Do you remember my invitation for you to discover how hard it is to earn $100 by making a WordPress plugin? I know some you do, and I also know that you are curious to meet the winners.

Before disclosing the results, I want to mention that I advertised my contest on ContestBeat, a professional site dedicated to announcing blog contests. They were kind enough to write an article about my contest, and all I had to do was to send them a request for inclusion, in which I described my contest.

And the winners are …. (drums…)

Well, for the first time in the history of blogging, I awarded the $100 prize to myself, for the following achievements:

  1. None of my other readers was willing to give it a try. I would have given the prize to anyone who would have been willing to step out of the comfort zone and send me some plugin (even if it were not useful, I’d have tried to give it a creative use)
  2. I discovered that the AdSense Deluxe WordPress plugin can be used to put any kind of ads on your blog: instead of inserting the AdSense code in the respective box, I inserted an affiliate banner code from NeverblueAds, and it worked: the post where I included that block displayed the respective banner.

So, I can define ad blocks for all affiliate programs I’m interested to promote, I give them different names, and every time I write, let’s say, about making money online, I choose to insert the ad block which displays the Beach Bum guy who makes money while laying on the beach, while others buy his book.

For this new original way of using an old WordPress plugin, I proudly awarded myself $100.

(applause)

These being said, look what I’ve just got myself with the money I earned by winning my own contest (please ignore the cat, she’s just jealous because she cannot type, so all blog contests are forbidden to her):

$100 WordPress plugin prize

Conclusions:

  1. If you want people to participate in your contests, don’t ask them to do something, and more important, don’t ask them to think. Life is already tough, so why make it even tougher? Give them instructions that are so precise, that all they have to do is copy-paste.
  2. People won’t participate in any contest simply for the monetary prizes, especially if the entry barrier is not very low. There is something more sought after, which only a small number of blogs can offer, and this is fame. Do you remember the poetry challenge in the Problogger anniversary contest? Even those who totally sucked at poetry gave their poem (it was really a great laughter for me, I’ll remember it for a long time). I wonder if Darren asked them to write a WordPress plugin, how many would have sent him their trials?

How was your experience with hosting contests on your blog? Can you tell us some of your learnings?