7 Easy Ways to Win a Blog Contest


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Max Pool is a software engineer and blogger currently in the race to become the big winner of Shoemoney’s Shoeperstar contest. You can help him by voting here.

Whether as a promotional tactic or just to have fun, many blogs today are running contests which reward their readers. Many people think that it is impossible to win these contests, but let me assure you that it is much easier than one would ever expect. Don’t get me wrong, winning does take a little work as gifts will not rain from the sky by simply reading this post; however, with a little effort and ingenuity you can become a shoe-in on the next contest.

1. Participate

Telling people that they need to participate is so basic that it actually needs to be repeated. If you do not put yourself out there, you will never be rewarded. When Problogger holds a contest hundreds of people participate, but I am continually amazed how little people participate in contests that occur on small and mid-sized blogs. For example, on one of my blogs I am currently holding a small contest for $1200 worth of software. How many contestants? Currently 6. How many participants are in the Shoeperstar contest? According to Jeremy – 20, and that’s on a blog with 15,000 readers. The odds are with you…

2. Size up the competition

Don’t be in a rush to submit your entry. Rushing in with the first contest submission is the equivalent of being the student that finishes their test before everyone else. There is no benefit besides bragging rights Take the time to size up your competition. Watch how much effort they are putting forth so that you can better understand where the bar is set.

3. Show proof that you belong

When constructing your submission, ensure that you prove to your judge(s) that you belong to that blog’s niche. For example, in this contest I proved that I belong within the internet marketing niche by showing off minor SEO skills. Fifteen minutes of inbound link building gave the judges social proof (via Google SERPs) that I can practice what I preach.

4. Over deliver

After sizing up the competition, blow them out of the water by over delivering. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use video or audio
  • Build a brand new blog just for the competition (for example, I created shoeperstarwinner.com)
  • Show off a little (association to famous people, talents, or humor)
  • Be memorable

5. Leverage your assets

Compiling a list of all your assets can be a very valuable activity (regardless if you are in a contest or not). Determine both online and off-line assets that are at your disposal. This is particularly important if the results of the contest are up to general public voting. For example, can you get your blog readers to take action? Does a forum group owe you a favor? Here are a few assets that you might have laying around and not know:

  • Blogging communities (whether owned by you or not)
  • Forums you participate in
  • Friends, family, and co-workers
  • Anyone that owes you links or social bookmarks

6. Promote yourself

Although self promotion seems shameless at times, the truth is nobody will know (or care) about you unless you inform them of what you are attempting to accomplish. Creating a connection with the people that will ultimately judge or support you is essential (this goes for blogging or life in general too). Some ideas include:

  • Stay an active commenter on the blog hosting the contest.
  • Leverage social media such as Digg, StumbleUpun, or Reddit
  • Write a guest post on another blog to help you get exposure

7. Be a gracious winner (or loser)

Whether you win or lose, it’s how you played the game. Did you win by dirty means? Were you a sore loser? In either situation, how you present yourself after the contest may directly impact your chances of winning the next one. People don’t forget when someone misbehaves and the internet is a much smaller place than one thinks. When the next blogging contest presents itself, remember to not just throw your hat in the ring – make some noise and have fun doing it. Good luck!

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27 Responses to “7 Easy Ways to Win a Blog Contest”

  • jetro

    I jsut join a blog contest in Nigeria. Your post have been very helping. Passion is also necessary. If you blog about what you have passion in, it will reflect in yourr blog.

  • Kenneth

    Hello, What enticed you to post this article. It was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for info on this subject last Thursday.

  • Turnkey Websites

    can anyone over here let us know where does thiese contests are held ?

    by the way the tips are good but need to find the place where it is held.

  • Max the Micro Niche Finder

    Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I’m new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! 🙂

  • Tracey

    Good advice. I hold blog contests for Likeit-Winit. No winners yet though.

  • sleeping disorders

    very interesting stuff, thanks for sharing.

  • sdfd

    very good arcticle , very useful tips
    thx very much!

  • rick

    Every contest is different, based on the people frequenting your site at the time of the contest. Last month I held a top comments contest in which the winner submitted close to 600 comments…for the $25 prize..Overall, I had around 15 people participate. This month the prizes are much larger, and the requirements are a bit different…Still like having one prize tied to top commenter…The awe and shock of what some visitors will do for a prize is amazing…Nice post.

  • fan

    thx for your good suggestions
    they are very useful!

  • FT Lauderdale Real Estate

    I am just starting to get into the huge world of blogging, this information is helpful for me!

  • Marcos Boyington

    Another great contest currently going on (Not as much $$ in prizes, but it’s cash, not software!)

  • rake

    The blog contest sounds fun! Maybe i should take a part for the contest! thanks for your sharing anyway, i like your post!

  • space code

    I’ve never joined blog contests because I thought that there are so many other ppl that join. Your post really opened up my eyes. Time to try out all those contests

  • Georgex

    yea seeing the odds are winning is quite big so little contestant but to stand out from them needs to be memorable. guess over doing it n make it memorable will increase the odds of winning it. guess is time to join more blog contest eh ^^
    let me help size up the pool alittle

    great post mate

  • Fight Videos

    Thanks for the tips. I love to join any blog contests. So far I have seen some blog offering flowers gift vouchers as the prize, others, they offer a banner of ad to advertise the winning blog. It’s cool.

  • mac

    I must say that at first i thought it is impossible to win any contest at any blogs, but some of my friends did win it and already receive their prize. Some gets a credit from entrecard and some get a nice computer hardware. The tips above is going to help winning a contest, i have seen it done.

  • amelia

    sounds very valuable ,thumps up to this article:)

  • pet health care tips

    very nice post.

    Go ahead.

  • Erica DeWolf

    I think the most relevant point you made is that not a lot of people participate, especially when you think about how many daily readers visit the site.

    After reading this post I’ve vowed to pay a little more attention to blog contests. Not only will it be great exposure, but I might win some pretty cool stuff, as well. Thanks!

  • C Duran

    This is a great article. I’m somewhat of a sweepstakes/contest junky. I’ll definitely be searching out more blog contests in the future!

  • Chad

    I have yet to win a contest, but I think I will have a better chance armed with this information

  • Carol


    I must have been sleeping… I didn’t realize that you are running another contest. Do you have a link?? and a list to your other blogs?


  • domin mercier

    my contest is easy to win! participate all 🙂


  • UltraRob

    I think I was too close to Christmas and everybody was too busy but I had 2 people enter for a $50 gift certificate. IThe way to enter was to tell me in a comment how to improve my cycling and outdoor gear search site. There’s plenty of things that need improving so it wouldn’t have taken long to come up with something.

    I was also busy with Christmas so didn’t to a great job of promoting. Has it gotten to the point that people don’t care about $50.

  • Blog Contest Central

    This is one post that is so suitable to be on my blog. Let me know if you have another post of this nature. Ill set up a guest post slot for it.

  • Jacob Cass

    That is so true about number 2. Size up the competition – At the moment in this $5000 contest that I am holding, there is over 20 sponsors with so many prizes however so far I have only received 4 entries! Imagine that, just the sponsors go into the draw! Thanks for a good article Max Pool, I voted for you in the comp (your winning so far).

  • Wayne Liew

    Over-delivering can be a great way to win contests as I doubt contest master that actually states that lucky draws will be the method to pick for the winners will actually do so.

    They know in their subconscious mind that if someone influential and with a good blog wins, an announcement on the blog about the contest will reap him much more benefits.

    Anyway, this don’t apply to every contest master though. :mrgreen:

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