{blog post updated May 2020}

Giveaways are great for your blog –  readers love entering contests and it drives lots of traffic to your website.  Over the years I have learned some ways to become efficient at running a giveaway.

Here are some tips I have learned over the years.

Choose a giveaway widget & follow policies.

There are numerous giveaway widgets, such as Rafflecopter and Giveaway Tools.  I use the free version of Rafflecopter, which has some limitations, but it works for me.

Be sure to follow social media policies.  For example, you cannot use some social media follows as a giveaway entry.  One example is that Facebook does not allow Facebook follows as giveaway entries.  Rafflecopter does give you the option of having an entrant visit a Facebook page as an alternate option.

Give your entrants a variety of entry options.

First, make sure you incorporate as many options related to the sponsor and sponsored item – such as visiting or following as many social media channels as possible.   You can get creative besides social media follows – other ideas could be: entrants visit the sponsor’s site and leave a comment about the sponsor’s product, sign up for an e-mail newsletter from the sponsor, or post an Instagram photo why they need to win (e.g. I did a giveaway for a toy organizer and made an option for people to post a picture of their toy mess to Instagram).

Be clear about the giveaway rules.

Put a disclaimer on your giveaway explaining the rules.  Start with the basics of what the prize is, prize value, and who can enter (e.g. US only).

Then you want to include other details – such as, the sponsor ships the prize, you are not responsible for fulfillment, winner has a certain time period to respond to the winning e-mail (e.g. 48 hours), and so on.  I literally had someone email me a year after they had won (I am not kidding!), because during the Coronavirus pandemic, they were cleaning out their spam email and discovered my email asking them to claim their prize.  Fortunately, I had the conditions of the giveaway posted on my website.

Also decide if there is a frequency that someone can win on your blog (such as one prize per month or one prize per three months).

Promote your giveaway.  

Promote your giveaway on all of your social media – I do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.  Although some of those are a one-time entry, other tasks can be done daily (such as tweeting about the contest every day).  I schedule a lot of my tweets, as soon as I post a giveaway so that I know there is a daily tweet going out for the duration of the giveaway.  Capitalize on peak times – for example, Sunday evenings usually get a lot of views.  You can do a Google search to find when best posting times are.

You can also promote your giveaway on giveaway sites, giveaway linkys on blogs, and in Facebook groups (search for ‘giveaways’).  Some of the free ones I use include:

http://contestgirl.com

http://www.online-sweepstakes.com

http://www.giveawaypromote.com

Choose a winner.

People cheat – so check the entries.  Also if the entrant was supposed to enter information (such as their Twitter username) but did not, I disqualify that entry because the rules were not followed and it takes far too much effort to track down that information (which is why I ask for it on the form).  I get a lot of entries that I have to disqualify.

Let me know if you have any questions – or feel free to add your own tips in the comments!