Contests are nothing new in the online world. Many people have been using contests to get
free web traffic for years. However, there is a slightly new twist since the blog revolution that
has made running a contest much more effective and fun.
The concept is the same. You come up with a prize (or many prizes) that would be appealing
to your blog readers. Of course, offering your own product as the prize would be preferable
since you can mention it on your blog (so everyone who sees your contest will also see your
product link). But, if you don’t have your own product, you can easily ask around and find people
who will donate.
Once you have your prizes, the fun starts. You have several options for your contest.
- If your goal is to get people to interact, ask your readers to post a comment to win.
- If your goal is to get incoming links to your blog, and, if your readers are bloggers themselves, ask your readers to blog about your contest (on their blogs) and then commen to let you know they did it.
- If your goal is to get to know your readers, ask them to complete a survey to win.
- Or a combination of the items above.
Immediately after you post your contest, send a mailing to each of your ezine lists, letting
them know about the contest. You’ll want your loyal readers to have the opportunity to win.
Note: If you don’t have your own lists yet, you’re missing out on big profits.
Next, contact your circle of influence (your friends) and let them know about your contest. Offer
to do a blog post swap. If they’ll blog about your contest, you’ll owe them one the next
time they have something they want to spread the word about.
Then, go and submit your contest to all of the contest websites. Yes, there are sites that list
contests and free offers. This is obviously more effective in certain niches than in others, but it
is free exposure to your contest. (Search google for “submit contest” & “submit sweepstake”.)
Of course, if you really want good mileage for your contest, you can also post on message
boards in your niche with the signature pointing to your contest.
If your wheels are turning… you’re probably also thinking of the possibilities of offering your
product or service as a prize to a popular blog in your niche and asking them to run the
contest. 😉 Good thinking. It works both ways!
Imagine being a talk show host for a weekly podcast. What’s the one thing you need every
single week? Guests. Lots and lots of expert guests.
You think finding content for your website is hard? Try pinning down guests each week for
interviews. My good friend, Kelly McCausey, has been recording an online show since 2003 –
every single week at http://www.WAHMTalkRadio.com That’s a lot of guests.
I recently interviewed Kelly to ask the question “What makes a good guest and what makes
you want to invite someone back?”
Here are some pointers to increase your odds of getting on a show and being asked back:
1. Actually listen to the show a few times before even thinking of contacting the host as a
potential guest. Make sure your concept fits into the market that the show reaches. If the
show is about Health, then don’t pitch your candy-making cookbook on there.
2. Do something newsworthy or interesting. Are you having a special event for charity? Have
you recently won an award? If your idea is timely, you’ll stand out and the host may contact
you sooner rather than later.
3. Have something interesting to say. If you just plan to talk about your products, then don’t
ask to be a guest. Buy an ad instead.
4. If you have sample interviews or media exposure, tell the host about it in your inquiry
letter. Direct her to your media page where you link to past interviews, if you have them.
One Good Turn Deserves Another.
With the Host or Hostess giving so much to you, what are you expected to do in return?
- · Provide a list of questions in advance.
- · Send a sample of your product to the host before you appear on the show.
- · Tell your newsletter list about the interview and where to find it. Your host will be more likely to have you back if you are willing to publicize your interviews.
- · Blog about your interview.
- · Be a gracious guest and be sure to say “Thank you” when the interview is over. (A gift
- is also nice.)
Ride the coat tails of others.
Let’s say you are an expert in Raw Food Nutrition. One thing you can easily do is contact every
weight loss or fitness membership site you can find and offer to give them either an interview
or a report.
Each of these membership sites is looking for ongoing value for their members. If you come
through with a great interview or a quality report, you can bet they’ll add it to their members’
area, especially if it’s unique to their site.
Find one membership site each week and offer them great content. You’ll get your marketing
message in front of a lot of very targeted eyeballs who are interested in your topic.
Many membership sites archive their content. Be sure to check before you agree to do an exclusive
interview to make sure that it’ll be getting exposure for a long, long time.
You can make this offer even more appealing by allowing the membership site owners to use
their affiliate link for your program in the report or alongside the interview.
How do you find these hot membership sites? Easy.
Search google.com for the following terms:
- · “keyword club” (example “dog owners club”)
- · “keyword month” (example “diabetic month”)
- · “keyword join” (example “divorce join”)
Of course, don’t fret if you find ebooks instead of membership sites. That works, too. Find hot
ebooks in your niche that are just a little different than yours, but in the same field, and offer
them a bonus for their customers. I recommend you search directly in the clickbank.com marketplace
Once you set this up, each and every customer who buys the ebook of a competitor will receive
a copy of your audio or report. If you set this up properly, you’ll turn your traffic on autopilot.
More google research ideas:
- · “keyword report” (example “fitness report”)
- · “keyword ebook” (example “recipe ebook”)
- · “keyword affiliate” (example “dog affiliate”)
4. Jump into Social Networking.
Social Networking comes in many shapes and forms, but the good thing is that it’s easy to
dabble in and I’ve, personally, seen great results with little effort.
It’s free to try, so there are no excuses.
Here’s how it works. You sign up for one or more of the programs below (all are free).
(You can search google to find hundreds more. This is just for starters.)
Next, update your profile on each site you’ve joined, including your URL and photo.
Then, the next time you post something of interest on your blog (or see something on a
friend’s blog), you just submit it to the sites above.
Many of these Social Networking sites expect you to be an active participant. You’re expected
to rate and comment on other people’s contributions. Just jump in and play with it and watch
your stats to see what is and is not working. You’ll see the traffic start to trickle in if you play
by the rules and share quality information. (Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and stand out!)
Along the same lines (but slightly different) is a Social Networking tool called Twitter.com
Now, in the name of disclosure, I’m pretty new to Twitter, but I had to check it out after I realized
that I was already getting traffic from other people Twittering about me.
Basically, Twitter is like a group Instant Messenger Chat. You can add as many friends as
you’d like (which is called “following” people). Then, you just chat about what you’re up to.
For instance, when I’m done with this report, I’ll turn it into a pdf and load it on my site for my
readers to enjoy. Then, I’ll Twitter the link to let my followers know what I’ve been up to today.
Whenever I post on my blog, I quickly Twitter it. Not even a minute later, I get a nice little
spike in traffic (and some comments) on my blog.
Hot Tip! Of course, you can make this even more viral by talking about your affiliate program
on Twitter or on the Social Networking Sites above. That way, instead of getting one visitor to
your website, you’re getting a person who can send you additional traffic. You’re tapping into
their lists, their connections, and their traffic instead. Pretty smart, isn’t it?
This is a very fun way to get some buzz about your website.
Create something fun and buzz-worthy.
1. Example of Using Graphics Creatively:
http://www.MarketingComics.com – 15 hilarious comics about Internet Marketing – some
may hit a little close to home! 😉
2. Example of Using Video Creatively: http://www.DinnerTimeVideo.com – a video to promote a family menu planning service.
If you’re not a very creative person, then you can certainly hire someone on elance.com to
create an item for you. I’ve worked with illustrators on elance.com and I’ve had good luck so
far. Just communicate your requirements clearly so there are no misunderstandings. In fact,
after I write out my project requirements, I run the wording by two of my assistants and ask
them to tell me what it says in their own words before posting it just to make sure it’s clear.
Once your project is completed, then spread the word.
- · Blog about it.
- · Tell your lists.
- · If you’ve created a video, submit it to YouTube.com and Video.Google.com and all of the other video sites.
- · Also submit it to Digg.com, Reddit.com, StumbleUpon.com and all of the other hot social networking sites for exposure.
- Of course, if you have an affiliate program, set it up so your affiliates can link to your
- creation, as well!
I promised that I’d save the best for last, and I sure did. I even hinted (not so subtly)
throughout this report about my favorite method of traffic generation.
Let me lay it on the line here. I told you at the beginning of this report that I quickly came up
with 26 methods of generating traffic off the top of my head. I’m sure, if I sat and thought a
bit longer I could easily make that 100 or more.
Just a few ideas from my list…
- · Squidoo
- · Stumble Upon
- · Digg/Reddit/etc.
- · Article Marketing
- · Ezine Advertising
- · Google Adwords
- · Craigslist
- · Offering Resale Rights
- · Webinars
- · Teleseminars
- · Offline Marketing
- · Forums
- · Joint Ventures
- · Press Releases
- · Creating Viral Software & Tools
- · PayPerPost
- · Utterz
- · Viral Free Reports
- · Starting your Own Podcast
- · Search Engine Optimization
- · Blogging
Are you an expert in each of those things? No? Me, neither. I know quite a bit about each
(more about some than others), but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert in every single one
of those in any way, shape or form.
Do I have time to learn about and do each of those things on a regular basis? Not a chance. It
would be insane to even try to do each of these things each day – or even every week.
This is where an affiliate program comes in handy.
My affiliates are experts in these areas. Where there is only one ME with only 24 hours each
day, my affiliates are many.
- · My affiliates have created Squidoo lenses to promote my products.
- · They’ve StumbledUpon pages with links to me.
- · They’ve posted about my free reports on Craigslist.
- · They’ve set up Adwords campaigns.
- · They’re blogging about my products.
- · They’re posting on forums with signature links promoting my products.
- · They are making graphics for my free reports, before I can even do it!
Hell, I can’t keep up with everything they’re doing, but I know it’s a lot more than I could be
You can train your affiliates to do more in a day than you can do alone in a month’s time.
You’ll get more done, and you’ll stay a lot saner in the process.
With a little effort and guidance, any group of affiliates can be turned loose onto the world
with the tools to succeed.
The good new is that you don’t have to figure it out alone. My Friend Jimmy D. Brown created a free
ecourse that outlines the absolute BASICS that any affiliate program must have in order to
It’s called the “5 Practices of Wildly Profitable Affiliate Programs”. And, it’s free.
And, yes, I highly recommend it.
Click here to get the free ecourse right now.
The ecourse is an introduction to Jimmy’s full “S.A.L.E.S. A.R.M.Y. Secrets” course, which is
the best I’ve seen. (And as an affiliate manager, I’ve seen many.)
I don’t know about you, but I did not start a business to work around the clock, making myself
sick. I started it to have the FREEDOM to work when I wanted to. A successful affiliate
program can help you achieve that goal.
Wishing you much success,
Steelbrand. (AKA Erin J Carney)
© 2010 Erin J Carney – All Rights Reserved.