How to use Rafflecopter – A guide to entering blog giveaways

How to use Rafflecopter – A guide to entering blog giveaways

As someone who likes to enter giveaways and likes to hold them sometimes too, I thought it was high time a post was written about how to enter blog giveaways that use Rafflecopter. I do not claim to be the first person to write such a post – I know people such as Di from Superlucky who explain it a damn sight better than I probably will!


For the purpose of this post, I am going to show you a step by step guide to entering via Rafflecopter and I am using Georgina from Makeup Pixi3‘s post as an example.


As you can see, Georgina has clearly stated the prizes available and the rules for entering from the outset. She has stated that all false entries will be removed – this is a problem that besets every blogger, there will always be some people who click, click away on the buttons but don’t actually follow the rules.



You will be given the option to log in via Facebook or email. I use Facebook as it is so much quicker!


After logging in, you will come to a screen with the mandatory entries. These are assigned a number of ‘points’ each which makes one entry per point. You have to complete these two steps to even be entered into the competition but once completed, this will open the other entries up.


One of the mandatory entries is to follow Georgina’s blog via Bloglovin. Simply copy & paste the link into your browser and click follow! Georgina is asking for your code so she can verify your entry – all you need to do is leave a link to your Bloglovin profile. Simple. The other mandatory entry was to follow Janiro via Twitter – simply click the follow button if you aren’t following them already and input your Twitter name.


Now that the mandatory entries are out of the way, the non mandatory entries are unlocked and you can do as little or as many as you like! I try to do as many as possible; only stopping if I don’t have that specific account. The first few are relatively easy: Follow via GFC which is generally in the bloggers sidebar, subscribe on Youtube (follow the link and hit the subscribe button), follow the blogger on Twitter, like a page or two on Facebook – each one will require a simple click and the inputting of your username for said social media platform.


Nearly every blogger requires you to leave a blog comment as an entry. Whilst this may not always be mandatory (such as in this case), it is the majority of the time. If it is a mandatory entry, be sure to leave a comment to be entered and please make sure to actually leave a comment answering what they have asked you! There is nothing more annoying than people leaving a ‘great giveaway‘ comment as an entry when you asked their favourite scent or shade…


Tweeting is another one that confuses some people. All you need to do is click the tweet button which will come up with a ready made tweet. You simply press another tweet button and the tweet will be posted. I know a lot of people struggle to get the URL so here is a how to guide to do so,


Once you have pressed the tweet button in the Rafflecopter and then the next tweet button, this will come up! Simply click on View it on Twitter and you will see this:


All you need to do is copy the url from your browser and paste it into the Rafflecopter – hey presto, you’re all done!


Entering Rafflecopter giveaways is really easy when you know how but I understand that it can be difficult when you first start entering giveaways. If you have any questions, be sure to let me know!


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How To Deal With The Threat Of Redundancy

How To Deal With The Threat Of Redundancy

This is just my thoughts and opinions, I’m not telling anyone to think or feel any particular way – I just wanted to get these words out and hopefully help someone else out.


Yesterday, I made a very difficult decision to be made redundant. Simply put, hours had to be cut and certain shift patterns were set in place. The highest shift pattern was 10 hours less than what I am on now and once I’ve paid for travel, I would be earning peanuts. I am lucky enough that Steve works full time; some others I work with aren’t as lucky to have that to fall back on; however, I also had the problem that I need to be flexible for Jack and the set shift patterns didn’t leave much wriggle room.


The first thing I would suggest is don’t panic– obviously you are going to worry about redundancy; once the redundancy payout has gone, how are you meant to survive? I would suggest keeping a level head, don’t get emotional or in a flap and don’t badmouth the company, especially if there is a chance to keep your job (just at reduced hours). I haven’t necessarily seen this in my workplace but it is bound to happen somewhere.


Secondly, start looking for other jobs straight away. Even if you do take on the reduced shift pattern, your manager is going to wholeheartedly support you if you decide to keep an eye out for something with better hours – remember, the bad news isn’t coming from them but higher up.


Another point is don’t rely on your savings. Yes, they may get you out of a pickle now but they will soon run out too; be pro-active and try and do something about it all.


Look up what you are entitled to. If you cannot feasibly take on reduced hours (if these are even available) and do not find another job by the time of your redundancy, make sure you are already clued up on what benefits you are entitled to and when you can start claiming them – you won’t be able to claim until your redundancy money runs out – this doesn’t mean spend it all in one go, they expect you to be able to live on it for a month or two. Neither am I proclaiming that you should rely on benefits for the rest of your life – make sure to be actively looking for jobs but take comfort in the fact that you have something to fall back on.


Discuss it. Discuss all of your options with the most important people – discuss it with your partner/parents and you will obviously discuss it with your manager. Ask any questions you need and make sure you get your answers; if your manager doesn’t know, they will always find out for you.

As I mentioned above, these are just some of the things that I did when the threat of redundancy first loomed. After plenty of discussion and working out our budget, I realised that I could not feasibly carry on working there which is a shame as I love my colleagues, they’re a fab bunch! I will be looking for something closer to home, meaning no travel as I know my parents will still help me out when it comes to childcare. If all else fails, I shall stay a SAHM – I may have to start behaving a little more thriftily if it comes to that though…

What are your top tips for dealing with the threat of redundancy?

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HOW TO: Write & Send A Guest Post

HOW TO: Write & Send A Guest Post
If you’re a blogger who often guest posts for other bloggers, this is for you.
You may have seen this trick around before. This is the easiest way to send a blog post. If you send the text and images separately, have you ever found that the post sometimes ends up a little muddled at the other end? Or have you ever received a guest post and had to piece it back together? I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. This should solve all your problems.

I originally found out how to do this from the lovely Ellie over at Misseblog. She posts some fantastic tutorials, why not take a look?
If you’re not a blogger but like to write guest posts, this probably won’t apply – but read on for more information if you wish.

For this tutorial, I’ve used my most recent Like, Love, Loathe post.

Step 1

Open up a new post on your blog, as if you were to publish the post yourself.
Step 2
Write up your post as normal, with links and pictures if needed.
Step 3
Once written, click on the ‘Edit HTML’ tab next to the ‘Compose’ tab. Select all the text in the box and copy.
Step 4
Compose a new message in your email. Paste the text into the message box.
Step 5
The blogger you are guest posting for can then open up a new post in their own dashboard and place your html in.
Step 6
Your post is now ready to be published – and it’s all in the right order!
Would you like to see more tutorials in the future? If so, what would you like to see?
Leave all suggestions in the comment box below.

How To: Samples

How To: Samples
The lovely Rachael from Island Girl Insights recently asked me where I get all of my free samples (that I often review) from.
I often find a free sample is a great way of trying a product and often makes for a great review too! Whether you received it through a PR or through your own doing, it’s great to be able to try before you buy.
 I thought I would compile a little list of places where I find them, so that you can benefit from them too!
Here’s a little look at my To Review bag, most of which is filled with free samples, magazine freebies or giveaway wins!
Remember: Facebook is your friend. First things first, what kind of samples would you like to receive? Beauty, fashion, stuff for the home? Keep an eye on your favourite brands and their Facebook updates, as often brands post about a free sample and many people miss it. Who can forget the free sample of Burberry Body perfume given out from the Burberry facebook page, which surprised us all by its size? Recent samples I have received or ordered from various brand Facebook pages are Herbal Essences products, Garnier BB cream, the Burberry fragrance mentioned above, and many more!
Look out for specific freebie websites/Facebook pages. I know, I know – not everyone is a fan of these, but as a makeup addict and a mum, I know that free stuff often helps. Websites like MagicFreebies and FreeStuffWorld compile the best free samples of the day, and I have received many baby products through using this site – I have nappies, nappy creams and much more spilling out everywhere!
Don’t ditch the magazine! I know plenty of us make use of the freebies that come with magazines, such as the recent Nails Inc polishes with Glamour magazine, and the Kurt Geiger giftcard with Elle, but how many of you remember to take the little sachets of perfume and cosmetics out of your magazine, before passing them on or recycling them? I bet that it’s not as many as you would think! I try to always remember to take these out before recycling, as they are another great way of trying a product you’re interested in, without forking out an extortionate amount of money.
Don’t be afraid. You want to try that great new product from the luxury beauty counter, but the sales girl slightly intimidates you? Don’t be scared! Although not all sales assistants love to give out samples of their products, most generally will because they realise that if you LOVE the product, then you may just come back and purchase the full-sized product from them. Yu wrote a great post here about how to sample haul.
Look out for the special offers at your local stores. Obviously, if you don’t drink Diet Coke on a regular basis, then spending near enough a fiver just so you can pick up two exclusive Models Own lipglosses may seem silly, but to those of us who do drink the stuff regularly, the lipglosses (and Nails Inc polishes from a previous promotion) proved a great freebie! Only spend money though, where you would normally be spending money. I’d hate to advocate reckless spending, hence why I say that it seems silly to buy certain products to get others free if you despise what you’re buying!
Don’t be scared to respond to PR tweets. If you see your favourite or even a new brand offering free samples to review, where’s the harm in registering your interest? You may not necessarily be chosen, but you’ve shown an interest, which is always great. I’ve never done so, but I know bloggers who have occasionally contacted PR’s themselves asking about products to review. Myself personally, I like to respond to tweets put out there by the companies themselves, rather than asking them myself, but I don’t have anything against those who do. However, if you do have to ask companies for products to review, don’t harrass them. It not only makes you look bad to the company, but sometimes, if it’s in a public domain such as Twitter, can make you look bad in front of fellow bloggers or tweeters too!
Although I wouldn’t consider these free samples, I often view giveaway wins as great reviewing tools. You haven’t received them for free from a brand (so you don’t feel as bad if you give a negative review), yet you haven’t paid for them which is also a win-win in my eyes.
Do you collect samples? Or have you learned something from this little guide?
I’d love to know!