Wednesday, 14 September 2016

I've found a new blog tool: Gleam giveaway widget

I've had varied success with the blog tools I have tried out here and on Literary Flits over the past few years. I still love the LinkWithin widget and am pleased with my first affiliate marketing program, Affiliate Window, which is easy to use. I've also recently signed up with another affiliate marketing program, Rakuten Linkshare. Their interface is pretty user friendly, but I haven't seen any real results yet. It's early though - hopefully soon! On the negative side, I soon gave up with CommentLuv as it wasn't compatible with Blogger's mobile view. I also abandoned LinkyTools due to a lack of interest from visitors and struggled to get my head around setting up Rafflecopter.

However I do enjoy running my weekly Wednesday giveaways over on Literary Flits so have been keeping a lookout for a professional looking gizmo to organise entries for me. I did initially try keeping a track across twitter / facebook / blog entries manually and I would NOT suggest attempting this to anyone else. Absolute chaos! For the past couple of months I have just been asking for a blog comment as an entry method and this was fine, albeit limited and a bit dull. Then two weeks ago I realised I was entering someone else's giveaway through a Gleam widget. I liked the procedure and flow from a user point of view so decided to learn more and try out Gleam on my blog.

Gleam is an Australian enterprise with a friendly, laid-back vibe and it turns out they offer far more than just giveaway widgets. There's lots more toys tools for me to explore using, but as yet I have only experienced the giveaway widget so that is what I will talk about here. It was really easy to sign up and find out where on their site I needed to be. It was also easy to set up the widget the first time although I did find it quite time consuming to add all the various options I wanted. The free version allows me to include a good selection of giveaway entry methods. I asked entrants to visit my Facebook and Pinterest pages, to follow me on Twitter and retweet a specified tweet, and to comment on my blog. I also added two custom options including visiting my Bloglovin page. This is what took time because I couldn't remember all the various social media URLs I needed. You'll notice I haven't gone around and found them all again for this post! Perhaps I should set myself up a draft email?! After that however, all I needed to do was check the start and end times and confirm how many prizes I would be giving away. The html code was created for me. I simply pasted that into my blog page, then sat back and watched the widget do its magic.

A week later I had seventeen entries to my first Gleam-run giveaway and received an email a couple of hours after the closing time reminding me to log in and pick a winner. This again was very easy to do. I logged in the next morning, clicked the big 'pick winner' button and the widget randomly chose a winning entry. It also confirmed said entry had completed the action they claimed to have done - in this case to have visited my Pinterest page. The winner's email address was revealed so all I had to do was get in touch and then pack up and ship the prize. Sadly Gleam has not yet invented a widget to stand in Post Office queues!

If you'd like to see the Gleam giveaway widget in action for yourself, please feel welcome to enter this week's Literary Flits giveaway! The post will publish at noon today and the prize is a copy of a humorous Devon novel, Not The End by Kate Vane. Alternatively, if I've already sold you on Gleam, click through any of their links from this page and get started running your own giveaways and competitions! It's fun!

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