Why does your url say "etsygiveaways" when you take giveaways from outside etsy?
This blog began as "EtsyGiveaways" and just took giveaways related to Etsy, but we expanded our focus because so many of our friends started opening up wonderful shops on ArtFire, Dawanda, shophandmade, WinkElf, etc. and we didn't think it was fair to exclude their cool giveaways just because they didn't happen to be using Etsy for their main shops.
What kind of giveaways get listed here?
We post information about any free giveaway of handmade items from independent artists and craftspeople. In other words, if the person giving it away is the person who made it, it's eligible to be listed here. We don't actually host the giveaways--they are either hosted by the creators on their own blogs or in a forum, or they are hosted by one of the many wonderful giveaway blogs we love to visit.
We also currently accept giveaways of vintage and supply items from independent crafters (i.e. people on sites like Etsy), but we're primarily focused on handmade items.
Our only other limitation is that we don't post information about giveaways that lack a specific end-date. In other words, if you are hosting a thread-killer contest, we won't post info about your giveaway here unless you've set specific dates for when you'll be selecting winners.
We also can no longer post giveaways that rely on facebook to enter them due to the new terms of service facebook recently instituted (I believe around Nov. of '09) that ban the promotion of contests and giveaways through facebook without facebook's express consent. The one exception to this is if your contest simply requires people to become fans of your facebook page to enter - that facebook still allows, so we do too, of course :)
How does EG work?
We post the info about all these wonderful giveaways for free, so that everyone can afford to get the word out about their giveaways. We get the info through our giveaway submission form and then we manually copy all those lovely details into blog posts. (This is done with the help of our volunteers, so be sure to visit their shops too--you can find them in the upper right corner.)
Visitors to the blog can then check out posts in the order they were listed, by looking through the central column on the blog, or they can look at giveaways that are about to expire, by checking out the list in the left column of the blog. We also offer a variety of free subscription options to stay on top of the available giveaways, including nightly emails or blog feeders--all those options can be found at the bottom of the central column of the blog.
Does EG host giveaways, or just tell people about giveaways from other places online?
Right now we just share information about giveaways from elsewhere. Eventually, once we have streamlined the submission and posting process and created a reliable way to search through the giveaways, we may begin hosting giveaways--but that won't happen for quite a while. In the meantime, if you're looking for someone to host your giveaway, you can find lots of wonderful blogs that do this by seeing who is hosting the giveaways you find here.
When should I submit my giveaway?
As soon as your giveaway begins: viewers get confused if the info goes up before the giveaway is actually active, but they also get disappointed if they miss a giveaway because it wasn't shown here for very long. Giveaways must be submitted at least 48 hours before they expire so there's enough time to list them, but the ideal is probably to submit them at least 4 days before they end, if possible. That way our viewers who get the nightly emails or updates through feed burners have plenty of time to see and join in on your giveaway.
How long does it take for my giveaway submission to be posted?
We try to post all submissions within 24 hours of receiving them, but sometimes we get a sudden surge of submissions and it takes a little bit longer. When that happens, we post the giveaways that are ending the soonest first, even if they were submitted a little bit later, so that no-one misses out on sharing their giveaways. Even during our busiest times, however, we're usually able to get everything posted within 48 hours of receiving the submission, so if you still haven't heard back from us by then you can always send us an email to make sure your submission came through - our email address is etsygiveaways at yahoo dot com.
I don't understand the image link portion of the submission form--how do I find the right link?
Because it can be tricky the first time you try to figure out what the link is for your giveaway image, Purr's techie hubster put together a little tutorial on how to find your image link info. If you're unfamiliar with how to get the image link for your giveaway picture, you'll probably want to check this tutorial outFlickr recently made some changes, so if you're trying to get the right image URL from there, here a tutorial explaining you how.
How can I search through the giveaways on EG?
We're working on creating an additional search function for EG. (If we have any blogger-widget geniuses in our readership we'd be delighted for any help you might be able to provide!) Currently, there are two ways to browse the giveaways--in the order they've been posted, from most to least recent (via the central column of the blog), or by those that are expiring soon (via the link list in the left column of the blog). Unfortunately right now there is no easy way to search just for certain kinds of giveaways via keywords, because we've found no way to keep Blogger's search function from pulling up giveaways that have already expired along with those that haven't yet ended. This is one of the functions that our new site will have, once we finish building it (see the next question for more details).
What are EG's plans for the future?
Currently, Purr's hubster is working on programming a whole new site that will provide a more streamlined look and better functionality--the list of contests that are expiring soon will have pictures, there will be an easy way to search through the giveaways by keyword, the left and right columns will be a lot less cluttered, and submissions will go up a lot faster. So please be patient with us as we continue to improve--and don't hesitate to let us know if you have any suggestions or requests for changes we might make!
What's the history behind EG?
EtsyGiveaways was founded by PurrPrints, in August of 2008, who was quickly joined by TagsandButtons. Both giveaway addicts, we designed the blog to scratch an itch that had been bugging both of us: finding an easier way to discover all the great handmade and independent giveaways out there. Tags also began a sister site, IndieDiscounts, that lists sales going on in the indie community the same way we list giveaways here. Tags decided to move on to other things, and the wonderful and amazing Lu of CrochetedLittleThings has taken her place, both as the post manager here and the owner/operator of IndieDiscounts. She's the person to talk to about volunteering as a poster.