I’m about to host my first sponsored contest. SO EXCITED! But, I’m a little scared. What do I do? Do I require people to follow me? Do I offer extra entries? Or do I do something fun like I’ve seen scarvenger hunts and stuff? – Anon

A: For most this really is a matter of opinion. So I thought I would do something different this week and open it up for discussion and debate. I’ve also included some polls so we can get even more feedback. Please VOTE we would love to hear from you. And chime in, your opinions do matter 😉

Topic #1: Comments vs. Google Docs Form

Do you prefer to do a contest where entrants just leave a comment, or do you prefer to use a Google Form?

Comments Google Docs
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Easy Set Up Takes longer to format & requires basic HTML knowledge
People can see who entered Protects entrants from spammers
People can continue to enter even after contests ends You can pull the form down the moment the contest ends
Easy choosing of winner Easy choosing of winner
Verifiable entrants Entrants can enter for every email address they have

Topic #2: Required Follow vs. No-Follow

Do you require entrants to follower, or do you prefer to just let them enter?


Required Follow Not Required Follow
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Increase Followers Followers don’t increase as well as contest with required follow
Followers are only interested in contests Your followers are more viable and more likely to visit without a contest
Might aggravate people by forcing them to follow Easy entries, instead of making entrants jump through hoops
Only book bloggers and peoeple with a GFC are able to enter Everyone can enter

Topic #3: Extra Entries vs. One Entry

Do you like to have a lot of extra entries on your contests?


Extra Entries Straight Up 1 Entry
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Increase Followers in other areas like twitter, facebook, etc Follower levels stay the same as opposed to contest that do allow extra follows
Making entrants jump through a lot of hoops can be aggravating Easy entry
Entrants feel like they have more of a chance of winning, odds seem to be in there favor Entrants feel their odds are lower
Word spreads about your contest through the social networks News of your contest does not spread as far as possible
Non-followers become aware of your contest Only your followers know about your conest
Blogs that do tons of extra entries can confuse entrants Straight up, ease of entry

Topic #3: Including Address vs. Staying Anonymous

When hosting a contest, wouldn’t it make it easy to have entrants include their address in a secure Google Form? Or do you think this is requiring too much?


Entering Address Stay Anon
Pros Cons Pros Cons
You don’t have to email entrants for their address, they are going to give it anyway, what’s the problem? You have to email the entrant for their address.
Makes entrants uneasy about giving out personal information. Entrants feel more secure.
A lot of the time, puttint WINNER will send an email into junk email, so entrants don’t know they win, so sending the book out makes it a sure win. Winners might not know they won and miss their chance of winning the book.
You can also weed out the international entriest, if it is a domestic contest, for entrants that didn’t follow direction Ever have a contest where even though you stated it was US only there turned out to be an international winner – and you don’t find out until after you email them for their address and make the winners post?
There are entrants that will not enter contest that require and address, just because they think it is wrong to ask. Entrants feel like you aren’t fishing for their personal information, or a spammer in disguise, or will sell all theire info to a marketing company.

Topic #4: Creative Contest vs. The Usual

More of the usual? Or let’s get creative?


Creative Contest The Usual
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Spices up the contest and leads to a more fun contest environment The usual can sometimes be ignored by veteran bloggers
Your entrants go down because creative usually leads to “harder” More entrants because people like things that are easy.
You get more quality entrants. They get into it and you feel rewarded by their participation. You get a lot of “just wanna win” entrants instead of “die-hards”
Going “viral” might be more likely with a very creative contest You are seen as just another contest for a certain book…
Might be more intense to organize and require more time. Easy to implement and host.

That’s it kids. Talk less. Read more. Happy Thursday!

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