Blog Spotlight | Fabulous Canadian Freebies
Today I would like to welcome Janice from Fabulous Canadian Freebies. She has an awesome blog AND she is Canadian!! I had a chance to learn more about her blog and here’s what she had to say…
We started blogging about a year and a half ago, but lost our site in the summer of 2009 to a hacker. Anyway, although it was a hard choice to make, we decided to scrap all that we had done so far, and start the site from scratch. Since then we have been back blogging and going strong! We are blessed to have so many loyal members and readers who keep coming back.
Prue and I had known each other from another site we used to go to, and really wanted to create a loving, family-friendly site where members were part of a community that cared for one another. What we noticed was missing was a site with more of a Canadian perspective. The website is dedicated to great deals/freebies in Canada with a focus on great contests. We decided to open a ‘freebie’ and contest site because we loved getting freebies and entering contests, not to mention great deals!
What kinds of products do you feature on your blog?
We also run a forum here:
There are many more contests on the forum, which is updated daily by our many active and friendly members. Whether on the blog or on the forum other contesters will find themselves very welcome. We are also running a book club which will soon start reading Julie & Julia, and will start reading The Lost Symbol in February. (Some of our members are trying to win the books lol! 🙂 ) .
What was your favourite giveaway?
Oh now that is a tough one! May as well ask me what my favourite type of tea is while you are at it (Probably Darjeeling if I had to choose one). I love contests with fun prizes or are those that are fun to enter. Instant win contests are always fun, but can get frustrating after a while if you are not winning anything. Probably my favourite giveaway would be The Dairy Producers trip giveaway. Two years ago I won a trip for myself and my entire family to Halifax and Cape Breton. We had a great time, ate lobster and actually drove around the Cabot Trail! (Scary!). I miss the ocean already.
Who does your blog appeal to?
Our blog appeals to mostly Canadians, since we blog about money-saving deals, freebies and contests specifically available to Canadians. However, our community has expanded to readers from all over the world, who are interested in money-saving tips, and many of the contests posted that are open internationally.
A blog is only as good as its members. I think our blog stands out because of the wonderful community of members that stand behind it and I thank them all! We have a wide variety of members, we have young mommy members, graduate students, grandmothers, and some who are a bit of both! In our forum we have a really great community of people and I encourage anyone with a love of books, contests, food and general silliness to check it out.
What direction do you see your blog going in the future?
After a lot of hard work, I think our blog is going in the right direction. I would love to be able to sponsor larger giveaways through our own blog contests. Right now I am finishing my PhD (health psychology and statistics) which means my time is split is so many directions! I also feel strongly about providing a Canadian perspective and content. I would love the opportunity to highlight Canadian companies and products especially. Buy local! I have also tried to use the twitter account and blog to let people know about recent important events, such as my recent blog on how Canadians can safely donate to Haiti.
I am watching with interest as many large and small companies are moving their contests and sites on to twitter. I have been working on our twitter following so I can let more people know about great contests and was excited when we broke 700 followers recently 🙂
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with your blog?
Definitely dealing with the hacker from a year ago. I don’t know if anybody else has had to deal with this, but it is just exhausting. However we refused to give up and through pulling together and some fancy footwork are now back on our feet. Losing a year’s worth of blogs was heartache, however thanks to our great members we are better than ever.
What do you love about blogging?
What I love about blogging is that you never know how your blogs may wind up helping other people, or how many people you are reaching. When I get a comment on our blog that someone won a contest, or was able to save a lot of money on some much-needed products because of our blogs it is a wonderful feeling. I love being able to reach out and help people across Canada, and I am thrilled that they are reaching back to us. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or reach out to us, we would love to hear from you!
Do you have a blogging pet peeve?
Spammers! Sorry if that is a sentence fragment 😛 They are a pet peeve but also a constant source of humour at the site. If you run a site you have seen the posts they make now where they are trying to leave what look like thoughtful messages in the hopes that you will publish it along with their link. Something like This is a very informative blog, with a very different point of view than other blogs on this issue. I am starting to lean more towards your ideals politically; I have bookmarked your site. A very nice comment yes? But it makes no sense when the comment is on a post about a beauty bonus at The Bay! Thank goodness for spamfilters, that is all I can say.
Do you have any advice for the readers entering your giveaway?
I would say to be certain that you have read all the rules before entering. I know this has been said by everyone that answers this question, but it is true! We often have a first entry that must be done before other entries will be taken into account. Too often I see people going to great lengths to enter but missing this first entry. Often I try to contact them to let them know, but they don’t always see my note on time. I also think that twittering the message out daily really does increase your odds in blog contests. At least that has been my experience. *Munches on cowgirl chocolates she won in a blog contest*
Tell me some of your favourite blogs that you read.
The Monkeys (http://www.themonkeys.ca/) – a wonderful blog written by one of our forum members!
I also love the website Cuteoverload (http://cuteoverload.com ) and Not Always Right (http://notalwaysright.com ) when I need a pick me up on the weekend (ok, so during the day at work I am not the only one I am sure!). I am also a bit of a foodie (the joke is on the forum that all threads eventually turn to food-related topics :P) so I was thrilled when I spotted the newer blog Epicute (http://epicute.com ).