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Why I will not sponsor your blog competition

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Why I will not sponsor your blog competitionOver the last few months I have had over a dozen requests for BloggingTips to sponsor a blog competition. I have not put forward a prize for any of these competitions and since I still get these emails from time to time, I would like to explain why I do not (usually) sponsor any blog competitions 🙂

First of all, I would like to point out that I enjoy helping out other people on the web, be it a friendly link to a good post a blogger has wrote or helping someone with an HTML or CSS problem, I always try and do my best to help those who ask me for help.

Sponsors are rarely getting a good deal

Competitions are a great way to promote your blog however 9 times out of ten the sponsors of a blog competition are getting an extremely bad deal. In the last year I have seen loads of blogs hosting competitions with thousands of dollars in prizes. In most of these competitions the owner has put up very little money or sometimes nothing at all towards the prize total. Instead, they have relied on the help and generosity of other bloggers and ad networks. Great situation for the owner, great situation for the blog readers but a not so great situation for the blog sponsors. The main reason : an extremely poor return for the money they invested.

There are two main reasons for this :

  • Too many sponsors : This is the biggest reason why I have not sponsored the last few competitions. The blog owner has sent me a nice email asking me to help them out so I check out their competition details. This is when I usually see 30+ sponsors listed in the competition post. In their quest to see the total prize money for their competition increase the blogger has added more and more sponsors and with each sponsor added the overall return for each sponsor gets less and less. Most blogs I have seen do not even give their sponsors a banner or image link back, all the sponsor gets is a text link which is quickly lost in a competition post where up to 30% of the post text is a link.
  • Blog owner is asking for too much : The bigger your blog is the easier it becomes for the owner to secure sponsors. However, this is a detail which some people forget. Last month, I got a request from a blogger to sponsor a prize worth $50. Not only did the blog have less than 200 subscribers, the competition already had 20 other sponsors (Needless to say, I quickly declined the invitation to sponsor the competition).

I don’t blame blog owners for trying to get more sponsors to increase the prize money in their competition as the higher the prize total, the more publicity their blog will get. However, I do believe that along the way some blog owners are getting a bit greedy and not doing enough to give their sponsors value for money. Sponsoring a competition is good PR for any company or blog but business is business and no company can afford to just throw their money away and not expect any return.

The last competition I sponsored was the massive $54,000 competition that ProBlogger had last year. I gave away a Logitech Keyboard. Unfortunately, with over 100 sponsors of this competition I got less than 10 visits for my $100+ expenditure. Anyway you look at it, thats a poor return. Darren Rowse did his best to encourage his readers to visit the sponsors of the competition but with so many sponsors it’s no surprise that exposure was low. You also have to remember that a high percentage of blog readers will not even visit the sponsors regardless of what the blog owner does as all they are interested in are the prizes.

So how would you run a competition?

BloggingTips has had a few competitions in the past however I have never organised sponsors for the competition. Either I put up some cash or a prize myself or a company contacted me offering a prize to readers (so that they can some exposure to their new product).

If I was to host a competition with sponsors putting up prizes I would try to keep sponsors to a minimum (say, less than 7). Each sponsor would get an image or banner in the competition thread and a brief description of their company, website or product. Why would I do this? Well, my hope would be that by giving sponsors a lot of exposure they would be interested in sponsoring future competitions. This may sound like I’ve watched Jerry Maguire too many times but I am of the opinion that building a solid relationship with your advertisers and sponsors is in your interest and theirs. You obviously don’t want to annoy readers with sponsor details all the time but generally speaking I’d say most readers are ok with this if there are some prizes up for grabs.

Overview

I did not write this post to discourage people from sponsoring competitions and I do believe that it can be a good way to promote your blog. However, the recent trend of building a prize pool by getting more and more sponsors in and rewarding these sponsors with no more than a text link has discouraged people like myself from participating.

Of course, as a sponsor you can always donate something which does not require you to reach for your wallet (eg. an advertisement on your blog) though you should still be looking for a good return.

If you are thinking of hosting a competition on your blog my advice to you is this :

  • For Yourself : You’ll probably be putting up some prizes yourself and no doubt you will be spending a lot of time arranging everthing so you want to get as much traffic and publicity as you can. Contact bloggers who can post about your competition and do some networking via social media sites.
  • For the Sponsors : Try and give your sponsors as much exposure as possible. You don’t have to ram your sponsors down your readers day after day. By keeping sponsors to a minimum and using images and banners to promote your sponsors you should see more readers to check them out. Remember, if the sponsor is happy with traffic and feedback from your blog they are more likely to work with you again.
  • For your Readers : Make the competition fun and easy to enter. Competitions where the winner is decided randomly is ok but one which engages the readers and rewards them for doing something is much better.

Have you run a competition or sponsored a prize in one? If so, please leave a comment and tell us your side of the story 🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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Why Do So Few Bloggers Make Money?

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You are ready to make more money blogging.

I see it.

I feel it.

So never ask questions like this:

Fear-filled bloggers ask such questions.

People afraid to lose money ask such questions.

Since where your energy goes, grows, if you fear losing money, you lose money.

Can you see why few bloggers make money?

Most humans and bloggers fear losing money.

Making money through blogging becomes impossible if you fear losing money.

You cannot fear losing money and make money simultaneously. Impossible.

You cannot feel abundant, rich, whole and complete, and lose money. Impossible.

Analyze this Question

The Quora user asking above question typifies many bloggers who fear:

  • losing money
  • spending money
  • being scammed
  • being spammed

Said fear co-creates fear-filled, poverty-inducing, failed results.

Life mirrors your energy.

Few bloggers make money because few bloggers feel abundant, rich, whole and complete.

Your Energy Dominates Your Actions and Life

I recall working really hard creating, connecting and doing stuff successful bloggers told me to do.

I still went broke.

Why?

No matter how hard I worked and no matter what proven, successful blogging advice I followed, my energy screamed:

  • fear
  • lack
  • limitation
  • poverty
  • scarcity
  • no money

so I manifested lack, poverty, scarcity and no money.

Your energy dominates everything.

How to Make More Money Blogging

I decided to visualize riches, to feel wealthy, to focus on blogging wins and to keep things positive.

Almost instantly, I began to make more money blogging because I changed my predominant feeling to rich, abundant, wealthy vibes.

Money appeared in my bank account through 2 income streams with minimal work. I got an idea to promote my blogging course frequently; I sold more courses. I linked to my eBooks frequently to boost eBook income. Toss in acting on an idea to SEO optimize posts and I made even more money blogging through passive, targeted Google traffic.

Money flowed to me because I visualized myself with more money, I chose to feel rich, I emitted a calm, confident vibe, and I felt detached and knowing riches are mine.

As within, so without.

Go From Lack to Lots

The person asking the Quora question allowed fear to dominate their mind, focusing on lack of opportunities. Such folks are broke or go broke fast because where your attention and energy goes, grows.

Focus on lots. Concentrate on the idea of abundant. Feel rich by visualizing yourself with riches. Count all of your blogging wins. Keep things positive.

Life just follows your mindset. Experiences follow where you choose to put your attention and energy.

Few bloggers make money because few bloggers choose to focus their mind on abundance, wealth, riches, success and positive ideas.

Choose to make money blogging now. Visualize yourself being wealthy. Feel opulence. Step into the spirit of opulence.

Pull out your credit card to invest in my blogging course. Investing money makes you more money. Money circulates; release it to see it return to you multiplied.

Rich people feel and act this way. Emulate bloggers who make money.

Think, feel and act rich to earn riches.

Make money blogging.

Step away from the herds of bloggers who focus on lack.

Think abundance.

Prosper.

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How Can You Start Blogging for Free?

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Impossible.

Blogging requires:

  • financial investment; domain and hosting at a minimum
  • time investment
  • energy investment

Blogging is a skill. You invest money to begin developing the skill effectively. Add time and energy through your blogging work and you lay the foundation for a successful blogging career.

You cannot start blogging for free because without financial investment you are not really blogging.

Imagine starting a blog on a free platform.

How can you ever impress people if you fear investing $7 a month on hosting and $14 on a domain?

People see the free platform, believe you to be an amateur, you lose your credibility as potential readers do not trust you, and folks exit your blog.

Investing Money to Make Money

Observe my blog:

Blogging From Paradise

I invested thousands of dollars in my blog over the years and made a lot more money than thousands of dollars.

I bought my domain and hosting 10 years ago as an investment in freedom and greater profits.

Fast forward a decade; I have circled the globe for 8 years, living in places like Fiji, Bali and Costa Rica. The thousands of dollars I invested allowed me to:

  • gain reader trust
  • convey a professional brand image
  • be seen as one of the top bloggers on earth
  • increase blog traffic
  • increase eBook sales, course sales and audio book sales
  • be featured on world famous sites
  • move higher in blogging circles

Imagine if I began blogging for free. Would Fox News want to interview a blogger using a free blogging platform? No. Of course Fox News seeks out renowned leaders and every blogging leader invests money in blogging to do blogging right.

Free Platforms Look Cheap and Unprofessional

Free blogging platforms look terrible.

Can you ever gain reader trust if your blog looks terrible?

Observe the long, wordy, non-branded domain name, including the free hosting company. Imagine if cnn.com was cnn.blogspot.com? Would you trust CNN if the corporation used a free blogging platform? No.

This is from my trip to Turkey.

Imagine if espn.com was espn.typepad.com. Would you trust the content? No.

Even if you intend to never profit through your blog you better buy your domain and hosting because few if any readers trust bloggers on free platforms.

How to Begin a Blog the Right Way

Invest money in:

Invest money in your success.

Begin blogging the right way to cut years off of:

  • your learning curve
  • your success curve

Money circulates; invest money today and it flows back to you multiplied exponentially.

Losing or spending money is impossible in a Universe of abundance.

Develop this prosperity consciousness to begin blogging from an abundant, successful, positive energy.

Develop a Money Consciousness to Make Money with Your Blog

The old saying goes; it takes money to make money.

I take it one step further; it takes a money consciousness to make money.

A high number of bloggers invest money in their blog but struggle to make money. Said bloggers believe they spent or lost money on their blog, which is not true.

Develop a money consciousness.  It takes a money consciousness to make money with your blog, meaning you need believe money circulates, as you release money and it returns to you multiplied in awesome fashion.

I discovered 2 unknown, unexpected income streams recently, both online. Why? I circulate money. I see any investment in my blog, in bills or in anything, flowing back to me multiplied.

Develop this positive, abundant mindset.

Invest money in your blog from day 1.

Begin blogging the right way.

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How to Build Brand Authenticity Using Customer Generated Content

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Creating quality content is the best thing someone can ever do for their company. When done right, it generates a lot of traffic towards the website thus giving a high likelihood of converting the followers into leads. Unfortunately, quality content is expensive and can use up a lot of money, time, and very exhaustive.

Fortunately for us, there is another way to get quality content without having to go through all this hustle. When you make use of this strategy, it will turn out to be more powerful and accurate than other cumbersome methods. This solution is known as User Generated Content (UGC) since it is one of the simplest way to get results without getting tired.

What is the significance of UGC?

The moment you make use of content generated by customers, you automatically create trust with other customers. This is because more than 80% of consumers find content generated by their fellow customers to be convincing and true than what the brands can write about themselves. The assumption is that no one will ever write negatives about themselves unless third parties take over.

UGC is the most authentic type of content as 98% of it is true since customers have no interests in the customers creating profits. If something is bad, they will write it as it is. The reverse is also true. It is therefore recommendable to spend more time curating on the content written by consumers rather than the company itself. You can also use a tool like keyword.com to better create content for your audience and to also rank higher in Google for multiple keywords and search phrases.

The other advantage of UGC is the ability to track all the conversations and mentions. This mostly helps by finding out what the customers think about your services and products. In case of any problem, you can address the same issue. You are allowed to comment on the same wall towards their plights.

The other advantage is to help a company in saving time meant to write content. This time can be allocated to other issues that help in accumulating profits for the business.

Ways to Build an Effective UCG Marketing Strategy

1 – Choose your platform wisely

You do not just create a CGC in any area. The first thing is to ensure that you have a good number of active followers in online platforms. In addition to this, remember that each platform works differently; Facebook users are known for sharing content whereas Instagram is more of visuals. When you ask people for content, remember to be specific with what you want since a lot of us are ready to talk about anything we wish.

2 – Collect independent customer reviews

Customers’ reviews are very vital to any business as they act as personal recommendations to other people who are yet to try your brand. In fact, a lot of people prefer to read a number of reviews before making a conclusion on whether to buy or not. If someone comes across two or more negative comments, a good number will pull away from your page. Remember that savvy customers will always spot fake reviews hence the more reason to stick to authentic customers. The only way to win their hearts is by offering what you promised in the first place.

3 – Offer rewards

There is nothing as encouraging as being rewarded for doing something. Offering rewards attracts a lot of people towards your page as everyone is eager to get something. Don’t try too hard by getting expensive gifts. You can promise that a winner will have their tweets retweeted or you feature their article or business on your page. Not only will they feel happy that they are part of your success but will also attract new users to subscribe.

Neil Patel is often preaching about the process of offering rewards and getting users to submit an email address on your site — which you can then follow up with afterwards. You can read more on Neil and his most recent resources in this article from webdesignteam.com.

4 – Support a charity event

You need to remind your customers that your brand is not after making profits but rather in helping the community in different events such as acts of charity. Let people know that you have a greater vision for them too.

Online platforms can either break or boost your business. This is because a lot of people have turned to recommendation on social media by strangers or friends. If you want better reviews, ensure that your products are quality and services are up to standard.

User Generation Content is the Way to Go!

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, content overload is happening daily. The same is true for brands and bloggers that are struggling to create original content on their own.

The better option is to build a platform or content creation and marketing plan that relies on content being created from other users. After all, how much content has Facebook or Instagram ever made… and look at how huge and massive their brands are!

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