Organizing Blog Contests & Giveaways + The Legal Side of Blogging – The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [10/10]

Organizing Blogging Contests & Giveaways + The Legal Side of Blogging - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [10/10] || The Travel Tester
Have you always wondered how you can turn your blog into a business? Then this series is for you!

enEnglish (Engels)

In the past 5 years, I’ve visited over 30 (travel) blogging conferences and workshops. That is hours and hours of inspirational and practical advice that helped me turn blogging from a hobby into a full-time business. In this series, I finally open up my notebook to the world and share the insights that I personally found most valuable with you, so you can use them to hopefully make your own blog bigger and better. 

Today, we’re diving into the topic of organizing and executing blogging and social media contests and giveaway. We also go into the legal side of blogging. Enjoy!

 

ORGANIZING BLOG CONTESTS

 

Organizing Blogging Contests & Giveaways + The Legal Side of Blogging - The Best Insights from Travel Blogging Conferences in the Last 5 Years! [10/10] || The Travel Tester

 

WHY HOST A CONTEST?

 

Use contests to reward your readers, not just to gain new followers.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

 

Examples of contest goals: more likes and/or followers, increase of engagement, user-generated content, rewarding your community, expanding your community by connecting with like-minded brands, being newsworthy/relevant

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR HOSTING A CONTEST

 

Once you determine your goals of the contest, you can figure out where to host the contest, approach appropriate brand partners (show them what value you can bring), how best to promote the contest, establish entry parameters, launch dates, length of contest and terms & conditions.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Attach your contest to a date (such as Mother’s Day) for PR-purposes.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

A big prize does not always mean that more people will participate, as they think they might not be able to win it.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Find a passion gap with your audience and the brand you’re working with (for example: aviation geeks – give away a model airplane) and aim your content to this niche group.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Make it really simple for people to enter. The more steps they have to take, the less chance they will enter.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

CONTEST TERMS & CONDITIONS

 

Working with giveaway partners: be upfront and show value, be prepared to ship prizes, arrange trips and follow guidelines, is there a timely hook for either brand? Be mindful of brand guidelines and key messages, share and leverage visual assets, provide a recap or measureability (ROI)

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Have the company you work with select the winner and ship the prize.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Contest terms & conditions checklist:
* contest description
* eligibility (what is required to enter: age, location, employees and brand partners are ineligible)
* copyrights (do you plan on using the entries for sharing, publishing, share the winner’s identities?)
* will there be judging or random drawing?
* Be clear when the winner will receive communication and window of time they need to claim their prize (24 h / 3-5 business days if it requires notary)
* be mindful if prize is over $5000 since in some US states you need to get it registered with the IRS and bonded
* leverage partners who have legal teams, publish the terms where there are easy to find

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Always exclude friends and family from participating.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Always say ‘potential winner’ when announcing the winner, in case they don’t respond in time, so you can pick a new winner.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Build a time-line for your contest: do you need to use a developer to create a Facebook app, HTML emails, site graphics/design? write terms & conditions and have legal review, keep entry requirements simple (customers have short attention spans), timely hook (e.g. mother’s day), start and end date (allow ample time to promote and receive entries)

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

CONTEST TOOLS & TRACKING

 

Ask the brand you’re working with to also promote the contest.

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Promote & track contest: newsletters, blog posts, cross-promotion on social channels, leverage network (other bloggers, twitter chat, traditional media outlets), marketing/advertising support (outbrain syndication), targeted Facebook and Twitter paid support, track your entries, sources of entries and spend more on what’s working

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

Contest tools to use: PromoSimple, OfferPop, Woobox, WildFire, Rafflecopter

– Johnny Jet and Jessica Parker (TBEX Dublin – September ’13)

 

LEGAL HELP

 

A legal guide for bloggers: www.eff.org

– Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Generally, anyone who repeats someone else’s statements is just as responsible for their defamatory content as the original speaker – so that’s also blog comments! Think about how you are going to moderate your comments, but outsourcing or not, make sure to always do it.

Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Make sure to have a robust, written complaints policy on your website and provide a ‘report abuse-button’. Deal with complaints correctly and within 48 hours, acknowledge and deal with complaints preferably by email.

– Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

A site providing message boards is advised to register users before they are allowed to make a post. Registration should include taking their names and contact details. Users should be told, before they accept site terms and conditions, that the operator may divulge their details if they post anything defamatory.

– Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Always keep written records of complaints, with the dates and times of actions taken.

– Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

Consider joining the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) or British Association of Journalists (BAJ). Both have free legal advice available as part of subscription and also offer tax advice.

– Steve Keenan (Traverse Newcastle – Feb ’14)

 

 

The Travel Tester - Bookmark Time for Action
I hope you read something interesting that you can turn into an action step for your own blogging business. Let me know what your favourite insight was!

 

 

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