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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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1 Failure Conscious Tendency That Makes Blogging Tougher

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Some bloggers cannot accept a good thing when they get it.

I have linked to tens of thousands of bloggers over my decade online. I love my friends. I take care of my friends.

99.999999% of bloggers are beyond grateful to get a backlink from an established, pro blogger like myself for many reasons:

  • Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 47; that’s some backlink juice!
  • Blogging Tips has an even higher DA; 48 I believe, meaning more backlink juice
  • you bond more deeply with me, and forming a deeper friendship allows me to open doors for you, via guest posts, more backlink mentions, interviews, prospering partnerships
  • greater blog traffic through exposure
  • greater blog profits through exposure
  • greater brand awareness through exposure, and also, your blog and brand aligns with Virgin, Forbes and Fox News, sites I have appeared on, creating greater trust

I could go on for 45 minutes. The list of benefits are endless. There are absolutely no downsides to being mentioned by me, on my blog or via guest post. Yet, some folks, because of their own fears, cannot accept these gifts freely and gratefully. Hey guys; I luv ya’s. This is not a rant, but a lesson in seeing good (versus fear/downside), expressing genuine gratitude and learning how to move up in blogging circles, by being fully grateful to receive the above gifts and by purging any fears or lack of gratitude you feel, when a world renowned blogger links to you.

Virtually all bloggers are grateful for receiving the above list of benefits. Donna Merrill is a blogging high roller and she responds to virtually all my tags and mentions. I would never expect her to do so because we are great friends, and she is so busy, but that is heart-filled blogging.

But a few bloggers clinging to deep fears have responded to my generous backlinks a few different ways:

  • some fear the linking structure is not neat and orderly
  • some fear they are not getting enough link juice via Google, and ask me to log into search console and make changes or whatever
  • some fear they are not getting enough links to a specific site or permalink, and ask me to edit the post, to change the link

All above motivators are fear, and fear is not real, so if you honor these fears and react-respond in the above fashion, you judge things or make a request from an illusory, untrue, false, totally not real energy of loss, lack, limitation.

That fear has 100% to do with you, and nothing to do with me. I will keep being generous with my blogging buddies, but I seek out loving buddies, not those weighed down a bit too heavy by fear, so fear-bloggers gotta go, along with their links, going forward.  Nothing personal, as I love and respect these folks. Just an energy thing.

We See the World as We See Ourselves

You see the world, you see other bloggers and you see their linking strategies as you see yourself.

If someone fears they won’t get enough traffic or clicks or Google juice through my linking strategy, that has nothing to do with the guy featured on billionaires’s blogs, and living his dream, circling the globe. That has to do 100% with you, your fear of loss, your fear of not enough, your trust issues, and other deep, fear based energies, begging to be unearthed and felt.

I am the mirror. You are the source. You are cause, and effect.

Picture break! Me during my trip to Fiji with my friend Olivia.

My dear friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me a Message months ago. He was deeply grateful I had linked to him 50 plus times on Blogging Tips alone. He is grateful! Does it surprise you that the guy runs a highly prospering business and leads a huge, loyal following?

David Boozer routinely sends me Messages sharing how grateful he is for my eBooks, courses, content and mentions, writing from the heart. More gratitude! Does it surprise you that one of his YouTube channels has registered millions of plays, alone?

Alonzo and David do not ask me to change links or put stuff into Google console or to change my linking style; they know a gift when they see it.

Vishwajeet Kumar feels incredibly grateful for each backlink I give to his helpful blogging resource, and expresses his gratitude on social media.

This is how you move higher in blogging circles, to see more success, versus moving lower, through fear-based lack of gratitude, and, losing link mentions.

Guys; see the blessing in a coveted backlink. Be grateful. See the good. Move up in the blog-0-sphere. Experience increased blogging success.

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Connect to Get Connected

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Do you want to know how I became a connected travel blogger?

I patiently read posts from a brilliant group run by Mapping Megan, published genuine comments and promoted my fellow bloggers.

That is it. I put in serious work. I also published helpful content on my blog, too.

Bloggers mistakenly believe in “getting connected”. Like being connected is a passive act, that just happens. By luck, or by lame pitches.

Do you want to get connected enough where you get featured on world famous blogs? Invest in my Teachable course. I teach you how to do it without pitching anybody.

I created the course after bloggers emailed me asking if I can feature them on Forbes, or asking how much it costs to get a link on Forbes. All these bloggers made the critical error of believing asking someone for a favor or feature – quite a passive, lazy, mindless act – is how you “get connected.” If this were true, 30,000,000 bloggers would be featured on Forbes, Forbes’ reputation sinks into the sewer and nobody would want to get featured on Forbes anymore.

Do you see how foolish and silly strategies like asking people to get featured on world famous blogs waste your time? Like me asking the NY Knicks for a try out, after I only had skills good enough to be a junior college basketball player. Foolish.

Passive Versus Active

Getting connected is passive. Not gonna work.

You EARN connections by connecting yourself to human beings, and you connect yourself by featuring skilled bloggers on your blog, by mentioning them and sharing their content on social media and by expecting nothing in return. I mention Paula Pins the Planet because she’s a first class travel blogger. I connect myself to her. Friendship forms. I connect myself to Rhonda Albom by linking to her on my blog and by tweeting her posts. As more and more friendships form, blossom and grow, my friends:

  • promote me
  • endorse me
  • help me
  • inspire me
  • buy my eBooks
  • hire me

People then say, “Hey, Ryan is a connected blogger! He knows everybody.” Fools believe me being connected just….happened. Passively. Lost folks believe I am lucky to be connected. The blogging brain dead believe I began blogging from a connected, influential space, when I knew more cats than bloggers 10 years ago, a lost blogging soul who did not know what a blog, was.

I spent 10 years of my life connecting myself to bloggers by promoting them without asking for anything in return. I help skilled bloggers because skilled bloggers provide you with helpful resources. Naturally, this level of generosity and calm, cool detachment helped me pop up on the radar screen of high profile brands. Kinda happens, when an army of influential blogging buddies endorses you, promotes you and vouches for you.

Connecting yourself to successful bloggers requires:

  • generosity
  • detachment
  • patience
  • persistence
  • authenticity

You pay a specific tuition for being connected; helping influencers without giving thought to your own needs. Then, over months, then years, you become incredibly connected, powerful and influential, based on your generosity and willingness to shine the spotlight on other bloggers, like Moss Clement.  Peep his generosity.  This is how to get connected. Be a tireless supporter of other bloggers, like how David Boozer and Alonzo Pichardo do it. These guys are generous! David promoted me more than I promoted me. That’s saying something. Then, Alonzo and a bunch of folks found me through David, and these blogging pros generously promoted me. I keep promoting them too, returning the generosity these folks have shown me.

Do you want to know my secret for being hyper connected?

Take care of your friends!

Think little of your own needs. Friends will help take care of you.

Connect yourself to people. Promote them. Expect nothing. Be super connected.

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5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Business Blog

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How to Create SEO-Friendly Content for Greater Blog Traffic

Trying to compete in the world of content creation and blogging can be very tough. With so many active websites and blogs flooding the internet and search results with new content daily, how are you supposed to compete and have a successful site?

Some of the best ways to accomplish this, are to avoid mistakes that many have made in the passed — while also teaching to industry what to do and what not to do in the process.

That is what we will be focusing our discussion on today.

We all are bound to make mistakes, but how we respond and recover from those mistakes count. In the blogging world, it is no different. If you have just started your business blog, there are a lot many things you need to pay attention to. The best way to save yourself from mistakes is to learn from the mistakes of others.

Here is a list of few blogging mistakes you need to avoid.

Mistake #1: Posting every day

Thinking of posting a blog every day can blow you out. Don’t rush into posting more posts, but take time to research, write and proofread your post. No matter how many articles you post, if they are poorly written, it will easily degrade the reputation of your blog. Instead, schedule posting one or two blogs a week, depending on your target audience. Take time to generate good quality content.

Mistake #2: “anything” is the topic

Your blog should be based on a specific niche. You can go with any topic, but make sure you stick to the niche. If you have attracted a healthy base of readers, then your audience is likely to be interested in your subject. Select topics that deliver value to your readers. Don’t make them leave your website by writing irrelevant posts. Stick to what you know and avoid subjects you don’t have any expertise with.

Mistake #3: Not promoting your blog

It doesn’t matter how great you write, your post will not receive traffic automatically. People will not hear about your post unless you share with them. A perfect example of this can be seen in the free stuff and online coupon space. With so many coupons already floating around the internet, you need to create real content on your site that will provide value. You can see how a site like By Discount Codes is accomplishing this ‘monthly coupon’ summary posts on their site.

After publishing any new content to their site, they are then sharing it though social media as well. By internally linking to your own product or sales pages within your blog content, you will find much better ranking through your site, while also improving site navigation as well.

Mistake #4: Doing everything alone

Starting a business blog requires a number of resources, and along with that you also need to focus on your business. Trying to do everything alone can limit your blog’s growth. Whether you are a business owner, manager, entrepreneur or sole proprietor, not outsourcing various tasks can make you less effective over time. You can delegate some work to freelance writers, designers, developers and SEO experts.

Mistake #5: Know how to write long-form content that works

Visitors don’t like reading boring and lengthy posts. They are stingy with their time and the long post can easily daunt the readers. Come up with the posts of varying length, but never compromise on the quality of the content. People will even read a 3000-word post if they find it informative, and they won’t even read 100 words if the content isn’t useful.

However, it’s important to note that longer content does rank better in Google. This means you need to find the right medium between having too little and too much content. Don’t bore your audience, but make sure there is enough there for your content to rank the best it possibly can.

Make sure you avoid these mistakes, so you can make the most of the resources without wasting any time and efforts. A lot of people run blogs, but only engaging and attractive content will keep you ahead of the game. Always remember, the more you concentrate on improving the lives of  your visitors, the more successful you will become. Have you done any mistake that you would like to share? Comment down below.

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