Archives For Blog Helps/Hints

When I made the switch from a free blog hosted on “blogger” to a self-hosted Word Press blog I did it myself with the help of one blog. Tentblogger had the best step by step information for a real novice like me. I loved John Saddington’s simple approach to presenting the how-tos and the whys. I purchased a domain name and found a server–through his recommendation. And once on my own, I purchased the Standard Theme, from 8bit and John and have never looked back.

So, when John started on a new venture, I was hooked. His name was on it, his vision was driving it AND finally, a program that would give me the best control over my pictures. PRESSGRAM, as featured in the short video clip above is out to take on Instagram and Facebook. Not in any kind of bad, evil way, but a way which helps people like me post great pictures for all to see. There will be cool filters, easy access and best of all, total control of the pictures. If you have a Word Press blog and post pictures and you love the filters and quick posting of Instagram–you will love Pressgram. One of the main issue for bloggers is the control of their pictures. I do not like the new policies on Instagram and Facebook, in regards to ownership of my pictures, so I can’t wait til this program is a reality!

I loved the idea so much I decided to back the program on Kickstarter. I didn’t have much to invest, but I invested enough to get a few free e-books from John on blogging. I will never know enough 🙂

So, please check it out. We are in the final push to reach $50,000 and we need your help. If you have any questions about the program, John is great at providing the details you need. Hopefully, I will be posting pictures via Pressgram SOON!!

PS– a big shout-out to Andrew Mason for creating the promo video above! Great job!

Ever gotten confused while entering a giveaway? I know I have. It’s hard to leave 10 comments for each entry. Sometimes the form takes too long to load. Sometimes the blogger has broken links. I have chosen to use Rafflecopter for all my giveaways. My readers have responded well to this form and I have experienced very few issues. I stick with them, not just because they are attentive to blogger needs, but I enjoy their brand of humor, quality of work and quick response to issues! So, I thought you might enjoy this infographic!

The Anatomy of a Rafflecopter Giveaway - Infographic

Courtesy of: Rafflecopter

Monday Google + Link up

Diane Hidey —  December 11, 2011 — 3 Comments

Looking for a way to increase the size of your google circle?

Join us to find new blogs to follow and gain some followers along the way.

Welcome to the Monday Monkey Blog Hop hosted by
Mommy of Two Little Monkeys and Mommy Digger.

Sign up now!!


Setting Up a Rafflecopter Form

Diane Hidey —  September 19, 2011 — 23 Comments

I have been taking part in a few blog hops this past weekend. I saw at least 4….maybe there were more. Lots of people are using Rafflecopter, which is great. But lots of people have errors on their entries AND it is not all Rafflecopter problems. I know sometimes the form is slow in opening up, or doesn’t show up at all. But I am talking about people missing a few key points.

So here’s my attempt to help you figure out how to create your own Rafflecopter entry for your site!

Sign in to Rafflecopter. If you do not have an invite, fill in the form on their opening page. Spots open up pretty regularly. If you are desperate to get in, post a note on their Facebook wall, or ask fellow bloggers if they have a spare invite.

To create a New Giveaway – Click on tab/link

NICKNAME THIS GIVEAWAY -I usually call it the title of my post/giveaway or hop. (tip from The Mama Zone- Put the end date in the title of your post- the Rafflecopter form only posts how many days are left–not the date)

ADD A PRIZE List each one separately and note how many there are of that prize. You can add as many prizes or prize packs as you have. I always try to include the value in that section so people can quickly see what I am giving away and the cost of the item.

HOW CAN PEOPLE ENTER? Click on Add an Option-Here is their menu and a quick ‘How-To’

Leave a Blog Post Comment
In the box, write out your instructions….’Tell me which color sweater you would like.’ OR, ‘Go to here (clickable link) and then tell me….’ If you are sending them somewhere, underline the word and click on the link symbol -in the top row.

ex. – Stop by this site and let me know what you would buy with your $50 gift card.
Becomes – Stop by[ this site]( and let me know what you would buy with your $50 gift card.
After you click on the link symbol, replace with the real address of the site. Final version – Stop by[ this site]( and let me know what you would buy with your $50 gift card.

For every entry you have these two choices–

  • How many entries is it worth? (you can weigh the entries that you really want people to do!)
  • This option is mandatory. (If clicked, a reader cannot enter any other entries in your form, until this one is completed)

Save your option. Continue adding entry options.

Tweet a message
Write out your message and RC will add a link back to your blog for you. I always try to include my twitter name in the post @myname. Also include any hashtags that you want promoted. #nameofthehop #win or #giveaway, etc
For Tweet About the Giveaway there is an option Visitors can do this once per day.

Follow a Twitter user
The title will show Follow @_______ on Twitter. This will change as soon as you enter the user name. Make sure you get the twitter name correct. If not–the entry will not have that cool Twitter box with the name already included. This option asks the reader to add their Twitter handle in the extra info box. DO NOT put ‘@’ before the name–it will mess it up.

‘Like’ a Facebook page
In order to replace _____________ with the Facebook name, you will have to copy the url of the Facebook page and add it. This will make  this entry clickable. And this is why our readers love RC. They do not have to leave the page and come back to follow someone on Twitter or Facebook–if we set up the entries correctly.

Like the Blog Post
If you use this entry, RC will create a ‘thumbs up’ box for readers to click on.

Chose Your Own Option
First, if you use this option–be sure to change the title. Once selected, this option has an editable box for the title. In other words, don’t make your entry Chose Your Own Option

What options can you add? Anything you want!! Here are a few often used on forms.
Vote For Me Put a clickable link to the page where you want a vote. Try to avoid saying, “look on the right for a box that says….” Make it as easy as possible for some to vote for you..
Follow me via GFC
Follow via RSS feed
Join my email list
Make a comment on another post

You may add as many options as you would like. I often get inspiration for new options as I am filling in RC forms for other giveaways.

ORDERING OF ENTRIES– I prefer to put my mandatory entries at the top. You can move the entries at this point–up and down the list and you can edit or change them.

Currently RC only begins at 12:01 am EST and ends at 12:01 am EST
You chose the start and stop days. Be careful to factor in the default times. If your giveaway is ending at midnight Sept 15, then set your end date to Sept 16.

Information that can be placed here includes, but isn’t limited to:
Disclaimer Policy
Eligibility, Residency and Age of contestants
How winner is chosen
Winner response
It would be good to include a line stating that this contest is not connected or affiliated with Facebook.
Again, check out other entries for more ideas.

I usually preview the widget now. This way I can see the layout before I put it in my post.

RC generates the code and now all you have to do is paste it in your blog. There are great directions on their site for how to do it for WordPress (self-hosted), Blogger, TypePad, Facebook or anywhere. The biggest problem for WP users is getting the code placed below the MORE tag. You add the more tag to the blog while in Visual Editor and then add the code under the tag, while in the HTML Editor. For Blogger it is after the ‘jump break‘ tag.

Save your post and then preview it to make sure the RC is loading properly. On my WP blog, I save the draft and schedule it. After that I click on View Post to see the post.

This link will show you a spreadsheet of all entries. You can moderate the list….checking for duplicates or verifying entries. I usually sort by name and make sure no one has entered too many times. You can also sort by IP address. This helps to cut down on one person entering with several identities.

RC has a link to and they can choose a winner for you. Once selected, you can verify the entry and keep it or chose another, if the entry is not valid. After selection, RC will open your mail program, so you can email the winner. RC also posts a WINNER on the RC form on your site.

You may also chose to pick a winner yourself. I have done it both ways. Sometimes I have to add in ‘early entries’ so I copy all data to an excel spreadsheet, add in the extra entries and then I use to pick the winner.

Want to do another giveaway? The great news is that you can copy an old Giveaway. Select it and then edit it to fit the needs of the current giveaway.

Any more tips? I know I haven’t covered them all. 🙂

LaMomba aims to illuminate brand directories and blog connections through our Connectory. The simple, quick-look style is saving both brands and bloggers thousands of hours that had previously been spent searching hundreds of sites in the blogosphere for just the right match. LaMomba is as easy as sign-in, seek-out, search over. Our goal is to save you time, money, energy and resources. LaMomba’s Connectory will be your one portal, your blog-a-dex, your yellow-pages, your connection.

Sounds great! Right now this service is FREE for 6 months, if you sign up by 9-10-11! The site is set to launch this fall and will help connect Bloggers to Brands and vice versa.

Join up HERE. Check them out on FACEBOOK. If you decide to join–say I sent you. I can get a month free if 25 people sign up–and then you can get 25 of your friends to join and get a free month…it goes on and on. BUT it will end Saturday!