Did you know that there are a variety of awards you can win for your website and/or blog? There are blog specific annual awards and there are a ton of website awards and contests. Since I’m having a sort of contest of my own to pick 5 wordpress.com bloggers to interview on this site about their blog, consider this some more tips to help you impress me with your blog.
Entering your blog and website in contests and seeking recognition awards is another way to get your blog noticed and to get those valuable link to your site. It also allows you to often put a banner on your site that says “Award Winning Site”. It can add credibility.
Even if you aren’t into entering contests (yeah, and when was the last time you bought a lottery ticket?), the same principles that it takes to win a contest is the same principles needed to build the best website you can.
The number one way to win website contests is to:
- Enter the contest.
- Meet all the entry requirements.
- Meet web standards.
- Impress them.
- Have a quality product.
Let’s look at these specifically to help you create the best website and blog and put you in line for some great contests.
Enter the Contest for a Chance to Win
Contests don’t come looking for you, usually. You have to go looking for them. And it isn’t just a matter of entering every contest on the Internet. You have to meet the guidelines and requirements to be considered.
Not all contests and awards are worthy of your notice, either. There are plenty of contests that are just hype and ways to get traffic to a site. If you really want that badge of award winning honor to mean something, make sure you enter contests that matter.
There are all classifications of contests and awards, covering specific judging of code and design to “well, I liked it” awards. Some cater only to blogs representative of a narrow audience and market, such as blogs written and designed by the disabled or under 18 or over 60. Others don’t care about the person behind the blog but the blog’s techniques and technologies. Others are only interested in content such as photographs or essays.
The key to increasing your odds of winning is to enter contests that match your blog. If you have a heavy metal/punk style blog and you write stream of consciousness essays, then you shouldn’t enter a contest focused strictly on educational material for children. Match the contest to your audience and blog content and style.
Meet All the Entry Requirements
The fastest way to be ignored by contest judges is to not meet the criteria set for the contest. This means read all the fine print.
The requirements for entering blog or website contests is very diverse. Some require specific web page design criteria, others require some personal information about you (such as disability or age), some require money, others require subject matter related to the contest focus. Go over the fine print carefully and make sure that you meet all the entry requirements.
Don’t take this lightly. Some contests have hundreds or thousands of entries. Overwhelmed with the numbers, they are very fast to throw out any site which hasn’t crossed its t or dotted its I. Stay in the running by reading through the list carefully and making sure that your blog meets their requirements.
Meet Web Standards
This is also not to be taken lightly. Some contests focus only on content and style and they aren’t concerned about your site meeting HTML/XHTML or CSS web standard and validation. Contests which do focus only on the design and layout, though, will test your site right from the very first.
Make sure you site meets whatever web standards they specific in their requirements. Some require only HTML/XHTML validation. Others require CSS validation, too. Many of them require your site meets all accessibility standards including Section 508, which means you might have some work ahead of you to make sure all the page views of your site are as accessible standard as possible.
I talked about how to impress with your WordPress blog, but this cannot be overlooked in anyway. Impress them with a consistent overall look, good solid content, and clear purpose, focus, and intent.
If you are just entering your blog to get noticed, then pay attention to what makes a blog noticeable. It’s very important to make a solid, good first impression and then maintain that impress throughout the site, no matter what page the judges are viewing. A lot of people put all their effort into the front page and then ignore the views of the single post view, search results, category and archives pages. Get all of them looking great and all cohesively styled.
Have a Quality Product
I know there is a lot of resistance about a blog being a product, but it is. A blog is a store front for your ideas, thoughts, services, opinions, business, and views. Go for good product recognition by having a consistent style and look throughout your site. Make sure that people know where they are and who they are visiting, and what content to expect within.
Content is king. This is not a cliche. It is a rule. The better content you have to offer, the more likely people are to return, and the more likely you will score points with the contest judges. This isn’t about long essays, but about quality over quantity. Make it look good, sound good, and be readable with clear intelligent sentences and spelling. Even if it’s a photoblog, make it be consistently quality photographs throughout the site.
Keep the blog focused and on topic. The occasional rage or off topic post if fine, but go for consistently on your subject matter. And make all of them good since you never know which post the judges will land on as they go through your site.
More Blog and Website Award Winning Tips
Here are some more tips to help you win website and blog awards.
- Easy to read
- Easy to access and navigate
- Clean and clear design and layout
- Using interesting and/or novel eye catching techniques
- Write about what you know.
- Show enthusiasm for your subject.
- Narrow your subject/topic focus.
- Meet your reader’s needs not yours.
- Make them want to come back for more.
- Post often – keep the content coming.
- Think about your writing changing the world or making it a better place as you write.
- Present information in a distinctive way
- Spell check, spell check, spell check, and grammar check.
- Proof read your stuff – twice.
- Color is fine. Simple is fine. But consistent look wins overall.
Articles and Information About Winning Website Awards
There are a lot of websites offering awards, so we’ve put together a list of articles and more information on website and blog awards and contests, which will also lead you to some listings of award sites.
- Article about Website awards tips, advice, and criteria
- Anatomy of an Award Winning Site
- Winning Awards and Award program Basics
- The Webmaster’s Guide to Glory! How to Win the Top Web Awards
- Creating a Winning Website
- Awards Scoop: Information and Resources About website Awards
- World Best Websites Awards
- World Wide Web Awards
- Award Winning Website Designs Contests
- Start a Winning Blog