All good thing must come to an end, it’s official folks, my first blog contest had run its course and is now officially CLOSED! I want to thank all who entered the contest, it had been a fun journey reading all those insightful reviews. I hope it has been fun for you too. I also want to thank my fellow blogging friends who had helped to spread the word of this contest in one way or another.
Thanks to David of PureBlogging for giving it a shout-out and also Walt of Blog-Contests for featuring it on his blog. Special thanks also goes out to Kumiko for making a case study of my contest, benchmarking it against some industry standards, and also John of disassociated.com for writing what is by far the most comprehensive review. Although his post had met and exceeded the contest requirements, John had graciously requested NOT to be entered into the contest for fear of possible conflict of interest as I’ve earlier entered his contest. John's gesture is much appreciated and his request is respected.
The take up rate for my contest has been far from satisfactory; it was way below my target of at least 30 entries. I thought I had an easily marketable concept using the 7/7/7 theme that will attract huge number of entries, but I will put both hands up and admit the contest a failure as far as the number of entry submissions are concern.
For the contest promotion, I submitted it to the various blogs that specializes in listing blog contest. Unfortunately, not all help to spread the word. I’ve also sent out close to 100 personal invitations to friends to support my contest, less than 10% took up the invite.
So what are the total numbers of entries received? Well, let’s just say I had offered a total of 7 cash prizes for the contest and those entries received are guaranteed a prize each!
So what happen?
What had caused this catastrophic outcome and what lessons have I learn from it? It will be convenient to just point the finger for the low take up rate at the difficulty level of the contest being set too high. I’ve seen and participated in other contests which are rather similar in nature, if not tougher than mine, which were well received.
Could it be the prizes offered are not attractive enough?
How could it be? One stands to win $77 for writing a 200 words review, isn’t it good money for a 30mins(max) job? I deduced that if I can order a paid Review from Kumiko’s popoular blog with huge reader base, for a mere $70, my offered top cash prize of $77 is more than attractive.
Furthermore, I’m offering 6 extra smaller cash prizes to increase the odds of contestant winning something and not leaving the party empty-handed. It is important to note that some bloggers do sponsored post for only $6 each.
On hindsight, the below are observations I gathered which are possible causes for the eventual failings of my contest:
- Curse of the subdomain.
It’s a creditability issue and people might not take blogspot blogs seriously. They may find no value to participate or even to be associated with a blogspot blog.
- Too much work required.
Writing review and posting screenshot of RSS subscription may have turned people off. Bloggers are a lazy bunch and they want easy-to-enter contest by just leaving a comment. I noticed such easy contest can attract big number of entries, like 300 to 400! And such contests usually offer crap prizes like USB cooler which no one really wants and eventually gets regifted several rounds. What are your odds of winning something not useful?
- Contest fatigue.
July was a unique month where I noticed many contests being launched. It was a competitive “market” and contest was easily buried by newer ones offering big prizes like iPod, Wii, Xbox360, iPhone etc. being launched every other day.
All in all, I must say it was a jolly good experience holding my first blog contest. It wasn’t a roaring success which I’ve hoped but I don’t want to take credit away from those who supported. I’ve no regret whatsoever and I want to empathize, I am very happy to be giving away the prizes and hope the cash would come in handy for the winners!
Alright, after rambling like forever and keeping you guys in suspense, who is the winner of the top prize of $77? For that, I'm sorry you'll have to wait a while longer. I promise the results will be posted during the coming weekend.
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