Sunday, November 23, 2008

Giveaway Questions

Esmé's Mommy here.

I need another project like a hole in my head. Yet the ideas keep thundering in my head in maddening crescendo. Can I do this? I'd like to give it a shot.

The feedback I got from last week's Zimbabwe post made me realize two things. First, most people don't know about the Zimbabwean tragedy. And second, when they do become aware of it, many of them want to do something about it.

So I've been thinking. The blogosphere is a powerful place, as proven by the whole Motrin excitement. What about hosting a 2-week giveaway to promote awareness of the Zimbabwean tragedy and to provide assistance to the Zimbabwean people? We'd have between 7-14 African-themed gifts, and between 7-14 guest posts or interviews with people on the Zimbabwean frontlines and with NGOs providing charitable assistance in Zimbabwe.

Having never done a giveaway before, this brings up all kinds of questions. So I am turning to you for advice on things like:
  • Are there any how-tos or step-by-step instructions already out there on doing a giveaway?
  • What types of giveaways are the most popular?
  • Who are the "must-notify" people when promoting a giveaway?
  • What is a reasonable goal for number of hits per day? I'd like to give an idea to the people I'd be approaching to do guest posts.
  • When you're entering a giveaway, what rules work best for you and what rules just plain irritate you?
  • Any sites or programs you recommend for randomly generating a winner?
  • Any other advice or lessons learned from your own giveaways?
  • Any advice on timing? I will be on forced bloggy break most of December, which means the earliest I could pull this off would be February 1st. So I could play on Valentine's Day by calling it something like "Operation Love Zimbabwe." Or are things too busy then; should I rather wait until after Valentine's Day?
  • So yes, I need a name for the giveaway. Any ideas?
And if you're willing to donate something, I'm looking for:
  • Design of a button for the giveaway. (I'd take a whole blog design for the giveaway, too, if anyone were to offer!)
  • African-themed items for giving away. Books, art, crafts, jewelry, music, games, toys, food, etc. I bet there's even African scents and chocolate out there. And if you know any vendors who might be willing to contribute, let me know. I'll have several items of my own to give away, but the more the merrier!

And I did mention I'll be on bloggy break during December, a time when I want to build up readership rather than lose it if I want to pull this giveaway off. So I'm also opening the floor to any guest posters. If you're interested in providing a guest post, please let me know! (You don't have to have a blog to do a guest post. Hint hint several people.) Ideas for posts include:

  • Travel or international or missions flavored posts.
  • Kid-friendly Christmas or winter crafts or ideas.
  • Just generally funny or thought-provoking or interesting parenting stories.
  • Oh, and you can have your kid write the post, too...

Thanks in advance for all your comments and emails! (My email address is on my blogger profile. Just click on "About Me" on my sidebar. )

Oh yes, for those who have asked: my husband did finally get a hold of me on Friday. His cell phone has no signal except close to the border, so with being so busy and all, he wasn't able to call until then... It was wonderful to know he was okay! And if things go according to the latest plan, he's coming home tomorrow.


Prasti said...

oh gosh! i wish i could give you giveaway advice but i've never done one before. but once you do have it up, i would be happy to post it on my blog.

i have not read the zimbabwe post yet, but will as soon as i post this comment.

dani said...

j, i will get you some give-away info... and, i didn't realize your hubby wasn't home, yet. i guess after seeing his poor, burnt leg, i just assumed. i'm estatic all is well with him, though:)
much love,

Suzie said...

People like any thing in a give away anything at all. You could give away a bag of crisps and youd still get a lot of comment.s I love crisps by the way

Kori said...

I think it is a wonderful idea, on so many levels. and I cannot offer anything other than to post the bedge on my site once you get it, and I can offer you a guest post; I PROMISE to tone it down so you can actually publish it on your blog! :)

angie said...

I think this is a specacular idea, although a two week giveaway might make you never want to blog again. I just finished up a one week Tea Party, and it's exhausting. is a great site for a free random number generator. One of the other women who participated in the Tea Party did all of the publicity. I would contact her directly (CanCan-links to here are on all of my Tea Party posts). I had about 400 hits a day during the tea party from random people who are not my regular peeps. I know that the Tea Party was advertised on a few "giveaway" sites.

The hardest part is deciding if the items can be shipped internationally. There are LOTS of Canadians who enter, and of course many like you who are on a different continent all together.....:)

I would love to guest post, btw....:)

Anonymous said...

I think this is a Great idea...I had to go read your Zimbabwe post...I really had no idea!!! I guess Americans have been so caught up in our election and our down economy that is all our journalists (if you can call them that) are concentrating on. How very sad that this sort of thing still happens in this day and age.

Do you know about SITS? that would be a good site to have them give a shout out about any giveaways you have....they get tons of traffic. They just ask that you put their button on your website and visit them and comment when you can.

I'm not a blog designer by any means....but I know how to change backgrounds and create headers and stuff if you no else offers one up for you...and the button would be easy to do.

If you still need guest bloggers I could fill in a day for you as well....I'll try and come up with something interesting :)

I could also come up with something for a giveaway.....

I think it is great you are trying to get the word out....this is awful and I know people would give if they knew about it....

Anonymous said... sorry for the long comment...I didn't realize I wrote that much!!! :(

Vered - MomGrind said...

Please email me once it's up vered AT momgrind DOT com and I will tweet about it. Good luck!

Sandra said...

Honestly people give all kinds of things away.

I usually do books and run it for a week, it's enough for me because you get so many hits and it's overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

I love the giveaway idea. I am looking foward to it. I would be willing to post something of your criteria. I love posting kid craft things, and serving with my kids. I like to post Mother Moments of encouragement.

sheila said...

I know nothing of giveaways. clueless. sorry. but I did go through the posts I missed in the last couple days. Youch! Your hubbys leg looks horrible! Hope it's healing!

If you need someone for a day or so for your blog, I'd be happy to write, although my style might not be what you're looking for. lol. I promise I won't swear. I actually have some good teen posts in my categories if you're interested on something of that level.

Susie said...

What a great idea:-)

Serendipity said...

This is great! Although I have no idea at all how one go about with the giveaway. But I can see that some of them have given you wonderful ideas there.

SarahHub said...

You really are the sweetest!

I just had my first giveaway a few weeks ago. I kept it simple, readers just have to leave a comment to be entered. Then I had my father-in-law choose a random number, which made it a little fun!

I had over 700 hits, and more than 300 entries. I don't know if that's good or not, but I was pleased.

I did promote the contest several places:

5 Minutes for Mom (5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere)

MomDot (Contesting Monday)

I'd be happy to share anything else I learned - just shoot me an email.

By the way, I would LOVE to guest post! Just let me know!

cassieb said...

Are there any how-tos or step-by-step instructions already out there on doing a giveaway?
I have seen many different ways. some you post your link sometimes you send an email. then you can draw from a hat. there are some computer programs but im not sure how they work.

What types of giveaways are the most popular?

im not sure. I would think anything you find their in Africa that we dont ahve here would be really neat.

Who are the "must-notify" people when promoting a giveaway?
I would say let any blogger friends you have know so they can send people to your site!

What is a reasonable goal for number of hits per day?
I think it depends how many hits you get now. my giveaway only has four hits right now :(

When you're entering a giveaway, what rules work best for you and what rules just plain irritate you?
I have never seen alot of rules not sure any would bother me
Any sites or programs you recommend for randomly generating a winner?
im not aware of any

Any other advice or lessons learned from your own giveaways?

i guess advertise more..

also i have someone to make a button for you just let me know what you decide! I cant wait to see what you come up with!

Melissa said...

In regards to providing assistance, there are a couple of ways that blog readers can donate. I know you can add a PayPal donate button to your site, but I think there are others like it too.
Regarding random drawing websites, try, and go to Sequence Generator. Enter 1 as the first number, then the second number would be the number of comments, and hit Submit. When it gives you the list, the first number in the sequence would be your winner. If you have 2 to give away, then the 2nd number would be your 2nd winner, etc.
And, thanks. I think we all need to know what's going on there. When we lived in England, I heard so much more on the news about world events, but now that we're back in the US, I don't hear it so much.
Good luck with this!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I'll have Ladybug write a post if you need another one. I'm sure she would love to do it!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

SarahHub left some good giveaway advice as far as promotion. I know that Scribbit has a new page on her blog where she lets you link up to promote your giveaway.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh...also, have you had anyone offer to make you a button yet? If not I could see what I can come up with if you let me know what you had in mind. Let me know either way! :)

Edie said...

I would be glad to offer a blog makeover for your give-away. And a button for people to put on their blogs announcing the give-away. You can see some of my work on my Graphic & Design Blog,

There is a Contact Button on the sidebar where you can email me if you're interested.

Ali la Loca said...

I'll gladly donate a pair of handmade earrings.

How on earth are you going to mail out all these gifts, though? From South Africa?

Hippie Family... said...

hi- I am a friend of Z's mom and stopped by to read over your stuff, I don't get around as much as I should but I am glad I read her blog and got here.
I am happy to donate anything from here, AND you say the word and I will ship it out for you too... I can check in with some friends of my blog too and I am sure they would dontate as well as my mother would probably be happy to knit a few things.
There was a recent accident with a woman named Nei and they set up an auction on a site called Etsy. I am sure you could get your donaters to help ship out what they are providing and this way you could have a "reverse" give away and just have people pay for the item and the shipping and could raise a nice amount of money to help..
Just a thougth, I am an idea person :)
But please let me know, I am happy to give... I can make blankets, hats, pants, toys, stuffed animals, socks, just say the word.