Lots of bloggers seem to think that if they throw a giveaway up on their blog, it will automatically bring in a lot of traffic and entrants. This simply is not the case. All blog giveaways have the potential to boost traffic and readers – if they are done right.
As the owner of a popular giveaway directory, I have received hundreds of questions from bloggers who just don’t understand why their giveaways don’t seem to get many entrants. They want to know what they could do better next time. So I thought I would share with you some of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers making with their giveaways.
Getting people to enter your giveaway is really all about trust. The entrants have to trust that if they take the time to do all your entry methods, then they really do have a chance of winning a great prize. However all the time, I see blog giveaways that have blatant errors that will make people leery of entering your giveaway.
Quick Links to Info on this page
- 1 Blog Giveaway Mistake #1 – You don’t really tell the reader exactly what the prize is.
- 2 Blog Giveaway Mistake #2 – You don’t include an image of the prize, or it’s poor quality.
- 3 Blog Giveaway Mistake #3 – You bury entry instructions in the middle of a long review post.
- 4 Blog Giveaway Mistake #4 – You omit basic information like the end date and what countries can enter.
- 5 Blog Giveaway Mistake #5 – You make people jump through hoops to enter your giveaway.
- 6 Blog Giveaway Mistake #6 – You require a purchase or donation to receive an entry.
- 7 Blog Giveaway Mistake #7 – You run your giveaway for too long a time period.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #1 – You don’t really tell the reader exactly what the prize is.
People aren’t going to enter your giveaway if they don’t know exactly what they stand a chance to win. I have seen thousands of giveaways over the years with vague prize descriptions and not surprisingly, they end up with an abysmally small number of entrants.
People can’t read your mind. You may know that the prize is for a $25 gift card but if you only state “gift card” in your post, that is going to turn away potential entrants. If you are giving away a $200 prize pack full of baby clothes and toys, but simply state “baby prize pack”, people will click away from your page without ever knowing how awesome the prize was.
What you can do better: Sell your prize. You have to make people want it enough to take the time to fill out your entry form. Tell the reader exactly what they will receive if they are chosen as a winner. Also tell them how much it is worth. If you are giving away a prize pack, list the contents. The more info you include in your prize description, the more chance you have of enticing readers to enter.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #2 – You don’t include an image of the prize, or it’s poor quality.
If your post doesn’t have an image at all or if the image is blurry, that is a huge turn-off. People are visual. In addition, in this world of Twitter and texting, we tend to be skimmers. I hate to break it to you, but people probably aren’t going to read your entire post. So you need to sell your giveaway with the image. The image needs to make people want to take the time to find the entry form on your page.
What you can do better: Always include an image of the prize. Ask the sponsor to provide one for you if they didn’t send one automatically. If you are sponsoring the giveaway yourself, take a bright clear picture of the prize. If you are giving away something sold on Amazon, use the Amazon stock photo, linked with your affiliate link. No matter what – never ever post badly-lit out of focus pictures if you want people to enter your giveaway.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #3 – You bury entry instructions in the middle of a long review post.
Nothing makes me click away from a giveaway faster than not being able to find out how to enter. I have seen more than a few giveaways that buries the giveaway information in the middle of a mammoth 1000 word post. Remember what I said about today’s blog reader being a skimmer? Please know that most people who enter giveaways won’t take the time to read your entire post. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s true.
The fact of the matter is that the more giveaways a person enters, the more likely they are to win something. So they want to be able to enter your giveaway quickly. Entrants will skim the post, looking for an entry form or instructions. When there’s no bold text, special formatting, or anything to call your attention to the entry information, people aren’t even going to see it. You are losing potential entrants who are too impatient to find that one hidden sentence that tells you how to enter.
What you can do better: Call attention to your giveaway information with special formatting. Bold it, highlight it, put it in a box. Do something so that when people are skimming the page, their eyes are drawn to it. Better yet – use a giveaway widget like Rafflecopter or Giveaway Tools so that your giveaway immediately stands out.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #4 – You omit basic information like the end date and what countries can enter.
Remember what I said about needing to build trust to get people to enter your giveaways? If you don’t include basic information like the end date and what countries can enter, people are less likely to think that your giveaway is for real. Your readers can’t read your mind. You need to post some rules to establish that your giveaway really is legitimate.
An end date for your giveaway is especially important if you aren’t using a giveaway widget. A couple of years ago, I came across a giveaway for some craft supplies. There was no end date listed, but I really wanted the prize and went ahead and entered anyway. I found out later the giveaway ended a year before I entered. What a waste of time!
Country and age eligibility is also important information to include. There are two issues with not including country eligibility in your post. One is that you could be missing out on potential entrants because they assume their country isn’t eligible. The other problem is that you could have entrants from a country where the sponsor is unwilling to ship the prize. If you choose a winner from outside where the sponsor will ship, you risk that the sponsor will refuse to send the prize. If that happens you will have to pony up the money and ship the prize for the winner yourself.
What you can do better: Always, always include the end date and the country / age eligibility in every giveaway you post. People expect to see rules in a legitimate giveaway, so don’t forget to include them.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #5 – You make people jump through hoops to enter your giveaway.
There are about a billion blog giveaways running at any given time. (OK I am exaggerating a bit, but there are a ton!) People who enter giveaways like to enter a ton of them so they have a better chance of winning something. When they come across a giveaway that makes you complete 4 or more steps just to receive one entry, they aren’t going to bother.
What you can do better: Make your entry process easy. You can offer multiple entry methods for a single giveaway, but don’t go overboard. If you are accepting entries via blog comments, stick to only a couple of entry methods. If you use a giveaway widget, it makes the whole process easier for the entrant so you can get by with a few more entry methods.
Also, be sure to take the prize value into account. Should you really have 100 available entries for a $5 prize? While people might be willing to complete 10-20 entries for a larger value prize, they are less likely to jump through those same hoops to enter to win a $5-$10 prize.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #6 – You require a purchase or donation to receive an entry.
This is a huge no-no here in the US and a lot of other countries, so just don’t do it!
I frequently see giveaways set up to raise funds for adoptions or other worthy causes. It’s a great idea, but it is breaking the law, at least here in the US. If the only reason you are setting up a giveaway is to raise money, you would be better off using some other method. People who enter giveaways like free stuff. They probably aren’t ever going to pay money to get a few entries.
What you can do better: If you absolutely must offer entries that require a purchase or donation, it needs to be a secondary entry. To stay legal, your main method of entry needs to be completely free.
Blog Giveaway Mistake #7 – You run your giveaway for too long a time period.
While sweepstakes that have a long entry period are common for huge national campaigns, the typically blog giveaway runs for 1-2 weeks. From experience, I know that running a blog giveaway for longer a few weeks doesn’t really result in that many more entries.
You will get a surge of entries when the giveaway is first promoted and then 2-3 days before the end. However, in the middle, you may only get a few entries a day. The longer your giveaway runs, the more days you spend promoting it, with not a lot of additional entries gained for your effort.
What you can do better: Keep it short and sweet. One to two weeks is adequate for most giveaways unless your prize is valued at over $200. Even for huge prizes, I wouldn’t recommend running your blog giveaway for more than a month.
So tell me… Do you run blog giveaways? Are there any giveaway faux pas that I left off my list?