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Disadvantages of Entering Blog Contetsts

Should You Enter Blog Contests?

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Blog Contests are quickly gaining popularity. As more and more blogs go online, many of them offer sweepstakes as a way of generating "buzz" and driving more traffic to their websites.

But are blog contests worth entering? Here are some of the disadvantages of entering blog contests for you to consider.

1. Blog Contest Prizes are Often Small

While it's not always the case, the prizes offered in blog contests are often very small. Of course, a win is a win, and some of the smallest prizes can be the most useful and fun. But if you're looking for contests that give away hundreds of prizes or prizes worth more than a hundred dollars, blog contests aren't the first place to look.

2. Entry Rules Can Be Confusing, Making Entry Slow

Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the blog contest requires you to do to be entered. This makes it easy to accidentally disqualify yourself. This means extra time to figure out the rules and leave the correct comment, which can slow down your sweepstakes entry time.

3. Scam Blog Contests are Easy to Create

Anyone can set up a blog in just a few minutes and use it as a way of collecting personal information from the unwary. Before entering blog contests on unfamiliar sites, be sure to scrutinize them for signs of legitimacy. See my article on identifying fraudulent sweepstakes for more information.

I'd also add that the blog should be well-established with more than a few previous posts, that it should have a good level of comments on previous posts, and that it should have a clearly-marked "About Me" or "About Us" page. When in doubt, you could always run a search for the blog's name and the word "scam" to see if anyone has complained about the site.

4. Many Blog Contests Aren't Run by Big Companies

Many blog contests are run by a single individual, not a large company. Although this can have advantages, it also means that there's less accountability for a fair prize draw. While I'm sure the majority of blog contests are managed in a fair and upstanding way, there is the potential for abuse.

5. It's Hard to Hold Blog Contests Accountable

Not being run by a major company can also mean that sweepers have less recourse to complain if there are problems with the sweepstakes. For example, a blogger named Ashwin Khanna offered a contest where people could win $2,500 for linking to his blog - then never delivered on the prize.

If this contests were run by a major company, the public uproar would probably force them to make good on their promises. But because it was just "some guy," about the worst that happened was public derision.

6. Information You Leave in Blog Comments is Public

Entering blog contests often means leaving a comment with contact information. But unlike sweepstakes entry forms, comments are readable by anyone. And that includes spam artists looking for addresses.

Blog comments are left by a form that includes your name, sometimes an email address which is not made visible to the public, and the field for the comment. If the email address is not part of the form, you need to leave it in the comment itself, which everyone can read. I strongly suggest that if you need to leave the email address in the comment, you obscure it so that people can read it, but spammers' robots can't. You can to this by typing it out, i.e., contests.guide at about dot com. This provides you some protection.

7. Does This Mean You Shouldn't Enter Blog Contests?

It's important to recognize the disadvantages of blog contests so that you can be on alert for scams and make your own decision about entering them. However, that doesn't mean that blog contests generally aren't entering. I enjoy entering some myself, and I've even won from blog contests myself. Read about the Advantages of Blog Contests to get a balanced look at the issue.

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