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  1. #1
    http and a telephoto
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    If you do photo contests, what software do you use?
    Looking to do some photo contests on some sites. I did them years ago with Gallery software and the voting plugin, but is there a better way now? Easier to set up scripts? I would like it to be easy for people to submit entries, then they get a link either on the site or emailed to them to share with their friends to encourage voting.

    I also need to be able to set the terms and rules of course and block bots.

    Photo contests are great for creating viral traffic, it's something I should have kept up on and haven't.

    I see people doing them using flickr and tags and I don't want to do that at all. I want traffic to my site, not to flickr.
    Deborah Carney
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  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Good question, Debbie. I, too, have been thinking about running a contest. I'm going to follow this thread because I'd like to try some a beach photo contest next spring/summer.

    My main beach site gets over a million visitors per year so I believe we could drum up some real interest. (I could give away "beach checks" for prizes. LOL) Actually, prizes could be dining gift certificates for some nice place with maybe a grand prize of a Fall Weekend at the Beach. (Or I could offer to use the winning image(s) to make into a series of beach-theme checks - with a percentage of sales going to the winner.)
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  3. #3
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    How do I get traffic to my site
    I am new to affiliate marketing and I want to figure out how to get that much traffic to my site?

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    That is a million dollar question that doesn't have one answer. There are lots of things you need to do to get traffic. Bill's site is niche and established and has built that traffic over time, not something he put up and the traffic just showed up. It takes a lot of work.
    Deborah Carney
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  5. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Yes, it takes time. As loxly says, it is "established." I launched that particular site in May of 1999 and initially started it as a hobby. I wanted to share some of the things we liked about the beach town where we had just bought a small condo as a summer/vacation home. I knew nothing about affiliate marketing at the time.

    So, the site has age. It also has over a thousand pages and hundreds of local photos (all original and taken by me). I still don't consider it "work" - more like a rather involved hobby. Early this morning I was having "fun" updating the page with listings of local Beach Cams/Web Cams. Why was it fun? I found some new web cams that were put up by the town government and I know people would like to see them - and that is one of the most visited pages on the site.

    The quality is not great, but here is one of my favorite photos...

    ...taken a the day after a "near miss" from Hurricane Ernesto a couple years back.

    So, it just goes to reinforce what a lot of us "old timers" recommend - that you should pick "something" in which you are very interested and create a site around that. That makes it a lot more interesting when adding content and keeping it up to date. Once you build it and begin getting some traffic you can then monetize it (in some way).

    On this site people like to look at the photos. That's why I've been toying with the idea of having a photo contest next season. I recently built a "Concentration" game using several small images from "around town." It has become a popular page (time waster?) for many people. (I can post the link if you'd like to see it.)
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    OK, so back to the topic please

    Does anyone use a script or method for running a photography contest?
    Deborah Carney
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    If you have your own forum, you can use the software within it including a poll.
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager PingoPrepaidCallingCards's Avatar
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    Debbie,

    We have a pretty expensive proposal from an agency that has built custom mini-sites for photo contest.

    tweetmyjobs.com is running a cool contest that has a nice platform to give you a special url to promote your entry, but I don't know what script they used.

    - Brian
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  9. #9
    http and a telephoto
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    I don't want to use a forum, I know many of them have "contest" software built in. I was hoping some folks that actually have done them in the past would chime in so we could all learn what works without breaking the bank.

    I'm not looking for custom mini sites, the point is to keep all the traffic in the same domain. I'll look at the contest you posted and will do more research in general and post back what I find out.

    We may have a case study coming out of this if no one really has done this as an affiliate successfully that wants to talk about it. I did it *very* successfully several years ago, but wasn't able to make it a yearly thing due to "life issues". It's time to do it again!
    Deborah Carney
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  10. #10
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Missed this, but some might know I ran a little contest during the Halloween/costume season. For being the first time it was done and not really knowing what I was doing I think it came out pretty good. Still trying to get prizes together for the winners. But I'll go into that later.

    What did I use? I looked at about a dozen scripts, all php based. Even bought a couple. But really none had everything I wanted. Tried to get some bids from freelance sites about custom writing a script, but most seemed to think I was looking for a 'hot or not' style site or one that could be ranked 1 to 10. Neither of these style sites would work for a real contest. Too many ways to manipulate results and it just wasn't what I was looking to do. Many years ago I had used a photo gallery for one of my local websites so I revisited that script. It hadn't progressed much in the 9 or 10 years since I had last used it since it is open source, but it had the basics. http://coppermine-gallery.net/ It took about 2 months of tweaking to get it to work roughly the way I wanted and the design still stunk up the place. It was/is developed by what I would call a group of true coders. If you don't know how to do something, you had better learn because the help they give is less than minimal. (As I spent time in the forums, I thought how easy we at ABW are on newbies compared to these guys!)

    Because they are coders and not marketers they didn't worry about some of the things that need to be corrected to use the script. Duplicate content abounds and has been a problem apparently for years. Rewritten URLs.. ha, don't make me laugh, why would you need those?! And as I said the general design was very difficult to change as it seemed to break the code on the site if something was moved above or below something else.

    Enough of me whining, about the contest. Mine of course was time sensitive and that is where the challenge comes from for me. For Deb and Bill it will be much easier. Lots of people looking, not a lot of entries. Actually had more entries after the contest deadline than before. But again, starting from scratch with a limited amount of time made it a challenge. Next year I have a mailing list of entrants to 're-invite' and that should get it started much faster.

    I'm looking at trying to get a script written again this year that has all the features that I want, but this year I'll start in January instead of June. If anyone is interested in discussing features they would like let me know. I'm happy to answer any questions. Though I may choose to do so via private message, hope you understand.
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  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by PingoPrepaidCallingCards
    tweetmyjobs.com is running a cool contest that has a nice platform to give you a special url to promote your entry, but I don't know what script they used.

    - Brian
    I see that as a giveaway contest, but not using photos, unless I missed something. I'm not about to hand them my email address just to see if there is a photo component...
    Deborah Carney
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  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Thanks knight01, I used something similar to coppermine and have looked at theirs but never was able to even get them running the way I wanted on a site at all.

    I'll revisit what I used in the past. If you want to PM me your list of requirements we can see if they are similar and maybe find something that will work.

    Ideally I would like it to be easy for people to post the "Vote for my photo" links on facebook, twitter, myspace etc. Kinda like the software that Icanhazcheezeburger uses, but different
    Deborah Carney
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  13. #13
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Ideally I would like it to be easy for people to post the "Vote for my photo" links on facebook, twitter, myspace etc. Kinda like the software that Icanhazcheezeburger uses, but different
    Yep, There is now an addon for coppermine that kind of does it, but I hacked my own version into the template so it would be on each photo.

    I'll try to put together a list and send to you... I thought about hiring someone to hack coppermine to fix it, but there aren't many people who work on it. I'm thinking a new script built from the ground up is the way to go.
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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, I went to WordPress.org and searched on "photo contest" in the plugins directory. It actually returned results for plugins specifically built to run photo contests. You might want to check those out.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/...+contest&sort=
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  15. #15
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by meadowmufn
    Out of curiosity, I went to WordPress.org and searched on "photo contest" in the plugins directory. It actually returned results for plugins specifically built to run photo contests. You might want to check those out.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/...+contest&sort=
    Although I like the idea of keeping it self contained, I don't think I want people registering on my blog to enter the contest. I think I would like to keep that registration and entries separate.

    I photo gallery script I used, called "Gallery" from Menalto has a brand new beta version that I am going to download and install tonight (well it's on the list to do tonight, lol) I used the very old version of it before, might even go back and get that. It allowed for uploading, rating and voting, but didn't give a nice link to go post to places.

    I will look at these WP plugins though, it might be worth making a separate install to manage the contest and entries and registrations. (thought of that while typing this post )
    Deborah Carney
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  16. #16
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meadowmufn
    Out of curiosity, I went to WordPress.org and searched on "photo contest" in the plugins directory. It actually returned results for plugins specifically built to run photo contests. You might want to check those out.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/...+contest&sort=
    I saw several last summer when I was looking around. There may be new ones. The plug ins I saw seemed limited, either they were more of a rating type, 1 to 10, or they didn't provide any way to show the photos in categories / ranking. I had hoped to find one as it would have certainly solved my seo concerns. I'll go back through all of them again before the next contest to be sure.

    added:
    Took a quick peek, this one http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-photocontest/ was released on 15-Oct-09 so I didn't have that as an option last summer. Certainly looks like it has potential.
    Last edited by knight01; December 10th, 2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: added link
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  17. #17
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    added:
    Took a quick peek, this one http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-photocontest/ was released on 15-Oct-09 so I didn't have that as an option last summer. Certainly looks like it has potential.
    Installed this one, it sucks. Unless I missed something....

    edited to clarify:
    It doesn't work with my theme, it doesn't have categories, it doesn't make a nice display of entries, it doesn't give the photo submitter a link to send out for votes....

    Those are the basics, there are more features I would want, but without those few things I am better off with a separate program to manage with.
    Deborah Carney
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  18. #18
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Installed this one, it sucks. Unless I missed something....

    edited to clarify:
    It doesn't work with my theme, it doesn't have categories, it doesn't make a nice display of entries, it doesn't give the photo submitter a link to send out for votes....

    Those are the basics, there are more features I would want, but without those few things I am better off with a separate program to manage with.
    Too bad, I only read the brief description and thought it would have more options. After the holidays I'll start working on Halloween again.
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  19. #19
    Full Member jgoode's Avatar
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    Here's what I've seen that seems like a cool contest concept.. especially when you're doing it to try to build traffic...
    you'll need:

    1. a flickr account
    2. a twitter account
    3. a facebook fanpage
    4. a blog


    you post on your blog about your contest, inviting people to submit photos. You ask them to submit their photos by tagging their flickr photo. so when searching for a given tag, all the contest photos then show up.

    you then tell them to comment on your blog with their flickr photo url - if they skip this part they are not entered.

    they are then encouraged to twitter with the same tag along with the url to the contest page.

    the facebook fanpage is another place to promote the contest AND gain followers in the process.
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  20. #20
    http and a telephoto
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    I've seen those, but I really want the photos on my site. This might be something I try for a different kind of site contest, but the one I have in mind now, I want to have the images permanently available on my domain. I would like people to promote their photos to be voted on via the other sites, but I don't want to send people to flickr to enter.
    Deborah Carney
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