Sunday, February 6, 2011

Techniques, Tutorials, & Tips - Challenges & Linking Help!

Hello, everyone! This week we're going to do something a little different. Since there have been many "how-to" requests from our clients and challenge participants, we're going to cover "How to submit a project for a challenge" and "How to leave a comment on a blog". Let's get started!

Our Daily Bread designs hosts three different challenges on the Our Daily Bread designs Blog....all with a chances to win $ toward ODBD stamps. Here are the challenges and a brief description of each:

**Each Saturday, there is a new "Shining the Light Challenge", hosted by our lovely challenge team. It is not necessary to use stamps from Our Daily Bread designs, however, if you do have ODBD stamps, you may enter the challenge multiple times. Each "Shining the Light Challenge" is open until Thursday 8 pm EST. **Please note: Any paper crafting projects are, layouts, altered items, etc.

**Every other Thursday, there is a new "Stamping In Time: On Assignment" challenge, hosted by Betty Wright or an occasional guest hostess. For this challenge, Our Daily Bread designs stamps are required in order to qualify to win. Each bi-weekly "Stamping In Time" challenge ends on Wednesday at 6 pm EST, one day before the new challenge is announced. **Please note: Any paper crafting projects are, layouts, altered items, etc.

**Have you seen our new Scrapbooking Challenge? The "Let Your Light Shine" Scrapbook Challenge is a monthly challenge which begins the first Tuesday of each month and runs until the Monday before the next new challenge at 6 pm EST. Our Daily Bread designs stamps are required for this challenge, however, you may use other stamps on your layout as well.....we ask that ODBD stamps are the focal. Each Tuesday throughout the month, our Scrapbook Team, along with some of the other "Breadsticks" will be sharing samples for inspiration, along with scrapbooking tips.

Now, onward with "How to submit a project for a challenge". First things first, complete your project within the time limits and guidelines of the challenge you choose, upload your photo either to your blog or an online gallery, such as SplitcoastStampers, Christian Paper Crafts or the ODBD Card Gallery.

I will show you step by step how to enter a challenge with a card I made for this week's Shining the Light Challenge. While composing your blog post, please include a link to the challenge for which you will be submitting. After your blog post is live, click on the title of that post in order to retrieve the "direct link" for that project only. (When you submit for a challenge, if you do not use a direct link, your submission will not count, otherwise those commenting would have to search your blog for your challenge submission.) Please see the photo below to see my "direct link" at the top of the page, in the address line. Click on the address, it will turn blue, right click on the highlighted address, then "copy" the link. ****For those who do not have a blog, but post to an online gallery, the same instructions apply, except you will click on your gallery photo to enlarge it, then "copy" that address link or "URL".

Now that you have "copied" your direct link, head over to the ODBD blog to find the challenge for which you are submitting. Please note: All of the different challenges are listed on the right side-bar, so that you don't have to scroll through all of the posts, unless you want to, of course! :)
Once you find the correct challenge, scroll to the bottom of the post and you will see the little blue frog or "linky tool". (Note: some linky tools will tell you how many days or hours are left in the challenge...I love this feature!) Okay, click on the box that says "Add your link". This will open some info blocks in which you submit your information.

Right click on the first "URL" will then "paste" your direct link here which you had "copied" from your blog. Type your name or username in the "Name" box, whatever title you wish to appear under your project. Then type your complete email address in the "Email" box. Then click on "Next Step".

This opens up a new page in which you can see the different photos and gadgets shown on your blog. Click "Select" on the photo of your challenge submission. The other option is to crop your photo, however, I usually edit my photo before I load it to my blog or gallery. After you click on "Select", it should take you back to the blog post. You have now submitted for a challenge!! Yeah, I knew you could do it!!

You should now see a photo of your project along with the other submissions. If you do not see your photo at the bottom of the submissions list, click on your refresh button in the tool bar of your computer and it should show up right away.

We love to see your challenge submissions each and every week, plus it is very encouraging and a blessing to our Design Team, Challenge Team, and Scrapbook Team, and the entire ODBD crew when you leave comments on the blog. If you would like to comment on an article or project which has inspired you, or if you would just like to say hi, but don't know how to leave a comment, here are some tips for you.

While it is not a requirement for those commenting to have a blog, most blogger sites do require some sort of online ID in order to accept your comments......this really helps to put a stop to spam generators. It is up to each individual blog owner whether they will accept anonymous comments, or whether you will have to type in word verification, etc.

Blog Hops: Please do not be frustrated during our monthly blog hops, etc, if you have problems commenting. As long as you let us know when you run into trouble, you will still be entered in the drawing. If you are posting as "anonymous", please make sure that you include your name and email in your comment, so that we can identify you if you are chosen as the prize winner.

Okay, now to answer the question, "How do I leave a comment on a blog?" No one blog has the exact same layout, but you will generally find the comment link at the bottom of each post.....if you run your mouse over the words, you will generally see the comment link "light up". Looking at the photo sample below from the ODBD blog, you would click on "3 Comments" and it will take you to the comment page.

If you are already logged into Blogger or whatever online ID you use, you will most likely not be required to enter word verification while commenting on the ODBD blog. Just type in your message and click "Publish Your Comment". If there is an error, it will let you know what needs to be adjusted in order for the comment to take. If this were a "moderated blog", you would not see your comment after submitting, but you will see a highlighted message at the top which says that it will be published after blog owner approval.

Well, we sure hope this information was helpful to you! Now you don't have any excuses not to play in the challenges (or leave comments!) :) We will be extremely blessed to see either!

Since you all were such good students and stayed with me for this long post, I am happy to reveal this week's special.......Free Shipping for orders over $50 (regularly $75) for US customers using the code FREESHIP50...or $5.00 off shipping for orders over $50 for our international customers using the code 5offship. This offer is valid until Saturday, February 12 midnight EST!!

Thanks so much for spending time with us today! Stay tuned tomorrow for more gorgeous samples for our monthly "Let Your Light Shine" Scrapbook Challenge! Have a blessed week!

Product Review/Tutorial Writer


Sandee said...

You are a great teacher Angella!

Grace said...

Great tutorial Angie! This should help lots of folks and you ARE a good teacher!!!

Lenoria said...

Angella, THANK YOU!! I have been trying to figure out how to link a post from my blog and reading the instructions on there just made me even more confused, but when I read your tutorial this morning and went over to test it out - it worked - and it was so simple, I just can't believe it!! You are wonderful. Thank you again.

Patter Cross said...

Great tutorial Angie! I am sure you have helped many with this post! Blessings,

Sue said...

Dear Angela
I wish I had had this tutorial when I started out my Blog!!!
This was so very easy to follow, you would not believe the mess I got myself into on many occasions trying to download a card.
Thank you for this tutorial,I know it will help many first timers, and it will encourage them to enter into challenges and have some fun along the way.
Now to enter my card in your challenge.

Sherry Kushibab said...

As a newbie just when I think I have some of this figured out I realize I don't - Thanks for the info it is helpful.