Today I came across a blog post by Darren Rowse @ Problogger who is giving away books that are sitting on his shelf to his readers. Unlike many of his other blog posts, there are over 1200 comments on this post. The requirement to win one of his book is to post a comment and tell him which book you are interested in. I’ve found this very interesting and wanted to share it with all of you. I think it teaches all of us a lesson on the power of giving and how it could help you grow your business.
Three Things You Can Gain by Giving
First you gain is user engagement on your site. You are engaging your users by asking them to take an action, which is to comment on the story, to win a prize. You are basically getting your users to do something more than they would otherwise do. These participants, all those that comments on Darren’s post, are all excited to take part on his giving away challenge. They don’t all expect to win a book but they are hopeful.
Second – you can get free promotion out of this. Look at this, I am writing a story on my blog with a link to his. He is getting free promotion by all of his regular visitors. I would bet that this story, which really doesn’t have a story, is probably going to get more visitors many of his other well researched blog posts. Visitors must also be going back to his site multiple times to check if he has an update or not. This again will add more traffic to his site.
Third – you can build a community around this by making all of the users feel appreciated. Darren can choose to do a few follow up posts and engage users further and get them to take further actions to win more prizes. This will only help the website and make it feel like it is a community. Your visitors know you exist as a blogger. They know you are real. Hence they tend to come back and participate in future postings.
So I believe you will have a lot to gain by giving this holiday season. If you have something similar to offer to your customers/visitors, I think you should give it a shot. Try it out and see how the community reacts.