How To Run A Compliant Blog Sweepstakes

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If you have a blog website, running a giveaway is an excellent way to bring visitors to your website. Everybody loves sweepstakes, and blog sites have been giving away some great stuff. A lot of the prizes are targeted to women with children, but those with no kids can find lots of stuff that interests them. You’ll also find gift cards, electronics and even trips being given away at blog sites.

If you have a blog site and you’re thinking of running a sweepstakes, you need to be aware of a few important things. Here are a few pointers to running a blog sweepstakes that’s fully compliant to spare you potential hassle:

Blog sweepstakes originating in the USA are generally for US residents only. This is because the sponsor of the prize would prefer not having to ship a large parcel to a foreign country. Some blog sweepstakes include Canadian entrants as well as American. Canadian law is a bit more complex, as it requires that winners complete a skill-testing question to receive their prize legally. If you would like to include Canadians in your blog giveaway, you had best be prepared to include a mathematical skill-testing question of some kind to keep the win legal for them.

Always be clear in your rules about who can enter, from where, how many times they can enter, minimum age of entry and when the sweepstakes ends. Sweepstakes websites require an ending date at a minimum to be including in their listings. So if you want the benefit of a free website listing, you had best make this information clear.

The site owner must include a disclaimer on the page with the giveaway stating that the prize was contributed by the sponsor. Most likely if you’re running a blog sweepstakes, you received a token prize yourself or a sample of the products that are being given away. This must be made clear on your contest page to stay compliant with FTC rules.

A typical disclaimer would read like this: “The owner of this website received no compensation from the sponsor for running this promotion. The site owner received a (put name of product here) for demonstration purposes, and was under no obligation to review the product or to write a positive review for the product.” The company that set you up with a product sponsor will tell you exactly the text to include on your giveaway page to remain compliant.

You could review the product you got to try it out, and give them a good word or two. The point is to spread the good word about the sponsor’s product, but complimenting their wares is not an obligation on your part.

Never, ever charge anybody to enter sweepstakes. This rule applies across the board with all legal giveaways.

Make it clear to your entrants that the sponsor of the prize will be shipping it to the winner, and state that if the prize is not delivered you have no responsibility going forward. Most sponsors are definitely good for delivering what they promised, so I doubt you need to worry about this. It’s always good to add this disclaimer to cover your butt regardless.

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