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About SMBContest

Gushcloud and UBL Small Business
Marketing Blog Outreach Blogging Contest

Current Cash Prize Total: $8750 and climbing ~ Non-cash prizes too!
Paying out TWENTY cash prizes!

First Place $4000
Second Place $1500
Third Place $1000
Fourth place $500
Fifth Place $300
6th through 10th $150
11th through 20th $100

Major social media influencers, bloggers, and blogging and SEO communities are working together to coordinate the largest cash prize blogging contest ever to be launched.

Bloggers will write posts on the topic
‘Share Your Best Small Business Advice’
plus bonus posts specifically
about our sponsors.

All posts will then be heavily promoted across social networks.

Participants will be writing about the sponsors whose businesses, products and services they feel are of most interest to their readers.  We have created a special read only user access so that sponsors can read the posts written about them in advance of publication. This allows companies to start working with bloggers yet feel they have more control over what may be published about them. Any errors, omissions or corrections can be addressed prior to publication.

Bloggers will be offered guidance in how to properly use anchor text and sponsors are invited to offer specific information, landing pages and keyword phrases that best describe their business. All bloggers at every level of experience are encouraged to participate! 

DEADLINES
Contest Start: Tuesday May 15, 2012
Promotion Period Ends: Oct 31, 2012
Winners Announced: Nov 15, 2012

To inquire about sponsoring or for questions, contact Gail Gardner
Skype = GrowMap ~ email or regular tweet to @GrowMap
Phone 469.735.2108 CST including outside business hours
Sponsor amount + PayPal fees to be paid in advance
Ask if you need alternative payment arrangements.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE AS A SPONSOR:

  1. * Choose what level of sponsorship you wish to lock in.
  2. * Send appropriate amount via PayPal (Contact Gail for PayPal email address or to request alternate payment arrangements.)
  3. * Send email to Gail indicating the names of the sponsors and levels covered by the money you sent.
  4. * As soon as possible provide the exact sponsor name, preferred anchor text phrase(s), and landing pages. Sending 3-4 phrases and landing pages highly recommended.
  5. * Send a short description to be added to the cash prizes page and to be added to the Word Doc being sent directly to CEOs and influencers.
  6. NOTE: Sponsors are added to the page as they commit. Because bloggers must choose sponsors to win cash prizes, the higher on the page you are the more likely you are to be chosen and the more high quality blog posts will be written about and link to your brand, products or services.

Sponsors may be added throughout the contest

Projected Cash Prizes MINIMUM: $7000-$10,000+ with potential total cash prizes estimated to be $20,000-$25,000+ or higher.

The top three prizes are highest (to attract the highest quality, most influential bloggers) and the additional 17 cash prize placings plus the many non-cash prizes ensure bloggers of every experience level will participate.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM SPONSORING:

  • $1000-$1500 sponsors sell products or services bloggers or small businesses value and use.
  • $100-$500 sponsors are usually small businesses with products or services to sell.
  • $50 sponsors are usually bloggers, authors, developers of WordPress plugins, or small businesses who get almost – but not quite – as much benefit as the big sponsors.

BENEFITS for SPONSORS:

  • Each participating blogger is required to publish a post on their own blog linking to each sponsor using their preferred anchor text and landing page.
  • Bloggers greatly increase their chances of winning by selecting sponsor(s) of their choice and publishing posts specifically about and/or recommending that sponsor. Many of these bloggers own multiple blogs and have relationships with additional blogs so they can publish additional posts on the most relevant, high traffic, heavily promoted domains they have access on – giving sponsors even more incoming links in content from different domains.
  • The coordinators’ established relationships with social media savvy, influential bloggers ensure active sharing, commenting, bookmarking and social media mentions for sponsors, announcement posts and contest entry posts
  • Given the substantial cash prizes involved, and Gail’s personal involvement in suggesting where and what they publish, sponsors receive the benefits of blog outreach without having to invest their own time, pay a coordinator, or pay per post to have bloggers write about them. Bloggers are given bonus points for each additional post they publish and may choose to write multiple posts about the same sponsor for different domains – receiving bonus points for every post. Those sponsors offering products and solutions with wide appeal or used by bloggers and social media marketers will benefit the most – but all small businesses can benefit. Only small businesses are being offered sponsorship opportunities (but we may at our discretion allow others to be sponsors on request).

Sponsor pages will be made available for contestants to use to ensure high quality guest posts about each brand. Information provided will include logos, images, links to existing content, videos if available, and key points each sponsor provides. Sponsors are encouraged to offer their best information for this purpose; however, Gail will also research and build pages as time allows.

BANNER AD ROTATION:

  • $1500 and $1000 sponsor’s banners will be rotated into the 300×250 ad block at the top right of this blog.
  • $500 sponsors (and possibly $300 or lower depending on the total number of sponsors) banners will be rotated into 125×125 ad blocks in the center sidebar and 468×60 ad blocks at the bottom of posts on this blog.

CONTEST PRIZES:

A large cash prize is the key to attracting top bloggers who have social media influence, high PR and traffic blogs for your links, and generating buzz and possibly taking the contest viral. The larger the cash prize we raise, the faster the contest will spread and the more each sponsor benefits.

Sponsors already on board are listed on the Cash Prize Sponsors
and Non-Cash Prize Sponsors Tabs

BACKGROUND:

This contest is an improved version of a previous CommentLuv FamousBloggers contest that offered $3550 cash prizes and attracted top bloggers who entered 39 entries. Andy of CommentLuv wrote,

“Gail was instrumental in arranging and organising my last huge contest and from the feedback I got, the contestants and sponsors alike really enjoyed the large amount of extra exposure their sites and brands got throughout the whole contest period and beyond – Andy Bailey Comluv.com”

Since that time, the number of bloggers has greatly increased as has their skill level and influence. We anticipate a minimum of 100 entries and it could be much higher – and each entry is more incoming links and exposure for our sponsors.

The contest was proposed by and is being managed by Gail Gardner of GrowMap – and the initial cash prizes offered are a testament to her growing influence and connections with CEOs, small businesses, bloggers and developers of startups.  She is coordinating the efforts of the initial major sponsors and will be the contact person for all participants and judges. She mentors bloggers in using her cutting edge process to create pillar content to share when buyers are most interested.

JUDGING:

All the judges are influential, social-media savvy experienced bloggers who are not competing in the contest. They will rank each post on a 1-10 scale. Their cumulative scores will count for 60% of the total score. The other 40% will be the total of publicly available social media metrics such as Topsy and TweetReach. The co-founders and judges will collectively decide on the exact scoring system and it will be published on multiple high profile blogs prior to the start of the contest on April 15.

PREVIOUS CASH CONTESTS:

Open these links to see the high quality of posts submitted to previous contests and the highly influential bloggers who participated.

CONTEST INCENTIVES:

A major draw to participants is that the best entries will be published on established blogs including:

  • CommentLuv (PR6) blogging community
  • GrowMap (PR4) with an extensive Twitter syndication system in place that generates retweets through over two dozen influential bloggers some of whom have 45,000+ Twitter followers
  • Many additional major PR4 blogs including BlogEngage, MyBlogGuest, TrafficGenerationCafe, MySEOCommunity, Search Engine Marketing Group – more being added as influencers spread the word.
  • Additional major group blogs and traditional media sites may agree to publish posts; however, most of them specifically prohibit links to businesses and severely limit links – unlike bloggers in our CommentLuv Community who support small businesses.

Contestants in Previous Contests Expected to Compete:

Many professional social media savvy bloggers who have participated in past contests will be competing and potentially writing about YOUR business. They include:

  1. Kristi Hines, owner of Kikolani.com (PR4) and a regular contributor to Social Media Examiner (PR7), Search Engine Watch (PR7), Search Engine Journal (PR6), KissMetrics (PR6), Stay on Search (PR4) and Search Engine Marketing Group (PR4). [Note: links are to her author pages, PageRank is from the home page of each site.] ~ Grand Prize Winner, FamousBloggers CommentLuv contest; Grand Prize Winner, Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest
  2. Kiesha Easley of WeBlogBetter (PR4) ~ Guest Posts on Problogger (PR6), Twitip (PR6), ComLuv (PR6), DIY Themes (PR6), FuelYourBlogging (PR5), BizChickBlogs (PR5) Associate Programs (PR5), Social Mouths (PR4), and many additional PR4 blogs ~ Grand Prize Winner MyBlogGuest contest
  3. Francisco Perez of DiTesco Consulting and IblogZone (PR4) ~ Grand Prize Winner Internet Marketing Blog Contest.
  4. Jane Sheeba, blog consultant, Principal Investigator – DST FAST TRACK Program for Young Scientists, and the founder of Problogging Success. She has authored two e-books Problogging Action Plan (winner of the Small Business Book Awards, 2012) and Guest Blogging Champion to help bloggers become successful in their blogging business. Second place winner Internet Marketing Blog Contest.
  5. Ana Hoffman, TrafficGenerationCafe (PR4)~ Placed in the Internet Marketing Blog Contest.
  6. Brian Belfitt, Search Engine Marketing and Blog Engage Blogging Network – Placed 2nd in the Traffic Generation Blogging Contest.
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