Tips For Hosting a Giveaway On Your Blog

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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The other day, I received a question from another blogger asking about giveaway etiquette.

Hey Tina! Do you have any posts on Giveaway “etiquette”? I just received some free goodies and was thinking about doing one on my blog. I really don’t have many followers, but if I do one not sure exactly how to go about it.

I’ve written all sorts of blogging posts over the years, but not one about giveaways, so I decided to tackle the topic today. That said, here are some tips for hosting a giveaway on your blog!

tips_for_hosting_a_giveaway_on_your_blog

Make sure the product is something you like

Ok, this might sound like a ”˜duh’ tip, but I’ve seen all sorts of blog giveaways over the years and sometimes the prize just doesn’t match the focus of the blog, if you know what mean. You want to make sure you feature a product that jibes with you and/or your blog and not just because you got it for free.

Make sure the product is one your readers will like

Similar to the tip above, make sure your readers will like the product you are giving away. Of course, not every single reader will want to win every single prize you feature on your blog, but YOU know YOUR readers the best, so be sure to consider the majority of them. I mean, you want people to enter your giveaway after all!

Chat with the company/brand sponsoring the giveaway

Be sure to have a quick discussion (via email or phone) with the company/brand, who is sponsoring your giveaway, to make sure you’re both on the same page. You want to make sure their expectations and ideas mesh with yours (i.e. prize, how to enter, length of giveaway). And, again, YOU know YOUR readers, so think about what will work best for them and discuss those thoughts and concerns with the company/brand before you publish your post.

Keep it simple!

Oh my gosh, you’ve seen those giveaways before, right? Leave a comment, tweet this, follow me here, like my Facebook page, Pin an image”¦ wooaahhhh, who has time for that? Personally, I’m a fan of giving readers 1-3 options to enter a giveaway. Once you start adding more than that, it gets confusing and discourages readers from entering. Plus, not all of your readers are on multiple forms of social media, so not everyone has the same number of chances to win. Bottom line: Keep it simple to encourage more entries!

Set a deadline

When you’re setting up your giveaway, make sure you tell your readers about the deadline to enter. You don’t want there to be any confusion! I usually just announce the day that I will pick a winner (Thursday) since I typically pick a winner within a couple of days, but you can be specific with the date and time if you’d like (Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:00 AM EST). Just try to make it clear as possible.

Give readers time to enter

This one really depends on how active your posting schedule is. I post two times a day, most days of the week, so I typically keep my giveaways open for 48 hours to give readers a chance to enter. If you’re blogging 2-3 times a week, your readers likely expect to hear from you only a few times a week, so they’re likely not checking in with your blog everyday. If this is the case, you want to leave your giveaway open for a longer amount of time, so more people have the chance to enter.

Disclose whether you received the product for free and/or if you were paid for writing the post

According to FTC rules, you are required to do this. It’s also important to be open and honest with your readers. A brief disclaimer or mention of how you received the product in your post will usually do the trick.

Spread the word via social media

Once you publish your giveaway on your blog, spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Basically, blow up your social media channels, so even more eyes can see your giveaway! However, please do not post your giveaway on another blogger’s blog in the comment section without their permission. It just looks tacky and, well, kind of desperate. But, feel free to email a blogger friend and see if they’ll mention your giveaway on their blog or Tweet about it. And when they offer a giveaway on their blog, be sure to reciprocate the favor!

Remind your readers to enter

A quick little note in one of your posts or on social media is a great way to remind readers to enter your giveaway in case they missed your blog post. As you know, I’m a big fan of the “P.S.” at the bottom of my posts as a little reminder!

Randomly pick a winner

I use the “True Random Number Generator” to pick my giveaway winners, but you chose a winner however you’d like (maybe put names in a hat?). Just make sure it’s fair!

Announce the winner on your blog

When you pick the winner, be sure to announce it on your blog along with your contact information (your email) and how to claim the prize (by sending you their mailing address, shoe size, color preference, etc.). For privacy reasons, I only announce the winner’s first name, not their last name. (I will just use the first initial of their last name.) If the winner doesn’t contact you in a day or two, drop them an email and let them know that they won your giveaway.

Share the winner’s info with the brand/company

If the brand/company is sending the prize to the winner, be sure to share the winner’s contact information (name, mailing address, email) with them. When I email the brand/company, I usually copy the winner on my message, just in case the brand/company wants to send a tracking number to the winner or if they need additional information from them.

Send a follow-up email

And, finally, I typically send a follow-up email to the brand/company””thanking them for a fun giveaway, sharing my giveaway link, and mentioning that I would like to work together again in the future. It’s a nice way to close the project and it keeps the doors open for future opportunities.

Question of the Day

Did I miss anything? What are your tips for hosting a giveaway/giveaway etiquette?

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70 Comments

  1. Great tips. I have been blogging long and have never done a give away but will keep this in mind for my first one. I also only enter giveaways of products I may like, not every one I see.

  2. I think this is really helpful. The only point I disagree with a little is the point about tweeting/social media. I think if you don’t have many followers (like the reader mentioned above), this can help you get more followers and interest. I would just recommend not making the options a requirement (i.e. leaving a comment is sufficient to enter but if you want to increase your chances and earn more entries then tweet, etc). Also, I would still limit the number of additional entries to 2-3, liked you said Tina. 🙂

  3. My only suggestion would be to do them sparingly. I might be in the minority, but I’m really not a fan of giveaway posts and almost always click past them. I visit blogs to read information and stories, not for advertisements. The advertisements, to me, are not worth the one in (fill in the blank) chance I’d have at winning the product.
    I think it’s cute to sometimes have a giveaway of something very particular to your blog (such as Tina doing Teddy’s pb giveaways), but when I see a blogger pimping out credit cards and travel companies… groan.

  4. Love this – great tips! I especially love the ‘keep it simple’ rule. It’s so frustrating when a blogger makes you do so many things just to enter, I just don’t even take the effort. Thanks for sharing these!

  5. Your tip about not making the giveaway too complicated is SO true now a days! When I see 4 or 5 different steps I have to take, it better be a HUGE giveaway for me to do it!

  6. As one of the larger blogs, I love when you share blogging tips, especially those to help us wade through the fuzzy waters of working with brands 🙂

    I know some people commented on giveaways happening to frequently with some bloggers… Personally that doesn’t bother me too much as long as it doesn’t subtract from any of their regular posts. Like, one bloggers I follow who blogs about 4 days a week will do a giveaway once a month (which would be about every 16 posts or so). But bloggers who post more frequently two or even three times a day… Every 16 posts would actually occur in about a week time span. Just food for thought when people object to bigger bloggers doing giveaways what seems like more frequently!

    Also, I really like when the giveaway post is more than: Here is a product I LOVE and here is how to enter. A personal opinion, recipe, story, intro, ANYTHING really makes me want to not only read the post, but enter as well. Giveaway posts that are too short or superficial sounding make me not want to participate.

  7. Why does a blogger want to host a giveaway?? What are the advantages to the blogger? I understand the advertisement to the company but what about you?
    -New to blogging

  8. These are really great tips. So glad to have read this. I have just run my first true giveaway and Ithink I followed most all of your list for the most part. I will definitely me bookmarking this post for future reference.

  9. Just one more thing, it would really help us Canadian/international readers if you specified who can enter the giveaway 🙂 I always want to enter but I’m unsure of whether I can. Other than that, you’ve covered them all!

    1. @Vivi: Yes! I was belatedly coming to mention this point. I always appreciate when a blogger says who the giveaway is open to. If they don’t mention, I always assume it’s only their own country, and usually don’t bother entering.

  10. The keep it simple one resonated with me! When I first started blogging, I definitely tried to use every possible option for my social media channels, and because it was so complicated I didn’t get many entries. Once I kept the options limited to one or two things, my giveaway comments increased. I also used to accept things all the time just because they were free, and I’ve definitely learned that it’s not as cracked up as it seems to be over the past couple of years! Great tips, Tina.

  11. Great post! And perfect timing! I took a break from blogging but am back, and am about to do my first giveaway…exciting stuff for this blogger with 3 readers 🙂

  12. Thanks for this awesome post! My biggest question regarding giveaways wasn’t addressed here. When a blogger hosts a giveaway, who is typically responsible for packaging and shipping the item? Is it assumed that it’s the brand’s responsibility? The bloggers? Does it just depend? If so, on what factors?

  13. My apologies if I overlooked this while reading. You had mentioned to run a giveaway based on your interests. What is the best way to select a sponsor or a sponsor select you? There are so many companies out there that sell particular items. Additionally, how do you approach that company regarding such sponsorship? I definitely appreciate you taking the time to write this as well as other tips on blogging. It is very beneficial! 🙂
    Thanks, Tina!

    Happy Training!
    ~Joshua

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