Creating a profitable business plan means a lot of work. You can save it by reading this post where you will find a detailed plan how to launch your own profitable project – a contests blog. Even if you want to create another type of blog, this article will serve you as an inspiration.
What will you learn here?
- What is a contests blog for?
- How to monetize your contests blog
- More traffic = more money for you. How to achieve it?
- Strategy to increase traffic: Turn Twitter users into visitors of your blog
- Strategy to increase traffic: Find your target audience on Facebook
- Strategy to increase traffic: Run your own contest
- Strategy to increase traffic: Participate in discussion forums
- Strategy to increase traffic: Content marketing
- Newsletter – the magic wand to make your visitors come back
- Why you should consider creating a discussion forum
- Where you can find contests to publish on your blog
- Errors to avoid
What is a contests blog for?
You would be surprised how many people participate in online contests. Creating a blog with links to the most interesting contests you will do them a great favor. You will save them time – instead of searching for new contests they will find them all in the same place – in your blog.
While some people prefer to win cash, others like to participate in creative contests and some want to win luxury vacations. Therefore, it makes sense to create a specialized blog and focus on a single type of contests. This way, your visitors will have a common interest (for example traveling), which will increase the value of the advertising space of your blog.
A travel agency will surely pay more for banners displayed on a blog visited by people who like to travel than for banners shown on a website whose visitors have no common interest.
How to monetize your contests blog
One of the reasons why I think creating a contests blog is a project with great potential is that you can choose from a lot of ways to monetize it. In addition to traditional ones such as banners or text ads there is a very special one that deserves your attention – CPL (Cost Per Lead) programs.
Monetization of your contests blog: CPL programs
Imagine being paid from tens of cents to a few dollars for each person who participates in a contest posted on your blog. With only a couple of daily participants you could earn a fair amount of extra money. Dozens of participants daily would translate into average salary and the possibility of living completely from your blog.
This is exactly what CPL programs offer you.
CPL programs are somewhat like affiliate programs. But to earn commission, it is not necessary that your visitors buy something. They just have to do an action called lead, for example, subscribe to a newsletter or participate in a contest.
Where can you find these programs?
Here are links to some affiliate networks that, besides offering other CPL programs, will pay you for each participant in contests organized by their advertisers.
Monetization of your contests blog: Affiliate programs
Before posting a new contest on your blog, check if its organizer has an affiliate program. In the following example I will explain how to use these programs to earn good money.
Let’s say you have a blog specializing in contests offering mobiles as prizes. Then you should find an online mobile store that has an affiliate program. Sign up for the program and use the affiliate link to link the contest. Why?
Only a small percentage of your visitors will win the prize. The others, sooner or later, will need a new mobile. And as you can imagine, some of them will buy it in that store. As they will click on your affiliate link to enter the contest, the system will save a cookie on their computers. Thanks to these cookies, the scripts on the websites of the contest organizers will be able to identify all the future clients who have come from your blog (it does not matter if they make the purchase immediately, in a couple of days, weeks or months). You will get a commission for each sale.
Monetization of your contests blog: Other leads
It is a strategy that combines the two previous forms of monetization.
There are CPL programs that pay for other actions, called leads, made by users who come from your blog, such as creating a free account, subscribing to a newsletter, installing a program or a smartphone application.
How to start this way of monetization? Look for companies that organize an online contest and, at the same time, offer a CPL program. Use the affiliate link to direct your visitors to the contest page. Some of them will do the necessary action to get you paid (the lead).
You can find the companies offering CPL programs in the same affiliate networks that we have already talked about in this post.
Monetization of your contests blog: Charge advertisers for highlighting their contests
Some time ago I was subscribed to a newsletter of an online contests website. The owner of the website charged the advertisers for putting their contests as first.
I remember that I visited his page with the offers for advertisers to see the price and it was not cheap at all. I am no longer sure of the exact price, but I remember that it was a few hundreds of dollars. And do you know what was the most interesting thing? In each of the weekly newsletters was mentioned a sponsored contest, therefore I suppose that someone had always bought this advertising space.
Also, there is no reason for you to limit yourself to selling just one ad slot in the newsletter. You can charge to highlight the contests in your blog, to promote them in the sidebar, etc.
More traffic = more money for you. How to achieve it?
If you have not already done so, consider enrolling in the MoneyToplist Academy, my free course by email, where you will learn a lot of strategies to increase traffic to your blog.
Anyway, for an online contests blog I recommend you pay special attention to the following tactics.
Strategy to increase traffic: Turn Twitter users into visitors of your blog
People looking for entertainment on social networks… Can you imagine a better opportunity to attract new visitors? You probably know from your own experience that in these moments we are quite willing to devote a little of our time (some of us more than a little 🙂 ) to various types of entertainment.
Twitter is one of the social networks that offers you the possibility to take advantage of this behavior. So let’s take a look at the strategies you can use to increase traffic to your online contests blog.
Follow users who have participated in some contest
If someone has ever participated in a contest, he is likely to be interested in your blog. Whenever you follow a person, Twitter will notify him. People are usually curious, therefore, many will visit your profile where they will find links to your blog.
In addition, some of them will also follow you. All your tweets will be shown to your followers, so whenever you share a new contest, they will see it.
I guess now you are wondering how to find users who have participated in a contest. Simply use the Twitter search to find tweets that include words like online contest or contest win.
You can also look for contests that require a tweet with a given hashtag to enter. So search for this hashtag on Twitter and you will find all the participants.
Follow the followers of your competitors
If someone follows an online contests website of your competitor, it is probable he wants to participate regularly in them. As you can imagine, these are the people who will probably like your blog too.
Thus, follow them and you will increase traffic to your blog as I explained above.
Connect with your followers
The power of Twitter lies not just in following and being followed. On the contrary, getting followers is just the beginning of a path paved with great opportunities.
One of them is to relate to your followers. There are innumerable ways you can help each other. For example:
- You will tweet the contents of others and they will do the same with yours. Thus the links to your blog will reach several times more people.
- In the same way you can retweet the tweets of each other.
- You can together increase the number of your followers. You will simply recommend to your followers a couple of accounts to follow and others will recommend to their followers yours.
A more detailed explanation of the potential of Twitter you can find in the article Twitter strategies you (probably) didn’t know about.
Strategy to increase traffic: Find your target audience on Facebook
In Facebook there are many groups in which you will find online contests fans. Many people participate in them to exchange likes (there are contests in which wins the photograph with the most likes) or to share links to new contests.
Participate in these groups and from time to time share a link to the post on your blog where can be found links to contests that you think might interest the members of the group. Do not forget that these people seek exactly what you offer on your blog. So if you do it well, you will see very good results.
In addition to participating in groups, you can also create your own. This way you will have control over the published content and, above all, you will be able to pin a post promoting your blog to the top of the group’s timeline. Imagine how many people will see it and visit your blog.
Other strategies that I recommend you try are to create a Facebook page or use Facebook ads to get subscribers. You can find out how to master the tactics mentioned in this paragraph in the article Increase the revenue of your blog with Facebook.
Strategy to increase traffic: Run your own contest
You know how many people are seeking contests in social networks. Others visit websites like your blog to find them. It would be great to have a link to your blog in all these places, right?
If you create your own contest, you can get it.
To avoid having to pay for the prize, collaborate with some company. They will give you the prize, you will help them promote their product.
Strategy to increase traffic: Participate in discussion forums
There are forums dedicated to online contests. You can use them in the same way as Facebook groups. In addition, consider using the following tactics:
- Some forums allow you to create a signature. This is a text that is displayed below all your posts. Take advantage of it to create a concise advertisement with a link to your blog.
- Use the same username as your blog domain name. The username appears next to all your posts. This way many people will see the URL of your blog.
- Many forums have an ads section. It is a place where you can mention your blog without looking like a spammer.
Learn more about the forum marketing here.
Strategy to increase traffic: Content marketing
People often link to quality content from their websites and share it on social networks. These links will help you increase traffic to your blog and, in some cases, will have a positive impact on its position in search engines like Google.
To benefit from this type of marketing, consider creating content such as:
- Guides such as how to increase the likelihood of the winnings.
- Tips to save time when filling out forms required to enter the contests. For example, using Roboform to fill in the name and contact details with one click.
- Tips for protecting personal data. For example, creating a new email for entering the contests.
- Create a discussion forum. In this way, the users themselves will write the contents in the form of questions and answers.
Newsletter – the magic wand to make your visitors come back
How do they do that? They offer their visitors the possibility of subscribing to the newsletter. So they can contact them in the future to invite them to read their latest posts. In your case, the list of subscribers will serve to inform them about new contests that you will publish.
How you can get the subscribers
You have to give your visitors a good reason to subscribe. While most bloggers offer things like a free ebook in exchange for the subscription, you have it much easier. You do not have to write any ebook or do anything like that. You already have what your visitors want most – information about the contests.
Basically, you have two options how to motivate the users to subscribe:
- Offer them free info by email on new contests. You will publish all the links to the contests on your blog and send your subscribers a newsletter inviting them to visit the blog.
- Use a plugin that hides a portion of your blog content so that users who want see all the content will have to subscribe to your newsletter.
If you opt for the second option, I recommend hiding only part of the content. The visible content will make the users want to see more, therefore, it will motivate them to give you their emails.
Get subscribers with Facebook ads
Facebook knows a lot about its users. Their interests (what do you think the like button is for?), age, where are they from …
With Facebook ads you can direct your message to people who like to participate in the contests. In other words, it is a very effective way to find your target audience and turn it into subscribers.
If you are new to the email marketing, I bet you are thinking about sending the newsletters the same way you send the “normal” emails. If you do that, your messages will, sooner or later, end up in the spam folder.
To avoid this problem there are email marketing services. Because millions of emails are sent each day through their servers, they have agreements with email providers like Gmail or Hotmail. They also provide statistics.
These are, in my opinion, email marketing services with a good relationship between quality and price:
- Mailrelay: It is the provider that I use to send the contents to my students of the MoneyToplist Academy. What do they offer? Up to 15,000 subscribers for free (there are no tricks or small print) and autoresponders included in the free account. For those with more than 15,000 subscribers they have plans with very competitive prices.
- GetResponse: An alternative with reasonable prices.
- Aweber: Another of the largest providers.
Of course, you can send the same messages to all your subscribers. But if you find out what exactly they expect from you, you will earn a lot more money.
With an email marketing service you can create a subscription form in which users will indicate what types of contests they are interested in. Thanks to this information it will be easy to send with a few clicks invitations to participate in competitions of certain type to groups of subscribers with the same interest.
You can discover how to take advantage of the email marketing in the article How to use email marketing to grow your blog.
Why you should consider creating a discussion forum
- Using a WordPress plugin.
- Installing a traditional forum such as phpBB or SMF (or if you use MarbleHost as your web hosting provider, there is nothing easier than using the automatic script installer).
What will it serve you for?
- You will get feedback from your visitors. Do you know which contests they like, which not, what they lack, if they understand the navigation well, if they found some errors…? Unless you know how to read the mind, the discussion forum is one of the best ways to get to know your target audience.
- The forum can be part of your content marketing strategy. Users will write texts that others will be able to find on Google. This will increase traffic to your blog.
- It may be that users mention some contests that you did not know about. This way you will get content to publish in your blog and the newsletter.
Where you can find contests to publish on your blog
So where should you look?
- Search Google for words like contest + contest type + country. For example: contest iPhone Spain.
- Social networking is another good option. Watch groups specializing in contests, use the internal search or follow the users who regularly share many contests.
- From time to time take a look at the websites of your competitors.
- Some companies organize competitions regularly. Whenever you find one of them, add the URL to favorites. This way you can then quickly check for new contests.
- There are tools like Gleam where businesses can create a contest and publish it on their websites or on social networks. And there are also pages that publish all the contests created through these platforms. There you can find the ones that fit well in your blog.
As soon as you get good traffic, try to motivate your visitors to send you new contests through a contact form. This will save you a lot of work. The contact form can be created by installing a plugin like Contact form 7.
Errors to avoid
Error #1: Deleting expired contests
Instead of deleting them, move them to a special category. You can name it, for example, archive, expired contests, etc. Why?
It may be that posts with expired contests rank well in search engines. It would be a shame to get rid of this free traffic, do not you think?
Just make sure you have created a clear message to help your visitors to understand how to access the current contests.
Error #2: Not focusing on a particular country
You may be tempted to publish contests organized by companies from around the world. I understand you.
However, maintaining a database of current competitions in several countries is quite laborious. Keep in mind that you will need to dedicate your time not only to content creation, but also to promotion.
In addition, if you want to monetize your blog with CPL programs, focusing on one country you do not need to sign up for so many affiliate networks.