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2008-03-02

Are Entrecard Contests a Waste of Time?  

I didn't enter as many contests in February as I did in January. As a result, I didn't win much of anything. True, there are thousands of Entrecarders who have been added to the potential contestant pool...but there are also many more folks who are holding contests.

(Yawn.)

So what. I just can't get excited about a 200-1000 EC grand prize at this point. What with 20 different Entrecard accounts I get 200 ECs just on daily ad revenue alone. Drop like a madman for a couple of hours and I've rolled up 2000+ ECs. I've even burned out on subscribing to blogs as the vehicle for entering contests. By the time I get the email subscription I have already been to their sites and decided whether or not I wanted to read the posts. Archive. Archive. Archive. Oh, why bother signing up in the first place? You didn't really want me as a reader...you just wanted bigger numbers for your chicklet.

So, methinks, I'll enter those contests with larger prizes, as long as I don't have to write a 300 word review, Digg & Stumble, etc. Make me work longer than 15 minutes for the CHANCE to win 3000 ECs and I'm wondering why I just didn't drop cards instead and get a guaranteed 500 ECs. Still, I wonder how those bigger prize contests are faring....

Not too well, if some recent posts are any indication. Did you enter Saphrym's $250 Grand Prize contest? Apparently only 37 people did, myself included. I like those odds and was willing to spend 15 minutes posting and linking to get in the game. Radical Blogger was surprised to receive a measly 15 entries to his 10000 EC giveaway (1st Prize - 5000 ECs) and 13 year old Marko from Blogging Tips got a whopping 11 entries to his 3500 EC contest. I didn't even enter these latter two contests, opting instead to try to create a caption for some dogs and trying to crack a code.

I repeat, are Entrecard contests a waste of time?

I guess the better question is why did I participate in the contests listed above? As far as Saphrym's contest goes, it was due to the large cash prize. Putting a caption on the doggie photo? I liked the contest in that it was quirky and I could exercise some creativity. Cracking the code? It was a mental challenge (I failed).

I believe the time has come for folks to wschew the 100-1000 EC contests and step up to larger prizes where more work is required of the contestant. Why? Short term spikes in subscriptions due to "sign-up" contests will aid rankings but not gain readership over the long haul. There are other ways than holding a contest to spend your ECs that will build relationships in the Entrecard community, like repeatedly advertising on someone widget.

A suggestion for contest promoters: Shorter time frames, not ending on the last day of the month, guaranteed reward for submitting a fully qualified entry, and make if fun!

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3 comments: to “ Are Entrecard Contests a Waste of Time?

  • Rachel Keslensky
    March 2, 2008 at 5:59 PM  

    I think you're confusing the fact that just because it's an entrecard contest doesn't mean it's automatically a good contest.

    I just recently did a contest over at my blog - not for credits, mind you, but for me to make custom art for the winners. At least 10 folk emailed, and given how short the time frame was to win, that wasn't bad at all!

    I recommend Seth Godin's "Unleashing the Ideavirus" for anyone who wants to throw a contest that has any lasting value; I would have followed more of his rules from the book except that a partner of mine wanted me to see if anyone would respond to begin with, but it's still good reading.

  • radicalb
    March 3, 2008 at 7:11 AM  

    I think that bloggers in general are all contested out at present. Everywhere you look blogs are running a contest of some sort.

    It is probably time to rethink the contest strategy. In a way they are artificial traffic generators. The only lasting traffic generator is to have good content.

    Interesting review of contests.

    cheers
    les
    the radical blogger

  • Anonymous
    April 28, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

    Great Ideas!