This is working out really well for me, as most companies would rather give away a few free licenses keys rather than pay cash for a product review. The reason is that it actually costs the company nothing to just generate a serial number and the advantage to doing product reviews for free license keys is that you are giving away stuff to your readers. With my latest contest where I feature the WonderShare DemoCreator, the company contacted me about doing a review. I was immediately interested to see how the product would stack up to Camtasia Studio which is among the most popular Screen Cast software programs in the business, so I had asked for a full license for myself to test it and some licenses to giveaway to some readers in a contest. This would actually generate more buzz about the product, and bring in more traffic because it was an active contest spanning several weeks which kept the post alive and active for a long period of time.
Now, this method works for various blogs but particularly if you are a software/technology blog or can give away prizes that aren’t “physical” which require you to pay shipping (or ask your winner to) then it works out to be a no cost way to reward your readers and help highlight your sponsors.
I am looking forward to getting bigger and better prizes in the future and my next big contest will be when I offer a Brand New Nintendo Wii and give it away to one of my readers. I have to procur the Wii first (I won it as a prize from LeapFish), once I receive it, I will be creating the contest and giving it away. How many other bloggers out there have used contests as a way to entice and reward readers?