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Monday, April 13, 2015

Drawing Entries 101

Hello ladies and a few of the gents who follow my blog,

This is in no way written to insult any of your intelligence, but the truth is, until I started running drawings I had no idea about many of these things myself. 

Drawing Entries 101
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I ran another blog for over five years, but I never offered drawings on that blog as it was not the type of blog one would run drawings on.

Until I started researching to start this blog, Fashion Beyond Forty, and until I myself began to enter drawings, I really didn't understand much about them. In fact, even when I began to enter drawings, I did not fully grasp everything about them, until I began to work with brands to offer drawings myself. 

So just want is this about? Well one thing that sometimes frustrated me, as an entrant, was all the methods of entry. I mean why not just make ONE form of entry and give everyone an equal shot? 

The fact is, brands work with blogs that can bring them new customers, buyers, clients, etc. In order to get those a brand needs the entrants to come to their website, follow their social media, etc. Brands need exposure, in order to continue to stay viable, and in turn continue to offer us, the blog readers, a drawing prize! If a brand is not seeing some increase in website traffic for giving away great prizes in blog drawings, the chances are they won't want to offer prizes again! 

Drawing Entries 101
A Few Drawing Items From Fashion Beyond Forty

For this reason, bloggers need you to visit their sites, and not just click on a page then click on the entry, but really visit the page. This is why may bloggers, myself included, will ask you to post a comment about the business offering the prize, or to do certain tasks. The hope is that while you are on that website, you will find out you really actually love the brand, and will return to make a purchase eventually, wether you win the drawing or not. Its advertising, pure and simple. 

In turn, a blogger also has to prove they have a following of their own in order to entice brands to list a drawing on their blog, and offer you, the reader, a prize! So this is why you will see bloggers asking you to do things such as follow an RSS feed, follow them on Twitter, etc. Bloggers have to have a way to prove they have a following, otherwise advertisers / brands, won't want to work with us. No one wants to offer a prize, let alone pay a blogger to review their items if the blogger is just "talking to themselves". 

Granted, not everyone has the ability to enter in every way offered, not everyone has a Twitter account, or a Bloglovin' account, but in order to enter drawings, and get the best chances of winning, opening one up for the sole purpose of entering drawings is not an entirely bad idea! In fact, there are people known as "sweepers" who make a hobby, if not a career, out of entering drawings on blogs! They are very good at it too and probably save their families tons of money every year by winning big drawings! Still, your chances are great at winning if you just do as many entries as you can, and help the bloggers continue to get businesses to sponsor the drawings. 

For the record, even commenting on non drawing blog posts helps the blogger! Companies look for interaction on blogs! They look to see how many comments, tweets, and other social shares blogs receive! The more active a blog is, the more opportunities the blogger will have at offering you, the reader, more drawings! 

Drawing Entries 101
I Want You ALL to Win! 

In all honesty, bloggers love loyal followers, readers who actually care about the content of their blog, regardless of drawings. We recognize when we are truly being "courted" and when someone is only around for the win. Its like being taken out in hopes of developing a relationship and finding out that the guy only wanted to get lucky. 

Blogging is very hard work, in fact one of the most difficult jobs I have ever had. A good blogger has to be a marketing professional, luckily for me my background is in marketing. They also have to be a photographer, a skill I am still working on. They need to be writers obviously, editors of their own work, which takes careful evaluation as it is easier to find other's mistakes, than your own. I am sure I have a million spelling errors and typos in this blog! A blogger also has to learn how to make photo collages, and tweak photos, use boarders, etc. In addition a blogger has to spend hours a day promoting each blog post current and past, in order to continue to drive traffic (readers / you) to their blog. An unread blog is a lonely blog, and no brand wants to work with a sad lonely blog. In addition we need to source new brands to work with, checking multiple websites a day in hopes that there is something offered or extended to us for review, for you. Bloggers also have to pitch companies in order to form new relationships with brands. These are of course only a few roles we take on as bloggers.

All in all blogging is very rewarding, because of you, the reader! I love comments letting me know when you do or even when you do not like something, as this is like my grade card from you, letting me know what you want to see more of, or less of. It is vital to a continued relationship between my readers and the brands that allow me to work with them. 

So the next time you go to enter a drawing and feel that the number of entries, the types of entries is a bit daunting, please keep in mind there is a reason behind every request. Bloggers really are not trying to push you away, or scare you off, or even exhaust you. In fact I have found after entering drawings for almost a year now, I am already following the blogs I regularly visit on most all social media. This makes it a lot easier to enter their drawings because then all I need to do is follow the brand sponsoring the drawing, visit their site, and leave a comment. Not to say I desire to enter every drawing I see, I try only entering drawings when I really would potentially buy from that business in the future. I figure if I would not consider being a customer of the brand, what is the point of trying to get their prize? This makes it a lot less daunting because I am truly excited about the prize and the brand then also can trust that I actually enjoy their products! 

I hope this has helped to shed some light on how bloggers view their drawings, what our requirements are, and what is expected of us, and in turn how the readers are rewarded! 

Thank you for reading and I wish you luck in every drawing you enter! 

I love comments! Please join in discussion, ask questions, or leave tips for other readers. Comments truly are the driving force behind any blog as it helps the blogger to know what you, the reader want to see more of!

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