Today I found out I won the gift of inner peace, a prize in ProBlogger's $54,000 Birthday Bash. Contributed by Dr. Joseph Bernard, who blogs at Explore Life Blog, I'll be treated to a complimentary consultation and a t-shirt.
Hosting a contest like this one raises your awareness, connects you with other bloggers and yes, drives traffic.
What did I have to do to win this prize? I left a simple comment: "Thanks for the opportunity to improve my business life."
To set up a contest like this one, shout out a call for prizes, sit back and collect them and then come up with ways to award them. You'll get exposure and great karma.
On the flip side, look for contests to donate to and come up with a standard prize like a recording or an ebook. Giving away time is more valuable, if you have it to give.
Set up a fixed prize page to send to every contest. Personalize the page for each contest to welcome readers. Consider how you want to be positioned and what you want to be known for.
Contribute fresh stuff and save the aged content for auto-responders or giveaways to your list.
If you'd like to host a contest, make up a reason to celebrate: birthday, anniversary, in honor of. Link to the contributors and ask that they link back to you.
Contact your winners right away with how-to collect information - ask for that upfront. And, publicize winners on your blog.
Who knows? Maybe you'll meet a new business partner or a fabulous client.
Photo Credit: Barbara Rozgonyi, copyright 2005