How to Win a Blogging Contest

Have you ever wanted to make $500+ off of one blog post? Chances are you will not find a writing gig out there which will offer to pay you that much per post. But you can make that kind of money if you enter a blogging contest.

What Are Blogging Contests

While there are many different types of blogging contests out there, the ones that I am most interested in are the ones where you submit a post, promote it, and then win prizes based on the quality of the content and the amount of social engagement the post receives.

The rules and requirements for participating in a blogging contest vary, but generally include the following items:

  • Submit a blog post that meets particular specifications such as subject matter, length, and overall quality.
  • Link to sponsors on your own blog when your contest post goes live.
  • Commit to promoting your blog post and following up on comments.

Winners are then chosen based on the following:

  • Quality of the post as determined by the blog owner or a selection of judges in the industry.
  • Comments on the post. Some contests will only count quality comments by others while others will include your replies to each comment.
  • Social shares including tweets, likes, +1′s, stumbles, diggs, engages, and votes on other networks.
  • Unique visitor traffic to the post as measured in Google Analytics or another analytics program.

Everyone is generally allowed to enter a blogging contest. If you are a good writer with a decent sized audience, then you have a shot at winning a prize for your post!

My Track Record

I’m not necessarily a lucky person. I haven’t won the lottery or I don’t do well at the slot machines in Vegas. This year I have done really well at winning tickets to events such as BlogWorld and Affiliate Summit. But when it comes to blogging contests, it’s not about luck. It’s about content and promotion.

The following is my current track record at blogging contests.

Overall, those are some great rewards for a total of six posts.

4 Steps to Winning a Blogging Contest

Out of all of the contests I’ve participated in, Conversion Fest at Unbounce had some of the highest competition. Each blogger only had two weeks to promote their post, which meant that once the two weeks was up, they stood a chance to lose to bloggers whose posts were published later. The goal in this contest was not only to beat the person who was in first place, but also to secure a lead that would be unmatched.

I have a relatively well-defined process developed for ensuring that my post performs at its best. This process includes the following.

1. Write a post that is useful to everyone.

This means I think of a topic that both bloggers and businesses can benefit from. I also make sure the content is described in a way that beginners can feel comfortable applying it to their own strategy and experts can learn something they might not have known.

2. Monitor the competition.

As many of you have probably realized by now, I love spreadsheets and I love statistics. When I’m participating in a blogging contest, I take my love of both of these things and combine them as an ultimate weapon against the competition.

Blogging Contest Spreadsheet to Monitor the Competition

Just by updating this spreadsheet on a daily basis, I can see where I am in need of extra support, whether it is tweets, likes, or comments. Further columns also include diggs, stumbles, +1′s, engages, and other social pushes for the top five posts. Seeing this information might help you determine where the competition is generating a strong interest for their post.

3. Promote the post from day one until the end.

Promotion never sleeps when it comes to a blogging contest. Ok, so I do sleep. But before I go to bed I think of one more thing I can do to promote my contest post, and when I get up the next morning, I make sure to do it first thing.

The cardinal rule when it comes to promoting a contest post is to never give up. It can be frustrating when you enter a contest late and there are bloggers already dominating the leaderboard. This doesn’t mean you should give up though – this means you should promote harder!

4. Promote the post everywhere applicable.

If you have an audience, you should be promoting to it. Sure you might be thinking “self-promotion is evil,” but go back to the first part of the process that involved writing something that is useful to everyone from bloggers to business, beginners to experts.

If you have created a valuable resource, then you’re not just blatantly self-promoting. You’re sharing something that everyone will benefit from. If you have created a valuable resource, you are actually doing a disservice to your audience by not making sure every last one of them has seen it and has been encourage to spread the word about it.

When you think about promoting your post like that, then it feels good to share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon, niche networks, forums, blog comments, in other guest posts, email signatures, and simply wherever you can fit it in!

Why This is Important to You

Maybe you’re saying “I’m not planning on entering a blogging contest – why do I need to know all of this?” Here is why.

If you follow just steps one (writing a valuable post) and four (promoting it everywhere) whenever you write your own blog posts, blog posts for your business, guest posts, freelance posts, product review posts, or any other kind of posts you can think of, you will be wildly successful. You will get traffic, build your professional brand, get leads, make sales, and/or earn a better-than-decent online income.

The Promotional Blueprint Has Been Revised

In February, I wrote the first edition of Blog Post Promotion: The Ultimate Guide. Since then, a lot has changed. Google+ entered the scene, Facebook brought out the Timeline profile (or is in process at least), CommentLuv radically changed their system, and I’ve simply learned a lot more about promotion and measuring your results.

So today, I have released the 2nd Edition to the Blog Post Promotion Guide. If you haven’t already ordered a copy, be sure to buy it now at the 2nd Edition introductory price of $25 USD – a little over 30% off the regular price!

If you have already ordered a copy of the first edition, simply use the contact form to send me your name, email address, and Paypal email address used to let me know you’d like get a copy of the 2nd Edition at no additional cost.

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Comments

    • says

      Time is always a big factor. I weigh in the amount of time it will take me to create a great post and promote it, who else is entering the competition (if I have access to that info in advance – most of the time you don’t), and how much the prize money is, even if I was to only win second or third place. Sometimes even smaller prizes make it worth it.

      • says

        Time is definitely a factor! But what I was going to originally say is something that you covered (you cover it all when you pour your heart into a post, great stuff!) – and that was that the time you put into a contest post should be just about what you put into any of your own posts for your own blog too! :) ~David Walker
        David Walker just posted Internet Marketing Coaching

    • says

      Same here.. I just can’t find the time (or I guess I will have to make it!) to write posts for these blog contests. Sometimes I feel the need to just write one for my own and not for the contest

      Again, time is how we prioritize, I guess. This just means we don’t think the blogging contests as our priority :P
      Michael Aulia just posted Dyson DC39 Review

    • says

      I have found them mostly by reading blogs, but you can probably just do a Google search for blogging contests and narrow it by date to see what is currently open. :)

  1. says

    Like Paul, I’ve never attempted to enter a blog contest and admit it’s from a lack of confidence in my writing ability. However, I’ll never know until I try I guess. I just checked the post you did on FamousBloggers.net; wow 348 comments! Outstanding.
    ~Bruce
    Bruce just posted Getting Social On The Seawall

    • says

      I like to think as contests as confidence boosters. Plus you’ll get to learn from everyone else’s posts and meet other bloggers at the same time. It’s a win-win experience! :)

  2. says

    This article should be called the power of Kristi LOL. I’m so excited to see you engaging with the blog engage 1000 USD contest. I’m sure you will do well as you do in all your other contests. I don’t know why you’re sharing all your secrets hehehe. I rocked the Famous Bloggers Contest, over 500 comments and tons of tweets and likes. I couldn’t’ have done it without the blog engage community members supporting me. I’m sure all of our members participating in to the 1000USD contest would just love to read this article.
    bbrian017 just posted Syndicate Your Content and Engage with Bloggers

  3. says

    Hi Kristi, these are some wonderful tips. I was in a contest last year that I monitored very heavily in terms of social shares. I could see that my “competition” was gaining ground on Facebook. Unfortunately at the time, I couldn’t do anything about it because they had thousands of friends and at the time I only had a handful. I tried to make up some ground on Twitter but it wasn’t enough.
    I was still happy with the outcome though, because I was able to buy Thesis theme with the second place prize money (among other things). In the end, contests are a great way to make money from blogging and they can really pay off.
    Thanks for the offer to upgrade to part 2 of Blog Post Promotion. I’m really looking forward to it.
    Ileane just posted Promoting Your Content on YouTube

    • says

      Thanks Ileane! It is tough to compete with people who have large audiences, especially on Facebook as that is a huge traffic generator. Keeping track of the various networks can point you in the right direction for networks you want to build a strong following on for next time though. Congrats on getting Thesis with your prize money! :)

  4. says

    Nice, really original post here, you won’t see too many people addressing blogging contest.

    Quite a track record there too Kristi, I always see your posts all over quality sites, so it’s no surprise you’ve had success with these contests as well.

  5. says

    Nearly 7500 worth of prizes from that one contest is almost unreal. I am not very lucky when it comes to winning either. But, like they say…You can’t win if you don’t enter or try. Although if I were to win something my first choice would be the lottery.
    Ray just posted Firefox 8 Released

  6. says

    Hi,

    I think these are the enough point to make own identity in front of the world if we get success in that then no body can stop us to win these type of contest but beside that we should not feel over confidence in himself other wise it will be prove costly for us.
    sam just posted Goa Carnival 2012

  7. says

    Thanks for the tips, Kristi. But I am not sure of my own abilities about blogging contests. I understand that this is a good opportunity to be better promoted, but now now as i need some time to take and consider. you may say if you don’t try you never learn. You are right to some extent.

  8. says

    Wow Kristy. You sure have won a lot of contests! If there’s anyone that can write this kind of post, it’s you. Thanks for sharing your tips with us mere mortals. I think it was great where you have shared that #2 & #4 is imperative for success at blog post promotion. I say that because readers may just have said: ‘I don’t plan on entering a contest soon!’, but the principles work all round. Good show on another stellar post!
    bbrian017 just posted Blog Engage Feedback and Appreciation Weekend

  9. says

    Very useful tips and recommendations on how to win blogging contest. Winning a blogging contest, participants can gain a lot of competitive advantages. I will definitely follow your instructions the next time when I try to win a blogging contest. I think that taking such important steps as writing an interestign and informative post, monitoring competition and promoting posts from the very beginning to the end I will manage to achieve success. This strategy definitely increases chances of participants to achieve success.
    Terje Sannarnes just posted Effective Ways of Internal Linking for Website of an Entrepreneur

  10. says

    Great post, Kristie. Thanks a lot for sharing all these great tips and I love your smart competition monitoring tactic.
    Also, many thanks for showering us, your happy blog visitors, with all the CommentLUV love :).
    In addition to all the great monitory and blogging rewards you mentioned, winning a blogging contest (or just entering one) can effortlessly boost your own blog’s visibility and traffic.
    Also, I always feel that entering a contest of any kind reflects self-confidence and proves that the participant has the “winning” attitude. (Not the Charlie Sheen’s version for sure! LOL.) That’s a great image to portray for sure.
    I can’t tell you how much your post inspired me. I will certainly give blog contests a shout and will keep you posted. Keep up the good work!
    Heba just posted A Small Business Way Out Of The Social Media Maze: 1 Fix To 5 Problems!

  11. says

    I don’t plan to enter a blog post but I do expect to follow steps 1 and 4. We all know traffic is key and there is some solid advise on getting traffic to your blog in this article.

    I’ll admit to being shy about promoting my blog but I got over it because I was providing useful information to my readers.

    Now I just need to get better at tracking. I’m a bit slow in this department but I’m learning.

    Thanks for the great article
    Mary just posted Win a Trip to Florida in the PURELL Healthy and Happy Sweepstakes

  12. says

    Congratulations to you Kristi for all your wins! I actually didn’t know a lot about contests, and I am still new to participate; however I loved your post and I read it with great interest. Moreover, I found really motivating your post “How to Optimize 7 Popular Social Media Profiles for SEO”, and I bookmarked it to study it thoroughly in the future. Wow, Kristi!!! I admire your talent!
    Nick just posted Wilderness Systems Pungo Angler Review and Coupon

  13. says

    I don’t appreciate any blogging contest where there is no fixed panel of judges, and the winner is selected on the basis of popularity of the post. The reason?? i have few friends who just participate in such contests where there the winner is selected from popular choice, and they have friends and IP’s that can help them become the winners.

    If there is distinguished set of judges, then and only then i would like to watch or follow or participate!
    Krysta Radder just posted Double glazing prices

  14. says

    Great tips Kristi and an impressive track records. No wonder, every time I see a blogging contest, I see your post there.

    I think one of the main reasons you have such a good track record is that your posts are truly engaging and they offer something new and even on an old topic you always give it a new spin.
    satrap just posted Get Paid to Test Websites

  15. says

    Hii Kristi,
    No doubt yo have complete knowledge about blogging, all steps which you mentioned to win a Blogging contest is more then enough for a beginners, i like this post because face lot of problems to win any contest, even many time could not.

    Thanks Kristi to shearing this..