As bloggers there is nothing we want more than to grow our online audience and bring in a constant supply of new comments and visits to our sites. Unfortunately getting new people to discover your content and becoming a long time reader of the blog is one of the hardest parts about blogging. Fortunately there are many creative ways that you can create viral content or promotions to reach thousands of people in a short period of time. Best of all, when you content goes viral, it usually won’t cost you much in advertising or just a minimal amount.
A perfect example of this type of viral marketing and promotion is through giveaways and contests. Right now it’s extremely easy to throw a contest up on your blog for a free $25 gift card to Amazon.com, or whatever you like. Facebook has almost a billion users and they would gladly “like” your fan page or content at the chance of winning a free gift card. These same tactics can be used for gaining Twitter followers as well, so be sure to try them out with all of your favorite social networks.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of web sites, services and plugins you can use to start a contest or giveaway on your site.
Contest Domination - One of the best ways to run a contest on a web site is through the use of WordPress and a mailing list. Contest Domination is an excellent plugin that makes the process quite simple. You can check out their site and see all of the options that you can setup with your promotion, including the ability to allow users to gain more entries by sharing with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This plugin is available for $37.
Rafflecopter - With over 250,00 giveaways already created, Rafflecopter is quickly becoming a choice for many for contest and giveaway creation. When you sign up at their site you can quickly create your own promotion, throw the code or widget up on your site and you are ready to go. Once again, the concept is get users to enter through Facebook and share with their friends to gain entries. Rafflecopter is great because they also show how many people have entered and also offer some other extras through their web site and members area.
WildFire App - For higher end blogs and companies, WildFire might be the solution for you. With member plans ranging from $5 per promotion, all the way up to $250, you can create contest and promotion to match any web sites needs. Many well known brands are already using WildFire to grow their brand and presense through Facebook.
As you can see there are plenty of different services and tools out there for running your own blog promotions and giveaways. One of the common misconceptions is that you will need to give away a huge prize that is worth a lot of money. You will be surprised how many people enter your content just for a small gift card. Try it out and see how it works for you. If you see some nice results, run a new promotion every month and depending on your niche, you may be able to find some great sponsors to provide you with the actual prizes.