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What I’ve learned in the SEM scholarship contest

What I’ve learned in the SEM scholarship contest

December 15th, 2006 – 3 Comments

Man I was cocky when I entered the scholarship contest. I though I’d beat everybody easily. The amounts of traffic that other articles were getting weren’t very impressive, I thought, and I was sure to be able to get much more traffic. After all, I knew from experience what a few blog posts and news posts on the sites I have the right to do such could do for an article in amounts of traffic. Of course, I was wrong…

David Temple and Andy Beal asked for feedback and what I’d learned from this experience, so here are my thoughts on the whole thing.

In the end, I ended up second, traffic wise, but since the winner was also in my week, I didn’t make it to the finals. Perhaps in the next contest, they could include a wildcard for the overall most traffic drawing article, so you’d get five articles in the judges round. Now there’s to things I regret, not doing in this competition, and there were some issues that made it harder than I thought it would be.

The first thing I should have done, was submitting earlier. I entered in the last week whereas I had been working on the article for the week before that. Had I finished earlier, and done the same for the traffic, I would have easily entered the final round. Yet I didn’t. The second thing I regret, is the fact that I didn’t get more friends to blog about me. I could have done more traffic out of that, yet I thought that the few very well-read blogs I’d put a mention of the article on would be enough.

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There were some other things I tried, the most important one being Digging the article. How naive… Of course I wasn’t the first to think of that, and because of that (at least that’s what I think…), MarketingPilgrim had been banned from Digg… I had 50-something friends ready to get the digg started, so this was a real setback…

But hey, no more mourning, no use to that, I did quite ok on the traffic side, and I had some fun with it as well. Now I have thought of a two things that would be nice for the next contest, in which, if allowed, I will enter again. Here they are:

  • Include a wild card for the most traffic driving article that doesn’t make it to the finale otherwise.
  • It would be cool if the competitors could see stats during the week my article ran, had I seen those, I would have increased my effort.

To boot, I have a question for Andy: I’d like to know what spam preventions you took… I had been thinking of simply 302-ing some of my websites to yours for a few days, had I done so, I’d probably won the first round…

Read more: ‘Site structure: the ultimate guide’ »

3 Responses to What I’ve learned in the SEM scholarship contest

  1. College
    By College on 11 June, 2008

    This is a excellent article that I will never forget. You have taught me so much about starting early and blogging. You make me want to start a blog contest for my scholarship site http://www.freetoapply.com.

  2. Joost de Valk
    By Joost de Valk on 15 December, 2006

    I’m looking forward to the next edition Andy, and intend to win it ;)

  3. Andy Beal
    By Andy Beal on 15 December, 2006

    Thanks for the great feedback. I like the idea of a wildcard entry.

    MP did get banned on Digg – someone tried using multiple accounts with the same IP – I had to wait until the contest finished, before they would remove the ban.

    I didn’t put any spam preventions in place, but maybe I will next time. ;-)

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