Megan McQ’s Musings

Blog-off Contest Strategy (Wrap-Up Part 2)

Posted on: June 1, 2009

As most of you know, I was recently selected to participate in a Blog-off competition at Community Marketing Blog.

The contest ended on May 30th, so I wanted to take this time and explain my strategy for generating the most traffic and comments as possible. I’m going to break down my strategy into 3 parts:

1. Pre-Competition

The pre-competition phase consisted of identifying my target audiences and how I was going to alert them about the competition. Since this contest was located online, I identified my audiences to be:

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Offline (occasionally)

I wrote several emails, Facebook messages,  Facebook notes, and direct messages on Twitter to different groups of people online. I split up these initial emails at first so I could personalize them and thank individuals in advance for their participation. I explained why I was doing the contest and allowed any member of these emails they could OPT-OUT FROM THE EMAILS AT ANY TIME. I think it’s important not to spam people. While no one ‘opted-out’ of receiving the emails, I did have several people tell me which email address they would prefer to have the emails sent to them.

This pre-competition organization left me with time to prepare my blog posts and form my strategy for generating traffic to the site after it began.

2. After the gun shot! (During the competition)

After the competition began, I had already identified my strategy for reaching out to interested parties on several platforms.

Note: I’ll write another blog post on my ‘blogger best practices’. Here I’m only going to concentrate on my strategy for driving traffic.

After I wrote my first blog post, I was able to act accordingly:

  • I grouped all of my contacts and emailed them the bit.ly link I had created for my first post. The email consisted of several ways they could help. These included:

1. Go to the link

2. Email interested parties the link (and I included an email template)
3. Write a note with the link in it (and I included a note template)
4. Comment on the post! (and I left detailed instructions for how people could comment)

Note: I also left instructions on how people could sign up for a RSS feed if they did leave a comment so they knew if another person had responded to their comment directly.

5. Make the link your status on Facebook! (and I left a short text that people could copy and paste into their Facebook profiles)

6.Tweet the link! (and I included the tweet that they could copy and paste into their Twitter accounts).

I think it’s important to note that I made these instructions as easy as possible on the individual. People didn’t have to write their own emails, they could simply copy and paste my template into their draft. I think this helped my contacts reach more people.

Also, I only sent this email to them one time so that they knew I wasn’t spamming their inboxes and wasn’t trying to take up much of their time.

  • Commenting on comments: when people wrote an especially important comment or a conversation was being generated between commenters on a post, I made sure to comment back to the individuals in a comment as well. I believe this helped to spur conversation further.
  • Also, I would receive emails telling me the email addresses of people who commented. If I recognized the name, I was sure to send a direct email to that individual thanking them for their comment, and usually responded to what they had written. I believe this action helped generate more conversation and I was genuinely thankful for all of the effort people had put into helping me.

Another note: When I sent out my links to the posts, I had converted them into bit.ly form (a URL shortening service) so that I could track how many people had clicked on the link and from what source! Here’s what I have:

‘App’vertising: Monetizing Mobile: 167 Clicks, 20 comments

RIP Journalism 1.0:86 Clicks, 9 comments

Brand-jacking and Pickles: 87 Clicks, 11 comments

3. Wrap-Up

  • Now that the contest is over, I will be writing emails to the individual groups I made at the beginning of the contest. I’ll be thanking everyone for their time and announcing the results of the contest.
  • I’m also back to blogging here!
  • I believe all of the contestants will be having a conference call where we discuss all of the things we learned. I’m excited to hear everyone’s stories.
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