Blog Giveaway Contests Are Not Always A Waste Of Time – Some Are Very Profitable

In a recent post I talked about bloggers sponsoring giveaway contests.  In my opinion, this is a complete waste of money.  There are however, some type of contests which are worth doing.  Let’s look at three of them:

  1. Sponsor pays for giveaway – This works best if the sponsor also pays for delivery costs.  I’m still of the opinion that there won’t be much benefit for your blog, but if it doesn’t cost anything – you can’t really lose.
  2. Donate money to charity that the contest winner picks – This clever contest was mentioned by Sustainable Personal Finance in the comments of the previous post.  Basically, SPF will be running a contest, where the winner gets to pick which charity SPF will donate to.  Given that SPF was going to donate the money anyway, there is no net cost for him.  Great idea!

Most brilliant “contest” idea ever

This idea is so excellent, it gets it’s own paragraph.

I had an idea a while back about holding a “contest”, where I would ask for blog posts to be submitted for a chance at winning a $100 top prize.  My ulterior motive for the contest was to try to find new writers.  I never ended up running the contest, but I recently heard of a similar contest, but the creator has cleverly made it into the best contest ever (from the blogger’s point of view).

Credit Cards Canada  is holding a blogging contest where you can win a $1000 top prize for submitting the winning blog post.  There are quite a few other prizes as well.

This sounds awesome – but does it make sense for a website to put up that kind of money just for some content?

Let’s take a closer look at the contest:


This is the really clever part – CCC has lined up quite a few sponsors at $200, $100 and $50 .  In exchange for this donation, the sponsor will get links back from every submitted post that is eventually published.  On the contest page at the time of writing, there are a total of $2,750 sponsored.

On the How to win page, the “prize goals” total $3,000.  It mentions that the sponsorship will probably exceed the prizes, so the excess will be donated to charity.  Personally, I would rename the “excess” to “profit”.  🙂

Regardless, it appears that the prizes are covered by the sponsors, so the host site doesn’t have to put up any money.  Fantastic.

So how does CCC benefit?

Links – In the rules it states:

To qualify, you must announce the post and/or the contest on your blog and link back to all the sponsors and to the announcement post on this blog.

So to “enter” your blog post, you have to give a free, permanent text link to CCC site along with all the sponsor sites.  Text links are pretty valuable if you are trying to rank higher in the search engines, so this is a pretty good benefit.
Submissions – It also states in the rules that:

“Upon submission of the entry, you grant exclusive publishing rights to Credit Cards Canada.

So, in other words – when you enter this contest, you are really just giving them a free blog post, plus a pile of permanent, free text links in exchange for a chance at a big prize.  Buying half decent blog content typically costs about $25 per post.  If there are 50 acceptable entries, then CCC will get about $1,250 worth of content for free.


Are the contest entrants being ripped off?

No, they aren’t.  The rules are quite clear and the prizes are pretty good. One $1,000 prize, two $500 prizes etc.  Not bad at all.


Some blog contests can be either neutral or beneficial to the host blog.  Three methods of having successful contests are:

  1. Donate money to winner’s charity, that you would have donated anyway.
  2. Get someone else to pay for the prizes.
  3. Get sponsors for your “contest” to cover the prizes and maybe even provide a profit.  Get extra links and keep the submissions for your blog.

5 Responses to “Blog Giveaway Contests Are Not Always A Waste Of Time – Some Are Very Profitable”

  1. Thanks for listing our idea here.
    We actually plan to run a contest every 4 months with 2 winners having $100 donated on their behalf.
    I guess I best get the idea posted before someone snags it!
    If we had the resources we would love to do the main idea here but we’re a newer site with less contacts and no advertisers.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sustainable PF, Better Blogging. Better Blogging said: From blogthority: Blog Giveaway Contests Are Not Always A Waste Of Time – Some Are Very Profitable: In a recent … […]

  3. […] regarding our upcoming contests in 2011.  Kudos to Blogthority for posting his next article that Giveaway Contests Aren’t Always a Waste of Money and Can be Very Profitable.  The key?  Don’t spend your own money on contests (with some twists – and thanks for […]

  4. I love having contests sponsored by book publishers. Sometimes I can’t find them after I finish reading a book, and I pay for the postage myself, but I look at it as “spreading the love” of a good book instead of a waste of money. 🙂

    Great post Mike!

  5. Ileane says:

    Hi Mike, this is a fantastic business model for a successful contest. I plan to implement this on my own blog sometime later this year. I actually entered the CCC contest and as an added benefit for myself I started following some of the sponsors on Twitter and Facebook. Personal finance isn’t really my niche, but I think everyone can benefit from financial advice every now and then. Thanks for all of the advice.