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The Fallacy of the Contest Blog

There are literally thousands of contest blogs online. There’s only one that I’m subscribed to (look at my middle ad block). Back when I held my contest, I shuddered a little each time a contest blog entered. Why? Because 99% of them are useless. Read on.

Define “contest blog”

To me, a contest blog is a blog that lacks any real content and exists solely to enter other blogging contests. You know, the contests that are held to generate backlinks (write a post about my contest for an entry, etc). When blog owners hold these contests, they’re looking for two things:

  1. Potential new readers referred from the entering blog.
  2. A backlink to increase their Google page rank or Technorati score.

Based on those two criterion, an example of a perfect entry would be a 200 word post from John Chow or Shoemoney dedicated to the contest. This would give you a high-value backlink and a potential flood of visitors.

It’s a little disappointing when half of the entries in a contest come from blogspot blogs with a Technorati ranking of 2,000,000 and three readers. Don’t get me wrong, having a bigger contest blog plug your contest is potentially great, as it can send dozens, or even hundreds of readers to your site, but for every big contest blog there’s 1,000 little contest blogs. Besides, most of that traffic never comes back after the contest is over, and that can be very disappointing for new bloggers.

A new code

Would it be elitist to demand a certain level of quality from people who want to enter a blogging contest? Nothing too complex, I’m thinking something along the lines of:

  • Actual content
  • A certain number of readers (in case it’s a pure contest blog)
  • Can’t be hosted on a free service (Xanga, blogspot, livejournal, etc)

The last one would exclude a lot of people, and plenty of blogspot blogs have good content, so maybe I shouldn’t go that far. In any case, I’d like to hear some opinions on the matter.

Hey, I wrote a guest post for the University Kid. Go read!

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3 Responses to “The Fallacy of the Contest Blog”

  1. Neotrepreneur Says:

    I agree 100% about this contest blog crap.
    I saw once a blogspot blog with only one post that was about the contest itself and guess what it won the prize.
    That kind of thing bugs me a whole lot .

    I would say at least 10 posts which most ‘’serious” blogs have already achieved and perhaps a certain alexa rank. I also would hold back on the free hosting bit.

    For example, this blog is a blogspot one but man its awesome :D . http://controversialmarketing.blogspot.com/

  2. Paul Says:

    People will always seem to create sites just for a quick buck or win.

    I don’t think eliminating free hosted blogs will necessary be a good thing.

    My blog is hosted on blogger, but I post to it regularily, and hopefully provide good relevant posts. There are also many others hosted on Blogger that are good blogs.

    I think the big thing is that blogs will need to be manually checked in order to be deemed a worthy blog.

  3. TreatInfamy Says:

    I guess I’m not one to really talk about anything, since I have my own contest blog…>_> However, I think one big problem here is a lack of ingenuity.

    Seriously- half of all blog contests require you to make a blog post about them. This means that if you don’t have a contest blog, you can end up spamming the hell out of your own blog. Others, which maybe require you to subscribe, are just as bad, since you can easily subscribe and then ignore the content.

    Comment-entry contests are okay, since they require you to actually pay attention to what is written. However, it is still just as easy to make a comment and then never come back.

    There needs to be something new and ingenious. One example is Sam Freedom’s Foot Ball Squares contest. http://entrecard.com/shop/21/ There needs to be someway to encourage participation and not just mediocre button-clicking or posting. For example, you could hold a contest which asks people to take a picture of them with their pet. This would weed out the casual contest bloggers and draw in a more serious crowd. It would get less hits probably, but it would certainly be more fun and might get you more dedicated readers.

    Honestly though, as long as people offer a chance at getting something for free- especially if it’s something like an iPod or some cash- there will always be those who find easy ways to get it. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

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