Hosting a blog competition is a great way to participate in the online community of bloggers, gain exposure for your own blog, and raise the traffic to your own blog. It's not something you can do when your blog is starting out, but a competition is a fantastic way to give back to the blogging community while raising the profile of your own blog once you have been consistently blogging for a while.

Here is where you should start:

Blog Competition Prep:

1. Schedule: The first thing to figure out for your blog competition is the schedule. When will it start, end, and what are the deadlines for submission and voting. Once you have those dates figured out, choose a day to announce the winners of your blog competition.

2. Prizes: Any competition worth entering is one worth winning, right? And to make your blog competition competitive, you need to get sponsors and prizes that bloggers will want to win. For your first competition, ask friends and colleagues in your blogging network if they can donate prizes to the competition. Once you establish yourself as someone who can successfully host a competition you will find that the prizes start to come to you.

3. Promotion: Think about how you will promote your competition. I will go into this more later, but have an idea about what resources you are already using that can be outlets for your blog competition promotion, as well as who in your network you can approach about promotion.

Hosting the Blog Competition:

1. Active Promotion: To get the word out there you need to write a good press release, submit it to as many press release distribution networks as possible, and call on all of your networking contacts to do the same. Social media networks are another great way to promote your blog competition- getting the word out there on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social media network that you are actively part of is a great way to connect with a large number of people in the online industry quickly. Finally, blog about your competition. If you are hosting, you need to talk it up as much as possible.

2. The Work: Hosting is a lot of work. Once you have established your prizes and your schedule for competition, the main work revolves around registering the participants, keeping them informed of the process, and making sure their blog listings are correctly formatted, and making sure that you stay on top of updating the participant listings.

3. The Judging: Recruiting quality judges (beyond yourself!) will not only boost the credibility of your competition, it will get more bloggers involved. Judges will likely mention your competition on their blogs, which extends your reach for participants. When it comes time for the judging, make sure the process is transparent and that your judges have ample time to review the blogs in question. Make sure you have clear measures for how blogs will compete with each other, and make sure that your judges understand all of the categories and judging criteria.

4. The Celebration: When your competition is finished, it's time to celebrate- Online! Awarding the prizes and congratulating all those who took part in the blog competition is essential. Sending out personal emails to everyone who was involved is a great way to let all entrants know that the time they took to participate was appreciated, and of course getting the prizes to the winner(s) of the blog competition in a timely manner is imperative.

These are the basics for running a competition- if you would like to learn more or see on in action, check out the Blog Competition on my site.

Author Bio Murray Newlands is a blogger and online marketing expert. MurrayNewlands.com is his blog about social media and online marketing, from the affiliate side to the green world. The blog is widely read by bloggers, online marketers, affiliates and people trying to change the world. His blog frequently features interviews and reviews with people in the online industry, like this ClickBooth Review.

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