How to Celebrate Your Blogging Birthday in Style

If you’re a new blogger, figuring out how to celebrate your blogging birthday probably isn’t item #1 on your ‘to-do’ list. Time flies though, and before you know it you’ll be wondering what to do for your blogging birthday.

That’s why I invited Kiesha Easley of We Blog Better to share some pointers. Kiesha is currently throwing a birthday bash to celebrate We Blog Better’s first birthday, which falls on October 19th, and she’s definitely celebrating this blogging birthday in style!

Kiesha, before I pick your brain about how to create an amazing blog birthday celebration, can you tell us a bit about your blogging history?

I first started blogging a year and a half ago on my Christian Blog. My posts were meant to encourage and inspire others. I really wasn’t sure if anyone was listening, but I felt compelled, understanding that even if no one was listening the day I wrote a particular post, that eventually someone would stumble upon it and be helped in some way.

I knew there was power in writing, but I didn’t really learn how much until just before Christmas, when I decided to write a post encouraging people to go out and purchase toiletries and practical supplies to donate to a shelter.

The post didn’t get very many comments, if any, but one day shortly after Christmas, a woman told me that she had read my post and decided to do exactly what I wrote. She said it was the most uplifting thing she had ever done. She took the things she bought to a shelter and gave the items to a woman and her children.

Never in her life had she seen children so excited about getting toiletries, socks and underwear for Christmas. One of the boys hugged her so tightly, expressing his sincerest thanks. He told her that he had received toys and a nice pair of expensive tennis shoes, but no one had thought to buy him any socks – until she came along! Who would’ve thought something so simple could bring such joy!

Finally, my blogging had indirectly affected someone’s life for the better – that’s the moment I knew that I had to keep blogging no matter what.

For a lot of folks in this audience (me included!), blogging birthdays are special events worthy of celebrating in style. We Blog Better will soon be celebrating its first birthday. How are you marking the occasion?

I thought it would be fun to celebrate by rewarding my readers for all of their loyalty, by organizing the biggest give-away I could muster.

This celebration gives readers the opportunity to win great cash prizes, but you likely have some business objectives too. How did you structure the event to help your blog grow as it enters a new year?

I started planning the Birthday Celebration Giveaway a month or so in advance to give myself time to find sponsors and carefully plan out requirements so that it would be a giveaway no one could resist.

I did this by thinking about the areas of my blog I wanted to grow. Since I’m always looking to increase reader engagement, I decided to make commenting one of the requirements. To shake it up, I decided that I would randomly select a winner from the Top Commentator’s widget. Randomly selecting winners keeps it simple and fair.

I also wanted to make this giveway self-promoting, so I decided to make several ways to enter, which involved sharing on social networks such as, “Retweeting the Post” as well as sharing on Facebook, Stumbleupon and Digg.

I also wanted to reserve a larger prize amount for readers who decided to write about the giveaway on their blogs. This would allow the giveaway to spead to a wider audience and hopefully generate some new readers.

So basically, I chose the areas of my blog that I wanted to grow. That determined the various entry requirements and prize amounts. A contest or giveaway should be fun and should benefit the readers, but it should also be strategically organized.

In order to make a cash giveaway work, you need to have cash :) Since most bloggers don’t have a spare stack of cash sitting around, we’ll need sponsors to help out. You’ve been extremely successful in finding great sponsors. What’s your secret?

I believe I was so successful at securing sponsors for this contest, because I’ve previously been a sponsor for a few contests/giveaways on other blogs. I first started by contacting those people whose contest I’ve sponsored – and because I’d helped them before, they were more than happy to return the favor.

The other sponsors, were bloggers whose blogs I frequently visit, comment on and share on social networks. In other words, these are people that I’ve been developing blogging relationships with – people that I interact with regularly.

Are there any other tips or thoughts you’d like to pass along about organizing a stellar birthday event?

The best advice I can offer:
Plan early, don’t wait until the last minute
Focus on areas you’d like to grow
Keep it simple, avoid overly complex entry or winning processes
Build in self-promoting requirements
Find sponsors, so you can offer great prizes
Be creative and make it fun.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions and for all you do to help bloggers over at We Blog Better and around the blogosphere. I just have two more quick questions: Where do we sign up and when is the deadline?

Here’s where you can enter:
Giveaway Entry Details
The deadline is October 31, 2010. I’ll announce the winner on November 5, 2010.

Your turn: What’s your idea of a perfect blogging birthday celebration?

If you liked this post, you might also like How to Host a Winning Blog Contest.

Image Credit

28 Responses to How to Celebrate Your Blogging Birthday in Style

  1. Andy Hayes October 1, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    I recently had my own birthday (not my blogs), and to celebrate, I asked all of those people who had commented over the past year on my travel magazine and asked them for their suggestion on what to do for your birthday (travel-related). It’s now on page one of Google for “birthday travel,” it got lots of traffic and comments, and best of all, it was a way for me to thank the people who make the blog possible.

    So that’s my suggestion – celebrate your blogging birthday by celebrating the people that make it possible. That’s your readers.

    • Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter October 1, 2010 at 7:54 am #

      Hi Andy!
      Wow! That sounds like it was so much fun! You’re right about celebrating your loyal readers – that really was my goal. I’m hoping that when it comes time to distribute the cash prizes that each winner will buy something that will remind them of my blog for years to come :)
      Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter recently posted..Why Problems Are a Blogger’s Best Friend

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 9:22 am #

      I like that phrase, ‘celebrate your readers.’ I’m glad to hear your birthday celebration turned out so well, Andy!

  2. Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter October 1, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    Thanks, Jean!
    Words can’t express how much I appreciate all that you do! So far, things are turning out far better than I could’ve imagined – thanks to kind and wonderful people like you! :)
    Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter recently posted..How To Get Website Visitors To Stick To Your Spider Web

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 9:24 am #

      You’re welcome, Kiesha. I’m thrilled to be a part of the WBB team. I wish you great success and happiness!

  3. Ann October 1, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    What great ideas for celebrating a milestone! Being successful on the web is no easy task I have found. And Kiesha, I can use some of your suggestions since my 1st-year birthday will be arriving in November. Yes, I will plan early and celebrate my readers!! I am thinking of publicizing with my fan page, I like to consider my readers as part of a community in which we all participate, and the site is only as good as the community members who inhabit it. Thanks again for your post Kiesha, and thanks Jean, for hosting such a great site. :)

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Hi Ann. It’s surprising how much effort is involved in making a go of things, isn’t it? So much for the 4-hour workweek :) Happy early birthday to you!

  4. Angela Artemis October 1, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Fascinating Kiesha. My blog’s birthday is in January 2011. I’m going to take all your advice. Thank you!
    Angela Artemis recently posted..Are YOU a Brand

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

      It will be a real treat to celebrate your blog’s birthday with you, Angela!

  5. Sally Neill October 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    Hey Jean,

    Sorry I not been over for a lil while :)

    Do you know I feel really guilty, I don’t even know when my blog’s birthday is.

    I started it, took 1.5 years away and came back again, so I guess I need to check, poor neglected blog!

    Loved the ideas shared in this post, once I know my blog’s birthday, I will come back and re-read this, then when I do celebrate it, will link to this post too,

    Thanks Sally :)
    Sally Neill recently posted..Return of The Blog Hopping Queen…

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

      Hi Sally! You’ve been having some wonderful adventures lately, and I’m so happy for you. I started in February, so I’m wondering if your birthday is right around then too? In any event, it’s always great to see you!

  6. Dia October 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Hi Jean,

    This is a nice idea. I never thought of it before to have a birthday for my blog. 😉 It is nice to make a birthday party and at the same time focus on our blog progress. Thanks for sharing my friend
    Dia recently posted..The power of self talk

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

      Hi Dia. Celebrating our successes and milestones is something most of us don’t do often enough. If you have a party, I promise to eat some cake :)

  7. Keith Davis October 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Hi Kiesha / Jean
    You’ve let the Genie out of the bottle now!
    My blogs about twelve months old and I had been thinking of some sort of low key post thanking all the blogs that have given me ideas and left me comments. A sort of thank you to the blogging community.

    After reading this post it could be that I have to think again and start ordering the balloons and party hats!
    Or perhaps I’ll buy everyone a virtual drink… what’s your tipple Kiesha?
    Keith Davis recently posted..Two way traffic

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

      Keith, you could make a rule that we all have to have a beverage of our choice when we comment on your birthday post :) I love your idea of a round-up sort of post though too. I really like the ‘personal reflection,’ or ‘things I’ve learned’ type posts some bloggers do for their birthdays. But I still wouldn’t turn down a party hat!

  8. Brandon Connell October 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I like to celebrate those things with depressing music and a 6 pack or two. LOL. Ok… sometimes.
    Brandon Connell recently posted..Your blog is struggling because…

    • Jean Sarauer October 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      This is why I like getting older–after enough years, it becomes a great accomplishment just to be alive! In a way, blogging is like that too. There’s a certain amount of trust/respect that’s bestowed with advancing age. By the way, my next blog will be called Geezer Blogger Notes.

    • Keith Davis October 2, 2010 at 2:22 am #

      Hi Brandon
      If you want some depressing music… I can always send you my Leonard Cohen collection.
      Now that’s what I call depressing music. LOL
      Keith Davis recently posted..Two way traffic

      • Jean Sarauer October 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

        Well, I could always sing. That would be pretty darned depressing!

  9. Tess Bold Life October 2, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Great advice, my second birthday is in a few weeks. I need to get planning!
    Tess Bold Life recently posted..Relationships that Nurture Your Spirit

    • Jean Sarauer October 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

      Two years! That’s awesome, Tess. You really inspire me with how you’ve kept things so real and stayed true to who you are with your blogging. That’s blogging with style!

  10. Harriet October 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Sounds like a great idea to celebrate a blogging birthday, thanks for the tips and the idea!
    Harriet recently posted..HTC Desire HD

  11. Peter J October 3, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    What a great idea for a blogging birthday. I’m currently writing an ebook so giving something away is a great idea. I’ll give out a few copies to my readers when my time comes 😉

    Great post and thanks for this – has been a real inspiration.

    • Jean Sarauer October 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

      Good idea to give away some copies of your ebook for your blogging birthday, Peter!

  12. Justin Germino@Popup Domination Review October 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    I have been following We Blog Better for a while and was happy to see it hit 1 year with such a milestone success. I myself didn’t really do a contest as I had wanted to for my two year, just got too busy to formally put together a contest and seek out sponsors.

    I think commemorating sites on anniversaries are important as people like to congratulate and give best wishes. This also is a good way to show progress and how your sites have grown over the years.
    Justin Germino@Popup Domination Review recently posted..Review of Popup Domination 20

    • Jean Sarauer October 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Justin. After seeing the perseverance that’s required to achieve these blogging birthdays, I’m so proud of folks for every milestone they achieve. Congratulations to you on having reached the 2-year mark!

  13. Manal October 4, 2010 at 2:07 am #

    My first blog birthday is fast approaching. I’d better start working on something :) I like Kiesha’s approach. Thanks for the planting the idea Jean into my blogging head.
    Manal recently posted..What If No One Remembered You or Cared About What You Do

    • Jean Sarauer October 4, 2010 at 9:13 am #

      Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do, Manal!

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