Choosing the Best Link Generator for Your Carnival

Blog carnivals can be a great way to promote community and increase traffic not only to your site, but to your participants' sites. But how do you do that? With a linky tool. A linky tool allows carnival participants to submit a title for their link and a link to their site. The linky tool then takes that info and creates a list. You can see linky tools in action at some popular carnivals like Works-for-Me Wednesday or Mantel Party Time. Works-for-Me Wednesday is using Linky Tools, while Nester's Read more [...]

Blog Roll Etiquette and Advice

I recently received a great question about blog rolls. The question was whether or not you should contact the people you put on your blog roll to let them know that you're linking to them. Then I started thinking about all the issues related to blog rolls, the etiquette behind them, the usefulness of them, and whether they're worth the trouble. I'm going to explain the basics of blog rolls, then I'm going to tell you my opinion of them (and you might be surprised). Blog Roll Basics What is a Read more [...]

4 Blogging Etiquette Tips for Beginning Bloggers

Blog etiquette is something seasoned bloggers sometimes take for granted, but many beginners are just discovering. Melanie Nelson gives five blogging etiquette tips that will help beginners (& remind experts) to be a good neighbor in the blogging community. Read more [...]

Should I ask permission to link to a blog I find interesting, or should I just link to it without bothering the blogowner?

I don't think you need to ask people if you want to link to them. For the most part, when you link to another blog or web site, you are helping generate traffic for that blog or site. In most cases, you are sharing the link because you think it's worthwhile and you want others to be aware of the content. It's win-win-win: You share the info with reader, readers learn something new, the linked-to blog/site receives a traffic boost. There have been instances where one site links to another to flame Read more [...]

When entering an online giveaway, is giving an e-mail necessary when you’ve left your blog link?

Many online giveaways require that you provide a valid e-mail address so they can easily contact you if you win. I would say you need to leave your e-mail address even if you also leave a link to your blog. My reasoning is that if the host has to track you down, they may just choose another winner so it's not as much work for them. Whether that's right or wrong, it's a possibility. On the other hand, leaving your e-mail in a comment opens the door for spammers to collect your e-mail address. One Read more [...]

How should I alert the winner of my giveaway–via e-mail or just an announcement on my blog?

For my own giveaways, I prefer to send out an e-mail to the winner. That way I know I have tried to contact the winner. I can put a time-limit on how long I'll wait for a response and mailing address from the winner. The next step is to either send out the prize or pick another winner (if the first one doesn't respond). Then I can move on to the next giveaway. If I wait for the person to find their way back to my site, they may never realize they've won. Especially during a giveaway carnival, people Read more [...]

I’ve found some great pictures of bentos created by people in Japan. Because of the language barrier, I do not know how to request permission to re-post the picture in my blog.

I can't post someone else's picture without their permission, right?  Even if I am saying nice things about it and linking back to their original post? I know it's tempting to just post the pictures--especially because of the language barrier and, therefore, the difficulty in asking permission and because you're saying nice things. Unfortunately, this is still unacceptable. The best way around this is to write interesting and gracious prose about their art (because let's face it: bento is art) Read more [...]

How should I alert the winner of my giveaway–via e-mail or just an announcement on my blog?

I do not have a tried and true answer for you on this one, it's done both ways. For my own giveaways, I prefer to send out an e-mail to the winner. That way I know I have tried to contact the winner. I can put a time-limit on how long I'll wait for a response and mailing address from the winner. The next step is to either send out the prize or pick another winner (if the first one doesn't respond). Then I can move on to the next giveaway. If I wait for the person to find their way back to my site, Read more [...]

If the winner of my bloggy giveaway doesn’t contact me, is it OK to not select another winner and save the item for another giveaway?

My feeling on this is that it would be wrong to save the item for another giveaway. Usually, if you offer something as a giveaway, you need to give it away--even if it means picking multiple winners until someone steps up to claim the prize. I give winners of my giveaways four days to respond to my e-mail alerting them to their winning status. My e-mail looks something like this:Congratulations! You've won whatever the prize is from name of my blog. You have four days to respond to this e-mail with Read more [...]

What do I if the winner of my giveaway contacts me to claim the prize, but then drops the ball and doesn’t send an address?

If you have contacted the winner of your giveaway and he/she has responded, but without supplying an address, send them a reminder e-mail. This e-mail should remind them that they have X number of days (I usually limit it to four) to respond with an address or they will forfeit the prize. If you don't hear from them, pick another winner. Send a final e-mail to the original winner to let them know that you're sorry, but they didn't respond in the time allotted and have forfeited their winnings. Read more [...]