I know you've finished creating your awards program. You spent ages creating perfect award image - everyone agrees it is best that they have ever seen. Your criteria are exact and exceptional. Your award is completely defined and, well, it's perfect.
Hey! You need to tell people about it! That's whole purpose of awards after all - to get people to send in their site data. And they cannot do that if you don't tell them all about it.
The first thing to do is make sure you reference your awards program from every single page on your web site. Build it right into your main, top level navigation. Make it as obvious as you can without detracting from your design.
I cannot stress this point enough. You are already (presumably) promoting your web site - so it only makes sense to be sure your web site promotes your awards program. Make it very easy to get to program signup page so that people will flock to it and literally flood you with submissions.
Next, make sure you submit your program to all of same search engines as you submit your site. Submit page separately and on a different day than you submit your index page.
Now is time to also make sure you are in big index - http://www.awardsites.com
This is arguably most important awards index on internet. If you are listed here you will get by far more traffic than any other listing. Awardsites carefully reviews every single award that gets submitted, and they are so good at this that they have earned a prestige and trust that is unparalleled anywhere.
How do you get listed on Awardsites? Begin by reading promotional material on site. You will find that awards are separated by subject and grade (higher grades means better awards programs). Read criteria and determine which level you think you would like to be listed within.
Now, go back to your awards program and compare it to criteria with a critical eye. Does your program measure up? For example, one of big requirements to get a better grade is "good criteria". Look at some award sites listed in different levels and see what "good criteria" means. Once you understand, go back and modify your criteria to measure up. Do this for every point and you will probably get a higher listing.