I frequently receive emails from readers wanting to know how to grow their blog and spread the word about their business. These questions can not simply be answered with a few sentences. I try my best to answer them but there is just so much to know. And there are things that I don’t know too much about myself. We can always learn more! And everyone’s success is achieved in slightly different ways.
Once you have your product and you’re feeling the itch to grow your business outside of the Etsy world, there are a few things you can do. Here’s what’s worked for me:
That’s pretty much all I’ve done! And when I say giveaways, I’m talking about having giveaways on other blogs, generally larger than yours. My first giveaway was on Make it and Love it and was the most successful giveaway I’ve ever had.
I would venture to say here that at least 25% of you found me through that one giveaway!
I gained 700 followers through that giveaway.
It. Was. Awesome. Ashley emailed me while it was going on and said “If you’re ever having a bad day, come read these comments…they love you!” It was a wonderful couple of days.
Have Something Worth Entering For. I require a $40 minimum for my giveaways because whenever I did anything less, people wouldn’t bother entering. There are SO MANY giveaways in blogland now that your giveaway has to be amazing, special, and unique to be worth your while. (That being said, make sure you can afford your giveaway…but remember sometimes you have to spend money to make money!)
Have GREAT Pictures of Your Product Giveaway. Who wants to enter a giveaway when you can barely tell what you might win? As usual, photography and great photos are EVERYTHING in business. If you don’t feel confident with your photos, consider having a professional (or a friend who is pretty good) take pictures. And you can always edit your photos to appear brighter and lighter. (Don’t forget to include your watermark!) If you are having a shop credit as the prize, make sure all your shop pictures are great. Which you should anyway, right??
Make Sure to Have Good Communication With Your Giveaway Host. You need to be able to tell your host exactly what you would like to see in your giveaway so as to get the most from it. You can tell her to spotlight certain things from your shop or just show things that are her favorite. Tell her exactly WHAT you are giving away as well as any specific ways to gain entries (follow your blog, FB, etc.)
Find Giveaway Hosts on the RIGHT Blog For You. When you decide to have a giveaway, you need to analyze where your giveaway would be the best received. Make sure their reading audience are the type of people who would like your products.
For example, a friend of mine who sells a photography-related product found that craft blogs were not great for her since all of us DIYers just wanted to make it ourself. She found the best success on scrapbooking blogs…which makes great sense right? All those scrapbookers are taking pictures all the time and therefore would be attracted to purchase photography related products!
After you’ve determined your right market, pick out your favorite blogs and go read their giveaway posts. You will want to look for certain things:
- How much attention you get for your products alone
- How well they advertise the giveaway
- How they require people to enter
I one time did a giveaway on a blog that I really like but was quite disappointed with the results. This blogger had about 10 ways to enter my giveaway, half of which were about her own blog/FB/Twitter. My advice here is to stay away from blogs that do this.
For one, too many ways to enter gets super confusing for readers and they end up just skipping entering at all. For two, when the blog is promoting themself, the readers who you might have earned as new followers and fans will not come because they can enter as followers of the giveaway blog.
Spend Money Wisely. Giveaway posts usually cost money, especially for the larger blogs. They also usually have their calendars fill up early. Decide where your money would be best spent and plan ahead for the giveaways. The money you might spend for a giveaway can end up being VERY worth it. I would spend that money I paid for my giveaway on Make it and Love it again and again if I could have the same results every time. (That being said, try branching out your giveaways to reach new readers every time.)
Keep it Simple! Best ways to enter in my opinion?
- Visit my Shop
- Follow my blog
- Like me on FB
Those are my favorite ways to connect with my customers. But others prefer Twitter or whatnot and that’s fine too. It’s fun if you ask to share it on FB or Twitter as well. But you have to pick and choose what works best for you and what brings you the best results. But keep it simple and you will reach more people.
Spread the Word! This is up to both you and the giveaway host. If you’ve chosen well, your host will do a great job advertising your giveaway. But you can do your part by telling your readers and customers about the giveaway and reminding them a couple time while it’s going on. This is a great time to share the link on FB and Twitter. You can even Stumble the post! If you have blogger connections you can even ask them to share your giveaway as well.