Blog contests are a great way to increase traffic from your blog, but be sure to write blog contest rules that protect you from people who might be very unhappy if they don't win. Even a blog contest for the smallest prize might lead to a negative online buzz from disgruntled losers. Follow the tips below when you write your blog contest announcement and call for entries post to ensure you are protected.
Clearly state what the blog contest prize is in your announcement and call for entries post. If possible, include an image of the actual prize. Be very specific in your description of the prize so there is no confusion about what is and is not included with the prize.
The Qualified Entry Process
Precisely describe what a person needs to do to gain an entry in the blog contest. You must hand-hold in blog contest entry instructions, so offer the most detailed explanation possible.
State a date and time when entries will no longer be accepted to the blog contest. Make sure you include the time zone!
The Prize Delivery
If you have any prize delivery restrictions, such as prizes cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes, include them in your blog contest call for entries post. For example, if you're only willing to ship the prize to people in the Continental United States, include that restriction in your post. Also, include how the prize will be shipped such as UPS Ground. If the prize will be shipped by someone other than you, include that information in the post.
Describe in great detail how winners will be selected. This is particularly important when winners will be chosen using a subjective process rather than a random drawing.
Explain how the winner will be contacted to notify them that they've won the contest. Make it clear that they need to provide the necessary information in their contest entry so you can notify them if they win in order to obtain their shipping address for prize delivery.
The Prize Acceptance
Include prize acceptance requirements in your blog contest call for entries post. For example, make it clear that winners will be notified via a specific method (as described above) and they must respond to your notification within a specific time frame (such as 48 hours) or they'll automatically forfeit their prize. This is essential or you could be left waiting for a winner to respond with their shipping information for days, weeks, months, or forever.
The Alternate Winner
Describe how an alternate winner will be selected if the original winner does not respond appropriately based on the prize acceptance requirements explained above.