Summer camp. Huge in North America. Barely heard of in Australia. Don’t think for a minute though that we aren’t very adventurous.
As soon as temperature warms up many of us head ‘out bush’ with the tent, barbie and case loads of mosquito repellent.
(Just to clarify, the only people wearing hats with corks hanging off them are in cartoons.)
Families that may not have seen each other for 12 months get together like old times, as if they’ve never been apart. New friendships are made with fellow campers in the area.
The best of human nature can be observed as kids share toasted marshmallows with newfound friends, mums share the tomato sauce or a match with those who left them behind and the dads struggle to pitch the tent.
What does this have to do with hosting a blog challenge?
I’m glad you asked.
Blog challenges are a good opportunity to venture outside the norm, to work together and get creative. You can find new people to connect with, identify potential clients and have great fun!
A blog challenge is an event that requires a community to complete a set task by a predetermined date. They have a host that leads and supports participants through the process to increase the likelihood of success and to build loyalty around the blog.
Choosing The Best Challenge Structure
The structure you choose to follow depends on what will work best for your audience. It’s a bit like a sleeping in a swag versus a caravan. The kids are happy to ‘rough it’ but the adults like some comfort.
Don’t forget to consider your goals as well. If you are seeking to increase blog subscribers via email delivery of the task but know your audience won’t be keen on that format, you’ll need to decide whether or not to proceed.
Blog challenges can follow a variety of structures such as:
· Email delivery;
· Blog posts only;
· Blog posts with link ups;
· Social media delivery.
For example, the Allsorts Challenge occurs weekly, posted each Saturday. Participant entries can be any type of hand crafted item, from cards to jewellery, baking to altered art so long as it follows the week’s challenge theme. The structure is blog posts with link ups.
The hosts benefit because entrants must mention the challenge in their entry post with a link back to the Allsorts website. Anyone failing to do so will be discounted from the prize draw and Top 5 selection. They also earn revenue through crafty businesses sponsoring each week’s theme.
Alternatively, the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It challenge occurs bi-monthly. Each challenge round focuses on a particular stamping technique demonstrated in their most recent magazine edition.
What was surprising about each of the handmade challenges was none required their participants to share on a social platform as part of the entry. Given the very visual nature of handmade, the hosts could be leveraging Pinterest or Instagram to recruit more participants.
Also, the grand majority of blog challenges were blog post plus link up structure. Using an alternative structure could very distinctly separate your challenge from the masses.
Tips For Planning Your Challenge
- If you have chosen to deliver blog challenge instructions via email prepare a template and schedule emails in advance. Once the challenge has started you are going to be busy helping and encouraging participants. You don’t want to miss an email because you got super busy and forgot.
- Create a FAQ page for your challenge. This is especially important if you are hosting a challenge for the first time as there won’t be challenge alumni available to help out new participants. The beautiful thing about participants is that once they’ve participated, they are fantastic at helping out the ‘newbies’ in future rounds. Almost like the storytellers around the campfire.
- Set up a private Facebook group, blog linky, Pinterest board or Twitter #hashtag as your community space. Invite all participants to join so they can interact and promote their challenge content in a central location.
- Include a call-to-action matching your goal in all of your content i.e. ‘enter your details to make you sure you don’t miss anything’ or ‘tweet this and encourage your friends to join us.’
- Blog challenges usually create a spike in traffic on your website so it’s best to be prepared and make the most of the opportunity. Write and schedule amazing, tailored content in advance so when the time comes, visitors will get to see just how brilliant your work is.
Let’s get some blog challenge adventures happening!
Tell us about your niche in the comments and let’s brainstorm challenge ideas together. You never know, you might find a co-host to really get the bonfire burning.
Caylie Price, owner of Better Business Better Life , is currently working her way around the interwebs with her 21 day Blogging For Growth tour. She is also co-author of How To Host A Swingin’ Blog Challenge. Download the first chapter FREE to learn more.