Saturday, May 28, 2011

Guest Post: How To Use Google Docs by Krista

My friend Krista at You Wanna Know What I Think? did an amazing job of explaining how she uses Google Docs for her giveaways. She is the one that encouraged me to use Google Docs. She did such a great job with explaining how to use it that I asked her if I could re-post it for you. Please stop buy her website and follow her:


I've had quite a few emails and comments about the entry form that I use for my giveaways. It's super easy to set up and I figured I would write a post about it sharing with all my fellow bloggers.

I personally won't enter a giveaway where I have to write separate comments (unless it's for something awesome). I think it takes way too long, and I would rather my readers have the time to find all the other great things available on my blog then just focusing on one giveaway.

I started using these forms a few months ago and I love them! They're very simple to set up and most importantly extremely easy for my readers to use. So here's a step by step process of how I go about setting it up and I hope you find this very helpful.

First thing I do before making the form is list all of the extra entries that are available and make them super easy to do. For example....

I have placed buttons on everything I can so all you have to do is click and then that extra entry is finished.

Here's what I put on all of my giveaway posts:


+2 Tweet about this giveaway

+1 Follow me on Twitter

+2 Like my page on Facebook

+5 Share on Facebook

+5 Follow me on Networked Blogs

+25 for grabbing my button and placing it on your site or blog roll.

+20 for subscribing to this blog via email.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Then I go to Google Docs ( If you're a first time user you will have to sign up but don't worry, IT'S FREE!

It will bring you to your home page which looks like this...

Click on the CREATE NEW Drop Down Button and select Form.
You should see something like this...

After that it's pretty self explanatory...
I title the form by what giveaway it is.
You can put whatever questions you want and set the question type to anything from a text answer to multiple choice, to check boxes (which is what I use).

When you are finished make sure you save it then click on the MORE ACTIONS button (in the upper right hand corner) and choose EMBED. It will give you a code that you should copy and paste it in the html of your blog post. (I usually put it at the bottom, but you can put it wherever you would like within the body of your post. 

THAT'S IT! (For the form part at least.)
Your readers can enter your giveaways in less then 2 minutes and move on to other great things you have within your blog. 

Since starting with the forms I have gone from 100-200 entries per giveaway to over 1000 on each one! You will definitely get more entries and you're blog will be remembered as having easy to enter forms. :-) 

Now for your part as the host of the giveaway (picking a winner)....

While the giveaway is going on I will usually visit my Google documents every couple of days and assign entry numbers to each person. For example if the first person completed 15 extra entries (+ the 1 Mandatory Entry) I will put the sentence ~1 thru 16~ in the empty box next to their row. Here is a visual so you can understand what I mean...
(This is for a giveaway I have going on now...)
(I have marked names and email addresses out to protect their privacy.)

Then when the giveaway is over I use and get a random number and wherever the number falls in between is the winner! 
For example if the winning number is 254 then the person with entry numbers 212 thru 268 would win. 
(Just an example)

I have all the names and email addresses readily available to get a hold of everyone to let them know they won and then I just delete the form off of my Google Docs home page after the giveaway winner has claimed their prize.

I hope this has been helpful and that you will think about using Entry forms for your future giveaways! If you have any questions on anything that I didn't explain clearly, let me know and I'll try to explain in more detail... 

Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

A couple of side notes:  Krista did a follow up post here explaining how you can email these forms to the company so they can see the entries. Also, I do want to comment that I do one thing different. I don't embed the post because it looks ugly on my blog since I have a small posting area. Instead I click on the url (it is at the bottom of the form) and link it to the words "~CLICK HERE TO ENTER~". This works out better for me, but you can use either method. Feel free to ask me or Krista any questions you may have. : )


kballard87 said...

Thanks for posting this!

addi said...

How do you figure out the extra entries? If the form doesnt keep track of it then how do you know if someone actually liked you on facebook or tweeted about the giveaway each day?