Go inside the mind of a contest judge with Patricia Kennedy as she explains what it takes to write a winning blog. The new contest "Just How Addicted Are You To Active Rain" has produced many entertaining blogs to date.
Over my past few years of blogging, I've judged several contests here on Active Rain. And yesterday, I wrote a post announcing a new one: New Contest!!! Just How Addicted Are You To Active Rain?
Like many of the contests here, this one is designed to be fun, a little challenging, and a fun way to earn a few extra points.
So what are the judges going to be looking for as they pore over all the entries, not necessarily just for this contest, but in general? Here are a few tips if you want to land one of the big prizes:
- Use photos or clip art to make your point. As someone recently wrote, "A blog without a picture is like a sundae without a cherry," or something like that. It will make your post show well and can add flavor.
- Your post should be well-orgainzed.
- Edit your post carefully. Keep typos (and wordos and grammaros to a minimum - like I could do that, but hey!).
- If you are telling a story, try to be clear when you write about what happened (and in the case of this contest, a little funny and pathetic will help). Making a judge laugh is a good thing in most contests.
- Be economical with your words. Don't use five words when three will do. Less is usually more.
- Once you finish writing your entry, go through and "wordsmith" it - this is a concept that a journalist friend introduced me to. It's good for polishing your finished product.
- Follow the rules for posting, which are set up to make sure that we can actually find your entry, not to complicate your lives.
When I've judged other contests, I've noticed that there seem to be a few real standouts. But whether or not you take one of the top prizes, Active Rain contests are fun.