matter which tool you use, there is an end date, a description of the prize (you can add monetary value or not, that is optional), and the terms and conditions of your giveaway (ie: who can enter – is it 18+, US only, worldwide, etc.)
* Be sure to include how your winner will be drawn, how they will be contacted, and what your policy is on contacting the winner.
Open to residents of the US, 18 and older. Ends at 11:59pm EST on 5/10/13. At the conclusion of the giveaway, the winner will be randomly selected and notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is NOT associated or endorsed by Facebook or Twitter. The information you enter is collected by and viewed by Life as Leels in order to facilitate this giveaway. Please allow for up to 30 days for shipment of prizes. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
* Make sure you have an image of the product you are giving away. While you may link to your review, those who are in a hurry are not going to click over to see that review and the pictures there so be sure to include a picture of the product you are giving away somewhere on your giveaway post. Ideally, have a picture of the product in use – especially if it is some type of clothing article!
* Make sure the name and or description are listed somewhere – preferably on the giveaway form. Rafflecopter and Giveaway Tools allows you to input the description of the prize – use it! I hate having to hunt down on the page what you are actually giving away. No one has time for that!
* Make your entries easy to enter. I get that you want a million entries because you want people to follow you on every piece of social media you have. I can’t blame you, but I can tell you to make it easy. I am not going to hunt on your sidebars for your GFC (PS: No one uses GFC anymore so you may as well stop asking for entries on that anyway). Additionally, I am not going to hunt down your Blog Lovin’, Picket Fence, or any other anything you tell me is in a sidebar. If you want me to enter via these links, link them in the entry form.
Remember, people don’t always have time to enter so if you want them to take time and enter, make it as easy as possible for them to do it in a snap.