Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. The following article and opinions are my own. Questions? Click here to read my disclosure policy.
Stress: It’s a gut feeling. Literally – the first place that stress manifests itself for me is in my stomach. Bad day? Upset stomach. I’ve been dealing with these digestive issues for a long time, and it’s not easy being queasy. I’m doing all I can to reduce stress in my life so that my poor stomach can calm down, but that’s been a challenge lately. I’ve mentioned my knee issues in the past, and they’ve been having a huge impact on me for the last year and a half. As it turns out, I was suffering from two dislocated patella for a long time before I finally got a diagnosis. I’m in physiotherapy now, and although I’m on the mend, I’m essentially housebound for the moment as I have to limit my movement in order to get better. Jai is taking care of everything around the house for me so that I can stay off my feet and heal. (He’s amazing!) As you can imagine, not being able to function normally is causing me a great deal of stress, which then makes my stomach churn quite a bit; and being very limited in my movement has physical impact in other areas, including digestion.
So when Collective Bias invited me to join their Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic campaign, I thought this would be a good chance to try something new for my stomach issues. Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic is a dietary supplement available at Sam’s Club which aims to help you maintain a healthy digestive system. Each tablet contains contains 4 strains of helpful bacteria: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. I have received two boxes of this supplement to try out, and I will be posting a review of my experience after I’ve taken it for two weeks. I have a healthy skepticism about all wellness products, so I’m very eager to see how this will work for me and if it will help improve my digestion.
Check out DigestiveHealthFor.Me for more information on Member’s Mark 4X Probiotic.
Readers: Do you suffer from tummy troubles? Have you ever tried a probiotic? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments, and feel free to share this post on Facebook and Twitter!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is provided for entertainment purposes only.#DigestiveHealth
Welcome to Sweepstakes Saturday! Are you hosting a giveaway on your blog this week? Then list it below, so that we can all enjoy a few fun contests to start the weekend off right!
And the winner of the Tropical Traditions Natural Deodorant giveaway is…
Comment number 67, Charlene Kuser, who said: “I am following your blog (Charlene/Swtlilchick)”. Charlene is a long-time reader, and this is her 8th win!! She was also a winner in the Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies giveaway, the Progresso Soup Prize Pack giveaway, the Darius Rucker: “Charleston, SC 1966″ Album giveaway, the Thriving Ivory giveaway, the Chamber Music Society Album giveaway, the Conserve Cleaners giveaway AND the Ouchies Gift Pack giveaway! Congratulations for the second time this month, Charlene! Wowza!
Anyone who reads this blog can tell right away that I’m an avid sweeper. What started as a fun little hobby has turned into so much more and changed my life in many ways. Never in a million years did I dream that I’d win $10,000, or receive such a steady stream of amazing prizes. Although I enter all sorts of giveaways, my main passion is for blog giveaways. This is because they have the best odds, they are easy to win consistently, they offer great prizes, and they’re FUN!
This is a picture of one of my best blog wins: A brand new computer worth $1200 that arrived in May 2011. I won this through the Bag-It-Forward giveaway on Mamanista that I blogged about in back in September (See, it pays to enter giveaways that you see listed here on Contest Corner!). Blog giveaways have saved me big money by providing me with prizes I really need.
Now, if you’re a casual sweeper – or if you’ve never really entered giveaways before – you might just shrug and say, “Well, you’re just lucky. It’s not like that for most people.” But that simply isn’t true. Anyone can learn how to benefit from blog giveaways, increase their odds of winning, and employ strategies to maximize their efforts. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sit around all day entering in order to win; sweeping doesn’t have to take up much time at all. So to help my readers win more, I decided to write an ongoing series of articles explaining the ins and outs of blog giveaways, so that you can learn what I’ve had success with and start improving your own luck!
To start off, I thought it would be helpful to explain what exactly blog giveaways are, so that you can understand how and why they work, and why I think they’re such a great place to focus your sweeping.
What Are Blog Giveaways?
Contests and sweepstakes are a great promotional tool for companies, which is why they’ve remained so popular through the years. It’s a great way to spread the word about your product, get potential customers to interact with you, and often provides an incentive for them to sign up for a mailing list. Blog giveaways are just an extension of that idea played out in new media – advertising on blogs is a cost-effective way for corporations to reach a large audience, so it’s become a popular strategy for promoting brands through social media.
How Does it Work?
PR agencies working on behalf of companies will approach a blogger and ask if they are interested in hosting a giveaway for their new product or service. The blogger then puts up a special post about this promotion, generally asking readers to enter by leaving a comment on that blog post. At the end of the giveaway, the blogger draws a winner and provides their mailing address to the company for shipment of the prize.
What’s in it For The Companies?
Hosting a nationally promoted sweepstakes requires a big budget, so blog giveaways hold a lot of appeal as a very affordable form of promotion. Usually, the only expense that goes into a blog giveaways is providing one or two products as a prize, shipping costs, and the time spent by the PR representative in coordinating it. Compare that to the cost of a traditional sweepstakes – which often involves costly TV and print media advertising – and it quickly becomes apparent why companies are choosing to promote their products in this new medium.
What’s in it For Bloggers?
Why would a blogger take the time to host a giveaway? Plenty of reasons. Most of the time, companies send out a product to the blogger, either for review purposes or just to thank them for participating. For example, receiving a Tassimo coffeemaker in exchange for writing a post is a much more cost effective use of my time than it would be to earn the money to purchase that item. Sometimes, bloggers will also work with companies to provide promotional packages – so a giveaway might be a part of a larger compensated advertising campaign.
Occasionally, bloggers will offer a giveaway post that they receive no product or compensation for. Giveaways are fun for readers and generate traffic, which is why some bloggers may choose to put time into an uncompensated giveaway post.
Blog giveaways are a win-win situation for everyone. The company receives exposure for their product, the blogger receives a product and/or exposure that they want, and the reader has an opportunity to win a great prize.
But Can You Trust a Blog Giveaway?
Many people are suspicious of contests in general – “No one ever wins them!” – and blog giveaways naturally draw a larger amount of suspicion, since they are hosted by everyday people. As with any sweepstakes or promotion, there is a chance that something could go wrong. However, it reflects poorly on both the company and/or the blogger if a prize is not delivered, so they have every motivation to follow through. Many bloggers consider their website a part-time job, and are as professional and timely as any other small business owner. I have been entering and winning blog giveaways since 2008, and I can tell you first hand that it has been very well worth it. Yes, there have been rare occasions when prizes have not arrived. But this is far outweighed by the fabulous prizes that have arrived – In addition to the $1200 computer, I’ve won other electronics, multiple $100 gift cards, prescription eyeglasses, and tons of other wonderful, useful things.
Is it Fair?
So how exactly do bloggers choose a winner for their giveaways? Most bloggers have a number assigned to each comment, and draw a winning number via a randomized service, such as Random.org. Occasionally, a blogger may opt to use a form instead, and tally up entries via a service like Google Spreadsheets. Another method which is gaining popularity is Rafflecopter, a special embeddable widget that gathers and tallies entries.
Blog giveaways have the best odds out of almost any other type of sweepstakes, which is the #1 reason why I enter them more than any other kind of contest. This is an important topic, so I’m going to be devoting a separate article to the odds of blog giveaways next week in order to discuss it in-depth.
Do you have any questions about how blog giveaways work? Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in a future article? Let me know in the comments!
Today, July 26th marks the release date of Chief, the third studio album from current ACM New Solo Vocalist of the Year, Eric Church. Since his debut in 2006, Church has carved out his place as one of the most popular new country artists to hit the scene. On Chief, Church blends his country swagger with a rock sensibility, calling it the most aggressive record he’s made. From the album’s provocative first single “Homeboy” to crowdpleasers like “Drink in My Hand” and the surprisingly sweet “Hungover & Hard Up”, Church secures his place as a country favorite with an album fans are sure to love.
1. Creepin’ (Eric Church / Marv Green)
2. Drink In My Hand (Eric Church, Michael P. Heeney, Luke Laird)
3. Keep On (Eric Church / Ryan Tyndell)
4. Like Jesus Does (Casey Beathard / Monty Criswell)
5. Hungover & Hard Up (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
6. Homeboy (Eric Church / Casey Beathard)
7. Country Music Jesus (Eric Church / Jeremy Spillman)
8. Jack Daniels (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Lynn Hutton)
9. Springsteen (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Ryan Tyndell)
10. I’m Gettin’ Stoned (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Casey Beathard / Jeremy Crady)
11. Over When It’s Over (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
I received a promotional copy of this album for review purposes.
Welcome to Top Ten With…, a fun new Q&A session where you’ll get to learn all about the music scene’s hottest artists! Today’s featured musician is Jessie and The Toy Boys, a clever electro-pop outfit that is currently opening for Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj on the Femme Fatale tour. The brainchild of Jessie Malakouti, the group consists of herself and four male mannequins! Get to know Jessie and The Toy Boys through this exclusive interview.
Top Ten With Jessie and The Toy Boys
I’m inspired by:
different things… People, places, colors, books, clothes, old Hollywood glamour.
I realized I wanted to play music when:
I sang in my elementary school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”.
Four songs you might find on my iPod:
American Life- Madonna
Too Afraid To Love You- The Black Keys
Novacane- Frank Ocean
One word I would use to describe myself:
Sonic-Boom (does a hyphenated word count?)
The best part of being a musician is:
You get to create something from nothing every day.
Right now, I’m most excited about:
Being on tour with two of the biggest stars on the planet.
Something most people don’t know about me is:
That I speak Farsi.
One of my happiest moments was:
When I found out I was chosen to open for Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj all summer.
My music is:
my favorite thing in the whole world.
In ten years, I see myself:
Writing, producing and starring in films.
Jessie and The Toy Boys – Push It
Jessie and The Toy Boys’ EP, Show Me Your Tan Lines, is available now on Amazon and iTunes. You can catch Jessie and The Toy Boys on the Femme Fatale tour this summer with Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj – click here for tour dates. They will also be joining the Identity Festival tour later this year. Stay updated with the latest news from Jessie and The Toy Boys by following them on Facebook and Twitter.