How To Run a Contest On Your Blog

Refracted Moments

One of the best things you can do to drive traffic to your blog is to run a contest. I recently came across a blog doing just that with some awesome prizes. Visit the site and enter the contest here.

How Does A Contest Get Me Traffic?

Well, don’t you like to win stuff? Of course you do. Everyone does. If people find out that you’re giving away random crap on your blog, they will be all over it. It’s even more attractive when they don’t have to deviate from their normal routine.

Viral Marketing

There is also a viral aspect to running a contest. You basically set up a points system where the contestants earn points for doing things to help your blog. A few examples of what may earn them points:

  • Subscribing to your blog
  • Adding to Technorati Favorites
  • Linking back to your blog
  • Add to MyBlogLog / BlogCatalog

You engineer the contest so that the participants are promoting for you in order to win. They subscribe, favorite and link your blog. In doing so, they have just alerted everyone they know that your blog has something going on. Viral stuff is awesome.

Where Do The Prizes Come From?

More than likely, this is going to require you to get together with all those awesome people you’ve met in the course of providing valuable content and input in your niche. All those people that you have had interesting and thought-provoking discussions with using various social media tools. Most people refer to this cooperation as a Joint Venture.

For example, the blog contest in question here offers premium WordPress Themes, unique visitor traffic, and an E-Book (just to name a few). Obviously, the prizes were not all created by the blogger running the contest. In providing the prizes for the contest, the others involved are getting some advertising and traffic as well.

Go Sign Up Now!

In conclusion (that sounds so corny), run off to TechSuave and get in on this contest. pay attention to what prizes are offered and what you have to do to win them. Try to think of what you could offer if you ran your own contest. Also, think about the best things to incorporate into the contest rules in order for you to get the greatest benefit.

Are you an Aspiring Blogger? – Win Prizes worth $1000 and more

Zemanta Pixie

Zemanta Made My Blog Fun Again…Kinda

Blog better using Zemanta

Image by chucks via Flickr

Zemanta is a plugin for Firefox (also for Flock) which suggests images and links to articles that you may wish to insert into your post. It has support for,,, and self-hosted WordPress installs v2.0 and up. The concept is awesome because this would make it much easier to provide more valuable content to your readers.

What’s Good?

As soon as you begin writing, Zemanta runs off and grabs items it thinks you may want to insert. These include: context links, images, tags, and links to other articles. All you have to do is click what you want from your sidebar and it’s automagically plopped into your content. All the content suggested is checked to make sure you don’t violate any copyrights.

I can’t stand filling in Tags for my blog posts. I always feel like I’m doing it wrong. But, as Jeff points out in a recent post, you should always tag your posts. Zemanta handles this for me, so I don’t have to think about it anymore. This is a huge plus if you are thinking about SEO.

Also, you can simply highlight a word (SEO above, for instance) and click the suggested link in Zemanta, and it makes the link for you. Pie and Cake.

What Kinda Sucks?

Zemanta uses a proprietary algorithm to figure out what you want. They do index your posts in order to improve their engine, but they say they won’t share with anyone outside the team. I could care less since I’m posting to a public blog.

Whenever you insert an image from the Gallery, you will be linking back to the source of the image (I’ve no clue who this “chucks” guy is, but I appreciate his photo). This could possibly be a concern for those who are trying to avoid sending user’s elsewhere. It could also affect your PR depending on who you ask.

Also, I’m not sure how many bloggers just randomly link to other blogs, so I’m not sure how useful this Articles feature is. I guess it all depends on how free you are with your link love.

There will also be links to Zemanta on items you insert, but you are free to remove them according to the Zemanta home page.

A lot of shady spammers may try and use Zemanta for evil. Don’t let this be you. Write original content and use Zemanta to take it up a notch.

Moral Of The Story?

Zemanta will allow you to easily take your posts to the next level by providing your readers with relevant images and links at the click of a button. Unless you enjoy hunting for these things on your own, you should definitely give it a shot.

WordPress 2.5.1 Migration and Redirect

So, I decided to go ahead and upgrade WordPress since I was tired of seeing the damned reminder in the admin area. In the process, I figured I might as well move WP to my top-level (if you recall, it was stored at /blog) and slap on a snazzy theme.

Still working on the “snazzy theme” part. I looked for hours while watching TV and just couldn’t find anything I liked all that much, so I just picked one.

Of course, now we are left with the problem of redirecting from /blog back to the root directory. A quick search on Google turned up this site, which gives you the code to do a proper permanent redirect with HTTP 301 in various languages. This will make sure that Google knows I moved and I don’t lose any Rank (as if I had any to begin with).

If you know where I can find a good theme site and not one that just recycles what’s already out there, let me know.

Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less?

WebProNews has an interesting article about getting your blog ranked. They tell you to forget about PageRank. Hey….I’m down with that.

“Blogs have been around long enough to become standard elements of the web landscape. They’re easy to construct and manage, they create fresh, user-generated content and, if well-executed, blogs draw crowds and the attention of search engines.

Whether starting out with a new domain name, or a domain that’s been around for a decade, you can rank your blog on Google if you just do what Google wants you to do. So here are 25/50 tips to get your blog ranked by the world’s biggest SE.”

Read the full article here.