Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to enter blog giveaways (VERY detailed)

Ok. So this seems complicated at first but after you do it a few times, it gets easier. I am going to use a giveaway that requires a lot of work in order to show you all of the steps. Something that I actually want to win.

Here is the link to the giveaway. http://www.twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com/2011/06/ergobaby-carrier-review-giveaway.html

The Mandatory Entry

Now they always have a product review at the beginning where the person hosting the blog tells you what they thought about the product and some information that the manufacturer supplies about it. They will almost always tell you how to buy it (which will tell you how much it is so you then know how much you are saving if you win). Then they tell you what you are actually winning. There is ALWAYS a mandatory entry that you must do or else all you other entries do not count. For this particular giveaway, the mandatory entry is:

Win It

ERGObaby is giving one of my readers a carrier(style selected upon availability).
To enter, visit ERGObaby and tell me which carrier you'd most like to win. This is required and must be done before the extra entries count!

To enter the mandatory entry, click on the link for ERGObaby (they do almost always supply the link needed in all the entries) and look at the carriers. You only need the name of the carrier in this case. They do this so you actually have to look around the manufacturer’s site and are tempted to buy other stuff. I want something gender neutral and basic just because I don’t need anything fancy. So I looked around their “shop” and found the Baby Carrier - Camel. Now to actually submit my entry. You scroll to the bottom of the comments section of the posting and you must leave a comment for the entry. This blog’s form looks like this:

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You do not HAVE to have a profile to submit. I do have one cause it is liked with my google gmail account. When I fill out the comment, it looks like this:

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ALWAYS leave your email address. They don’t always tell you to, but if you do they will always be able to get a hold of you. Then “Post Comment.” For me, it will ask me to verify my google account. I actually recommend you create a gmail account (email address) because it is used for extra entries. Also, then you can use it only for entering giveaways and help separate you emails a little bit. You can set up and email at gmail.com.

Once you submit, you will either see your comment in the comment list (Sometimes you have to click “newest” at the bottom by where you leave a comment) or you will see something that says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

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Bonus Entries

That’s the mandatory entry. The “bonus” entries will be listed under the mandatory entry above the comments. Each entry requires its own comment. They use a random number generator to pick an individual comment as the winner. Also, you do not have to do any or all of the bonus entries. Only the ones you want. In this giveaway, the bonus entries are:

Extra Entries
You can do any of these things for an extra entry. Make sure to leave a separate comment for EACH thing you do.
1- For TWO extra entries, subscribe to my blog via email.
2- Follow my blog via google friend.
3- For FIVE extra entries, blog about this giveaway and link it back to this post and ERGObaby.
4- Follow twoofakind AND ERGO on twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You can Tweet once a day for an extra entry every day! You can copy and paste: #WIN an @ERGObaby Carrier during #SurvivingSummer @twoofakind http://tinyurl.com/6xu6gh3 #giveaway ends 6/27
5- Become a fan of/like ERGObaby on facebook. I'm sure they'd appreciate some comment love while you're there.
6- Vote For me on Picket Fence Blogs. You can do this for an extra entry each day.
7- Include a link to this post in your facebook status letting your friends know you entered this giveaway. Leave your first and last name(or initial) in a comment below. If you tag me (@Dee Twofakind or @Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House), I can actually see your status on facebook. You can do this 1x per day for an extra entry each day.
8- Place my regular pink Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House button on your blog.
9- Follow me on Networked Blogs.
Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on June 27th when I will draw a winner at random. PLEASE leave your email address if it is not visible on your profile. I will notify the winner and they will have 48 hours to respond!
Open to US Only!

Signing Up For Emails

The first bonus entry says “For TWO” which means you need to leave 2 separate comments. This one requires you to sign up for their email list (if you have signed up previously, you just tell them that). This is one of the reasons that creating a separate gmail email address might be nice because you can sign up for their email with that one. Typically there is a box somewhere on their page where you will enter your email. Find the area that asks you to sign up and just enter your email like below. This is a screen shot of this particular blog. They do not always looks the same, but will say subscribe and are almost always FeedBurner. You will have to follow the instructions from FeedBurner once you submit.

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After you confirm your email address, you then leave a comment on the giveaway page. I recommend that if you are going to be leaving more than one comment (like this bonus entry says you can) you write something like “Entry 1” and “Entry 2” in the comment because some blogs will not let you leave duplicate entries.

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Google Friend Connect (Following a blog publicly)

The second bonus entry says to follow the blog publicly on google friend connect. This can ONLY be done if you have a google account. If you do not have one and don’t want one, skip it. Otherwise use that gmail address you created to get this entry. Somewhere on the page there will be a spot that says GFC or Google Friend. Typically there are a bunch of little pictures with it that show the other people following the blog. It looks like the image below (on the sidebar of this blog but some put it at the bottom).

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To follow, just click follow and a pop up will appear asking you to either sign it with your gmail account or it will just ask if you want to follow because you are already signed in. Follow the pop up instructions (about 3 button clicks max). The blog page will then reload showing you as a follower.

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Once you are following, add a new comment to the giveaway telling the person you are a GFC follower. I recommend leaving your GFC name so they can easily check that your entry counts.

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Blogging About a Giveaway

Obviously if you do not have a blog, you cannot do this entry. You can sign up to create a blog if you want to just for the sole purpose of entering giveaways. You might also find that you enjoy writing about random stuff and therefore find a good use to have a blog. I mostly post about raising my son. Think of it as a online journal/diary. Never write anything you don’t want others to see.

So for me, I will create a very basic post to my blog http://identitydiscovery.blogspot.com to get the entra FIVE entries. If you want to create a blog, you can go to http://blogger.com to create one using that gmail account. You can also create one at http://wordpress.com.

If you have a blog, you should know how to create a new post to your blog. Do so and put whatever you want in it. I recommend leaving a link to the blog hosting the giveaway (state their actual name) and leave a link to the giveaway as well. The point of blogging about the giveaway is not to just get the extra entries. It is also to share the giveaway with other people. My blog post is here: http://identitydiscovery.blogspot.com/2011/06/contest-entries.html

After doing that, go back to the giveaway page and leave your comments (this one allows for 5 separate ones). You MUST leave a link to your blog post in the comment. Otherwise the entries do not count.

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Twitter Entries

The next entry requires a twitter account. You can create a twitter account at http://twitter.com and use it just for giveaways or actually post you thoughts and/or feelings on there. I started using mine for just talking to people and getting opinions on how to do things for Drake, but now it is mostly for winning stuff. Just create a username for twitter in order to get started with this entry or just skip this one altogether.

This entry says to follow twoofakind AND ERGO on twitter. All you do is click on the link for twoofakind and then click “follow” on the twitter page. It may ask you to log in to twitter if you are not currently logged in. Once you click follow, it will say “following” like in the image below. Do this for ERGO as well.

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The last thing this entry requires is for you to “tweet” about the giveaway. You literally copy the text she gave you (most will give you what you should tweet) and past it into the tweet box. You will need to click the “Home” link on the twitter page (look in the image above) to get to where you tweet. Paste the text into the box and then hit “tweet.” See image below.

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After you tweet, it will show your post below the box. Wait until a time stamp appears below your message, and then click on that time. Mine says “16 seconds ago” in the image below.

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Clicking on the time stamp takes you to a page with a link to that post. Copy the URL of the post for your bonus entry. My URL is http://twitter.com/#!/kainshottie/status/78147095013490688

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Now, you can finally get that bonus entry on the giveaway page. Leave a comment on the giveaway stating that you follow the blogger on twitter and in this case also follow ERGO. You will also need to put the link to your tweet. Also leave your twitter name just to make sure that you have covered everything.

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Facebook Like Entries

Bonus entry 5 is to like ERGObaby on Facebook. Of course you need a facebook account http://facebook.com. Simply click on the link they provide and “like” the page. This particular entry says that it would be nice to leave them a comment on the facebook page as well. This is not required, but some blogs do require it, so I am going to tell you what to do in the event that it is required.

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After you like the page, you will be able to view their wall posts. Simply leave a post that tells them who directed you to their page. In this case it is the blog Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House.

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After you leave the comment, just like on twitter, a time stamp will appear under it. Mine says “2 seconds ago.” You can click that time stamp to get a URL for that post only. You will need that URL for the giveaway entry. Mine is: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150206863331647&id=21421583.

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Now you can go back to the giveaway page to post your comment. You will want to leave your first name and last initial of your Facebook account in the post as well as the link to your comment.

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Most blogs have another bonus entry for liking their own facebook profile as well. You follow the same steps for that and leave a separate comment. This giveaway doesn’t ask for that.

Voting For Blogs

Next we are asked to vote for this blog on Picket Fence Blogs. To be honest, I almost always skip these. Voting for blogs seems silly when all the blogs that do giveaways are normally on the same voting site and you vote for all of them. So how are you really helping? If you really want to vote for them you can though. Just to show how you do that, I will vote for this blog. I simply click the link they provided which normally takes you to another blog site. Scroll down the list to find the blog you are voting for and then click whatever button they provide. This particular site looks to be using Facebook style “like” buttons.

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After I clicked the like button, I simply go back to the giveaway and say I voted. No good way to be able to prove it though. Some places might require you to create an account for the site in order to vote. I think this site is actually using my FB account so I didn’t have to create a new account.

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Facebook Status Entries

A lot of times I skip the facebook status entries. It gets posted in the “What’s on your mind” box on facebook so all your friends can see it. I understand the idea, but your friends and family will get tired of seeing giveaways and stop reading about you if you do it too often. Then they miss your important status updates. I do them occasionally though when I really want the entries. Obviously I am going to show you how to do it though. This particular giveaway tells you to “tag” them in the post. If you have not already liked the blogger on FB, you will not be able to tag them. What this means is that if they did not require you to like them before, you must now. This giveaway did not leave a link to their FB profile, so you have to find another way to like them. Normally blogs will have some little buttons on their page that will take you to their profiles for various sites. This particular blog has them near the top of the page and it looks like the following image.

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The image with the bird goes to twitter (almost all blogs with a twitter account will have a bird in their button). The “f” button is for FB. The orange button is for news feeds (I have never done anything with that). Finally the “in” button is for http://LinkedIn.com. That is more for your “professional” profile and finding jobs. So for this blog, click the “f” button and like their facebook page before you do anything else.

After you like them, go back to the main FB page to update your status. Your status should include a link to the giveaway and the tag of the FB page. To do the tag, type in the “@” symbol and then the name of the page. You will see a list of people/pages you can tag. Just select the one you want.

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Again, you will need the direct link to your post, so click the time stamp to get the URL. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=229445183748225&id=21421583

Now you can post the comment to the giveaway page. Make sure you include everything the blogger asked for. This one requested your fist name and last initial. I always leave the link as well.

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This giveaway says it can be done once per day. If you really really want to win, do it every day. You can even post the EXACT same thing on FB each day. Just leave a new URL with your comment on the giveaway page every day as well.

Blog Buttons

Many blogs have a button (i.e. image) that you can put on your own blog to link to their site. I have a special page on my blog for such a thing. Most, like this one, just say to put the button on your site. No other instructions. Some will tell you that it has to be on the sidebar. Most of the time I skip this if it has to be on the sidebar. The reason for this is that the sidebar displays one EVERY page of your blog. So their link is always visible. Makes sense that they want it always visible, but if you put them there every time, your sidebar will be forever long. If you have a blog, you can normally created “pages” on it. I did for buttons only.

The button this blogger wants you to post looks like the following image.

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You will find each blogs button on their sidebar and there will always be a box underneath it with code in it. The text in that box is what you use to post the button on the blog. You simply copy that text and then follow your blog site’s instructions for adding a “HTML element” to the page. My buttons are all located at http://identitydiscovery.blogspot.com/p/buttons_15.html. Now to get the entry on the giveaway, you must leave the link where you put the button in the comment. The link I just posted is what I would leave in my comment. This is also a nice way to try to share your blog with other people.

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If you need helping posting a button on your blog, let me know and I can help. I am just not going to explain that here.

Networked Blogs

I am not really certain what the use of Networked blogs is, but you can use your FB account for it. It is kind of like google friend connect. There will be a spot on the sidebar or at the bottom of the blog that says “Networked Blogs” and has a bunch of little pictures. There will be a button that says “Follow this blog”. See below.

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Just click the button and a pop up will appear. It will tell you that you can connect with FB if you are not already signed into FB. Otherwise, you will see a screen like the one below.

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Simply click the “Follow” button and the screen will have a box added to it that looks like the one below.

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Close that window and you can now add you comment to the giveaway page.

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I hope this helps people out...well anyone that actually reads my blog. I made this for a few friends so hopefully they will at least use it. If you have questions, let me know.

Contest Entries

I am creating a blog post to help other people entry blog giveaways, but in order to do so, I need a post that shows what blogging about a giveaway can be. This is very simply a post about the ERGObaby carrier giveaway on Two of a kind, working on a full house. I would like to win one of these carriers because they are easy to transport and can carry quite a bit of weight. Since my son is getting so big, it would be nice to try out one of these carriers. The giveaway is here.