Host a Giveaway to Get More Readers

Hosting a giveaway is an increasingly popular way to get more readers to your blog or website. It can also be used on social media websites like Facebook to get more likes to your page.

This is a technique that can bring you lots of publicity and new visitors in a short time if you do it right. Some people think that it’s difficult or complicated to host a giveaway, but this isn’t the case at all. Let’s see how you can make the most of this strategy.

What is a Giveaway?

Contests and Giveaways

A giveaway is just what it sounds like – a promotional campaign where you give a prize or gift to people who sign up, or who participated in what you want them to do. This can also be a contest. There are a few ways to do this. You can give away your own product, or work with an established brand name and use one of their products.

You also have to decide whether to host the giveaway on your own site or through Facebook or another social site. It really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Setting Up Your Giveaway

When you host a giveaway, you have to be clear about all the rules. The rules and conditions must be clearly posted on your site so that people can easily understand them. Consider detailing the following rules for your giveaway/contest.

  • How Many Prizes?
    Will you give away one prize or multiple prizes? You must explain this properly.

  • Conditions For Entering?
    Do they need to like your Facebook page first? Drop a comment on your blog post?

  • Time limit
    What are the dates for the giveaway and the deadline for entering?

  • Eligibility
    Is it open to everyone or just people from certain countries? All ages or adults only?

  • Multiple Entries?
    Can your visitors and readers enter the contest multiple times or only once?

  • How is Winner Chosen?
    This must be posted to avoid confusion or complaints.

These are all points to consider when you plan your giveaway. They can all impact how many people will enter your giveaway. For example, having two or more prizes is usually preferable to only one. Multiple prizes increases the odds of winning, and this will motivate more people to participate.

On this website alone, I have previously ran two web hosting giveaways. The prizes are free web hosting accounts. Check how I ran these:

  1. Free Web Hosting and Free Domain Name Giveaway
  2. Exabytes Web Hosting Giveaway

Important – Set the conditions!

Setting the conditions for entering is also important. While you want to make it easy, you also want to make sure you benefit as well. You could make people leave a comment on your blog as a condition for entering!

When setting the dates for the giveaway, you should give people at least a few days but not too much time. If people have more than 10 days to participate, they may procrastinate. One week is ideal, as it gives people enough time but it gives them some urgency to take action!

Giving Away Well Known Products

If you are trying to brand yourself and get people to try your products, you will probably want to give away something of your own. Yet you can also give away products made by well known brands. This can help you get more traffic to a website or more people on your subscriber list.

If you already have a high traffic website, companies may actually approach you about doing giveaways. You may not want to wait around for this, though. You could contact companies selling products that are relevant to your niche. Ask them about the possibility of hosting a giveaway.

My own web hosting giveaways are very good examples. I took the initiative to contact the web hosting sponsors in my previous two giveaways, namely WebhostingHub and Exabytes.

If you are going to take this approach, make sure you choose the right brand and product, which are related to your niche. Remember, if you give away a certain product, you are going to be associated with it. That’s why it’s important to do research before going this kind of joint venture with a company!

How to Market Your Giveaway

YouTube viral videos

Once you’ve chosen your prizes and set the conditions for the giveaway, you have to figure out how to publicize the event. Aside from the above points, there are other ways to incentivize your giveaway.

  1. Make Your Giveaway Viral

    One way to help your giveaway go viral is to give your visitors a reason to spread the word about it. You can offer people additional entries for signing up other people. Also, do remember to ask your visitors and blog readers to share your giveaway on their Facebook and Google+ sites!

  2. Videos

    Create one or more videos about your giveaway. You can talk about it yourself if you’re comfortable in front of the camera. Otherwise you can make a Powerpoint or Animoto video. You could even hire someone from oDesk or another freelance site to make a video for you. Upload the video to YouTube and other video sharing sites to help spread the word about your giveaway.

Choosing the Winners

This is the most important part of the giveaway, and you have to be careful how you set this up. There are actually laws governing this, which vary from place to place. In most places, however, the law is that you must pick winners randomly. This is to ensure fairness. One site that can help you create a random drawing is

Once you do choose the winner(s), you should post them on your site. This shows people that someone actually won your giveaway!

Editor’s Notes

Giveaways Can Help You Promote Your Site

Hosting a giveaway can help you promote your website, and also your products. Everyone loves to win, so it’s just a matter of coming up with prizes that are appealing to your audience.

Simply creating a giveaway, however, does not ensure that you will get many entries. You still have to make the effort of promoting your giveaway in as many ways as you can think of. On top of the 2 promotion methods we discussed in length above, you can also spread the word in related forums and fellow blogs which you frequent. I am sure your blog buddies do not mind telling their readers about your great giveaway!

It’s not very difficult to host giveaways. It’s something you can learn to do more effectively with more experience. If your first one isn’t a huge success, don’t despair. On the other hand, if you plan it right you could get lots of traffic and publicity from your very first giveaway!