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Pinterest Tip: 4 Reasons To Check The Link Before You Pin

by Freebies4Mom on March 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Pinterest Tip: 4 Reasons To Check The Link Before You PinPinterest is addictive, rewarding and entertaining . . . but I encourage “responsible Pinning”. I know it takes extra time to click on a pin to investigate the link. But I think it’s worth taking the time for these reasons:

1. You don’t want to pin broken links or spam
It’s embarrassing when you pin something and your followers start leaving comments because there’s something wrong with the link. The link could be broken or even worse, it could be spam. You don’t want to pin broken links and you definitely don’t want to pin spam.

You can fight spam by leaving a comment on the post (i.e. “This link is spammy”) and report the post as spam (so that Pinterest will review it).

If you find a broken link, leave a comment on the pin so that the pinner can correct the link. Often broken links are simply mistakes and many pinners will correct the link if it’s brought to their attention. Sometimes you can find the correct link yourself by doing a Google search based on the title of the pin.

2. You don’t want to pin stolen images
Does the link take you to a website that published the image and instructions/recipe as their own original work? You’ll find many images are “borrowed” and sometimes this is a copyright violation. The easiest way to tell who created the image is to look for a “watermark” with the website’s name. Unfortunately these are often “cropped out” of the image so you can’t see it. But if you glance at the article or post using the image you can usually tell if it’s really their original work or not by looking for a detailed written description or a link to the source of the original work.

It’s wonderful when the original author/creator gets full credit for what they created. That’s why I advocate pinning original sources when possible. Just because many bloggers are “borrowing” photos doesn’t mean it’s ok or right to do so. Copyright violation is a serious problem and bloggers can be sued for using photos that they don’t own.

3. You want to follow the source of the pin
I’ve found many wonderful pinners to follow by looking at the source of the pins I love. Most blogs have a “Pinterest” button near the top of their site so you can checkout their profile and follow them to see more of their creative works.

4. You want to support pinners you love
A click translates to a fraction of a penny for blogs and websites that dedicate space to advertising. Once in awhile your click will take you to a spammy site (and hopefully you’ll report it so others won’t click on it), but most of the time your click will take you to someone who is working hard to bring you things they think are worth sharing. And in exchange for them sharing freely with you, your visit is supporting their site.

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Again, I know that it takes extra time to check the links on pins (especially from mobile) but I’d encourage you to see if you can improve your Pinterest experience by doing so. You can also help everyone on Pinterest by fighting spam. I know it’s not your job to do so, but Pinterest needs spam to be reported so they can deal with it faster.

Do you have questions about Pinterest or tips you’d like to share? Please leave a comment!

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Follow my Valentine’s Day Board

by Freebies4Mom on February 12, 2013 6:26 pm

I want to share my Valentine’s Day Board on Pinterest to inspire you with recipes, crafts, gift ideas, and more. I’ve invited bloggers to pin their Valentine’s posts to this board so if you’re a blogger you can email me for an invite.

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Valentine's Day

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Facebook NotificationsMy computer recently started making a new beeping noise. I thought that either my computer was on the verge of self-destructing, or I was going crazy. I had no idea where this noise was coming from until one day I was on Facebook and it happened at the same time a notification window appeared within Facebook at the bottom left-hand corner of my screen.

It turns out that Facebook was trying to drive me crazy with a new feature they have rolled out to some users (eventually all users will have it). They started testing the new Notification Sound in November, and will eventually make it a permanent feature. The only problem is that the default for this new feature is that it’s ON. And if you don’t know about it, you too are getting mysterious beeps!

Here’s how to turn off the Facebook Notification Sound:

1. Go to Settings (the gear symbol in the top right-hand corner) and click on Account Settings

2. Click on Notifications in the left-hand menu

3. Click On Facebook it’s the first item in the list of “How You Get Notifications”

4. Uncheck Play a sound when each new notification is received then click on Save Changes button

Now you can use Facebook without any annoying beeping (hopefully). Please leave a comment if you need more help, or you’ve got a Facebook Tip to share!

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Bloggers: Are giveaways worth hosting?

by Freebies4Mom on September 25, 2012 1:30 pm

GiveawaysAs a blogger hosting a giveaway, you get to award a great prize to one of your readers. Is it worth your time to set-up, promote, and award the prize? I think that no matter how big of a prize it is, it’s important to remember that only one of your readers will win it. So a good question to ask is: How will many of my readers benefit from this giveaway?

If your giveaway is highlighting a freebie, coupon, or deal that anyone can take advantage of then it just might be valuable content to add to your blog (and not something that’s only valuable to your winner). But let’s remember that you can still share that valuable content without hosting a giveaway. By declining the giveaway, but still sharing the content, you could be saving yourself time and money. It just depends on how valuable that giveaway is for promoting your blog (not just your sponsor). How will hosting this giveaway improve your blog?

My time is valuable, and so is yours. That’s why I think twice about spending my time on a giveaway. I use WildFire to run my giveaways and I pay a fee to use them. I also pay a fee to have a custom graphic created for the giveaway. I do ask my giveaway sponsors to pay me a fee which will cover the WildFire fee and Graphics fee. The giveaway posts I write are some of the most time-consuming posts on my blog plus there is behind-the-scenes communication going on between the giveaway sponsor, me, and the giveaway winner(s) which often does not go smoothly. Every time I host a giveaway I have to be prepared to deliver the prize (or an equivalent prize) if the sponsor fails to deliver the prize. It has happened to me on some small prizes, and once the giveaway sponsor told me that I had to give my review product (which I thought I was allowed to keep) to the prize winner. Luckily the sponsor did eventually deliver the prize to the winner without taking away my review product (which I had fallen in love with). So, ask yourself again: Is that giveaway really worth hosting?

You’re spending time setting up and administering a giveaway plus drawing and contacting winners, and all to promote someone else? Oh…that’s right…you are promoting yourself as the one bringing this great giveaway to your readers which may mean getting new ‘Likes” on Facebook, gaining new subscribers and followers, and just getting your blog’s name out there as someone who gives away fabulous prizes. And let’s not forget that the giveaway may include a review product or gift cards to keep and cash compensation. But what could you do with your hours if you didn’t host that giveaway? Could you create several posts which could help thousands of your readers and gain you new readers because it’s shared widely? Could you write a chapter in an eBook which you could later sell on your blog? What opportunities are you giving up in order to spend time hosting a giveaway?

I know that some companies will pay you to host a giveaway for them, but you need to stand up for yourself and ask for compensation. You need to estimate the value of their time and social media reach in order to determine your giveaway fee. You are spending time to help promote them, but how are they helping to promote you? Don’t hesitate to ask for some promotion from them during the giveaway. I think many bloggers could reclaim some time (including me) by declining more giveaways. And I think many bloggers (including me) should be asking for higher fees. When you accept giveaways, be aware of the true cost of your time and any fees that you pay so that you can pass along those costs to your sponsor. If a sponsor will not pay for your time then you’re better of investing that time in your blog and yourself. I love hosting giveaways, but I need to be more selective about which ones I host by asking myself this question: Do the BENEFITS outweigh the COSTS of hosting a giveaway?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you decide if a giveaway is worth hosting?

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The Truth About Why Retailers Dislike Frugal Bloggers

by Freebies4Mom on March 9, 2012 10:22 am

Freebies 4 Mom

Frequently Asked Question: Why do some retailers dislike Frugal Bloggers?

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately – and I hear other bloggers asking it too. I’d like to share my opinion with you (and I’d love to hear yours too!).

Frugal Bloggers write to help their readers save money. Retailers don’t always like the help that Frugal Bloggers give their readers. It’s a sad but growing trend I’ve seen recently for retailers to actively discourage Frugal Bloggers from helping their readers save money. Retailers do this by changing coupon policies, lowering affiliate commissions, ignoring applications from Frugal Bloggers for paid opportunities, and cancelling affiliate accounts.

Retailers are discouraging other Frugal Bloggers and discouraging me too. It doesn’t make sense to Frugal Bloggers that these retailers do not want the smart readers they are sending to them as potential customers. But I’ve got to believe it all comes down to profits, and retailers are not profitting as much from the readers of frugal blogs than from other consumers. So retailers take action by discouraging Frugal Bloggers from blogging about them, or even discouraging consumers from saving money with them.

Why am I telling you about this trend? I’m trying to offer you a general explanation of why you may see me avoid mentioning certain companies on my blog. The reason is that those companies do not value my efforts to help you save money. But that’s ok, because I’m still going to be an independent voice that helps people save money in many different ways. And I’m still going to give you all of the resources I can so you can still save money with those retailers (even if they dislike Frugal Bloggers like me).

What can you do to support independent frugal blogs like Freebies 4 Mom? Just keep reading and contributing your money-saving tips. You are so much more important than the retailers I work with, because I’ll always be able to find a few special retailers who actually value the work I do and will pay me for it so I can keep blogging full-time. But I won’t always be able to find such a strong group of  smart and loyal readers who love reading my blog. You are a valuable resource to me!

I love helping you to the best of my ability and I’m honored that I can share this truth with you. Thank you for reading and celebrating a frugal lifestyle – it’s definitely something to be proud of and we won’t let a few retailers make us feel bad about the value we place on saving a buck!

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