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Contest Winners Announced

I ran my first contest a short while ago and it was my most commented on post yet. Granted there were only 6 entrants. Since there were only six entries I just decided to pull names out of a hat. Also, I went with three prizes simply because there was little interest.

Geoff won the first place prize. He will receive a free sponsored post, a 125×125 ad, and a backlink in my blog roll.

Bloggernoob won second earning him a free 125×125 ad and a blog roll link.

Neil won third earning him a free backlink and I’ll throw in another 125×125 to even it out with my Entrecard ad.

These bloggers must simply comment to receive their prizes.

There are many benefits of commenting on blogs. Like for example, the free mentioning in my blog that was given away to all commentors of a previous post.

Rory of Online Money

Craig of Gamer Reviews

and Blake of Illiterate Poet all saw the benefits of commenting.


Enter Every Contest

Enter every blogging contest out there that is free and easy to enter. I’m not so much talking about give away contests, rather blogging competitions. Even a beginner such as myself, who has no chance of winning some of these competitions, has something to gain out of these. They are all around great for everybody involved. The blogger running it gets attention, and the contestants get some views here and there.

I recently entered myself in a blogging contest called, Blogger Idol. It’s run off sponsorships I believe. Anyways, here are some of the perks I get out of it. I am supposed to give him a weekly update on what I’m doing to get subscribers. This gives me about 200 words to talk to his readers. Then there is the backlink I receive for free in these posts. Four free backlinks from a blog with a Page Rank of 7 is a rather valuable link. I also arouse the interest of some of the others in the contest. If by some miracle I hit top 10 I might see some sort of traffic stream coming to my blog due to the apparent knowledge I have in the area of RSS subscribers.

There are many perks to entering contests. The very least would be the backlinks you’ll receive out of it. I’ve seen a couple users from the contest visit my blog and wish me luck. Who knows, maybe they even subscribed and got a free backlink in my blogroll for commenting here (hint hint). So what if I lose? I didn’t pay to enter, and it doesn’t take much effort. In fact, I don’t even have to participate in the contest if I don’t want to. I still receive some benefits from it.

Next time one of the blogs in your feed mentions the word ‘contest’, be sure to check it out.


My First Contest

Ok, I’ve got some 125×125’s that obviously aren’t going to be selling themselves anytime soon. Why not give those away? I also wouldn’t mind putting up a sponsored post or two depending upon number of entries. Last but not least, I’ll throw in a few blogroll links.

Bloggernoob has concluded that your contests will receive much more interest if you require very little of the visitors to enter the contest. I like that idea, and will go with that for my first contest. So here is what is up for grabs.

First Prize: 1 Sponsored post, 1 125×125 ad, and 1 blogroll link

Second Prize: 1 125×125 ad and 1 blogroll link

Third Place: 1 blogroll link and a backlink in an upcoming post, pointing a key idea to one of your posts

Forth Place: 1 blogroll link

What do you have to do to get in on this? All you have to do is leave me a comment. A simple comment will get you an entry into this contest. I will randomely pick the winners on July 11th. You then simply have to respond in that post to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Comment here, add me to your RSS feed, and wait to win. I have very few subscribers so it’s a great chance that you will win something by entering.

I am also accepting sponsored prizes for future contests. If you are interested in sponsoring a future contest with prizes, gift cards, ad space, or anything else feel free to comment me with a way to contact you. There would be exposure to your site guaranteed if you sponsored a contest.


Winning Contests

The picture isn’t working at the current time. Click here to view it.

I just got home late tonight and realized, I scheduled half my posts wrong. Instead of clicking publish I clicked save. So even though I had them written and edited to publish on a certain date, they didn’t publish. I got a few of them up while I was gone which was good.

Another surprise came up while I was gone. I received my package in the mail from Bloggernoob.com. It was a package worth around $200 from Market Leverage who sponsored the contest. I thought I’d take a chance to share the picture for several reasons.

Like I said in the post where I talked about entering this contest, the blogger is almost always the winner. I mean, including this post, this is the second backlink he will get from my site. They are free. He didn’t have to pay for the backlinks, he didn’t have to pay to get traffic to his contests, and he got a few free posts to go with it.

Another reason was simply for the reason of thanking the Noob. There is no way you can become successful with your first self hosted blog without a bit of guidence. He’s given that and more. If my posts are not helping you, his probably will.

Anyways, as you notice I did receive a video camera that just plugs into my computers USB slot. This will make it very easy for me to upload videos so I will highly be considering popping up a few podcasts or videos or something of the sort. There are fewer blogs in the niche that provide this technique of learning that is should most definitely give me a small boost in the long run.


Is the Contest Worth Entering

I was reading over my RSS Feed when I came across an interesting post from the make money blog of bloggernoob.com. It was rather simple to enter, as all you need to do is post a comment with a valid email he can contact you with and you have a chance at winning! How easy is that?

The prizes are a 4gb Ipod Nano that plays videos and music, a 2gb USB pen, a Flip video camera, and a $50 American Express Card. These sound like some pretty expensive gifts that are worth a shot. With a RSS subscriber count of only 306 readers you have a pretty good shot at getting your hands on one of these.

Another way to enter is by posting a link to the contest post, on your blog. This gets into a lesson I started getting into  awhile ago. What makes a contest worth entering, and what makes one worth leaving alone for some other lucky winner?

The blogger almost always gets the better end of the deal. Obviously you are giving them a free advertising post on your blog if you do what I’m doing. Depending upon your blog, that could potentially be a $40 or more investment into a contest. For me it’s probably valued at about $10.00-$20.00, which the potential outcome being valued at around $350 worth of prizes. Which brings me to the prizes. Half of the time the prizes are donated in the first place. So the blogger only has to give away the prizes. The company that donated the prizes gains minimal exposure, even less if the company is unrelated to the blog niche. So the blogger gains money by receiving free backlinks, RSS Subscribers, advertisement posts, and all around excitement on their blog.

Who really wins? The blogger wins the biggest prize. That prize being exactly what I stated above. Then of course there are the winners who receive the prizes. What contests should you avoid? The ones that are requiring a big effort into signing up. If you are required to make a post on your blog about it, depending upon the prizes, you may not want to irritate your readers with another post for your contest entry.

In the end it all comes down to. What are you required to do to sign up and is the prize of the contest even worth what you are getting. If selling a post on your blog earns you $40, then why enter a contest where the best prize you could get is $40. You probably see the logic here.

This is a good, easy contest to enter. Check it out.


Keep In Mind When Running Contests

Is it just me or does every single make money blog out there seem to have contests as a large source of traffic and gaining RSS Subscribers? I realize there are some people that sign up for content, however it seems as though many people will sign up simply for contests. Are you really helping your blog by running these contests? Some of my personal thoughts on this.

First of all, the traffic you are receiving is not real. It will be mostly one or two time visitors that heard about your contest from a post on another blog. This will lead them there for one purpose and one purpose only, your contest. They will probably sign up for your RSS Feed if it’s a RSS only contest. After the contest is done they either forget your site, or drop it from their feed. After a contest it wouldn’t be unlikely to see a drop in subscribers.

You can benefit from these contests. Let’s say your blog is big enough that companies or bloggers donate your prizes. If your prizes aren’t purchased by you, you’re not going to lose anything. No matter what you think, if you’re paying for your prizes it won’t make you back your money in the long run. The contest will be the extent of your benefits with the extra traffic sent to your site.

What types of contests are the most beneficial to the blog? Contests that are “random” drawings. The entrants name is played in the drawing x-times. A way to get in the drawing could be through comments, guest posts, writing a review of your blog, or many other ways that will benefit you. Make the time line around a month if there are a couple of good prizes. If there are indeed more than one good prize you may actually have quite a few people actively trying to obtain as many submissions into the drawing as possible.

Another cool contest idea was one I saw on a make money blog called bloggernoob. It was a domain tournament, but it’s not so much the domain part of it, rather the tournament. The contest was a free entrance and for each entrant he would put in $x. After 32 people entered it was like an NCAA tournament. 32-16-8-4-2-1. You could vote only once per ip address. It seemed to receive a decent amount of traffic. The sites entered in it will most likely alert their websites readers of the contest in order to get votes, and this will increase your chances of getting some targeted readers.

These are just two of many different contests. Experiment with them, some things may work better depending upon your niche. Do I plan to hold contests? Yes, but they wouldn’t be with my earnings. Bloggers are generally earning less than they would make at minimum wage, and I can’t afford to donate my earnings towards contests at the current time, because there are no earnings. I would be more than open to a contest where I received some donations because I believe if you run it correctly you can get quite a few subscribers and make a few bucks off of it.


Entering Contests

Pretty much every larger scale make money blogging niche bloggers will have a contest sooner or later. Sometimes the prizes can get pretty expensive, other times it’s a simple, smaller cash prize. The majority of the time they will also require you to somehow spread the word of the contest by posting about it on your blog.

Keep in mind, your readers probably aren’t too interested in which contests you are entering. The occasional contest is fine, but there are some weeks where you will see numerous contests. You need to weed out the contests that are of no benefit to you.

Prizes range from hosting, to domains, to layouts. If you’ve already got your own blog, on your own hosting, you probably won’t want to enter these contests. You get a limited time prize or a layout which you don’t need. Is it really worth telling your readers all about this “great” contest, linking to the bloggers blog about two or three times, and alienating your readers?

Some prizes you may wish to consider are free advertising on their site, free reviews, free text links, entrecard credits, money, and just about anything virtual. If you can put it to use, it may be worth entering simply because it would have a positive affect on your blog if you were to win it.