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This can be as simple as "come up with a slogan for my site" or "write a caption for this photo." It can also be more in-depth, like, "write a poem about [your topic]," "write a top ten list of why you should win this contest," or "tell funniest/most embarrassing/greatest thing that's ever happened to you."
These kinds of contests offer chance to boost traffic in three ways:
1. It gives you something newsworthy to announce on other sites. Visit other message boards and drop notes to webmasters, asking them to announce your contest. 2. Visitors will return next month to check out your next contest. 3. You can ask site visitors to vote for best entry after you've selected "finalists."
By offering this last option, you'll drive new traffic to your site, because entrants will ask their friends and family to come to your site to vote for them. Your regular visitors will come back to see who made "finals" and who won. You can use an automated voting script if you don't want to hand-count results.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR VISITORS
Appeal to your visitor's desire for Internet fame. Here are possible ways to let your visitors become stars on your site:
· Post short interviews or bios of people who actively participate on your message board. · Set up a links page, where visitors can post short descriptions of their websites · Give visitors option to post a photo. · Profile a "visitor of month" on your homepage. · Allow visitors to submit columns or articles for inclusion on your site. · Post a "quotes" page, in which you post most interesting quotes from your message board or e-mails. · Offer an award for other webmasters. This is also an easy way to get other webmasters to link to you, as your award graphic should be linked back to your site. · Include a "brag page" in which visitors can submit their latest accomplishments and good news.
You'll build loyalty when visitors feel that you recognize them. In wide and anonymous world of cyberspace, many people long to "get personal." And if you make your visitors feel at home at your website, they may just decide to sit down and stay a while. And come back for more.
Jenna Glatzer is the Director of Public Relations for the wacky Scottish humor website Glen Lachart Online (www.glenlachart.co.uk). She encourages webmasters to visit to see creative promotional tools in effect… and get a good laugh in the process!