The unofficial guide to winning contests on IndiBlogger!
With promotional activities around the corner and some killer cash prizes on the way, I thought I should take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the nuances of IndiBlogger contests. This isn’t an official version but its one of those insights that I can give owing to my observation of contests on IndiBlogger, over the last ten years.
So lets start at the beginning,
What’s an IndiBlogger Contest?
An IndiBlogger contest is a talent hunt for Bloggers.It helps us identify extraordinary Blogs proficient in not only writing but Video making, Podcasting and also in social channels such as Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook.
Contests are usually run for period of two weeks to a month. There are both sponsored and organic contests. I will be explaining the sponsored contests in this post.
Who can take part in an IndiBlogger contest?
Some amateur bloggers say that contests only help the professionals. That’s not entirely true as you will soon read. At the end of the day, a blogs primary purpose is to be read by humans. If not, a diary would suffice. So, hop on in for a ride!
Contests are a great way to get people to read your blog, so my advice would be to try it out based on the suggestions here.
What are the main terms and conditions of any contest?
I will always suggest that you read the terms a few times before you start every contest. Some of the terms may change depending on the brand. I am going to layout a few points in no particular order so that you can get a sense of the contest environment as a whole.
Breaking down these rules can make the difference between a WIN and an honorable mention.
Most of the contests on IndiBlogger have a specific URL/link that they may want you to include in your blog post. Its a bit different depending on the platform. For example, on Youtube the link may have to be added in the description. So do look for the instructions. IndiBlogger does not ask for “Do Follow” links and that choice is totally up to you. If for some reason you miss adding the link, you are not likely to be chosen for a prize.
There are certain keywords that a brand may want you to use.There are many reasons for this, however, most businesses say that they want their “Branding” to be in line with how they communicate on other platforms. So check to see if you have followed the branding guidelines specified in the contest guidelines, in your post.
Keep things Fresh:
Write posts anew and fresh for contests. Always. Period.
Contests are meant to help you improve your writing/blogging skills and give you that extra motivation to think outside the box and come up with various ways to captivate your readers and expand your horizon. Think of contests as an industrial revolution for your blog. You can add new design changes for example, research a new video technique or maybe try out a new dictionary.
In an IndiBlogger contest, Its not just the content. Its the flair and the suave to use digital communication via whatever platform available to tell someone else’s story.
Contests on IndiBlogger are a fantastic time to increase your social presence/following on any platform. Its not just about twitter and FB anymore. You can use any platform including SnapChat etc etc to gain an advantage. Even if the brand isn’t present on those platforms, you could find readers there for your blog.
Associating with businesses via IndiBlogger can help you drive more readers to visit your blog even on the strangest of apps and platforms!
Tagging the brand with the appropriate #tag helps as well. #Tag mentions are always tracked by businesses via a myriad of tools available these days. Your name has got to be on it! so SHARE!
Tagging and sharing the contest posts regularly (In good taste, I must add) creates an undeniable “Brand recall” for your blog. Basically, people will remember you and that’s a large part of what happens on social sites like Twitter.
The woes of linguing along:
A small error in spelling may not be too much of an issue for you but for the person judging it, it could be an unforgivable sin. Many a contest entry has been snubbed due to simple language errors. Getting a friend or a family member to proof read your blog post will go a long way to helping you with your skills as well.
I also urge you to write in the language that you are most confident in. If English is not your primary suite, go for your mother tongue or that silver tongued devil, you. Any vernacular language is eligible for a prize unless stated otherwise.
Another tip is, unless you have some sort of “style”, writing “U” instead of “YOU” and “8” instead of “Ate” is usually considered lazy writing as opposed to being cool.
Votes don’t matter or do they?
IndiBlogger is a great place to promote any content. Blogger votes aren’t taken into consideration when making a decision on the winners but a good post has the potential to drive more votes on IndiBlogger and can make it to critical traffic areas such as the IndiBlogger home page.
Great posts also get selected for features on IndiBlogger, so promote your content on IndiBlogger just as regularly as you would on any social media site and get your blogging skills noticed by other enterprising bloggers. This can sometimes be way more valuable than winning the contest itself.
More votes/views on your post also lets our automated system kick in to regularly recommend these posts to other bloggers. So don’t overlook a good promotion on IndiBlogger itself.
Judge and jury:
The respective brands are usually the judge for blogging contests on IndiBlogger unless explicitly stated otherwise.
This does not mean that sucking up to a brand and saying things that are over the top about them will help you win. What really helps is how interesting the content actually is to readers. We must remember that a brand will want to share the posts with their mailing lists, database and social media and that’s their promotional motive. This effectively means that the content must be interesting for regular folk to read.
Whatever you do, be relevant to the topic because that’s the key messaging that the brand uses to connect with their audience.
One way to go about things would be to blog based on your experience of what your readers like. An IndiBlogger Contest is your moment of truth where you use all your experience to deliver a blog post that has exceeded the limits of anything else that you have ever done. Thinking above and beyond just the terms can take you a step towards winning the top prize. Some Blog posts may get a sudden burst of traffic and that’s usually because your post has been involved in a promotion of some kind by the brand and its probably gone a bit viral. The only way this can happen is if people found the content interesting and fresh. So give yourselves every opportunity to do that. Contests are meant to be creative exercises. So express yourself.
In short, the scoring of contests is based on four pillars, Quality, Effort, Relevance and Originality. Keep an eye on the “Effort” part. it’s usually what defines the best from the rest.
Earning from IndiBlogger Contests:
Most of our contests these days are either vouchers or cold hard cash. So having a strategy for contests is a great way to make a living as well. We have at times given away cars and bikes as well, So these things depend on the novelty and the excitement that a brand wants to bring to the IndiBlogger community. Try and participate in as many contests to improve your skill and when a BIG one comes along, you are ready, your blog is ready and both raring to go.
Remember, your real winnings are more readers.
Below is an example of prizes that in an IndiBlogger Contest.
The world is looking for a reason to read your blog. These co-Branding sort of exercises on your blog with IndiBlogger can help you drive various audience to your blog in a very similar process to how every brand drives their visitors and business with every TVC or engagement that they involve in.
An Extra Tip:
Keep these sharing associations with the brand going on even after the contest is over.
I have noticed some bloggers just shut off completely once the announced results are not in their favor. Its a bad move if you ask me, considering most companies release products every six months or so, its always a good idea to be consistent. Its the”Brand Recall” that comes into play again. When you create a brand for yourself, you open the world to some very lucrative opportunities including getting noticed for your skills and even something as life changing like an investment opportunity. So talk about the commercial engagements of your blog with great pride and as often as you can.
Always write something for a contest that you will be proud of sharing forever. That way you don’t have to delete a post out of embarrassment (It Happens!). Instead, let your journey take its own unique creative path and be as wonderful and unique as you are.
Why do Brands Choose IndiBlogger?
Apart from the fact that we have executed hundreds of contests across multiple platforms since 2007, businesses do trust content out of IndiBlogger because of its spam free environment and the fact that they can run an open campaign on the complete platform in a way that’s tasteful. IndiBlogger contests are known to double or triple site traffic in a very short time (Conditions Apply!). Its an amazing experience for any brand because its marketing content is created by other people.
Its no longer a brand beating its own drum to rake in their business, its the creativity of the country as a whole, working together on a singular messaging via different paths.
FYI : You may have been asked to add a code to trace statistics on your blog post. It is NOT MANDATORY. Don’t worry if you haven’t installed it, but if you have, then in a few months you could have some fancy data blinking on your brand new IndiBlogger dashboard.
Talk to us:
If you have something to say or if you have been a participant, winner or someone interested in IndiBlogger contests, do share what you think in the comments.
Help us make our contests better:
Do contact us , If you have a suggestion 🙂