Top Ten Must-Haves for Giveaways

I have run my own giveaways for awhile now and got a good idea of what works and doesn’t work for my site. I also like to enter giveaways when I have time. I wanted to share with you today my top ten suggestions when running a giveaway on your blog.

Top Ten Must-Haves for Giveaways

  1. Be Clear About the Prize. What are you giving away? Be as specific as you can so the readers know exactly what they are entering to win. Pictures also help.
  2. List when the date the giveaway ends with exact time and timezone. Giving the end time is key so readers know when it’s closed.
  3. List what countries can enter. Is it open to worldwide? US only? US & Canada? As a Canadian I won’t bother entering a giveaway unless I see that Canada can enter.
  4. In your title, write the word “Giveaway”. If you just put the company name and nothing else, your readers might miss that it’s a giveaway.
  5. Have working links in your giveaway. If you want your readers to “like” you on Facebook or follow on Twitter, have the link directly in the bonus entry. Don’t make them search your blog or Google to find your links.
  6. If you are asking for your reader to tweet your giveaway, make sure you say how often they can tweet (ie. 1x per day) and either give them a tweet to copy and paste or have the Retweet button (like TweetMeme) on your post.
  7. Indicate how you will be contacting your winner and how long they have to reply to your email before you select a new name. It’s good to say how you select your winner, ie. or picking a name from a hat, etc.
  8. Use a one step main entry. Keep it easy and don’t make them jump through hoops for the main entry. Do one thing only like visiting the sponsor site and choose a favourite product, or follow on Twitter, etc. Don’t say Follow on Twitter AND Like on Facebook AND blog about the giveaway for the main entry.
  9. Reduce the amount of comments that you allow to load on the giveaway post. So for example, Blogger shows 200 comments per page. With WordPress you need to go in and manually change this in your Settings. I only recently learned about this option (crazy I know!), but it’s made a big difference.
  10. Get rid of the CAPTCHA! Many people will not bother doing the bonus entries if it takes them to long to do. On WordPress, you can get rid of the annoying “Slow down you are posting too fast” with the Disable Check Comment Flood plugin. I had it installed for awhile, then had to uninstall when my host made me turn off most of my plugins. I’ve got it on now so fingers crossed everything goes ok….

Do you agree or disagree with my suggestions? I’d love to hear what you think!


  1. says

    Great list. I’d also add, for ease of those entering, to create your own Tweet so people can just copy and paste. They can still do their own, too, but just helpful.

  2. says

    I agree! I run my giveaways with all of that because as someone that loves to enter myself I think the more details the better :) Thanks for posting. I do NOT like Captcha lol

  3. says

    Great post! Maybe I can add a bit of different perspective as I have donated prizes for blogger giveaways.

    Everything needs to be aboveboard and transparent if you want to maintain credibility with prospective sponsors. I recall one giveaway where three of my four prizes went to the same person! Given the hundreds of entrants, the odds of that happening naturally were remote.

    Anyway, thanks for helping other bloggers. You’re a much-needed resource.

  4. says

    I totally agree with your suggestions…and do them all in my own giveaways (largely because I’ve learned what works and does for me when I entered giveaways!).

    I loathe captcha. Ugh.

  5. says

    It would make my life so much easier if more giveaway bloggers would follow these tips! If I can one I don’t think was mentioned – make sure your links open in a new window.

    I hate clicking on a link for a sponsor’s twitter page, and then get “stuck” and have to click back several times to get to the giveaway. Then repeat the process for Facebook, sponsor’s website, blogger’s Facebook, etc.

    I try to follow most of these. Sometimes I worry if I have TOO many entry options, but I prefer to enter giveaways where there’s many to choose from.

  6. says

    Thanks for the list, I agree. I’ve learned most of these myself. The only thing I don’t do is list how I pick my winner but I guess people who don’t frequently enter giveaways might want to know that. Well I don’t limit comments per page either but I don’t get hundreds of entries either and I prefer forms.

    What I want to know, is if there’s a good reason to list my winners in a new post on my blog? I see many people doing that and I don’t and I don’t see why I should. I email the winner, if the other entrants don’t get my email, they didn’t win. What’s the bonus behind posting the winner on my blog? (Especially those that include their results and the comment the winner made.)

    • says

      I don’t do blog posts with my Winners anymore either. I’m trying to limit my posts so that my reviews and giveaways stay up longer. That’s one reason why I moved my Winners to a page. Then I just need to add to the page each time I select a winner and people can easily check and see who has won. The Winners tab is on my menu bar now at the top.

  7. says

    As always great info. I always look forward to your input.

    I’m already implementing all of these pointers. One thing I do on my site is I do not have a mandatory entry. I really try to steer the company aways from making my readers do anything to win. I like for my readers to feel like they are in control, so I offer 10 different wants to enter and the reader can choose to enter all 10 ways or just one.

    Also, if Tweeting and Facebook messages are entry options, I give them the message I wanted posted.

  8. says

    I’ve just recently started doing product reviews and interested in doing Giveaways. This article helps tremendously. The only thing now, is to learn WordPress and


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