Hosting Giveaways To Boost Traffic

I host a lot of giveaways here at Happily Blended, mostly because giveaways are part of my way of making others happy. I know that wining an item makes ME happy so why not allow my readers a chance to win an item, right? Well not only does hosting giveaways make others happy but it can boost your traffic and I’m going to share with you why.

EbookGiveawayFirst, if you do not currently host giveaways and are interested in learning how to get started I can assist you in that, simply contact me and we can go from there. Second, if you already host giveaways or are interested please read on …

Why Host a Giveaway:

  • Makes others happy.
  • Creates new subscriber, loyal readers and comments.
  • Is fun to work with brands that you love.
  • If you enjoy working hard and are motivated to promote your giveaway.

Why Not To Host a Giveaway:

  • Strictly to boost traffic (some giveaways result in false traffic stats)
  • If you can’t handle strict procedures the brand may request you follow.
  • If you are a new blogger because you should gain a loyal reader base first, UNLESS your blog is strictly a giveaway and/or review blog.

How To Host a Giveaway:

There are a variety of ways to host a giveaway, but what has worked best for me is to first ensure you are meeting the requirements (if any) set forth by the brand you are working with. Always try to ask the reader to visit the business’ website as a first entry or at least one of the entry requirements. Giveaways should last no shorter than 7 days and no longer than 21 days to ensure optimal exposure for the business and your blog.

Add in your entry requirements to have the entrants blog about your giveaway linking to both your site and the business site (boosts SEO with inbound links). Be certain to ask entrants to subscribe to your blog or newsletter as an extra entry. Be certain not to require readers to subscribe to a newsletter or website (unless directed by the business itself) as I have found people (including myself) don’t like being forced to subscribe to a newsletter for a giveaway. Have the entrants link back to your blog from their site some how, wheher it be a blogroll link or a button on their sidebar (boosts SEO inbound links).

How To Really Increase Traffic With a Giveaway

Simple as I can say it “promote, promote, promote”! Promoting your giveaway is where the work comes into play. I submit all of my giveaways to over 50 places and this list has been a life saver for me. Having a list of sites to submit to (that are free to list) makes my life easier as I can simply open the document and submit my giveaway each time I have a new one. Takes me a little bit of time and is well worth it in the long run.

Since using my list of Giveaway Submission Sites I have grown my traffic nearly double in size and those that subscribe for giveaway reasons 9 times out of 10 actually read my other blog posts!


In a nutshell; hosting giveaways is a great way to boost your traffic stats, loyal readers and comments. If you are interested in having my Giveaway Submission Site list you can get it by clicking here. I promise you that using my list of giveaway submission sites as well as who and how to submit your giveaways on Twitter, or taking the time to create your own will save you time and create a boost in traffic like you’ve never seen before!

Make it a Happy Day!

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Winter’s Tail Review & Giveaway

I was approached about the book, “Winter’s Tail How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again” and when asked to review Winter’s Tail I knew this was something I would want to share not only with my readers but with my children. I hope you enjoy my review of this book and that you find the inspiration behind this story not only for Winter but for those who helped her swim again.

Winter's Tail

Recommended age is 4+ years of age.

About The Book:

When Winter, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, was found trapped with her tail badly damaged, she was not expected to survive. This is her miraculous story, from her rescue to learning how to swim again to her unprecedented success using a prosthetic tail. This is also a celebration of her indomitable spirit.

You and your family can meet Winter< the Dolphin!

Winter’s Tail Virtual Field Trip

Watch the Webcast Live!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1:00 P.M. – 1:45 P.M. (ET)

About the Author:

Craig Hatkof, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, is the cofounder of the Tribeca Film Festival and of Turtle Pond Publications. He has appeared on various national media outlets, including NBC’s Today Show and CNN. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Manhattan.

In My Opinion:

Winter’s Tail is a great book that shows strength in people, through Winter’s struggles we are able to see that even a dolphin is able to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive one. With the help of some fantastic human’s, Winter was able to get the love, strength and tail she needed to swim again. Winter’s Tail How One Dolphin Learned to Swim Again is a great family book night read!

The author summed up my opinion in this one sentence:

“From her dramatic rescue to the way she learned how to swim first without a tail and then with her new tail, her story shows us that if this little dolphin can overcome her incredible challenges, we can get through our own life challenges as well.” – Stated by Craig Hatkof

Attend a Virtual Field Trip:

Wednesday, October 7 at 1:00pm EST you can attend a virtual field trip – teachers take note! Visit to learn more!

Buy It:

You can purchase Winter’s Tail How One Dolphin Learned to Swim Again at Amazon for the low price of $11.55 and this is a hard cover book, which means it should last longer with little ones in the house!

Win It:


Starting today and ending on October 22, 2009 is a giveaway where one lucky reader from the United States* will win a prize package worth $81.99:

  • Dolphin Plush.
  • Dolphin Key Chain.
  • Winter’s Tail game for Nintendo DS.
  • Copy of Winter’s Tail How One Dolphin Learned to Swim Again book.

*International readers may enter if they have a friend in the United States to have the prize package shipped to – this will ONLY be shipped to a USA address.

How To Enter:

First Required Entry: Visit Scholastic’s website and watch the video, come back here to this blog post and leave one comment telling me what you think about Winter’s Tail.

Extra entries:

  • Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect and/or Facebook’s Networked Blogs – found on my right hand sidebar – leave one comment for each completed (already following that counts)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (once per day counts) after following @branyellen on Twitter (use the Tweetmeme button below this post for easy tweeting) – leave a comment below with the tweet permalink.
  • Subscribe to Happily Blended via email, RSS or Newsletter (right hand sidebar) – leave a comment (already subscribed – that counts too)
  • Place my botton on your website or blogs sidebar (code in lower right hand sidebar) – leave a comment with the link to page my button can be found on.

Make it a Happy Day!

Fine Print: This giveaway is sponsored by Big Honcho Media.  A sample of this product was provided for the review portion to ensure accurate reviewing by the blog owner. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are based on the blog owners personal experience with the product. This is not a guarantee of product capabilities, as all families/children are different. The blog owner reserves the right to delete without notice any comments that are not based on one or all of the above requirements. Giveaway will end on October 22nd at 12am EST and will be used to randomly select a winner. Winner will be notified via email with 48 hours to respond as well as a blog post announcing the winner on the day after giveaway ends.

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This Sheet Really Works @Purex

Recently I became a Purex Insider, which means I get to test out new products before the general public and get the inside scoop on deals from Purex. If you are not following Purex on Twitter you can @purex and they are interactive!


The first Purex product I was able to test drive was their Purex Complete 3-in-1 Sheets, I actually paid 50 cents for these after using a coupon provided from Purex. The purchase price at my local Shaws was $6.49 and you get 20 loads with the starter kit package.

Last week I decided to give these sheets a test drive. After washing three loads using Purex Complete 3-in-1 Sheets I have been completely satisfied with my clean clothing that is also super nice smelling! Even days after the clothing was washed I can smell the clean Purex Spring Oasis scent!

If asked would I buy this again? YES I will certainly be buying more Purex Complete 3-in-1 Sheets the next time I need laundry detergent. They are easy to use, alleviate the extra purchases of fabric softener and dryer sheets.

Thank you Purex Complete 3-in-1 Sheets for your fresh scent, and long lasting clean feeling!

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Working From Home

Home Office - My Desk

Image by fensterbme via Flickr

I remember a few years back when I finally made the decision to work from home. I had so many reasons behind wanting to be a work at home mom, the biggest reason was to have a flexible schedule, be my own boss and have the ability to drop everything and play with my children anytime!

One thing I remember from my work at home search was all the scams! From scammers setting up a site that makes it look like they are from your town, to others that just seem genuinely real. Well there are a lot of scams out there! I have been scammed out of money more times than I care to admit, but finally I found my passion, my love and my true money making opportunity; Brandy Ellen’s Business Solutions and Happily Blended.

I am not the only one who is living proof of having their passion or hobby turn into a money making situation; it happens to a lot more people than you think. The issue with making money from a blog or a virtual business is that you have to devote a lot of man hours into it! I work long, hard hours here at home to ensure that my virtual business and blog are running smoothly, I monitor traffic weekly and I devote a majority of my day into working.

I get more time with my children, I attend all my children’s sporting events, school events and even get to be a part of Girl Scouts this year. The only reason I have succeeded in working from home is because I put my best foot forward every morning and no matter what situation arises I make sure to smile … smile .. smile!

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Joy Berry Books: Great For Children

I recently received three books to review from Joy Berry Enterprises. The books I received were “Let’s Talk About: Needing Attention“, “Teach Me About Bathtime“, and “Teach Me About Potty Training“.  All three books were very educational but FUN. Having a fun book that teaches a good lesson or educates my children about something in their world makes me happy!


I understand not all children have a love of books, however, I am lucky in having not only 1 child that loves to read but 3 children who love to read. Baby K is only 1 years old and he will bring me a book to read through out the day. Reading to your child for at least 20 minutes a day will encourage a love of reading like no other and my children are proof of that!

I would like to believe that the book “Teach Me About Potty Training” in combination with my Toilet Buddies is what has encouraged AJ to express a higher interest in the potty, and YES he is peeing in the potty more than three times a day now! “Teach Me About Potty Training” even talks about how some people sit to go potty while others stand. AJ can be found stating facts he read in the book with me every time he takes a visit to his potty.

About Joy Berry:

Joy Berry, pioneering educator, trusted child-development and parenting specialist, is the bestselling author of Joy Berry Classics for children with more than 250 titles and 85 million copies of her books sold. Joy Berry’s lifelong mission is to help kids help themselves by providing the information and motivation children need to lead responsible lives. Simply put, Joy Berry knows and understands children. Read more about Joy Berry…

About Joy Berry’s Books:


You can visit Joy Berry’s website and search for books of all ages. From your potty training toddler (like mine) to an older child who may be acting out to get your attention in the wrong way you are certain to find a book that will cover all stages of your child’s life. Joy Berry’s Books focus from age 1 to age 12 and cover a list of challenges from needing to be more responsible to being impatient.  One challenge I have is teaching my three children that not everything is going to be fair, so the “It’s Not Fair” book may be my families first purchase from Joy Berry.

Every book comes with a CD as well, creating a wonderful experience for both you and your child. Now your child can learn more about a topic you want them to learn about in audio format. The child can simply follow along in the book by turning pages and looking at the wonderful pictures.

Would I Buy Joy Berry’s Books?

Yes! I would most certainly buy from Joy Berry’s book collection in the future for a birthday or Christmas gift for my children. Due to my children loving books, this is the easiest way for us to teach them about life in a fun, creative way!

Where can You Buy Joy Berry’s Books?

You can purchase Joy Berry’s Books directly from her website or online at Amazon.

Make it a Happy Day!

Disclosure: This review is sponsored by Joy Berry Enterprises and the opinions expressed in this review are based on the blog owners personal experience with the product.  Even though the blog owner received a sample of the product for testing purposes this did not affect her honest, unbiased review. This is not a guarantee of product capabilities, as all families/children are different. The blog owner takes no responsibility in guaranteeing you will love Joy Berry’s Books as much as their family does.

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One More Month

Candle birthday cakes.

Image via Wikipedia

One more month and I will be 28 years old. I tell you it’s been a long twenty eight years. From the days of my younger years spending summers with my aunt and uncle to those rebellious (very rebellious) teen years. I have done it all, a bit more than I ever want my children to do at the ages I did them.

I remember turning 16 years old, passing drivers ed and getting ready to drive myself to work. I tell you when I bought my first car from my aunt and uncle I felt a freedom like no other and I took well advantage of that (not in a good way).

After spending many years trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to share in this world, I finally found my happy. Being a mother is my “happy” and helping others is my other “happy”. When I created Happily Blended I wasn’t sure if spreading happiness would really be a popular topic, I questioned if people would care to listen to my happy go lucky attitude and if they would really believe it.

I finally realized something; who cares what others think, this is ME, I truly am a positive thinker. Occasionally I can be found questioning if people wonder who I am in real life, is this happy go lucky type of attitude that has become so popular really who I am? Well I will tell you right here, right now who I am:

  • A mother, wife, sister and daughter.
  • Brutally honest, but not hurtful.
  • Insecure at times.
  • A home owner.
  • A creative thinker and writer.
  • A positive influence on my family.
  • A best friend no matter what.

In one month on October 28th I will be 28 years old and I am happy to say I have no regrets, simply mistakes that I made and learned from. We all make mistakes it’s what we learn from them that makes us who we are today!

Make it a Happy Day!

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WAT-AAH! Winner Announced

Congrats WinnersRecently the Giveaway for WAT-AAH! Products ended and here is the lucky winner chosen using ..

Congrats to Sheri who is @tinyblessing on Twitter – thanks for the follow! You will have 48 hours to respond to the email I will send within 24 hours!

WAT-AAH! is now available at Amazon for a low price! Check it Out!!

Thanks to all who entered and keep your eyes out for new giveaways right here at Happily Blended !

Make it a Happy Day!

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