Have you ever ran a contest on your blog before? Here is a quick and dirty checklist which you may want to follow.
1. Internally identify the goal of the contest
If you work for a blog network, you may have had performance reviews with your editor. The usual topic of review is strategy to building traffic. Net of discussion, you need to build community and this usually can be defined through links, more unique visits, and comments more often than not. As giving away stuff usually works to bringing in the bacon, you need to tailor your call to action to the goal.
You can do it the Kevin Rose way by putting serial numbers to software up for grabs, but this won’t always guarantee community.
2. Be specific with contest deadline
If you have an international audience, make sure that when you say “contest ends at midnight on November 19” make sure you specify what part of the world you are referring to. Tailor fit the end time to the respective time zone of your audience. It’s a simple thing, but yeah, sometimes people miss out.
3. Make sure your raffle qualification entries are well understood.
If you’re asking for comments, make sure that they include their email, at the very least. State how you are going to draw the raffle. Most draws are usually done with a randomizer application such as Luck of the Draw for the Mac. There are also web apps available such as Random.org.
4. Be clear about the prize and conditions for delivery
Especially when giving out software, make sure that you disclose the system requirements, even with a simple link. Don’t make the mistake of giving out an application that only runs on the Mac, for instance, and forgetting to tell your participants. Don’t assume your readers are the smartest people on the Internet.
When giving out hardware, specify if you are answering for shipping charges. Usually, sponsors do so, and a good number ship internationally as well. Again, be very detailed.
Also, disclose the net value of the prize.
5. Provide a post event report to your sponsor
Never forget to thank your sponsors. Provide them links to the contest you held after it ends. Provide a summary if you must — number of comments, number of link backs even. If the winner is a blogger, try to ask for confirmation of the prize — maybe a “money shot” with the physical product at hand.