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Let Contests Advertise for You

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One of the single best ways to get people to your site is contest sponsorship. People love games and they love free things. Why not offer one of your products or services for free once a week or so? The cost to you is minimal (a prize every so often and the time it takes to manage the contest), and the return is great. Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of this technique should go visit Riddler. They started out as a simple contest and are now quite huge.

A contest will draw two types of people: those who want a challenge and those who are looking for a freebie. Accordingly, there are two types of contests: the simple drawing and the skill contest.

If you were to run a simple drawing you would attract the second type only. What's more, they probably won't come back for a second time around. A skill contest that offers a prize to the winner will attract both types of people.

I classify skill contests in two ways: objective and subjective. An objective contest is based on a straight forward answer that is indisputable. A trivia contest is a good example. In most cases you will still have to draw from a pool of correct answers, but this is OK. A subjective contest is one where you ask for a "best answer". For instance, "the person who can give us the best slogan for our new product wins".

It may benefit you to incorporate both types of skill contest to break up the monotony. Make it fun and interesting and people will come back for more.

When the participants submit an answer you probably want to begin compiling some demographic data on them. Rather than annoy people and put them on an involuntary list and start spamming them, you should give them the option to receive a weekly newsletter. In a short period of time, you will have a huge mailing list of people that are interested in what you have to say. This is far more powerful than a random list of people that will probably get annoyed if you mail them anyway.

It is a good idea to have your contest registered in as many different directories as possible. Remember that you can bill the contest as a separate site. The more times your site is listed in the various directories, the better.

There are also some contest specific directories out there that will bring in large amounts of traffic. Do a web search for "contest" or "trivia". Find the sites that may list yours and aggressively seek a listing there. Remember to be polite. Flatter them a little. It never hurts.


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