Use Contests to Gain More Readers

One smart way to attract more traffic, visitors and potential future readers of your blog is by implementing a contest. This may be smartest to do once you've built up more of a reader base, or if you have a social media network or other site where you can promote the contest and details to many people.

The smartest thing to do especially if you're trying to get your blog off the ground and don't want to spend money on prizes, is to give away prizes you never had to pay for in the first place. So how do you do that?

Here's 3 ways/ideas to use prizes that cost you no money:

1 - Join Gather.com - The social media site gives you a $20 Borders gift card if you get 5 people to sign up. They also offer gift cards (Borders, Home Depot, etc) as you earn points on the site for commenting other people's items, or getting comments yourself. So you could build up your network on Gather as you earn points and promote your content. You can give the gift card away as your own contest prize. You could also buy the prize related to your blog topic using your card at Borders. (Giving the card itself away makes a little more sense in terms of shipping costs, etc). There are other sites that you can gain some money, but Gather is one The Monetizer has found that rewards you well and usually sends your card in under 3-4 weeks. (Monetizer's Borders Card came in a week and a half!)

2 - Give away a prize you won, or a gift you received - If someone gave you a copy of a DVD, CD, book or other item that you already own, you could always return it, or you could also use it as your free prize. If you won someone else's contest, that also can give you the prize to use. Using other freebies is a good idea too, such as handouts or prize packs you get at events. Right now Coke Rewards offers points for entering the codes inside Coca Cola product bottle caps. If you accumulate enough, trade them in for your contest prize, such as gift certificates to Blockbuster or movie tickets.

3 - Give away some sort of service you might provide - Give away a free link on your blog (if you're starting to get high visits). Give away a design if you are a graphic artist such as a free banner/header. You could even offer to write a guest post for someone else's site or blog, or allow them to be a guest on yours, if they have similar content. There's all sorts of freebie services you could offer as an attractive prize which in turn gets more interest in your blog and site.

When it comes down to it, people are always interested in contests and prizes. There you have 3 very simple ideas about getting a free prize to use on your website or blog, which in turn can generate more interest and then return readers/site traffic.

Some other points to remember:

1) Set smart rules for your contest, such as must comment blog entry, must sign up for the blog's RSS or email subscription, or must email me your thoughts on this idea.

2) Get signature/delivery confirmations. Last thing you want is someone claiming you hoodwinked them ;)

3) Be fair about awarding the prize. Don't play favorites, make it as fair as possible, for example by whoever comments the most blog entries, or pick randomly from all entries. Don't just give it to a friend or someone who's showing your blog love.

4) Most importantly, be able to promote it to enough potential entrants. You will need to make sure you have an audience somewhere to promote it to, especially if your blog does not have a large following yet. Social media sites and networks are a great place to connect with people interested in the same topics. Also try forums and other blogs which may currently have more traffic than your own, but do your best not to spam.

Give the above ideas a try and you just might be adding some new fans and visitors to your blog or site, who will likely return back for more!

AuctionAds - Start with $25 for Signing Up!

AuctionAds is yet another free to sign up for and use way to monetize your blog or website. It's worth implementing in that it provides Ebay advertisements relevant to your blog or site's material. For example, if you are blogging about digital cameras and photography, then you can set AuctionAds to display ads based on those keywords, "digital camera" and/or "photography". You are able to enter the keywords you feel best fit your site topic and material and AuctionAds will generate the ads from there. It's highly customizable as well, so that you can make the ads look very professional and match your site.

auction ads

AuctionAds allows you to customize the look of the ads, giving choice of colors of the links, backgrounds and even the borders. You choose appropriate sized ads for your blog, depending where you want to show them. The ad size choices are very similar to those of Google Adsense. Then, if one of your site's visitors clicks on an Auction Ad listing and take an action on eBay you earn cash. Actions are defined as a Winning Bid, a Buy-it-Now or a confirmed user registration. That gives 3 ways to earn some money with your blog or site! Best of all, it's free to signup for and use, and there's no strict requirements to get into the program. You're basically instantly approved.

The beautiful thing about AuctionAds right now is that they start all new accounts with $25 just for signing up! Since the payout threshold is $50, you'll already be halfway on your way to earning another check from your blog!

Other benefits of AuctionAds are:

- PayPal payments on the 1st of the month (after hitting your $50 threshold)
- ability to display as many ads on your blogs/sites as you want,
- use AuctionAds on any or all of your sites.
- an affiliate program that allows you to refer others to the program, and then earn a 5% cut on their commissions for 6 months time.

It's a great idea to give AuctionAds a chance on your website or blog as yet another way to monetize. It's also a logical next step for adding another easy revenue source after Google Adsense. Best of all, you're approved instantly and make $25 just for signing up!

Sign up for your free AuctionAds account and get an instant $25!

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