You can receive a lot of interest and engagement from running a giveaway, but they are not as simple as you might think. They require a fair bit of planning, promotion and monitoring to make sure it is fair and successful.
Picking your blog giveaway prizes
There are a two ways to get your hands on prizes for giveaways. The first is to go out and buy it yourself, or secondly, you may be lucky enough to be approached by a PR to run a giveaway with one of their products.
5 tips on picking the perfect prize for your blog giveaway:
- Make sure the prize is relevant to your blog. If you are a beauty or fashion blogger, make it a beauty or fashion related prize. Your readers come to your blog because they are interested in what you write about, so give them something along the same line
- If you are buying your prize yourself, make sure you only buy what you can afford. Giveaways very rarely return themselves in monetary value in the short term, so you don’t want to be out of pocket! Equally, cheaper prizes have less appeal because they are already attainable from readers. Find the perfect balance and you will have found your perfect prize
- If you are getting giveaway prizes from PR’s, remember it is okay to say no. If a PR offers you a prize that doesn’t fit with your blog then you are under no obligation to accept
- I you decide to go ahead with a PR sponsored giveaway, be clear on whose responsibility it will be to post the prize. Are the PR company going to be reliable enough to send the prize on your behalf? After all, if the prize doesn’t arrive because they failed to post, it’s your name that will be tarnished. You also have to be careful that the winner will be happy with you passing on their personal information to another company. Where possible, request the prize is sent to you to distribute
- How big is your prize? Is it fragile? Will it cause any problems or incur extra charges when posting? These are all things you need to consider, as the likelihood will be that you will have to mail the prize yourself. Is it going to be costly to send?
Is it a giveaway or a competition?
If you’ve got your prize, it’s time to set up your giveaway! At first, you need to decide what you want people to do to gain entries. Did you know there is a difference between a competition and a giveaway?
A competition has a skill based entry method and entrants are judged on how good the judges perceive their entry to be. This could be something like a piece of art, and essay or something similar.
A giveaway is a prize draw from qualifying entries that don't necessarily require skill. For example, asking people to follow you on social media for an entry is a giveaway.
If you're running a giveaway rather than a competition, you can use special widgets, such as Rafflecopter, to set up the giveaway. You just add the activities the entrant needs to complete and Rafflecopter displays them for you in a neat little entry form and even keeps track throughout the giveaway and can help you pick a winner!
Rules & regulations for blog giveaways
Did you realise there are real laws for organising blog giveaways? Make sure you check everything thoroughly before starting the giveaway to ensure you aren’t breaking any rules!
4 key points for setting up your giveaway:
- If you have accepted a prize from a PR and you are running a sponsored giveaway, your disclosure needs to be printed at the top of your post, before anything. You need to make it clear that it is a sponsored giveaway, and provide information on your sponsors
- Don’t move your closing date. This is actually illegal. If you set up a giveaway to end on a specific date, the moment it goes live you should no longer change this. Even if you are only a few days from the end and only 2 people have entered, you must NOT change the date
- Be clear with your giveaway rules. If you worked out you can only afford to mail your prize within your country, make sure people are aware of this before they enter
- Include detailed terms and conditions that cover you and your sponsor in all instances. Here is a quick example of terms and conditions that you can take and fill in your own details:
“Giveaway runs from [INSERT TIME] GMT [DATE] and ends at [INSERT TIME] GMT [DATE]. Giveaway is open to [UK/US/CANADA/WORLDWIDE] residents who enter via the [RAFFLECOPTER OR OTHER GIVEAWAY HOST]. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org and notified by email. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to winning contact or a new winner will be chosen. Winner is responsible for any and all taxes that may be related to the winning of this prize. The prize is [INSERT PRIZE] provided by [SPONSOR] and sent from [YOU? SPONSOR?]. [YOUR BLOG NAME HERE] and/or [SPONSOR NAME] are not liable for any loss or damage to the prize during shipping, nor any reactions caused by the product. [YOUR BLOG NAME HERE] and/or [SPONSOR] reserve the right to refuse service under necessary circumstances. [YOUR BLOG NAME HERE] and/or [SPONSOR] reserve the right to obtain and publicise winners name and so forth. Any social media sites have no liability with regards to this giveaway. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
How to promote your blog giveaway
How will people know about your giveaway if you don’t promote it?
4 ideas for promoting your blog giveaway:
- Make your post attractive. Fill it with images and loads of nice things about the prizes to people can see what you are giving away. You can take a look at some of my blog giveaway posts here
- Review the products you are giving away. If you can get your hands on your own product then write a post and tell people about it, adding in links to your giveaway post. I would advise not using the same product you plan on sending as a prize to test... More likely than not, the winner will be able to tell that you have already had a play around with theirs
- Use your social media. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest etc are all great ways to promote your giveaway. Tell people about it during twitter chats, post big pictures of your prizes across Instagram or Facebook and give people the link so they can find out more
- There are websites that will advertise your giveaway for you! Websites such as The Prize Finder or even forums such as the one at Money Saving Expert have places for you to list your giveaway and attract more interest!