Join Us for #Choctoberfest – A Free Event for Bloggers!

During the month of October, team up with other food and lifestyle bloggers to show your love for chocolate. #Choctoberfest will be happening October 12 – October 16, 2020, and we’d love to have you on board to participate!

SIGN UPS END ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AT NOON EST!

What is #Choctoberfest – The Short Version

This is a virtual event where food bloggers publish chocolate recipes and promote a fun giveaway. The purpose is to drive traffic to one another and meet new blogger friends.

  • On the first day of the event, you publish a giveaway, which you promote throughout the week.
  • During the rest of the week, you publish chocolate recipes or other chocolate-themed posts (recipe round-ups, themed party tips, tablescapes, etc.).
  • We have a Facebook group that all participating bloggers use to track how we promote one another.
  • It’s a lot of fun and can help your blog grow!

Please note: in 2020, there are no brand sponsors. We have had brands sponsor in the past, but are taking a break and hosting a blogger-sponsored event this time around.

Okay, now that you have the short version, let me get into the nitty gritty details of the event!

Don’t worry if this is a little overwhelming! We hold your hand to guide you through it if this is your first time! It’s waaaaay less complicated than it seems. I’m just an over-explainer! 🙂

Two Options for Participation

In order to make this event accessible for everyone regardless of financial situation, but still have a giveaway prize, we have two options for participation.

Here is what everyone does, regardless if you choose the free or paid option:

  • On Monday, October 12, publish the “welcome” post which includes the list of participating bloggers and the giveaway information. (We send the code for this post. You can add your own flair to it or even include a recipe with that post if you want.)
  • Throughout the week, publish at least two chocolate-related posts. We recommend recipes, but you can also do recipe round-ups, chocolate-themed party posts, tablescapes, chocolate-related “bar” ideas (like “how to do a s’mores bar”), and pretty much anything else that is related to chocolate!
  • Throughout the week, promote the giveaway at least three times on social media platforms of your choice. You can get this all done on day one by promoting three different places or you can promote throughout the week.
  • Throughout the week, participate in the Facebook group (optional!). We’ll have share threads and collaborations going all week long. You can be as active as you want. Bloggers who are very active see the best results.
  • Throughout the week, pin your recipes to the #Choctoberfest board (optional!). You can also pin other chocolate recipes to that board.
  • At the end of the week, add your links to the shared spreadsheet. I’ll use this spreadsheet to create a round-up post with EVERY recipe. You can republish this post if you want (optional!).

IF YOU CHOOSE THE FREE OPTION… that’s it! Easy peasy.

IF YOU CHOOSE THE PAID OPTION… you don’t have any extra work to do, but you get some added benefits:

  • You get to choose a giveaway entry method. For example, readers could have to follow you on Instagram to enter the giveaway.
  • Paid bloggers will be listed before free bloggers on the list of participants in the giveaway post. You’ll be listed first come, first served based on the date you sign up and submit your payment.

The Giveaway

To kick things off, we’ll be posting a fun chocolate giveaway on October 12. You must be able to commit to posting this giveaway on October 12, 2020 by noon EST. You will receive the full html for this post by October 1 (and you are welcome to add your own flair to it as long as links are intact). We use the giveaway widget Rafflecopter to run the giveaway.

Example of last year’s giveaway post: https://triplechocolatekitchen.com/welcome-to-choctoberfest-2019/

ALL BLOGGERS who participate in #Choctoberfest 2020 must post the giveaway/welcome post, even if you opt not to pay for a giveaway option for your blog. This is the “fee” required for everyone. Even though you don’t see direct followers/shares as a free blogger, you still have the benefit of being linked on the list of participating bloggers and providing a fun giveaway prize for your readers that you did not have to pay for or organize.

The prize this year will depend on the number of bloggers who chip in by selected the paid option. Our goal is to give away a KitchenAid mixer and chocolate variety pack. If we collect a bigger pool of money, we use some of it to pay for admin tools like Inlinkz and Tailwind and we will use the rest to add to the prize pack so it is bigger and more enticing.

If you want to chip in for the prize, it is $5 per giveaway entry method. You can pick one or you can pick multiple. Readers can use your entry method to get 1 entry for the giveaway. All entry methods are optional for readers, meaning that if there are 100 ways to enter, they don’t have to do them all. They can pick the ones they want to do. This means that not every reader will use your entry method. However, it also cuts down on people who follow you that are not actually interested.

The Posting Commitment

All participants must post a minimum of two chocolate-related posts between October 12 and October 16, 2019. This is in addition to the welcome/giveaway post. You can choose to add a recipe to the welcome/giveaway post on Monday if you want, but this does not count toward the two-post minimum.

You’re also encouraged to post more than two recipes (most bloggers do… more posts = more traffic). Some bloggers in the past have done over 20 posts! The average in past years has been 4 posts.

You will be provided a link-up code to include at the end of your posts, which will link up to everyone else who is participating that day. That way, we can all help promote one another!

We have a different link-up code for each day so that the list of recipes is not a mile long. We’ve found that this is the best option for driving the most traffic between blog posts.

If you’ve never used a link-up code before, don’t worry. It is very easy, and we tell you exactly how to do it.

We ask that your #Choctoberfest posts are not sponsored. It is okay if you organically mention brands or products within the post, as long as they are not paid or items you received for free from the brand. We don’t want to imply that any brand is sponsoring this event. It’s perfectly okay if you have a non-sponsored brand preference and want to mention that in your post or recipe.

Along these same lines, we ask for no review posts this year unless you are reviewing multiple (3+) products within a single post. In other words, we don’t want a #Choctoberfest post that is a review of Hershey’s chocolate syrup, but it would be okay to do a post that reviews several brands of chocolate syrup to determine which is the best. Again, any brands you mention should just be organic brands that you like or want to try, not brands where you have any kind of relationship through payment or freebies.

The Sponsors

None! In 2020 we are fully blogger-sponsored.

The Social Promotional Commitment

We ask that you promote the giveaway at least three times. If you post on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest on the first day, that fulfills your three promotion requirement. If you post on Twitter once on Monday, once on Tuesday, and once on Wednesday, that also fulfills your three promotion requirement. You can pick and choose whatever makes the most sense.

Use the #Chocotoberfest hashtag when promoting the giveaway and any #Choctoberfest posts.

Other than that, there are no promotional requirements… but that said, we will have a private Facebook group where we will all share one another’s posts across Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It’s a great way to drive more traffic to your site, and to meet blogger friends if you want to participate. Participation is completely optional.

We will also have a shared Pinterest board where you can post your recipes during #Choctoberfest AND any other chocolate recipes on your blog! So, it’s a great way to get even more eyeballs on your older posts and your posts for this celebration.

That’s it! Questions? Email me today at allisonmboyer -at- gmail.com 🙂

Here’s the form to sign up. Sign ups end on September 30! Please do not sign up unless you are committed to participating! (We do understand that some people have to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances, but we like to have an accurate idea of how many bloggers are taking part.)

BEFORE YOU SIGN UP! Please take a moment to share this page on any public social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc!) or in any food blogger related or general blogger related Facebook group with at least 500 members (closed groups are fine). Make sure it includes a link to this page! Not sure what to say? You can copy and paste this if you want: I am joining #Choctoberfest, which is a free event for bloggers who love chocolate! Sign ups are open now. Join here: https://triplechocolatekitchen.com/join-us-for-choctoberfest/

(Feel free to write your own post instead!)

We can only have a successful event if bloggers know it is happening and sign up to participate. Your promotion isn’t required, but the more bloggers we have, the better it is for everyone. So thank you in advance for your help promoting this sign-up page!

 

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at AllisonBoyer.com.

One thought on “Join Us for #Choctoberfest – A Free Event for Bloggers!

  1. I was late to the party, I have had a lot going on, My son moved to California. I signed up tonight.. I hope I made the deadline. I could not do summer as I had a crazy summer. These are awesome events

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