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Seven Steps to Creating a Contest that Generates Massive Traffic

Jan 4, 2008
You can generate massive traffic to your site by hosting a contest. Any kind of contest will do as long as it involves fun competition.

But once you decide what kind of contest you want to run, you need to know how to make it happen. So I've listed some steps that, if followed, will help you run a smooth contest and generate an abundance of traffic to your site.

Step one: establish a set of rules. These rules must be clearly visible to every potential participant and state the guidelines for your contest. Don't assume anything here. Spell out the details on your website and in your newsletter even if they seem like common sense to you. A sore loser could file a lawsuit if you don't clearly articulate the rules, so be specific. Guidelines to cover include:

--How many times each contestant can enter and how often.

--A restatement of your privacy policy.

--Start and end date of the contest.

--How you will choose the winner(s).

--How many winners you will have (ex. 1st place only, 1st-3rd only, top ten).

--How you will notify the winners (email, phone, snail mail).

--Who (if anyone) is sponsoring your contest.

--What prizes are being offered.

You should also limit the number or prizes any one person can receive. For instance, only allow people to win once every 90 days. This gives more people a chance to win and encourages greater participation. Finally, note that because the Internet is not fail-safe, you are not responsible if entries are lost or unforeseen glitches that you cannot control affect your contest.

Step two: decide what information to collect. Being able to follow-up with your contestants is critical, so make sure you have a way to at least collect their name and email address when they enter your contest.

Step three: secure sponsorship if necessary. Asking other businesses to sponsor your contest by providing free prizes is a great way to establish a joint venture relationship. They get free advertising through your contest, and you get to give away enticing prizes that cost you nothing to acquire.

Step four: promote your contest. Issue a Press Release, buy pay-per-click advertising, notify your affiliates, email your list, exchange links with other sites and add your contest to the multitude of contest directories available on the Internet.

Step five: enjoy running the contest!

Step six: announce the winner(s). If your rules stated that the winner would be chosen at random, have an unaffiliated third party choose the winner. If you were judging the entries, make sure you complete your assessment by the date indicated in your rules. However you choose the winner, announce the name of the person by posting it on your website, emailing your list and issuing another Press Release.

Step seven: award prizes. If you don't have a sponsor, you can give away your own products or join affiliate programs of book publishers, CD companies and magazine subscription companies. Books, music and magazines are some of the most cost-effective prizes to give away. Purchasing these items through your affiliate program can give you a sizable discount and help you earn some of that money back through your commissions.

Your own information products or those of your sponsors are the best things to give away, though, because they cost almost nothing to produce.

However, you don't have to run a contest of your own to benefit from the traffic-producing power of the competition. You can also generate traffic by sponsoring a contest and giving away your products or services as prizes.

This gives you great exposure for only the cost of production for your product. Just be sure that the contest holder gives you credit for the prize and links to your site. Also only sponsor contests within your target market. Other final tips include:

1. Give the people what they want. For contests that require an entry beyond name submission (like writing or ad contests), show the excellent entries, the horrible entries and those right on the border of being great. This keeps interest at peak levels and traffic high.

2. Allow the audience to vote on the winner. People want to contribute, and with the growth of social networking sites, it's becoming expected.

3. Permit those who enter to promote themselves or their business. This gives them free exposure and makes you look like a good guy. They'll love you for it and recommend you to all their friends.

4. Give away a BIG prize. Anything worth $200 or more creates mega buzz. It may seem crazy to give away something worth that much, but think of it as advertising. The end results are worth the front-end costs.

5. Keep the contest condensed to a short period of time. One or two weeks works best. A month works as well, just try not to go past this length of time. You want to create a sense of urgency for people to enter.

6. Allow people to enter daily. This means serious REPEAT TRAFFIC.

7. Submit to 3-5 contest directories every day.

8. Make it easy and fun. If you make it too hard, people will get frustrated and kill whatever buzz you hoped to generate.
About the Author
Glen Hopkins is a Best-Selling Author, Information Marketer, Speaker and Consultant. Glen specializes in teaching struggling entrepreneurs how to turn their small Online businesses into thriving money machines using specific systems that will allow you to work less and earn more. Get his List Building Report and Web Traffic CD (valued at $97) for FREE at: http://glenhopkins.name/>http://GlenHopkins.name
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