Here’s a trick that’s as old as the web: Run a popularity contest with public voting. It could be anything from a listing of the top blogs to a creative contest for best tagline or ad.
The nominees run around like crazy, hoping to get their friends to vote. Which of course brings you more traffic. This is a large part of the strategy behind Threadless.
I get invited to vote in these all the time, to participate as a nominee regularly and most vexing, to post them here as a way of helping this person or that person achieve some sort of nirvana.
My feeling is that most of the time the cause is too thin and the prize is too lame. If your blog gets picked as the most popular woodworking blog by some other blog, it’s really unlikely that you’ll find many benefits other than a nice smile for your ego. On the other hand, if you can offer a great prize and/or be useful and relevant, this is a permanent tool in the web toolbox for you.
As I’ve said, I don’t promote these. But, just this one time, I’m breaking my rule for Becky, who didn’t even ask me to mention this, and for my friend Dan Pink, who has written another terrific book. If you’d be so kind to visit Dan’s site and vote for "stay hungry," it’s quite likely that Becky will win a paid for trip to TED UK, which she deserves and will benefit from.(She’s only a hundred votes out of first place as I write this).
I promise to do something like this no more than once a year, so wait unto 2010 before you send me a note about your contest! Thanks.