What are some creative ways I can allow people to "enter" a giveaway contest via a blog's comments?
March 7, 2010 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning on giving away a used Nintendo DS (plus 6 games) via my blog. I'd like to make it easy for anyone to "enter" the contest via the comments section, but want to also require some quirky, low-work task in order for people to be eligible.

As background, I'm currently in the process of packing up for a move. On finding things I'm thinking about selling on Craigslist, I decided it might be more fun to give away items via my blog. I've done a previous giveaway asking folks to write a haiku, which was quite fun... but I'd rather not repeat that requirement again.

Given what I perceive the worth of the prize to be ($100-ish), I think it's acceptable for me to ask a bit more. I was thinking of asking folks to send photos of themselves with my blog on their monitor, but that seemed a little... lame. I like the idea of photos, but maybe that's too much of a barrier to entry?

My goals for this contest are to potentially help generate some more traffic on my site, and to also have a bit of fun with the giveaway. Haven't finalized my rules yet, but the plan is to run the contest M-F, and to pick a winner at random. I'm thinking one entry per person/email is safest.

I'd love to hear any ideas on what I might "require" for eligibility here. I don't anticipate having any future items to give away that would be at this $100 range, so I feel like this might be a rare chance to ask for something more than just a "comment," so to speak.
posted by avoision to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
have them create a masthead, banner, logo or some other graphic feature of the site. make it due at the end of the month or something in order to give them some time.
posted by rhizome at 10:35 AM on March 7, 2010

Best answer: If you want people to do something creative in order to be entered for the drawing, then it'd also be nice if there were a way to reward their creativity. So, if the DS is given away at random, but there's maybe some back-up prize for the best-done whatever-it-is, that might get people excited to try something fun. It wouldn't have to be anything big. Just something that would lead people to feel like going out of their way to be creative is worth it.

So far as ideas go... Requiring a picture is really not that big a barrier to entry, so long as people feel like it's a fun picture to take. Maybe you could ask them to send in a picture which expresses the pointed lack of a Nintendo DS in their lives? Or maybe a picture which, in some clever way, references your blog (with points for subtlety or unusual circumstances, or something)? If they didn't feel like doing anything creative, they could just take a picture of themselves sitting at their computers, and that'd make them eligible for the DS, but then people could also get inspired to do something fun.
posted by Ms. Saint at 10:52 AM on March 7, 2010

Record themselves singing a song about your blog on youtube, and embedding it. P.S. how do I get notified when the contest starts?
posted by craniac at 11:17 AM on March 7, 2010

Ms. Saint is on the right track. If you want to get a lot of fun creative entries, reward based on merit, not randomness. With a pretty decent prize and no incentive for quality, you'll get a lot of drive-bys submitting the bare minimum in a bid to win, diluting the caliber of entries and reducing the odds that one of your regulars will get picked. If, on the other hand, the best entry gets the prize, that will tighten up the pool and ensure everyone is striving to be the *best* in the contest, not just to be *in* the contest.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:02 PM on March 7, 2010

Mod note: removed the link, put it in your profile if you want people to check it out
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:16 PM on March 7, 2010

How about pictures taken of them doing the things that they have the time to do since they don't have a DS taking up a lot of their free time?
posted by Admira at 12:54 PM on March 7, 2010

Ask them to create something artistic - a poem, a drawing, a photograph, a song - that encapsulates either why they want the DS or something more tounge-in-cheek like how the DS will make them a better person.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:28 PM on March 7, 2010

Response by poster: Doh! My bad, jessamyn.
posted by avoision at 2:30 PM on March 7, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I was a bit hesitant to go with a second prize, but in thinking more and longer about it... I liked what Ms. Saint has suggested. So I'm adding in another prize for my "favorite" submission, which will be in the form of a book (Joystick Nation).

I've decided to go with the photo submission route, and asking folks to be in the photo... and to have the phrase "Hi Felix!" appear in the photo as well. We'll see what happens - should be fun.

Thanks all, for the ideas and feedback. If you're interested, the contest is on my blog (which you can find via my profile). And by all means, submit a photo if you're so inclined!
posted by avoision at 7:34 AM on March 8, 2010

Too late - but if you do it again, a great way to get more traffic and entries is to have people Twitter about the contest and then leave a comment on your blog saying that they have done it.

They reach all their followers with a message you control, and you probably get at least a few more people clicking through the contest (and maybe hanging around).
posted by finitejest at 10:01 AM on March 8, 2010

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