The Writer’s Giveaway Experiment

I’m building a giveaway for writers featuring StudioPress, Adazing Book Marketing, Cory Huff TAA, Pressbooks, ProWritingAid, BESTself +…

“An open notebook on a wooden surface in front of a laptop” by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

I’m building a giveaway for writers featuring StudioPress, Adazing Book Marketing, Cory Huff TAA, Pressbooks, ProWritingAid, BESTself + more… Here’s how I’m setting things up.

I have no clue how this will go…

But I’m giving it a lash anyway.

I’ve read a lot about giveaways. I’ve even run one or two in the not so distant past and I figure, based on the info I’ve gathered that it’s one of the best ways to build a following and gain notice for the stuff I write.

I was a little apprehensive about asking for prizes from people I had no prior relationship with other than I was receiving their email newsletters. I thought, right - I’m just going to give this a go. I’ll reach out to a few high profile people in the writing and marketing space and see what happens.

If they say no I’ll just suck it up and move on.

So I asked them.

They said yes.

I emailed them all individually and one after the other they all agreed to get on board. Awesome or what!

Here’s who is currently on board

It really was that easy.

I couldn’t believe how enthusiastic everyone was to get involved. Afterall, I was just some random writer bloke from the internet to most of them.

Needless to say I was very happy about it.

I raised an eyebrow. (I don’t express too much emotion… :-|)

The Giveaway Launches Soon.

If you’d like to know when the Giveaway launches, or you’d like to find out how to build one yourself, join my weekly Sunday Letters readers. They will be the first to get all the lowdown on how this thing went, warts n’all.

Here’s Why I’m Doing It

I decided last November I’d run a Giveaway to help build a following for the stuff I’m writing.

I write and publish every day and honestly, readers who comment and share my stuff keep me coming back to my desk each morning. After all, without an audience we might as well be speaking to an empty room.

I shouldn’t imply that writing is a slog for me, it’s not. I enjoy writing, getting my thoughts down on paper (electronic screen), and sharing them with whoever takes the time to read them.

You see, I’ve got ideas and stories and I want to share them. I don’t know why I’m just compelled to somehow.

I narrate the articles I write and publish to a podcast too. That’s a recent thing.

In the last few months I built just over 100 episodes on The Daily Larb Podcast and I’m enjoying the ongoing process.

The Daily Larb on iTunes

I realise that turning up and dedicating myself to a consistent writing and publishing schedule is important if I am to complete a body of work I can be proud of.

And that’s the key you see. I write for myself first and foremost but I’m not supposed to say that am I? I should be writing for other people. But that BS. For an artist to create something of value then it must be a piece of who they are. If the rest of the world resonates with it then that’s a bonus.

Part of this current process involves the publishing of my first paperback, The Artist’s Manifesto. This is my creative philosophy.

Like any writer, I want to get as many eyeballs on my stuff as I can so I decided a giveaway for writers might be a good way to do that.

The Prize Details

The Giveaway Prize currently valued over $1,900.00

I have reached out to a couple other complimentary platforms which may or may not get involved. Even if they don’t I think I’ve got a pretty good prize for the winner.

Not to mention discounts for everyone who enters on most of these prizes

Here’s How The Prize Looks

The prize is geared towards writers seeking to write, publish and market their book in the next 12 months and includes the following prizes (thus far) for the winner;

  • StudioPress — StudioPress Pro Plus Theme Package, value $499.95

  • The Abundant Artist — 12 months subscription to TAA Association, value $400.00

  • NinjaOutreach — 6 months FREE Blogger Outreach Account, value $414.00

  • Adazing Book Marketing — Lifetime subscription to Author Academy, value $207.00

  • ProWritingAid — Free lifetime subscription to ProWritingAid, value $175.00

  • Pressbooks FREE PDF+eBook Pro book formatting Account, value $99.00

  • The Artist’s Manifesto Paperback, PDF eBook & Audiobook, value $49.00

  • BESTself — A SELFjournal Goal Setting Journal, value $39.00

  • Selection of Books for writers, value $30.00

As of writing this, the total winner’s prize value is $1,912.95 USD

Pretty cool, eh?

I’ll be breaking all the prize contents down fully in a future post. If you’d like to get that article then jump on board here.

Even If You Don’t Win, You Win

Every time you share your unique giveaway link (you get one when you enter) and someone else signs up using it, you’ll get 5 new entries to the draw.

The more you share the greater your chance of winning.

But even if you don’t win you still win because there are discounts to be had on the promoters products and services ranging from 10% to 25%.

I tried to get them all to go for 25% but no joy :-( No matter it’s still a great prize.

Here’s How I’m Doing It (BROAD STEPS)

I’ll detail this entire process plus results after the Giveaway is complete so this will be just a helicopter view.

My site is built on WordPress so that means it’s easy to add the functionality I need to run a Giveaway.

I’m using KingSumo Giveaways created by the taco munching marketer noah kagan. I like the plugin and it’s easy to install and set up. Integration with their Sumo list building tools would be cool, but it’s not there at this moment.

Anyway, that’s a bit of an aside…

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a WordPress site, you can still build a Kingsumo Giveaway on your site. Just follow these instructions. If you’d like to build your own Giveaway (assuming you are on WP), here’s what you need to do…

STEP 1 — PURCHASE KINGSUMO

Purchase and download Kingsumo

(Pssst…I have a 50% discount code that I used and it’s still valid. Email me and I’ll send to you).

STEP 2 — INSTALL & ACTIVATE

Install and activate Kingsumo on your website.

There are quite a few settings including the email service provider authorisation so take your time and complete each element as necessary.

When you purchase Kingsumo you’ll get a licence key. Paste it into the settings window as shown in the video below.

This is pretty simple I promise.

More on the setup here

STEP 3 — SET UP YOUR GIVEAWAY

I could go into all the steps necessary here, but I wont. Instead I’ll refer you to a Kingsumo support video that explains it all.

How Do I Set Up My First Giveaway?

STEP 4 — SET UP YOUR EMAIL AUTORESPONDER SEQUENCE

This part of the process is very important because it should be built to fire at specific times during your Giveaway to your email list.

The Kingsumo plugin has a couple of default emails that go to new entrants but they do not have reminder emails. You’ll need to do that in MailChimp or Get Response, Aweber or whatever other email platform you use.

Kingsumo will sync with your email platform so all new subscribers should land in your email list. New additions to your list during the giveaway should not get the earlier emails in the autoresponder sequence becaue they will not be synced with the running of your giveaway.

Get it?

I’d suggest you consider a new email every second day up to the third last day then increase to one email each of the last three days. On the final day you should consider sending your list two if not three reminders.

The final day is when most sharing and new entrants occur so best to prompt your list on the final day with 24hrs, 6hrs, 3hrs, 1hr to go notices, or something along those lines.

When the Giveaway is over send another email to congratulate everyone and mention when the winner will be drawn.

Josh Earl has some really good articles on setting up your giveaway for best results that you should read.

Read this article too from Josh Earl on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income to gain some insight. This article is where I was first introduced to Giveaways.

Suggested Email List Email Sequence

Here’s an email sequence you might consider setting up in your email service provider account such as MailChimp. Make sure to include share links in your emails.

Email #1 — One week prior to launch

Let your list know what’s coming, what they can win and when the Giveaway will start. Have your blog post written up and published before this email so you can share the entire thing with them.

Email #2 — One day prior to launch

Reminder that the giveaway will launch tomorrow. Include relevant link to where they can enter and what they need to do to increase their chances of winning.

Email #3 — (Day 1) Launch day

This email is your launch email. All links and information previously provided should be included again.

Email #4 — (Day 3) Tips how to share

Leave people with it for a few days. On day 3 send your list tips on how they can get more subscribers. Refer them to facebook groups, their phone contacts, Whatsapp, Messenger, LinkedIn Groups & contacts, Reddit, Stumble, and forums where they might hang out.

Email #5 — (Day 5) 3 days to go

Ask your list how they are doing. Mention that entrants are climbing every day. Show them how they can increase their chances of winning.

Email #6 — (Day 6) 2 days to go

Increase the intensity of the message. your entrants have two days to go and to be in with the best chance they should use tools like Buffer for example to tee up tweets at regular intervals.

Email #7 — (Day 7) final day email 1

In the morning of the final day you’ll send this email to remind people they have 16 hours to go. Include links.

Email #8 — (Day 7) final day email 2

At lunchtime on the final day you’ll send this email to remind people they have 11 hours to go. Include links.

Email #9 — (Day 7) final day email 3

In the evening on the final day you’ll send this email to remind people they have 6 hours to go. Include links.

Email #10 — (Day 7) final day email 4

At night time on the final day you’ll send this email to remind people they have 1 hour to go. Include links.

Email #11 — (Day 7) final day email 5

Final email of the day. In this one you’ll thank everyone for taking part and remind them when the winner will be announced.

Email Swipe Copy

After all is said and done, I’ll break down the exact email copy I’ll use for this Giveaway campaign. Stay in touch with my stuff to get entire lowdown after the giveaway is finished.

STEP 5 — TEST YOUR GIVEAWAY

As the video above suggests, you should test your Giveaway using a dummy giveaway and your own email to make sure that everything fires ok for you.

Autoresponder sequence and links are vital to get right. If you don’t your giveaway will not do as well as it could.

follow the signup process you created and make sure everything does what it is supposed to do.

STEP 6 — SET UP A PROMOTER EMAIL SEQUENCE

A promoter email sequence will be set up to go out to your promoter nominated contact, with their permission. Set up draft emails from your own email client (Gmail, Yahoo, Thunderbird, Outlook etc.) BCC’ing your promoters. Don’t add them to your email list.

You can also record a short private video for each of them, thanking them and asking them to share with their list members and social followers

Make it easy for your promoters to share your Giveaway. After all, the more people get on board, the greater the opportunity they have to make increased sales. But they are busy so don’t make them work hard. Make it easy for them.

Add share links to the promoter emails for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Email, LinkedIn etc using ShareLinkGenerator .

Suggested Promoter Email Sequence

Email #1 — Thanks For Supporting The Giveaway [video]. Here’s how you can help increase traffic to your sales pages (with share links)

Email #2 — The Giveaway is live. Prompt to share to their list and social accounts (with share links)

Email #3 — The last day of the giveaway, reminder to share (with share links)

Email #4 — Giveaway is over. Thanks for being a promoter, here’s how we did.

STEP 7 — RUN TWITTER AND FACEBOOK CAMPAIGNS

If you have a few bob consider running a Twitter and Facebook campaign for the week of the contest.

I’m no Facebook marketing expert but many seem to think it’s a good move. Do your homework though!

Same goes for Twitter os other advertising platform.

A Final Word On Giveaways

Your prize should be very attractive to the specific group of people you wish to attract. It’s no good giving away a free holiday if you are an artist who sells hand carved wooden figures from Game of Thrones.

Unless your sending the winner to Westeros!

The more elements to the prize then the more links you’ll need to handle so best to think that through. If you intend to include affiliate links in your process and offer your discount or part thereof with the prize then you may create a lot of work for yourself.

Best to invite the promoters to handle that side of things as much as you can.

So that’s it…

I’ve a ton of work to do to get this Giveaway off the ground so I’m outta here!

The Giveaway Launches Soon.

If you’d like to know when the Giveaway launches, or you’d like to find out how to build one yourself, join my weekly Sunday Letters readers. They will be the first to get all the lowdown on how this thing went, warts n’all.

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