Blog Giveaways: How They Work, Why You Should Enter, And How to Win

Blog Giveaways: How They Work, Why You Should Enter, And How to Win

Anyone who reads this blog can tell right away that I’m an avid sweeper. What started as a fun little hobby has turned into so much more and changed my life in many ways. Never in a million years did I dream that I’d win $10,000, or receive such a steady stream of amazing prizes. Although I enter all sorts of giveaways, my main passion is for blog giveaways. This is because they have the best odds, they are easy to win consistently, they offer great prizes, and they’re FUN!

New Computer That I Won From Mamanista

This is a picture of one of my best blog wins: A brand new computer worth $1200 that arrived in May 2011. I won this through the Bag-It-Forward giveaway on Mamanista that I blogged about in back in September (See, it pays to enter giveaways that you see listed here on Contest Corner!). Blog giveaways have saved me big money by providing me with prizes I really need.

Now, if you’re a casual sweeper – or if you’ve never really entered giveaways before – you might just shrug and say, “Well, you’re just lucky. It’s not like that for most people.” But that simply isn’t true. Anyone can learn how to benefit from blog giveaways, increase their odds of winning, and employ strategies to maximize their efforts. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sit around all day entering in order to win; sweeping doesn’t have to take up much time at all. So to help my readers win more, I decided to write an ongoing series of articles explaining the ins and outs of blog giveaways, so that you can learn what I’ve had success with and start improving your own luck!

To start off, I thought it would be helpful to explain what exactly blog giveaways are, so that you can understand how and why they work, and why I think they’re such a great place to focus your sweeping.


What Are Blog Giveaways?

Contests and sweepstakes are a great promotional tool for companies, which is why they’ve remained so popular through the years. It’s a great way to spread the word about your product, get potential customers to interact with you, and often provides an incentive for them to sign up for a mailing list. Blog giveaways are just an extension of that idea played out in new media – advertising on blogs is a cost-effective way for corporations to reach a large audience, so it’s become a popular strategy for promoting brands through social media.


How Does it Work?

PR agencies working on behalf of companies will approach a blogger and ask if they are interested in hosting a giveaway for their new product or service. The blogger then puts up a special post about this promotion, generally asking readers to enter by leaving a comment on that blog post. At the end of the giveaway, the blogger draws a winner and provides their mailing address to the company for shipment of the prize.


What’s in it For The Companies?

Hosting a nationally promoted sweepstakes requires a big budget, so blog giveaways hold a lot of appeal as a very affordable form of promotion. Usually, the only expense that goes into a blog giveaways is providing one or two products as a prize, shipping costs, and the time spent by the PR representative in coordinating it. Compare that to the cost of a traditional sweepstakes – which often involves costly TV and print media advertising – and it quickly becomes apparent why companies are choosing to promote their products in this new medium.


What’s in it For Bloggers?

Why would a blogger take the time to host a giveaway? Plenty of reasons. Most of the time, companies send out a product to the blogger, either for review purposes or just to thank them for participating. For example, receiving a Tassimo coffeemaker in exchange for writing a post is a much more cost effective use of my time than it would be to earn the money to purchase that item. Sometimes, bloggers will also work with companies to provide promotional packages – so a giveaway might be a part of a larger compensated advertising campaign.

Occasionally, bloggers will offer a giveaway post that they receive no product or compensation for. Giveaways are fun for readers and generate traffic, which is why some bloggers may choose to put time into an uncompensated giveaway post.


Win-Win

Blog giveaways are a win-win situation for everyone. The company receives exposure for their product, the blogger receives a product and/or exposure that they want, and the reader has an opportunity to win a great prize.


But Can You Trust a Blog Giveaway?

Many people are suspicious of contests in general – “No one ever wins them!” – and blog giveaways naturally draw a larger amount of suspicion, since they are hosted by everyday people. As with any sweepstakes or promotion, there is a chance that something could go wrong. However, it reflects poorly on both the company and/or the blogger if a prize is not delivered, so they have every motivation to follow through. Many bloggers consider their website a part-time job, and are as professional and timely as any other small business owner. I have been entering and winning blog giveaways since 2008, and I can tell you first hand that it has been very well worth it. Yes, there have been rare occasions when prizes have not arrived. But this is far outweighed by the fabulous prizes that have arrived – In addition to the $1200 computer, I’ve won other electronics, multiple $100 gift cards, prescription eyeglasses, and tons of other wonderful, useful things.


Is it Fair?

So how exactly do bloggers choose a winner for their giveaways? Most bloggers have a number assigned to each comment, and draw a winning number via a randomized service, such as Random.org. Occasionally, a blogger may opt to use a form instead, and tally up entries via a service like Google Spreadsheets. Another method which is gaining popularity is Rafflecopter, a special embeddable widget that gathers and tallies entries.


Fantastic Odds

Blog giveaways have the best odds out of almost any other type of sweepstakes, which is the #1 reason why I enter them more than any other kind of contest. This is an important topic, so I’m going to be devoting a separate article to the odds of blog giveaways next week in order to discuss it in-depth.

Do you have any questions about how blog giveaways work? Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in a future article? Let me know in the comments!

This entry was posted in Articles by Beeb. Bookmark the permalink.

About Beeb

My name is Beeb Ashcroft, and I'm a longtime journalist, "Sweeper", and British expat living on the Oregon coast with my fiancé, Jai. Join me as I share my adventures winning big, interviewing celebrities, entertaining my wonderful family and friends, and living a fashionably frugal lifestyle.

34 thoughts on “Blog Giveaways: How They Work, Why You Should Enter, And How to Win

  1. This is awesome! I have had many ask me how to enter blog giveaways and have thought about adding a page on my blog and your post makes me want to do that even more. THANKS!

  2. Great post with a ton og great information. We run alot of giveaways and maybe Melinda and I should put a post like this together so people understand better how giveaways work.

    Maybe you could guest post something like this on our site. HINT HINT :-)

  3. This is a wonderful article and you have covered everything! I agree that blog contests have the best odds, I’ve won some fun things as well and need to get back into entering!

  4. Occasionally I will mention winning something and a friend will start hyperventilating wanting to get in on the action. Typically the most excited are the least familiar with computers. There is too much that is unknown and they have loads of phonecalls and questions and not enough background to retain the answers so they know what to do next time. It would be wonderful to send newbies to a thread designed to get them started which they can refer back to.

    Great job and thanks!

  5. Ooooo – great win with the computer. My best wins so far have been an iPod Touch and SodaStream. I am so addicted to it. I win a lot of giveaways – mostly food because I love trying out new edibles, but they are very helpful because I am saving money. Like around Christmastime, it really helps with gift giving. I like working with companies also. I need to start entering more extensive giveaways, but I do get a little discouraged at the higher entry numbers BUT when you think about it…the odds are still amazing. My tip to people is don’t ignore the chances for extra entries – they really help!!!!

  6. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!

    Rob, I’d be glad to guest post on your site sometime. :D

    Betty, I hear ya!! Part of the reason I wanted to make this blog series was so that I could have somewhere to point my friends who want to learn more about sweeping. When I have more articles compiled I’m going to make the series a permalink at the top of the site – feel free to point your newbie friends here with questions!

    Yona, great tip – I’m like you, I also love to win food and Christmas presents! I do a lot of my sweeping at the end of the year specifically to win gifts!

  7. Sounds like you have won some pretty sweet giveaways! ANYTIME I win a giveaway is a happy day for me. :) My MIL just won a $3,000 pair of diamond earrings!! Yes, entering giveaways is fun and I love to win just about everything!! :)

  8. Great post. Entering blog contests is actually what got me started as a blogger. I had horrible luck as a sweeper, so I decided to start a blog of my own so I could review the products and have the opportunity to give them away to others lol.

  9. Thanks for breaking it down! I am just beginning to host a few giveaways, but I haven’t entered any – I now have to start entering!

  10. Great tips. I don’t enter as many giveaways these days as it seems hosting them takes up a lot of time. I do love entering a few and I won some yogurt recently. haha Not as fun as your stuff but I loved getting that email saying I won!!

  11. Great article! I’ve won a few things here and there but nothing that big. My biggest issue is the time commitment it takes to enter lots of giveaways. Plus I am lazy. :) Do you have any time saving tips for entering giveaways?

  12. I love to enter giveaways.. Though now that I’m hosting on my own blog I don’t have as much time for it any more.

  13. That’s amazing that you’ve won so much. I used to enter a lot more giveaways, and won a $500 walmart card a year ago. I need to get back into it. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips!

  14. This was a very motivating and informative article – I enjoyed reading it. Cheers to the Contest Corner!!

  15. Thank you everyone! Like many of you, I also started a blog because of my experiences entering giveaways. :) Marianna, that’s a great question – my main tip for saving time entering giveaways is to go for consistency, not quantity. I don’t always have a lot of time to enter, so I just focus on entering regularly and looking for giveaways with good odds – I’ll be discussing this in-depth next week.

  16. I think this was a great intro article! I have won many things but my biggest win was a trip to New Orleans – it was awesome! :)

  17. Pingback: Fantastic Odds: Why You Should Enter Blog Giveaways | Contest Corner: The Best Giveaways on The Net!

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  19. I would like to see an article on how to find giveaways. I see the same names in the comments on many different giveaways and I wonder-how do they find these giveaways so quickly. I saw some of your suggestions, as google blog search, and linkys. Is there somewhere that I don’t have to wade through giveaways for babies and children, to find giveaways for general items. I spend tons of time everyday searching for giveaways I want, and really very little time entering them.
    Thanks so much for these posts and links to low comment giveaways. I have learned something new. I will be subscribing to your email newsletter
    Bonnie P

  20. Pingback: How to Find Giveaways That You Actually Want to Enter | Contest Corner: The Best Giveaways on The Net!

  21. I just won a trip to Ireland for irish Spring soap!! I am still in shock over that. I have also won a year supply of toilet paper and things from cash to makeup. I have only been doing it a few months and I am excited about keep it ongoing!

  22. I just started blogging in October and I do not personally know ONE single person with a blog! I just started doing this on my own. I quickly began entering giveaways and I won the very first one I entered, a Pampered Chef rice cooker. I was hooked…line and sinker! Since then I have one a TON of giveaways including a $25 Visa, a $150 PayPal deposit, beauty products, a coach purse, hair straighteners, jewelry and much more! So I swear on my life, it is fair and ANYONE can win because I did without knowing a blogging soul!
    Angela Michels

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  27. thanks for the info…I totally agree that I win more on blogs than sweepstakes :) and I sometimes win on facebook stuff..

  28. That was really interesting! Wow, this is an old post…how did I happen to spot it? Oh, well, glad I did!
    Thanks, Beeb!

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