Over the last few weeks, I have been running my first blog giveaway and thought I would share with you, my reflections on the experience of hosting a giveaway and my tip tops for anyone thinking of hosting their own giveaway. I wanted to run a giveaway to thank my followers and hopefully raise awareness of my blog within the blogging community. I spent a bit of time thinking about this and choosing a prize I thought my readers would love. Having decided on a prize I was really excited to host my giveaway. I hosted the giveaway for 2 weeks and used Rafflecopter to manage the entries and choose my winner.
Hosting a giveaway definitely increased my traffic and I saw a huge increase in my Bloglovin followers which is fantastic. Giveaway post has my highest views. However if you look more closely at where the traffic is going most people just clicked on the giveaway page and didn’t click anywhere else. Found this incredibly annoying, think the least you could do is spend a little time looking at the website you are hoping to win something from. I’m not a big business but a blogger who is buying the gift with my own money and wanted it to go to someone who genuinely reads my blog, not someone just looking for a freebie
Someone shared a link to my giveaway on the Money Supermarket Compers forum which at first I was really annoyed about. As I said earlier this was a giveaway to thank my followers for supporting my blog, not a sponsored or business giveaway. I was flooded with people entering whose twitter, Bloglovin and Instagram accounts were full of giveaways and competitions. I’ve had a look through many of these accounts and although some do look like they do genuinely follow blogs the majority were full of giveaways and competitions. I do think some people just enter everything going without even looking at the prize (I assume a lot of these will end up on eBay). I removed the tweet about this giveaway entry option to try to reduce the giveaways publicity to avoid too many of this type of entry. However, on reflection, I shouldn’t have been as annoyed about this as they were following the instructions and following my blog (which can only be a
good thing). I expected to lose a lot of these followers after the giveaway closed, however nearly all of them are still following. Maybe I was too quick to judge in assuming they weren’t genuine new followers. I will admit I have clicked on links to giveaways before and normally this has led to my finding a great new blog to follow. Sometimes I guess it takes a giveaway for someone to click the follow button.
Would I do it Again?
To be honest I’m not sure if I would. I was really looking forward to running a giveaway and spend a good bit of time thinking about a gift my readers would enjoy. I think the value of the gift was quite high for a small bloggers giveaway and was excited to see who would win it. However, as the giveaway was shared on the compers forum and was overtaken by people only interested in entering competitions and giveaways I no longer enjoyed running the giveaway. I might have felt differently if the giveaway had been sponsored and it wasn’t going to cost me anything but because I was paying I wanted the prize to go to a genuine reader. I might reconsider in the future if a company wants me to host a giveaway, however, I don’t think I will be hosting anymore giveaways were I purchase the prize. I will just have to find a different way to thank my readers/followers.
My Top Tips for Hosting a Giveaway
Set clear terms and conditions
Make sure you have super tight terms and conditions. I just copied mine from another blog (with permission) and changed a couple of parts to suit. Although these did the job and made issues around how I will contact the winner and send out prize clear they didn’t cover anything about who can enter. I found a lot of compers entered, it wasn’t enough to state on the blog post that the giveaway was for my readers only. Still not 100% sure how you can word this in T&Cs without discriminating but it’s worth thinking about whether or not you will have any entry restrictions. Also, consider including information on how you will contact the winner and set a clear timescale for you to get in touch with them and set a deadline for them to respond. I gave 48hours which in hindsight is a little tight, I would suggest giving someone a week to get back to you. I would also make it clear the timescale for you sending the item and how long they can expect postage to take. I stated 28 days in my first email to allow for any unexpected delays.
Choose the right prize
Make sure your prize is relevant to your blog. If you run a beauty blog there is little point in giving away an electric drill! I decided on a wash/makeup bag from Alphabet Bags as I know the brand is popular with beauty bloggers and my readers would get use out of the item. Consider if you would like to receive the item before giving it away if you wouldn’t want it will your readers? Personally, I love the prize from my giveaway – so much so that I ordered one for myself as well as the winner. Write a post selling your prize with the giveaway below to encourage people to enter.
If you are buying the prize yourself make sure you can afford it and set a clear budget when considering prizes. Most people are happy to receive anything so don’t get too caught up in the value of your prize.Timescales
Make sure you give people plenty of time to enter your giveaway. I kept mine open for 2 weeks which I think worked well for the item I was giving away. If your prize has a high value I would give people as long as possible to enter, whereas if it is a smaller item you can have a shorter timescale. Also consider how often you post on your blog, if you only post once a week you should run you a giveaway for longer to give plenty of people a chance to see it, whereas if you post daily you can run your giveaway over a shorter period of time as people check your blog more often.
Don’t make people work too hard
Don’t make people jump through hoops to enter your giveaway. Rafflecopter has soo many possible ways of entry with each offering a certain number of entries. Choose one or two compulsory ways to enter then have another couple of options to add extra entries and increase their chance of winning. But make sure you keep it simple. Most people are happy to follow your blog or follow you on Twitter but do they want to like your page on Facebook or sign up for emails? Think about what you would be willing to do and don’t ask anything more from your followers.
Relax and Enjoy Hosting your Giveaway
Blog giveaways are meant to be a bit of fun so try to enjoy being the host. I found myself focusing on my traffic and checking entries when I should have been enjoying the experience. Keep
an eye on how many entries you have but don’t worry about it too much. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter is 2 or 2000 people enter your giveaway. Tweet about your giveaway, using relevant hashtags (#giveaway, #competition) if you want to encourage more people to enter. As I said earlier try not to get annoyed if lots of compers enter and don’t waste your time/energy checking everyone’s profiles to check if they are genuine or not.