blogging basics: how to host a basic giveaway

Blog giveaways are a great way to grow readership/social following and give a big, huge ‘thanks!’ to your readers and followers for being so wonderful. I’ve hosted some and entered more than I care to admit. Here is my go-to method and some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!

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Gather prizes
Giveaway prizes don’t have to be huge. You could decide to give away a couple $10 Starbucks gift cards just to say ‘thanks’ to your readers and I guarantee people will enter. I’ve also been lucky enough to work in conjunction with some brands to host giveaways. They provide me with cool prizes and in return I promote their business or brand. If a brand reaches out to me to work together, I always include a giveaway option when I respond with my partnership ideas. A lot of brands usually love this idea because it’s mutually beneficial!

Post a teaser blog or social media post
When I’m giving something away that a company gifts to me, I usually ask for one for myself too. This is so I can post teaser images, outfit posts, etc. to generate interest prior to the giveaway. If you don’t have enough content to post two blog posts about the giveaway, utilize your social platforms for teaser posts.

Set up the entry specifications
Like I mentioned in my last blogging related post, I love using Rafflecopter to host giveaways simply because it’s so easy to use and it’s free. I make giveaway entries very easy and realistic – for example, like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, etc. To make the giveaway mutually beneficial for any companies I work with, I also include liking or following their social media pages as well. I usually find that running giveaways for about a week generates a good amount of entries.

Make sure you disclose in your giveaway post if you received the prize from an outside party in order to be completely  transparent with your readers and comply with regulations. My disclaimer usually looks like this: “Disclaimer: I was given 2 ‘X’ tickets for myself and 2 to give away to a reader. All opinions are my own.”

The only way people will enter your giveaway is if they know about it! I always promote a couple times on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just to get the word out. Another easy way to promote is to make one of the entries to tweet about the giveaway. This way, participants can enter and help you spread the word at the same time!

Monitor and interact
Make sure you are closely monitoring your social platforms and blog while you are running the giveaway. If people have questions or comments, you want to make sure you are responding in a timely fashion (I try to answer comments within 24 hours always). If someone tweets about the giveaway, I always try to respond and say thanks. Also, keep an eye on the amount of entries to ensure you don’t have to extend the running time of the giveaway.

Choose a winner
Ethically, I always randomly choose winners. Luckily, Rafflecopter takes the work out of it and randomly chooses winners for you. If I don’t use Rafflecopter, I will use a random number generator to choose a winner.

Send the prize
This is the most important part! To maintain your credibility, don’t forget to send the prize to the winner. If you are working with a brand or company, ask if they are able to send the prize for you when you are working out giveaway details.

Monitor the results
How many followers did you gain? Check out Google Analytics – did your traffic grow at all while you were hosting the giveaway? Was the response from your readers a positive one? Some giveaways can be hit or miss but looking at the numbers is a good way to find out if they are worthwhile for you.

Other giveaway tips:

  • Don’t overdo it. I think there is such a thing as too many giveaways and if you do too many, they kind of lose their value in my opinion.
  • Only work with a brand if they are a good fit for you. In the beginning, I said ‘yes’ to any brand who asked to work with me. While I always appreciate it when any company reaches out, I’m now a little more selective with who I work with and only partner with brands I would truly use/buy.
  • Don’t take it personally if some people ‘unfollow’ you after a giveaway. It’s totally normal and totally okay. You want people to follow you because they want to so if they were only following for the giveaway, you don’t need them as a follower anyways!

Some giveaways I’ve hosted in the past:

This is just one type of giveaway you can host to grow your blog. I’ve also participated in some Instagram giveaways (I have a couple coming up next week so make sure you are following along!) and may post more on that in the next couple months!

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