Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 11, 2009
For those of you who read my 2009 Online Goals post, and those of you who will possibly go back and read it now, my third internet goal for this year was to increase my RSS subscribers to 500 by the end of the year. At the time I didn’t have any idea how to get there; now, I’ve come up with something that might help me get closer.
First, the reason why I want more RSS subscribers. I’ve been writing most of my life. I think I’m a pretty good writer, and I have a lot to say. And I like that people come here to read what I have to say, and comment on it, but the truth of the matter is that I’m somewhat of a writing narcissist; I want as many people as possible to read what I write, and pass it on to others. Not only in this forum either, but I’ll stick with this one for the moment. Not only that, but it’s always acknowledged that marketers have a better chance of making money if they have higher numbers of something, either visitors or subscribers or email addresses for those types of lists. Everyone knows that a big part of this blog is to help me generate income online, but I want readers and subscribers and the like. And this contest is geared towards that.
There was an initial problem, though. I can see how many subscribers I obtain through Feedburner, but it doesn’t tell me who’s subscribing. It does tell me who becomes a fan, though. So, I have to use a different method for determining who the winners will be, and there will be a first prize winner, a second prize winner, and a third prize winner. That’s it; no ties. It will be a drawing, which is going to require a lot of work from me, but I’m ready for it because I’ve done things like it in the past, and I’m well equipped to get it done properly. Everyone will be able to earn entries; how many entries they earn will be determined by what I’m writing below.
Now, the contest. Right now, Feedburner is showing that I have 54 subscribers to this blog. I want to increase that number to at least 250 subscribers in 28 days, which is the main thrust of the contest; the contest starts on Sunday the 11th of January, and ends on Monday, February 9th at 3AM EST, to give people on the West Coast a chance to have until midnight to enter if they so choose. In this introductory post, every person who writes something is automatically entered into the contest, but that’s not all. I want more than a blanket “here I am“, but I’m going to accept that as one entry; spam will be deleted, so don’t try it. But there’s more.
If you become a fan of this blog on Technorati, that will add another entry for you. We’re up to two possible entries.
I have a business newsletter, the T. T. Mitchell Consulting Newsletter, geared towards leadership, management, motivation, customer service, and other business issues, that’s fairly entertaining if I say so myself. Everyone who subscribes to that newsletter, and, in the subscription letter, tells me the name they use on my IJS blog, gets another entry. You don’t have to subscribe to the healthcare newsletter, since I write that one also, and subscribing to it doesn’t give you an extra entry. For examples of that newsletter, you can check out my latest issue, Chain Of Command and a previous issue, Credibility. We’re now up to three possible entries.
I participate on Twitter, and my link there is for Mitch_M. Anyone who follows me on Twitter, and mentions it on my blog, along with their user name (the only way I can go back and verify you’re actually following me), gets a fourth entry.
I now have a brand new blog, Top Finance Blog, and it needs a little bit of promotion. Anyone who happens to mention it on their blog with a link back to the site, then informs me here of it, earns another entry. If you happen to write an article and link to a particular post that helps the article, and you give me that instead, that’s two entries. We’re now up to either five or six entries.
The final opportunity for entries is to purchase a Top Spot link, which is over there near the top on the right. Those links are $5, and since I’m not expecting a lot of people to do that then it’s possible that your link will stick around for awhile, but anyone who purchases a link earns 10 entries into the contest. That’s now a possible 15 or 16 total entries into the contest; that’s not bad if you ask me.
Okay, I hear you now: “That all sounds well and good, but what the heck could you offer that’s worth all of that.” Well, it’s now time for the prizes. These are the minimum prizes that the winners will receive, but only if I hit that 250 subscriber number:
* First prize wins, at least, a website optimization review of up to 10 pages, which is worth $300 based on my SEO business (if you don’t have a website, or want cash instead, I’ll pay you a $50 prize, either through Paypal or by check); a copy of the book The Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind Gardner, which is worth $59, and will be purchased by me and sent to you by Barnes & Noble; a signed copy of my book Embrace The Lead on leadership, worth $25; and a copy of my ebook Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool, worth $20.
* Second prize wins, at least, an optimization review of three pages of their website, a $100 value (or a $20 cash prize); a signed copy of my book Embrace The Lead; and a copy of my ebook Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool.
* Third prize wins, at least, a copy of my ebook Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool and a written review of your blog or website, on this blog.
Now, why am I saying “at least“? Because I’m offering anyone who wishes to help sponsor this contest by adding a prize to any of the levels something. When I receive an offer of a prize for one of the levels, or all of the levels, I will mention that prize in a post on the day I’m notified of it in a blog post, along with a link to their website or blog, as I’ll be giving regular updates of how things are progressing (as well as my normal blog posts), mention all of them again on the day that I identify the winners and all the prizes they won; and create a widget for them that will appear on the right sidebar for a month, dofollow of course, with their blog name and, of course, the link to their blog, or website as you will, in that box. By the way, unless you’re offering something for all three prize slots, I’ll make the determination as to whether your donation is a first, second, or third prize gift.
Frankly, I don’t think I’ve seen many blog contests that offer so much, as such perceived value as it already is, and value that could increase as some sponsors might come out of the woodwork and want to offer something. Of course, my opinion is biased, but now it’s out here for everyone to see, and if you see it as a nice value then you’ll participate in the contest. And I hope you mention it to your friends, mention it in your blog posts, mention it on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace or Digg or StumbleUpon or Technorati or wherever else you want to mention it. Get the word out, and let’s at least get to that 250 figure. Like I said, it’s going to be a lot of work for me, but I don’t mind because, well, it’s all about y’all. Okay, it’s about me also, but it’s not like y’all won’t be getting anything out of it, right? Look at that Spread The Word thing just above the comment box, pick something, and do whatever it does to help get the word out. If this contest works, well, who knows what the next one, if I have another one, might be.
As Bartles and James used to say, “I thank you for your support.”