What is a blog challenge?
Crafters post challenges on their blogs to inspire your work. There are JFF challenges (Just For Fun). Other challenges offer prizes such as crafting materials, gift certificates, guest design spots on the blog and more. Participants covet all of these prizes because they are incentives to join the challenges.
What kind of projects can you enter?
Each challenge blog will let you know if they want a card, a layout or other paper craft. Don’t let the name of the blog fool you – look at the themes of the challenge listed on Paper Playful (http://paperplayful.blogspot.com), and then check out the individual blog.
How do you win?
Some challenges have the design team come up with a Top 3 or 5, and pick from there. Other challenges use a randomization program. I believe both should be used. This way, those new to crafting or challenges have a shot when up against more experienced crafters.
How do you submit?
Create a free Blog with Google’s BlogSpot. It’s really easy to do, and you can set up a free email account. Once you have your Blog, you can post your project (photo or scan) to your blog with a description of your project. Post the link directly on the challenge blog. A direct link will take you to the POST you are submitting, not just to your blog. For example, if you go to http://scrapbookerphd.blogspot.com, you will find all of my entries. But if you go to a direct link, you see that specific entry. Here is an example: http://scrapbookerphd.blogspot.com/2013/10/fight-like-girl.html. I posted this to four different challenges.
What if a previous project meets new challenges that are posted?
Submitting a project to a blog challenge that was posted on your blog BEFORE the date that the challenge started is called backlinking. You cannot backlink. If your project has already been posted, you cannot enter that project into a future challenge. This is CRUCIAL. You may be disqualified from a challenge blog for this.
Does that mean I can’t enter more than one challenge?
You may be able to. You can combine projects BEFORE they are due and AFTER they have been released. Some challenge blogs will tell you how many times you can combine a project. For example, if you create a project that meets the specifications for three different challenges that are running at the same time, and the rules of each allow it, you can submit that project for all three. If you use a specific cut for one challenge, and the same project uses specific colors for another challenge then submit them to both challenges! Here’s an example, I entered my Twisted Easel Friendship card into two challenges for two different reasons: one challenge required I used chevrons and sequence, and the second challenge required the colors red, yellow, and blue. Check it out: http://scrapbookerphd.blogspot.com/2013/10/twisted-easel-friendship-card.html. If you read the blog post, you can see how the challenge is explained, the materials I used, and how I linked to each challenge.
Some challenge codes:
- JFF – Just for Fun.
- 1W – the number before the letter W represents how long you have for the challenge (i.e., W for week, M for month). Some maybe 1M because it requires you to use a specific product. Most are 1W. But you will also find 2W challenges. Rarely, you will find a daily challenge.
- 3E – the number before the letter E represents how many times you can enter that challenge.
- C3 – C stands for Combine. The number after the letter represents how many times you can use your entry with other challenges.
- F – Must follow the blog.
- SIR or SIO – this means that a special product(s) is required or optional (if it is optional, sometimes you get an extra prize for using that product).
- More Challenge Codes can be found at http://paperplayful.blogspot.com/p/challenge-codes.html
Where to start:
Paper Playful (http://paperplayful.blogspot.com) is a great website that includes a comprehensive list of challenges. Challenges are listed in alphabetic order with links and some challenge codes. Remember to check the individual challenge blog for more information.
What else that I should know?
HAVE fun. Isn’t that the point?
Comment on great projects. Feedback is like winning a prize.
Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone. Combine challenges to push your techniques. Follow the blogs you participate with – that’s important.