What Hosting a Blog Contest Can Do for You
It’s been one month since I launched the Complete Blogging Package Contest and almost two weeks since the winner was announced. While we all know what the prize package was, I’ve been asked a few times what kind of benefits this site saw as a result of the contest. And, since my mission on this blog is to document the growth or failure every step of the way, I figured it would only be fair to share the results.
It’s no secret one of the biggest goals of the contest was to generate links pointing back to this site with the anchor text of make money blogging. With right around 40 entries to the contest, I’d say that goal was definitely met. In fact, since the contest began this site has ranked as high as 4th for that phrase in Yahoo. While the rankings have settled back down now to a much more realistic 46th in Google and 37th in Yahoo, I would still call this a fantastic success. The site wasn’t even on the map when it came to this phrase, and now it’s got solid footing to work from here on out.
As if the entrants’ links weren’t enough, the contest also generated a fair amount of “press” in the blogosphere as well. The contest was linked to by power house blogs such as Chrisg.com, JohnChow.com, and Entrepreneur’s Journey.com. The extra attention that post received made it the 4th most visited page on the site for the past month, behind the index page, and two posts which received a social media boost.
As I just alluded to, all those links naturally brought in a nice amount of traffic to the site. Google analytics reports just under 700 visitors entered the site through the contest post, and more than 1,000 visitors viewed the page. For a site that’s only about 70 days old, that traffic is nothing to sneeze at.
The fact that the prize package was tied to the number of subscribers this site had, no doubt prompted people to subscribe in hopes of beefing up their potential prize. The goal of 150 subscribers by Sept. 1 was reached and in fact, the feedcount is up over 200 for the first time (not including the one day Digg spike). While it’s impossible to put an exact number on this benefit, there’s no doubt in my mind the subscriber count wouldn’t be where it is today without the contest. Since it took 45 days for the site to cross the 100 subscriber mark, I’m very excited that the count has doubled in only 25 days. On some of the bigger blogs you see this sort of exponential increase in subscribers as milestone numbers begin to come closer and closer together but I wasn’t really expecting that at this stage in the game. If that number doubles again in the next 25 days I’m going to be one happy blogger.
As I’m fond of saying, last but certainly not least, probably the least obvious reward this site received for hosting the contest is the conversations I’ve been able to have with other bloggers as a result. I’ve emailed back and forth with several of you and I would actually value this as the biggest benefit of all. Part of what makes blogging so great is the interaction between writer and reader and that spills over into marketing your blog as well. It’s just human nature that we would be more willing to link to an article written by someone we know and have talked to than a stranger. When you run into a road block it’s nice to know you have a network of people all with different skills, knowledge, and experience available to you. The off-line saying that in business it’s not what you know, it’s who you know often carries over into the blogging world. Through this contest I’ve gotten to “know” a lot more of you, and to me, that made the contest a HUGE success.
Thanks once again to all who participated as well as everyone that made it possible. If you’re looking for a way to give your blog a quick boost, in my opinion you should definitely consider a contest.