Learn how the author of SweepTight.com got her start and five tips for starting your own blog!

Hello!  I am Jennifer, the owner/editor of SweepTight.com.  I am a 30-something year old, recently married woman living with my hubby and white German Shepherd dog, Hilo.  We live in a south suburb of Chicago and are excited to start our family.

I am often asked how in the world I got the idea to create my blog.  In all honesty it was actually somewhat of an accident…

You see, I used to be an avid sweepstaker – meaning that I would enter sweepstakes as a hobby.  Friends and family would constantly inquire about this hobby when they would see my winnings.  I was looking for a way to share my sweepstaking adventures and figured a blog would be a great way.  Soon after exploring the blogosphere a little closer, I noticed that a lot of these bloggers were hosting their own giveaways.  Hmm… I was extremely intrigued.  Being a lover of all things related to freebies and sweepstakes, this felt like a true calling!

Growing Sweep Tight has been an experience to say the least.  It has been exciting, exhausting, testing, humbling and extremely educational.  Having no website, blog, or any sort of web development background, it took (and still takes) a ton of patience, research and networking to get where I am today.

Websites like Smiley360 played a major role in getting me started on doing product reviews and giveaways.  I absolutely love to review new products, and hosting giveaways is a lot of work, but also a blast!  It’s so much fun to email the winners and know that you played a role in possibly making someone’s day.

My top five tips to anyone who is thinking about starting their own blog would be the following:

 1. Try to decide exactly what you would like to blog about.  I find myself all over the place sometimes and often regret not have a specific niche.

 2. Network!  This is huge.  Networking with other bloggers has been the most rewarding and helpful experience for me.  The majority of them are eager to help because we all had to start somewhere!  There are lots of forums and Facebook groups that can be valuable support systems.

 3. Join sites like Smiley360, who will help you get some rewarding opportunities.

 4. Pay attention to the terms of service on all social media sites and know the rules well.  Especially if you are hosting giveaways, you can risk losing your accounts if you break the rules!  The same goes for learning the ropes with Google, like using no-follow links on compensated posts.  Failing to do so can jeopardize your page rank.  I know this from learning the hard way!

 5. Be organized.  This is a challenge, and I am not even sure if I have any tips!  Find a system that works for you and stick with it.  You definitely do not want to drop the ball on any commitments.  Write down important dates so you don’t miss out or let anyone down.

Sweep Tight has taken some twists and turns along the way, but one constant will always be the reviews and giveaways.  I now have a team of reviewers to offer even more of a variety of products.  Looking forward, I just want to continue to grow and enjoy the exciting possibilities!

Dont’ forget to visit Jennifer’s blog Sweep Tight and say hello.