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.