It’s almost time for May Giveaway Day! The fun starts May 21 and lasts all week long!

Giveaway Day is a biannual, HUGE event we coordinate where everyone with a shop or blog can give something away. We had really positive feedback for December’s Giveaway Day so we’re using a handy link-up system again (rather than have you submit your giveaway information ahead of time). On Monday, May 21 at 6 a.m. PST you can come here to submit your own link and a thumbnail photo for your giveaway. We’ll share instructions for how to do it (it’s easy) and we’ll be available to answer any questions about the process. In the meantime you can think about which category best suits your giveaway:

  • Handmade for the Home (quilts, hot pads, pillows, etc.)
  • Handmade Bags
  • Handmade Baby + Kid Items
  • Sewing + Craft Supplies (fabric, patterns, buttons, trims, yarn, etc.)
  • Handmade Accessories (hats, scarves, belts, adult clothes, etc.)

When we first started Giveaway Day several years ago that’s what it was: one day! It’s now truly a BIG event so Giveaway “Day” really lasts a full week. This gives you time to browse through the hundreds of giveaways and to really enjoy and interact with the various participating sites. All giveaways must close May 25 at 5 p.m. PST, and winners should be announced by email no later than Sunday, May 27 (please also update your Giveaway Day post to include the winner’s name).

Here is more about Giveaway Day, plus tips to help you have a really positive experience:

Why do it?

Participants benefit because a) they get new readers (many participants end up with hundreds of comments & visitors); b) they get potential shoppers/readers; c) they can experience the joy of giving something they’ve made to a virtual friend. Readers benefit because a) they get exposed to blogs with great ideas; b) they are directed to shops with wonderful items; c) they get the opportunity to win a cool handmade prize!

Guidelines

  • Your giveaway item must be either handmade (for example, bags, artwork, etc.), or something that can be used for making handmade gifts (for example, buttons, ribbons, patterns, etc.).
  • You need to write a post, including a photo of the giveaway item, and ask visitors to comment on that post.
  • Your post must link to a blog. No Facebook or Etsy shop links, please.
  • Come here Monday, May 21 at 6 a.m. PST (or later!) to submit your link.
  • Decide how you want to choose the winner (random, best answer to a question, etc.).
  • State in the post whether you’ll ship the item internationally.
  • Leave your giveaway open until May 25 at 5 p.m. PST.
  • Email your winner by May 27, and note the winner in the giveaway post.
  • Ship your item by June 1.
  • Tell everyone you know! Help us tell the world about May Giveaway Day! Grab our button and link back to this post to let your readers know you’ll be participating. Tweet about Giveaway Day, spread the news on Facebook and write on your blog! http://www.sewmamasew.com/may2012/GiveawayDay.jpg and here is the link url: http://www.sewmamasew.com/2012/05/giveaway-day-may/
  • Please include a link back to SewMamaSew.com/blog so your readers can enter more giveaways.

Tips for Success:

  • Make it easy for people to enter to win your giveaway. Participants don’t like “hoops” requiring people to Tweet about the giveaway, become a follower, etc. These tend to frustrate readers and might make them less likely to visit you again.
  • Include a picture of your giveaway. You’ll need one clear photo when you link to our giveaway posts. Take a good photo in natural light, without lots in the background to distract from your item(s). People will decide whether to visit based on the photo, so you want the photo to look good. Our link-up system turns photos into square thumbnails so consider how the photo will crop or create a square image to upload yourself.
  • Participants tend to like answering specific questions when they comment on your post. Rather than just a random comment, consider asking readers to tell you their favorite food, what the view looks like from out their window, a favorite summer tradition… Something to help people connect in some small way.
  • Have fun!

Sign-Up

Want to participate? Prepare your giveaway item(s), take a photo, write your post and then link up on Monday, May 21 (starting at 6 a.m. PST). We’ll have separate pages for each of the different categories. Explore other sites and try your luck at winning a great giveaway!

Show Your Support!

One of the reasons we coordinate Giveaway Day twice a year is the help you find great new blogs to read and to help bloggers find new fans. New bloggers can sometimes feel like they’re writing in a vacuum until people start showing up to comment. Even if you’ve found their blog via a giveaway, a few kind, encouraging words in the comments can mean a lot.