Looks like, this is an era of blog contests! I get to see a brand new contest every other day or so while going through my subscribed blogs (Incidentally, the number of blogs in my Google Reader has been growing at such an unmanageable rate that I had to somehow forcibly bring it down to 40-50 blogs).
At the moment, around 15 of the blogs in my RSS reader are having some contest or other and a few of these blogs are dedicated to contests alone! This does not mean that I have been participating in blog contests quite actively. In reality I have not participated in a single contest so far! However, I thought of writing about this topic today as the resources in my reader that I talked about may be of use to some of you!
Why blog contests?
Unlike the reality shows on TV and various other competitions in our lives, the blog contests are not conducted to find a celebrity or a real life hero. Also, the fame of the blog contest winner is short lived – perhaps a few days or a couple of weeks max – unlike real life winners! So what’s the motive behind the blog contests? The answer is very simple. According to me, increased readership and traffic are the main motives behind these contests. Winners may get some prizes – sometimes insignificant ones – as well but I don’t think people really actively participate in blog contests only to win prizes.
Blog contests v/s competitions
There’s a subtle difference between contests and competitions. Blog contests are mostly lottery based i.e. You subscribe to the event and after some days/weeks there’ll be a draw and those who are lucky get some prizes. However, competitions have a specific aim or target to be met and the winners are picked based on the merits. In this post we are talking about contests alone.
Pros and Cons of blog contests
For the blogger who conducts the contest, there will be an immediate traffic and subscription boost. Along with this short term goal, he may also get many long term readerships, provided he writes good content along with contests. In other words, the contests alone won’t fetch anything good to the conductor. The other advantage that is more of a byproduct is the number of backlinks/trackbacks/comments that he would get to his blog that might improve some of the vital statistics and ranks.
For the participants as well, there may be some minor increase in readership as well as traffic. Also, if he uses the opportunity very well, he may even enhance his social network and community building activities.
Perhaps the main disadvantage with these contests is spam created in various forms such as emails, RSS, comments etc. Another issue is that sometimes the rules enforce the participating bloggers to write about these contests on their respective blogs that could sometimes kill the quality of content. For the conductor, if he is not going to improve the quality of his content, post the contest, he may get back to square one. And sometimes, he will be forced to do the contests more often to retain the community as well!
So in short, my personal opinion is that the blog contests are more hype than anything else for all parties involved. Others could differ…
Where to find the latest blog contests?
If you still want to participate, here is a list of blogs and sites that talk about the latest contests around. Some of these sites are also great places to announce your own contests! Apart from these sites, the big and famous blogs with thousands of subscribers are still the best places to find more exciting contests.
Top contest blogs
If you have any more links, please feel free to add as comment here!