This article was previously published in 2010 on Parajunkee’s View before the WP transition. It has been updated and brought here for your enjoyment.

Q: How can I better promote my contest?
A: Get out there and spread the word!

This of course like all of the BIG Topics of the BB world can be controversial.

Two opposing camps

Anti-Extra Entries Pro-Extra Entries
Extra Entries

Where am I in all of this? Well if you’ve entered any of my contests, you’ll know I see nothing wrong with a few Extra Entries. So, I’m approaching this post from that camp. I’ve stated it before, I started this blog as a Marketing experiment – my goal is to be read, increase my SEO and Google presence and to have a LOT OF FUN along the way. I could have started a Social Media blog or a Design blog but what fun is that? I do that all day long in my 9 to 5. So, I’ll market my hobby. On that note lets do some Marketing right? And what are we Marketing? Our blog! The books we LOVE and the Authors that Write those books!

How do we get new blog followers??? HOST A CONTEST!

You see it everyday. Car Dealerships offer iPods if you come in to test drive. Dentist offices offer FREE WHITENING with referals. Cable companies offer FREE HBO if you join up today. Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Like us on Facebook for a chance to win an iPad, Follow Us on twitter for that…
Everyone is doing it – why not join the rat race?

But. And a big BUT. If you have a contest and no one knows about it, how can it make an impact? If a bear craps in the woods and all that right?

My company participated in an exposition. To attract attention to our booth we offer a Free iPad for entrants. But attendees have to fill out a form so we can collect their email addresses so we can contact them later with newsletters and other promotions. The employees that were in the booth though did not engage the crowd, did not even put the sign up, they just placed the box on the booth with a little letter that said iPad giveaway. Ten people entered. Great chances for those ten people right? Why didn’t it work? Because they didn’t promote it. You could be giving away a Ferrari yet if no one knows about the contest – then what good will it do?

I’ll stop blathering and get to the point. How do you promote this contest?

Extra Entries work.

Case Study:

Sally is one of your 100 followers. She sees you are having a contest. You have on your contest that a BLOG POST will get you 10 extra entries and a TWEET will get you 2 extra entries.

Sally really likes your book giveaway selection so she does a blog post.

Sally posts and she has a following of 200 people.

Twenty people read that post. Five people also like your book giveaway selection so they head on over to your blog and enter the contest.

All Five Tweet out your contest. Out of those five people Sookie has a big following so she reaches six people. Vida also has a big following so she reaches three. You now have 14 new followers/contest entrants. Of those new nine followers those people tweet/post and they reach eight more people, those eight reach six more people. Just by adding an Extra Entries area you have picked up almost 30 followers/giveaway entrants.

What kind of Extra Entries should I offer?

Focus those extra entries on promotion of the contest.

• Create a button if you have a PAINT or Photoshop program – get someone to make one for you *hint hint.* Those buttons work, they put them on their sidebar and people see them, it spreads the word.

  1. Make sure your contest title is catchy and gets the point down.
  2. Make sure your blog name is on the button.
  3. Make sure you offer the link back code so when clicking on the button it takes people to your blog.

Here I’ve even made a few for you – you can put the name of your blog at the bottom in the space underneath. Aren’t I nice???

100 Followers 100 Followers
100 Followers 100 Followers

• Offer extra entries for a blog post
• Offer extra entries for a TWEET
• Offer extra entries for any kind of SPREAD THE WORD – Facebook, MySpace, standing on the corner of a busy highway with a sign!


Social Networking.

How many times do I have to say it. But get on the Social Networking train. Get on twitter. Get on Facebook. Get on the Ning sites that focus on book blogging and say hi to everyone! Just introduce yourself, make friends, gain followers be SOCIABLE. It takes time, but it works.

New ones pop up every day, you can join them all, or you can focus the main ones.

How to beat those Social Networking Streets? Some of these border on spamming, so BE CAREFUL! These are only suggestions because others do it. But, think about it before you go ballistic.

  1. Go to the Ning Book Blogs site: there are set forums/groups for contests, post your contests in those forums. DO NOT SPAM.
  2. Go on twitter and TWEET your contest. Again…DO NOT SPAM.
  3. Search for contest posts/blogs etc. These are set posts on blogs that say LINK up your contests, or blogs dedicated to JUST CONTESTs. Email the moderator if they don’t have a set submission area, that you have a contest. I follow Pixie’s Just Contest Stuff: but I’m sure there are a lot more out there. Seach on Google for those type of sites. Another winged blogger does a contest find post:
  4. Send out a Goodreads Event to all your friends on Goodreads {This is iffy – because it borders on SPAM and can turn some people off}
  5. Invite your close friends by email {This is iffy – because it borders on SPAM and can turn some people off}
  6. Tweet the author and tell them you are hosting a contest for their book – maybe they will retweet
  7. Find fan sites of the authors and maybe leave a comment that you are giving away the book – AGAIN…repeat after me DO NOT SPAM

OK am I done here? Do you get the idea??


Um…How do I know if I’m SPAMMING???

Spam or Not Spam
What is Spam?
  • SPAM = Spam is flooding internet paths with the same message over and over again. Forcing your message onto people that don’t want to hear it.
  • If you are promoting irrelevant content it’s Spam. So, if you are in a forum for a book club and you are posting about a contest. It is Spam.
  • If you are leaving comments on someone’s blog and you have no prior relationship with them other than you follow them…it is Spam.
  • If you are emailing someone and the only way you know them is that you follow their blog – that is Spam.
  • If you are posting your contest over and over again on twitter – Spam.

Get it? You really don’t want to Spam. Spamming does the reverse it will turn people off from your contest. If you keep shoving your contest in people’s faces – well at some point they are not even going to listen to your relevant messages.


Reader Question of the Week:

“I’m subscribed to your blog via email updates through WordPress. I noticed, after looking at those emails, that you have a shortcode assigned to your review ratings pic. I would LOVE to be able to do that and it would save me time 🙂 How can I assign shortcodes to a pic? I assume their is some customization in my CSS stylesheet, but do I need to also update any PHP files?

Thanks a million :)”- Alyssa

Plugins!!! — I use Review Ratings (shortcodes & buttons) for my ratings & Shortcodes Ultimate for my pictures. I lurve them!

Book Blogging News:

NaNoWriMo is in full swing! Everyone is feeling the writing crazies. Be sure to encourage your fellow bloggers that are participating. There is even some news that publishers like AVON are picking up NaNoWriMo pieces.

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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