Wednesday 16 February 2011

Mummy@Bodfortea Shares her Experience of Running Giveaways

We are almost at the end of New Bloggers Fortnight now but still a couple of goodies to fit in!  Following on from my post yesterday about writing reviews for your blog Mummy@bodfortea talks about running giveaways on her blog. I'll let her introduce herself -
Hi there, mummy@bodfortea here. I'm a stay-at-home Mum to my 18 month old darling daughter (known as DD) and wife to an overworked consultant husband who is often away more than he is at home. We currently split our time between the UK, where we have a home, and China where OH is doing some work. Yes China. I know, I must be mad. I'm a self-confessed control freak and frustrated writer and I blog to stay sane. Sometimes I wonder if it's working :)

When Michelle asked me to write a post for the New Bloggers Fortnight, I looked behind me first and then pointed to my chest, "Who me?", I asked. Sometimes I still can't believe that my little blog is up and running, let alone with almost 40 lovely followers and an 'explorer' Klout score. Since I launched Bod for tea four weeks ago I've loved every moment of joining the blogging community. I've made some great new virtual friends and had so much support both from both fellow newbies and more experienced bloggers such as Michelle.
So what advice can I give to other newbie bloggers like myself? Well, with my first two giveaways currently running on my blog I thought I'd share my experiences of hosting them.
When I was first contacted by a brand to run a giveaway, my initial reaction (wheeeee!) quickly dissolved into anxiety - I didn't know the first thing about running a giveaway online! So I turned to my first source for all things helpful; British Mummy Bloggers. I posted a question on the newbies group and soon had loads of advice and links to check out. Here's some of they key things I learned from this and from subsequently hosting my own giveaway:

The best advice I received was to take a look at the giveaways hosted by bloggers I admire such as Not Super Just Mum and Second Time Mummy. That gave me the confidence to go for it and some good ideas for how to craft my post.
Another key learning was not making entrants jump through too many hoops to enter the giveaway. People have a finite attention span online (or is that just me?) so make it quick and easy for them to enter and then, hopefully, move on to read the other posts in your archive.
If you build it, they won't necessarily come. If no-one reads your posts it may hurt, but if no-one enters your giveaway the PR or brand may think twice before contacting you again. So do publicise it. I'm by no means expert at this (my second giveaway only has one entrant so far!), but I've used Twitter, the British Mummy Bloggers Competitions group, the Prizefinder competitions site and Money Saving Expert.
Do add clear terms and conditions to your giveaway and disclose where the prizes came from.

When you add a new post to your blog after your giveaway is live, add a link to it in your sidebar to attract readers from your new post.
And finally, I think it's an easy trap to fall into to run giveaways all the time, and I'm conscious here that I've got two running consecutively myself at the moment. They can bring you lots of traffic, but a lot of it is fleeting, with people popping in to enter and never coming back. Real followers that come back time and again and comment on your posts are gained by sharing your story, whatever it may be, through posting. So go for it, host a giveaway, and I'll probably enter! But do keep posting too.

Thanks Mummy@bodfortea, you raise a good point at the end there.  Keep a balance on your blog, some giveaways or paid content but loads of real life 'you' stuff, that was what attracted your readership in the first place.
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