Blog competitions have become increasingly more popular during 2011. On top of that many compers have become bloggers and some bloggers have also become compers. But who are the bloggers, what kind of competitions do they run and what hints and tips can they offer you for comping and/or blogging. Over the next week or so we’ll be introducing you to a number of bloggers and sharing with you their sites and insights. Hopefully this will encourage you to visit them, look at their competitions and perhaps even consider starting your own blog. First up is Fiona Maclean!
Who Are You And What’s Your Blog?
My name is Fiona Maclean, I’m on Loquax as fmaclean1 and my blog is London Unattached.
What’s Your Blog About?
My blog is a London lifestyle blog. It’s written from the point of view of a single city dweller, so there will be less there for those with small kids in terms of reviews and giveaways, but I do try to find ‘general appeal’ giveaways. My content is about 60% food or food related. I review London and suburban restaurants, post recipes which are easy to make for a single person/couple and write about balcony gardening in addition to theatre, art gallery and London venue reviews.
How/why Did You Get Into Blogging?
I wanted to understand the dynamic of social media a bit better. I work as a marketing consultant and I needed to get an insight into how things fitted together so I could advise clients. Then I got hooked!
What Kind Of Competitions/Prizes Do You Offer Readers?
I don’t want to become a ‘giveaway’ site, so I am trying to run one competition at a time. I look for sponsors for the competitions so, I will generally ask readers to do something that makes them think about the giveaway company itself (e.g. tell me how they like to eat olives) rather than just post their name and address. That’s because I want the competition to have SOME value for the promoter.
What Kind Of Response Do You Get?
Anything from 600 entries for a recent chocolate giveaway to around 150 for the rather pretty but specialist mugs. I’d like more entries – so I try not to make my readers jump through too many hoops because I personally find that off-putting when I am entering a competition myself, though I know that the justification for doing it from the blog owner is that it helps improve blog ranking on things like Wikio.
What Top Tip/Advice Do You Have For Other Bloggers/Wannabe Bloggers?
If you want to run competitions, enter some first, get to know some of the compers and read the Loquax Forum. My cousin has been comping for something like 6 years and I asked her advise when I did my first giveaway. Remember to put a closing date, remember to limit to UK only if you can’t post overseas and I’d personally recommend limiting the number of things you ask compers to do in order to enter! especially if it’s a low value item. Prizes don’t have to be expensive…but they do have to be desirable (chocolate works VERY well!!). If you are a food blogger UKFBA is a good place to find friends and advice. There are similar organisations for mummy bloggers and I think for beauty bloggers too.
Get to know the PRs as well as you can…that’s where your giveaways will come from. But please don’t beg…it makes you (and the rest of the blogging community) look very unprofessional!
What Top Tip/Advice Do You Have For Compers?
If you are entering blog competition where there are a number of hoops to jump through (e.g. post on twitter, like facebook page, like sponsor’s site), make sure you post an individual blog comment for each one. We pick the prizes by using randomiser to find post numbers. If you put all your ‘actions’ into one post, you get one shot rather than the number of things you have done!
What’s Your Favourite Blog/Site?
My favourite food and travel blog is written by Niamh (Eat Like A Girl), she doesn’t run competitions, but she writes beautifully and has a very obvious love of life.
Strictly or X Factor?
Almost always X factor, though if someone is REALLY irritating the remote can be useful!
We’d like to thank Fiona for taking part and also for being our first interviewee! You can keep up to date with Fiona’s blog at London Unattached! Look out for more interviews soon – and if you have a blog (especially one which uses competitions) and would like to feature in an interview then do feel free to get in touch.