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My Big RSS Subscriber Contest!

Posted by 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.”

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Make Money Online:

That was a long read Mitch. I think you could break them down into smaller points in the future but I definitely in for this. Cash prize.. Yummy!


Make Money Online´s last blog post..15 Innovative Uses For Twitter

January 11th, 2009 | 10:36 AM

Thanks Ben; you’re the first entrant. And I wanted it to be a big time contest, and, well, you know I don’t do anything small. 🙂

January 11th, 2009 | 11:26 AM
John Alden | Web Tasarim:

Indeed it’s a little long Mitch but i’ve actually read it 😛 Even though it’s pretty old, it got may attention.Are you thinking about launching a similar contest in the near future? I’d love to join 😀

August 13th, 2010 | 6:47 AM

No, I think my contest days are quite over.

August 13th, 2010 | 8:32 AM

Cool Dennis; you’ve got your first entry now also. Dash; snicker!

January 11th, 2009 | 4:21 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

This sounds like a good idea for increasing your readership and maybe even earning more money from all you’re doing.

I’m not much for entering contests, so I’ll just wish you good luck with it.

It’s also a good way to celebrate National DeLurking Week.

Act on your dream!


January 12th, 2009 | 8:25 AM

That’s funny, John, “delurking week”. Actually, just by writing the comment, you earned an entry, so you’re in no matter what. Course, if I don’t hit the number, it won’t matter anyway. Thanks; let’s hope for the best.

January 12th, 2009 | 10:15 AM

I’m reading his post now; it’s real! lol

January 12th, 2009 | 11:02 AM

Have fun keeping track of all the enteries coming in from every direction. Of course, I don’t use RSS as I do it the old fashioned way and bookmark stuff.

Twitter was all the buzz at Mousefest in December. Not sure I like the idea of being followed around. You’ll have to explain why it’s a good thing to me.

Good luck! HOpe you get lots of new people. I’ll be sending out your email to my friends and family. Hey, don’t I get entries for that? :->

Scott Thomas Photography´s last blog post..View 55: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

January 12th, 2009 | 9:52 AM

No Scott, but you did get an entry just for writing a response on the blog. Course, it’s not helping the RSS count go up, which is the main goal, so if I don’t hit that number then it’s all null and void. I’m going to have to teach you some of this stuff; you’ll find it pretty easy to deal with (that is, if my program works on a Mac).

January 12th, 2009 | 10:59 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Scott.

I’m late to the conversation, but wanted to mention this…

Twitter made a lot more sense to me when I replaced the word “follow” with “listen.”

Now, I don’t think of lots of people following me, I think of over 900 people listening to what I say on Twitter.

I don’t know if it will make a difference for you, but it did for me.

It’s just another channel to get your message out to the world.

Act on your dream!


January 16th, 2009 | 7:59 AM

Wow! That’s a lot of prizes. I’m also looking to increase subscriber counts this year but don’t think I’ll be able to put together quite that impressive of a prize package. Best of luck!

Nick´s last blog post..I will be beta testing Windows 7

January 12th, 2009 | 5:59 PM

Thanks Nick. I’m hoping it grows, but of course the number of people entering the contest will have to grow, as well as those RSS subscriptions. But it’s only day one after all, so I’m still expecting big things as the word gets out.

January 12th, 2009 | 6:18 PM
DeAnna Troupe:

Okay, I’ve already subscribed to your blog. I’ve also interviewed you on my BTR show. How many entries does that give me? LOL. I’d love to contribute a prize. I’ve got to think of something good…

January 12th, 2009 | 6:28 PM

Thanks Deanna. No, the interview doesn’t give you more points, but there’s lots of stuff here that can give you many more entries. And if you come up with a prize, that’ll make it all even better.

January 12th, 2009 | 7:06 PM

Sounds like a good contest Mitch. I wanted to ask you how long did it take for you to get your 54 subscribers? Did you do other contests? I’m trying to think of ideas of what I can do to get more readers.

BrandC´s last blog post..Getting Accepted into the eBay Partner Network

January 16th, 2009 | 7:20 PM

It’s actually a funny story, Brand. I was sitting around 20 or 25 subscribers, not moving at all, then I wrote a post called I Want More RSS Subscribers and that ended up slightly more than doubling my subscriber count. Yes, sometimes you have to ask for it, and I did. 🙂

January 16th, 2009 | 8:32 PM

count me on joining in too Mitch, but I´ll reread the whole post on Monday quietly to see what I gotta do 🙂

(you might want to consider a short list at the end of the post to summarize it 😉 )

Mirjam´s last blog post..Ever Thought of Monetizing Your Exit Traffic?

January 17th, 2009 | 11:17 AM

Thanks for joining in, Mirjam. If you can think of a way to shorten it for a summary, I’d consider it; just can’t figure out how to get it done, as the post is already kind of long. lol

January 17th, 2009 | 11:26 AM

hey Mitch,
how about this:

1 comment to this post -> 1 entry
become a fan on technoratie -> 1 entry
subscribe to TT Mitchell Consulting Newsletter -> 1 entry (tell name you use on IJS)
follow me on Twitter (Mitch_M ) -> 1 entry (share your username on IJS)
mention Top Finance Blog with link on your blog -> 1 entry
mention a specific IJS post in your blog and write about it, linking to the post -> 2 entries
purchase a Top Spot Link -> 10 entries

as a list, a summery to all possible ways to get entries… now that i checked, and seeing you want more subscribers, how about 1 entry for subscribing and letting you know about it in the comments?

Mirjam´s last blog post..Ever Thought of Monetizing Your Exit Traffic?

January 18th, 2009 | 10:57 AM

We’ll leave what you wrote here as the short list, Mirjam; thanks.

As to the other, people could say they had subscribed, but I can’t search to prove that they’ve subscribed, which is why I didn’t include it.

January 18th, 2009 | 12:55 PM

*scratching my head*

…. if the whole idea behind the contest is to get more subscribers … how would that work if you give entries to all sorts of things except actually subscribing….?

Mirjam´s last blog post..Ever Thought of Monetizing Your Exit Traffic?

January 18th, 2009 | 1:07 PM

That’s why it’s set at a specific number for the contest to be official. If I hit the 250, the prizes go out; if not, they don’t. Feedburner only tells me who subscribes to the email feed, and nothing else. So, the only thing I can confirm, other than the email feed, is the total number.

That is, unless you know another way I can see it. Wouldn’t do me much good to have 100 people tell me they subscribed, but I look up and only see 60 people have actually subscribed.

January 18th, 2009 | 1:24 PM

ah alright now I am getting it LOL …. anyways… count me in, signed up on rss, faved ya on technorati, and signed up for your consulting newsletter 🙂

Good luck reaching your rss goal!!

Mirjam´s last blog post..Ever Thought of Monetizing Your Exit Traffic?

January 19th, 2009 | 9:38 AM

Wonderful stuff, Mirjam. I really hope we reach this number, seeing how engaged you are in the contest. Thanks!

January 19th, 2009 | 9:59 AM
Boyz II Men:

Ah I understand now. I was trying to figure out myself how you were going to benefit subscription-wise from this but it sounds good now. Thanks for the list of methods Mirjam, it’s a nice overview of the post lol.

January 19th, 2009 | 3:07 PM
Boyz II Men:

I think you’ve got a great idea here. I saw a similar contest on another site recently and that blog was able to gain over 300 subscribers in a month. I hope the contest works as well for you!

I’ll be keeping up to date to see how things go.

January 18th, 2009 | 1:06 PM

Thanks Boyz; I’m hoping for the best as well, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by.

January 18th, 2009 | 1:25 PM

Well, I do have a back up number that I’m looking at, but I don’t want to mention it because then it takes away from the ultimate goal.

January 18th, 2009 | 1:39 PM

Great contest with some really attractive prizes. Count me in. I’ve subscribed!

January 21st, 2009 | 10:57 AM

Glad to have you aboard, Kris; thanks!

January 21st, 2009 | 3:59 PM
The Almost Millionaire:

I’m excited that you are doing this. If it goes well I may want to hire you to help me set up and organize something similar. I have similar 2009 goals for several of my web properties. I’ll stay posted. Thanks,

January 21st, 2009 | 6:01 PM

Thanks Brandon. I hope it goes well, and I wish you great success this year also.

January 21st, 2009 | 6:14 PM

I hope you get your targeted subscribers! I’m one of ’em 🙂

I have also faved you on technorati (ID: bunnybox9)

And I also follow you on twitter (ID: bunnyb)

January 22nd, 2009 | 2:41 AM

Thanks Bunny; you sure like contests, from what I saw. Good luck!

January 22nd, 2009 | 2:53 AM
Wynter Jones:

Great contest, SEO optimization review would be priceless ! Unfortunately I don’t have a RSS service haha so I am signing and subscribing here first ! 🙂

Wynter Jones´s last blog post..Christmas Holidays & New Years

January 23rd, 2009 | 6:45 AM
Wynter Jones:

oops totally missed the e-mail opt-in for RSS subscription, that is much easier and more effective. Subscribed 🙂

Wynter Jones´s last blog post..Christmas Holidays & New Years

January 23rd, 2009 | 6:49 AM

Glad to have you as a part of it all, Wynter; good luck to both of us. 🙂

January 23rd, 2009 | 10:02 AM

Very cool man was meaning to drop by and subscribe soon anyway! this is just further incentive :p

Also added you to me new Twitter account
DonTheNexus 😀

January 23rd, 2009 | 4:51 PM

Great seeing you here, Don; I wish you well, and hope the contest ends up being pulled off.

January 23rd, 2009 | 5:39 PM

Great contest 🙂 I have my subscriber entry in. Best of luck to all!

January 23rd, 2009 | 11:40 PM

Glad to have you aboard, Sena; good luck in the long run.

January 24th, 2009 | 12:59 AM

Fantastic contest there. Really sounds delicious.

Make Money Online Tips´s last blog post..Top 3 Ways To Make Money Online

January 24th, 2009 | 4:08 AM

Thanks for joining in; let’s see where it all goes.

January 24th, 2009 | 2:32 PM

great contest great price. join ah..:)

January 26th, 2009 | 2:03 AM

Glad to have you stop by; thanks.

January 26th, 2009 | 9:27 AM
Sonia Partnersuch:

I have read your post and since you were very worried about being read, I decided to please you and subscribe to your rss feed and add you on twitter.
I also did it because you were a narcissist writer but also because you are doing a good job and your blog is interesting.
Keep on working,


January 28th, 2009 | 11:17 AM

Thanks Sonia, although I don’t see myself as a “narcissist”, if you will. Just because I write about whatever I feel like writing about doesn’t mean it’s all about me. If it were, I’d be telling people how great I am, then asking them to tell me how great I am.

Hmmm, maybe being a narcissist wouldn’t be so bad after all. 🙂

January 28th, 2009 | 12:45 PM
SEO Blog:

Just subscribed to your blog, but if you want to increase rss subscriber you got to at least publish 3 posts every week, sorry mate don’t mean to act smart just friendly advice.

February 1st, 2009 | 6:18 PM

Thanks for your comment, SEO, but you must have come through Google to find this contest. I’ve written 5 articles on this blog in the past week, and 25 articles in the month of January, which is way more than your 3 articles a week. Not to act smart, asyou said, just giving the facts. I’m not sure there’s any one person putting out as much content as I am on as consistent a basis.

February 1st, 2009 | 10:59 PM

Ah…I just realize that this post is sticky post, I thought it’s the newest post, when I saw the date (Jan 11), this man is rarely update its blog. That’s why I gave you “friendly advice” like in the above Mitch:D, sorry it’s my mistake.

February 2nd, 2009 | 6:52 AM

No problem; it does point out, though, that sometimes, when checking someone out for the first time, that it might be beneficial to take a look at the “whole” before commenting on the “specific”.

There is also something about the sticky posts, though, because I’d thought about it before I did it, not having any reason to use them before. I knew what they’d do by testing, but my hope was that it would drop to the bottom of the main page and stay there without leaving, not stick around at the top. It will probably be the last time I use that.

February 2nd, 2009 | 2:44 PM

I have to vouch for Mitch on this one, he has got to be one of the most proliferate posters that I know of.

Sire´s last blog post..Doing Paid Posts And Not Getting Google Slapped.

February 2nd, 2009 | 12:40 AM

Ok Mitch, add one more number to your subscribers list! I just did. Maybe, just maybe, I can make it on your top commenters list! Love your writing, btw. 😉

Coco – Kennewick Real Estate´s last blog post..Great Story Of Hope

February 2nd, 2009 | 1:54 PM

Thanks, Coco, for your kind words. Keep reading, and, well, I’ll be writing about the contest some more later on.

February 2nd, 2009 | 2:56 PM
Keno Site:

Hi Mitch

I guess I am too late, way late for this contest. Anyways I am subscribed your RSS and hopefully you will start another contests very soon.


May 13th, 2009 | 4:24 AM

Thanks Ravi. We’ll see if I throw another contest, as I’ll have lots of stuff to remember to make it more successful.

May 13th, 2009 | 9:16 AM
Abdé Amour:

It was really long to read your article but i don’t regret it at all.

I ssubscrib to your RSS immediatly.
Hope to hear about u soon

June 17th, 2009 | 7:45 AM