{Blogging} Women’s Day Giveaways: Lauren tries out ContestFriend

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Today’s post was written by Lauren Kinghorn, who blogs at Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.  Here she shares what happened when she tried to put together some Women’s Day Giveaways. 

 

Hi Moms

Did you do anything special on Women’s Day?  For you, or for your blog?

I’ve discovered that as a Mom blogger, our special holidays, Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, take on a whole new meaning.  My focus has shifted from what I’ll be getting and what I’ll be doing to what I’ll be giving my readers.  

I can no longer relax and put my feet up… well I can, as long as my smartphone is at hand. 

My husband spoiled me as always. He brought me coffee in bed and make me a sumptuous breakfast. He also took me out for sushi at Paddocks where my son could play.  But my mind was not on my Women’s Day delights, I was distracted by everything I still had to accomplish by close of day.

The challenge is I’m still a relatively new blogger so I don’t have the year mapped out beautifully with timeous reminders in place.  Yet.  And it doesn’t help that World Breastfeeding Week  is the week before Women’s Day. I wasn’t prepared for that either.

 

I’m kind of a haphazard, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants blogger. Maybe that will change in time. Maybe I’ll find my groove and become super organized one day. Or maybe it’s just who I am. Who knows?

At this stage, anyway, I’m reactive rather than proactive. 

Which is why my Women’s Day landed up being super busy.

The end result?  I created my first giveaway on both my blogs, Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.

The Giveway on each site is 2 Tickets to a really cool event in Cape Town on 26th August called The Missing Piece in Your Puzzle.   Very briefly, it’s about how DNA Testing and Functional Medicine can help you achieve optimal health.  Find out more in my interview with Dr. Yael Joffe.  Yael Joffe is the one of the speakers at the event.  As is Kathie Swift, best-selling author of The Swift Diet.

women's day giveawaysIf you’d like to enter, here’s the link.

Setting up my Giveaway

RAFFLECOPTER

I initially set up my Contest  on the free version of Rafflecopter which was fun and easy to use,  but once it was done I decided it didn’t have the look and functionality I wanted.  Here’s why:

You have to upgrade to their Basic Plan which costs $13 a month if you want to:

  • Add an image to the contest
  • Add the option of sharing on Pinterest

You have to upgrade to their Grow Plan at a whopping $ 43 a month if you want:

  • Integration with your email list, e.g. Mailchimp, AWeber, GetRepsonse, MadMimi

CONTESTFRIEND

So I went with a FREE WordPress plug-in called ContestFriend.  I was really happy to find Contestfriend had no upsells built into their free plan.

Design

With Contest Friend you’re able to:

  • Add a contest headline, description and image
  • Add a Disclaimer and Rules either as a popups or links
  • Design your contest (e.g. change headline, background and border colours)

Social Sharing for the Win

With Contestfriend, your contestants can share your giveaway on 5 social media channels:

  1. Pinterest
  2. Google Plus
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. Linked In

You can set up tweets or messages for each specific channel AND add images.

In testing out my social shares now that the contest is live, I think only the image for my Pinterest pin works.

Email Autoresponder

One of my favourite features was their email autoresponder.

You can set up an email to send to your contestants the moment they’ve entered.

Email List Integration

You can save participants to the Database Only, i.e. in the Contestfriend Dashboard in WordPress, or:

  • Mailchimp
  • AWeber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Get Response

Other Settings:

You can also choose:

  • Number of winners
  • Automatically select winners
  • Start date and time (don’t forget to set time zone to UTC+2)

Once published you get a WordPress Shortcode to add to a page on your site, or on your sidebar using the Contestfriend widget.  I’ve added both to Happy Human Pacifier just so you can see what the side widget looks like.

The Snag

The tricky part about this Giveaway was that the prize was LOCATION based.  Ideal Giveaways are Prizes that you can award to anyone, anywhere in the world.  Especially if your blog serves a global market. 

Giveaways and Contests on your site are touted as a fantastic way of bringing to traffic to your site but I couldn’t be sure that this Giveaway would do the same for mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m VERY grateful to Dr. Yael Joffe and CTG Centre for sponsoring my first Giveaway.  

But only about 35 to 40% of my audience is in South Africa, of that I’d estimate maybe 20% are Cape Town based. 

So I had to get really creative in the marketing of my contest. 

THANK YOU, Heather for helping me with this dilemma by featuring my Guest Post on SA Mom Blogs!

Getting the Word Out

Here are some of the other things I did before Women’s Day.

  • I started following all the South African Moms and Mom Bloggers I could find on Twitter.
  • Just before my Contest went live, I published my Instagram posts for Inspiring Mompreneurs.
  • In the morning, drinking my coffee in bed, I sent WhatsApp messages to my Mom’s groups.

 

The Results of DAY 1

I was ecstatic with my first day’s results:

  • 36 Unique Visitors
  • 6 Contestants
  • 1 New Subscriber to my Email Newsletter
  • 1 New Starter Member in Wealthy Affiliate

If you’re a newcomer to blogging like I am, I hope this post inspires you to run your first contest.

I’d love to hear from you.   Was this helpful? Do you run Contests and Giveaways on your site? Which plugin or software works best for you?  Please leave a comment below.

 

Lauren Kinghorn aka Mom Blogger in the Mother City, is a wife and mother who likes to Shine the Spotlight on Breastfeeding Moms, Mom Entrepreneurs, Mom Inventors and Mom Bloggers. You can find her blogging on Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier.  She’s also just started teaching how to blog at Lauren Kinghorn.

Lauren recently participated in a project to normalize breastfeeding in public spaces.  The project is ongoing and is the brainchild of Cape Town photographer, Leah Hawker. Leah blogs at The Softer Sex.

Leah is documenting an extensive series of candid portraits showing women confidently feeding their babies in public areas.  If you live in Cape Town or surrounds and would like to participate,  send an SMS or WhatsApp message to Leah on +27 83 340 7872. 

Follow Lauren on: Instagram   Pinterest   Google Plus   Twitter   Flipboard   Stumbleupon

 

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