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.
- First Place in the Famous Bloggers / Comluv Blogging Contest with the post “Strengthening Article Marketing with CommentLuv Links.” Cash prize of $750.
- Second Place in the Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest with the post “9 Search Optimization Tips with Benefits for Your Visitors.” Cash prize of $300.
- First Place in the Blog Engage Blogging Contest 1 with the post “The Truth About Making Money Online.” Cash prize of $500.
- First Place in the Blog Engage Blogging Contest 2 with the post “8 Ways to Get Your Blog Ready for the Big Time.” Cash prize of $500.
- First Place in the Conversion Fest Blogging Contest with the post “Measuring Social Media ROI and Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5.” Prizes including a 64GB iPad 2 and premium subscriptions with Unbounce, SEOmoz, and Attention Wizard totaling $7,423.
- First Place in the 2nd Annual Bad Ass SEO Blogging Contest with the post “How to Optimize 7 Popular Social Media Profiles for SEO.” Cash prize of $1,000.
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.
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.