Wednesday, March 23, 2011

W.O.W. Free Stuff!

I am still amazed by how much free stuff I am finding in the blogosphere! I feel like there are also a lot of gimmicks and scams, but I have several favorite mommy blogs and art blogs that I trust, so when they talk about a give away, I get really excited. In December, I saw something mentioned on a blog (sorry, I can't seem to remember which one) about getting 50 free Shutterfly Christmas Cards if you are a blogger. I imagined you had to have a big blog with a big following, but I clicked the link and entered my info and pretty soon I was designing my card and ordering 50 copies of it. I was in shock up until the moment I entered my code and saw the price move from around $200 down to just shipping charges. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!!! My card became a New Years card because I was a little late getting the info, but I am SO happy with the outcome and SO happy to spread good thoughts about Shutterfly to anyone I know.

I think that is part of the plan. Advertisers used to sponsor whole TV shows, then we got commercials. Now with the advent of DVR's and Netflix and streaming TV over the Internet, it is too easy to skip commercials, so some companies are letting bloggers advertise for them and usually that comes with some swag to give away. I am sure some are better than others. I tend to only look at blogs that I enjoy from a mommy, artist, crafty girl stand point and if they have a giveaway, that is great. But that also means that I am looking at big blogs with huge followings so more competition for a single item give away. Sometimes, I get a good tip about a national campaign that includes large quantities of something small and free, like the Christmas Cards.

Today, I saw a link for a free paint sample and starter kit from Valspar. They are giving away 1,000 kits a day while supplies last. I just saw it on a big design blog, so I bet a LOT of people are trying it today. You have to "like" Valspar on facebook, that seems to be a recurring strategy, since FB will show all your FB friends that you like that company, and then you follow the links until you put in your address.
A friend of mine just won a toy kitchen from our kids mom. She seems to be mostly about the free loot, so if you are interested, check her out. I may plan on checking on on Mondays, as she seems to do a wrap up of LOTS of giveaways and then other people write in with ones they have found. Too much for me to process right now, but good to know about. I suppose you could google the right combination of words like "free" and "blog" and eventually find some good stuff, but i feel like you would also run into a lot of scams that way and I just don't have the time right now to deal with it.
For now I will be sticking with trusted websites and my favorite blogs. Design Mom often has give aways and Just Something I Made is teasing readers right now with a drawing that doesn't open until Friday. What about you? Any great websites that also offer some great swag to readers? I would LOVE to hear your "words of wisdom" on free stuff.

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