I’m excited to be a finalist in the UK Blog Awards for the second year running, this time in the Digital & Technology category. The first phase was a public vote, and although I put a fair bit of effort into it, I’m certainly no expert – proof of that is the fact that I only made it to the finals in one of the two categories that I entered, suggesting that the competition this year is a lot more fierce than previous years…
I wanted to share my tactics on how I put the word out asking people to vote for me. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and some of them may be really obvious, but who knows… you might try different things next year and it might make all the difference.
Blog about it
First things first… Blog about it! I wrote a post about it (“Vote for SEOno in the UK Blog Awards 2016!”) containing the ‘vote now’ image, which linked to my dedicated entry page.
Add a site-wide ‘vote now’ button
You can take this further by added a site-wide ‘vote now’ button. I put mine in my blog’s site-wide left-hand column. This is handy in case someone doesn’t see the dedicated blog post on the subject and instead visits another section (such as the homepage, the About page, the Contact page or a random post).
Twitter is a no-brainer, and I reckon the biggest ‘pull’ of votes in my case.
I wouldn’t hesitate to tweet multiple times. I tweeted every 2-3 days during the voting period, varying the times and days. Use something like TweetDeck or Buffer to schedule your tweets (so you can get them all ready in bulk, instead of having to worry about remembering to manually do them yourself), and something like Followerwonk to find out the best time(s) of day to tweet based on your followers’ activity.
Another way to vary your tweets on the subject: RT other people’s tweets about it. So if someone else tweets saying that you’ve entered (@mentioning you in the process) then you could consider retweeting that instead of doing a standalone tweet from your own account.
I also tended to vary whether or not it contained an image (either no image, or the screenshot from the entry page, or the one provided by UKBA themselves), and also varied the landing page (mostly the entry page itself, but sometimes I drove people to the blog post instead).
Oh and lastly… Consider pinning one of the tweets on your profile – ideally one with an image (such as the ‘vote now’ image that UKBA provided, in my case). For people who randomly stumble across your Twitter profile, they’ll see it – and even if they don’t end up voting, it still looks good to show off.
In addition to a couple of standalone posts on my personal Facebook profile, I also posted on the Facebook group of the coworking space where I’m based work-wise. Don’t underestimate the power of FB groups, but also don’t spam – stick to the ones where self-promotion isn’t frowned upon and ideally those where you already have a rapport with everyone, rather than waltzing up like a stranger and being all like “hey VOTE FOR ME!” …That probably won’t go down too well.
If you’re doing the group thing, here’s a pro tip: take the time to reply and respond if someone says “Done!” – not only is it a nice and polite thing to do, but it’ll also ‘bump up’ the post to the top of the group, so it’ll be seen by more people overall… 😉
While LinkedIn’s popularity is microscopic compared to the likes of Twitter and Facebook (in terms of people browsing other people’s status updates), whenever I share a blog post on there, I tend to find that a few people see it who mightn’t have seen it otherwise – i.e. maybe they don’t check Twitter and Facebook religiously but do check LinkedIn. So it’s worth taking the minute or so it takes to throw it on there as well, as it could result in an extra vote or two.
At this point, you might as well… haha! In all seriousness though, similar to the point with LinkedIn above, I also know people who prefer to use Google+ over the likes of Twitter – so again, it’s worth taking a few seconds to put something up on there, if you have a profile.
Plain ol’ asking
Ask family and friends
Don’t hesitate to ask family and friends. My folks (bless ’em) actually voted for me daily! I honestly think that this made the difference though, and I mightn’t have even made it to the finals if they hadn’t had gone to such an extent.
So… Thanks Mum! (She’s been dying for me to say that for ages in some sort of public setting…)
Ask colleagues, classmates, etc.
As mentioned above, I shared it on my coworking space’s private Facebook group, so a bunch of my coworkers (as close as I can get to colleagues, given that I’m self-employed) voted for me, which was nice. Don’t hesitate to ask your work colleagues, or even your schoolmates/unimates – whoever’s applicable in your situation.
Ask fellow bloggers!
I also guest blog monthly for State of Digital, who also have a private Facebook group, so I cheekily asked those lot if they wouldn’t mind voting for me, too. They’re all bloggers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they would’ve been more inclined to vote compared to non-bloggers. They know the struggle…!
You could even go as far as asking random bloggers that you know – perhaps those who you’ve met at blogger meetups, networking events, etc. So long as they’re not in direct competition with you category-wise then it’s fair game really. I voted for friends of mine in the Beauty & Fashion and Health & Social Care categories, who I’m pretty sure returned the favour and voted for me in return.
What were your tactics? Did you do something that hasn’t been included above that worked really well? Be sure to leave a comment below or tweet me letting me know!