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Can I use Rafflecopter on my blog?

  1. I signed up for Rafflecopter, but the widget is not showing up on my blog. Is it compatible with WordPress if I upgrade my account and buy a domain?

    Also.........if I upgrade and buy a domain, will this hurt my current Google search results since the URL changes, or will WordPress automatically forward visitors to the new domain?

    The blog I need help with is zephyrhill.wordpress.com.

  2. From the rafflecopter site: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/instructions/#wordpress

    Blogs hosted on WordPress.com cannot use Rafflecopter. See this page for more information.

    Javascript http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/#javascript cannot be used on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. Purchasing a domain or any other upgrade does noty chaneg that. If JavaScript is a requirement for you then you need to hire a web host and set up a self hosted WordPress.org install http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

  3. Also.........if I upgrade and buy a domain, will this hurt my current Google search results since the URL changes, or will WordPress automatically forward visitors to the new domain?

    If you do set up a self hosted WordPress.com install on your own domain be aware that the page rank that was earned by the .wordpress.com subdomain URLs is not transferable. The new domain will start with a PageRank of 0/10 and it will take at least 4 – 6 months to regain it, provided your traffic stats don’t fall off, and the number of backlinks your new posts secure are about the same as the number of backlinks your older posts secured.

    In addition, if and when you begin self hosting a wordpress.org install your blog will no longer part of the wordpress.com community. That means your posts will no longer appear on the wordpress.com tagging pages, and the traffic that your wordpress.com blog used to derive from there will disappear.

  4. I saw that on the Rafflecopter site, but it didn't really offer any extra help or explanation

  5. Ok, thanks for the information. I will probably keep it as is, then.

    I wonder, are there any WordPress-compatible giveaway/contest entry apps?

  6. What' it says on that site is what's the said here in the WordPress.com support documentation. http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/#javascript No JavaScript can be used on free hosted WordPress.com blogs. The software will strip it out to preserve security and stability on this multiuser blogging platform.

  7. I wonder, are there any WordPress-compatible giveaway/contest entry apps?

    I don't know of any. if they use Javascript then you can't use them. If they are iframes then you can't use them. If they are plugins you can't use them. If they are advertising driven then you can't use them.

  8. Oh well....

    I wonder why Blogger.com is able to sustain them? And do you know if WordPress is working to make this a reality since blog giveaways are so hugely popular?

  9. Blogger is a teeny tinny itsy bitsy part of the HUGE Google empire which owns it and owns Google Adsense too. Blog giveaways do not require JavaScript widgets. Are you clear on what third party widgets do? They drive traffic back to the site that provides them.

  10. And just to clarify, I do have a "real blog" according to the terms of service and also adhere to the advertising guidelines

  11. Selling advertising space is not allowed on a free hosted WordPress.com blog :
    From the PR friendly page on your blog:

    Advertise on the Zephyr Hill Blog
    The majority of my readers are mothers and wives dealing with the every day challenge of raising families, managing their homes and trying to navigate through the myriads of product choices online. I have several advertising spots available on my sidebar and my prices are very reasonable! If you are interested please Contact Me and I can send you all the information you need.

    No blogger initiated advertising, retailing or reselling the work created or services provided by anyone other than yourself is allowed on free hosted wordpress.COM blogs. E-commerce transactions via shopping carts and the like cannot be conducted on free blogs from and being free hosted by wordpress.COM

    The advertising exceptions noted in support documentation are for high traffic blogs that qualify for and are accepted into the Ad Control program, soon to be replaced with the WordAds program, and for extremely high traffic blogs that qualify and are accepted into the paid VIP hosting program.
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/wordads/
    http://vip.wordpress.com/
    http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/

  12. Oh I see what you mean, I'll just stick to the affiliate links then

  13. I'll just stick to the affiliate links then

    The only affiliate link exceptions are extremely narrow.

    Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

  14. Yes, I did read that section. Mine are within the guidelines.

    "Amazon.com and other select affiliate links are permitted so long as they are not the primary content of the blog in question. Other exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis."

  15. Thanks again for your time and assistance. You were very helpful!

  16. Are you reviewing books you are the author of? Are you posting affiliate links only to the products that you yourself personally create? If not then see here for what other select affiliate links means > types of blogs allowed and not allowed > http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/

  17. Yes, the cookbook I reviewed was self-published.

    And for the affiliate links, see
    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/affiliate-link?replies=89

    Quoting from a WordPress staff member:

    "If it's a reputable, relevant store (and not MLM), a single sidebar link, and a real blog, I don't see a problem. The docs refer to Amazon specifically, but you can substitute another reputable store/site if there's something more appropriate. If you have a real blog about fishing, then we don't mind a referral link to your local fishing store that gets you a discount or credit or whatever.

    Again, "real blog" is the key. WordPress.com is for blogs. If your blog is a real blog that real people actually want to read, the odd affiliate link is no big deal - worst case, if it attracts some complaints, we might ask you to tone it down a little."

  18. Just don't say we didn't warn you. Your idea of "occasional" and staff's might be VERY different.

  19. Based on feedback in the forum here there have been long time very active blogs suspended for one affiliate link

  20. I'm just going by the TOS which say very clearly

    "Amazon.com and other select affiliate links are permitted so long as they are not the primary content of the blog in question. Other exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis."

    Key word there would be primary content. I may contact staff just to satisfy my curiosity but I'm not losing sleep over 1 or 2 links, and if in the rare event it was pulled I could avail myself of the appeals process.

    Again, thanks, you've all been very helpful.

  21. Man, this answers my question, which seems quite dumb to me that I can't add this rafflecopter widget into my blog. I'm trying to host a giveaway and drive traffic to all places, *sigh* WP needs to get on it.

  22. It IS frustrating, but I think if you reserve a dot com and "self host" then you can use Rafflecopter with WordPress. So...you have to pay for it.

    I wonder why free Blogger.coms blogs are compatible with Rafflecopter, but not free WordPress? Just curious.

  23. That is because the security restrictions at WordPress.com are actually much stricter than they are at Blogspot. Here we share the backbones of our blogs, so you're exposed to the greatest security risk deemed acceptable by the dumbest person using your theme, which is why we have such code restrictions. Javascript exploits are one of the standard ways websites are hacked, and have in fact taken down an awful lot of Blogspot from time to time.

  24. Here's an entry that states very clearly all the differences between free hosted WordPress.com blogs and self hosted WordPress.org installs. If JavaScript is a requirement for you then you need to hire a web host and set up a self hosted WordPress.org install http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/
    Why? Because if you use JavaScript on a self hosted WordPress.org install then the only security risk is to your own site. Here at WordPress.com all blogs are on the same multiuser blogging platform and that means a single bad script would being down many blogs. http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/

  25. @zephyrhill
    I feel like broken record in this thread. Has reading gone out of style or is there a language comprehension issue here?

  26. @sheilasmeow
    Just in case this applies, do note that the WordPress.com advertising policy states this:

    Paid or sponsored post content is also prohibited. http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/

    FTC disclosure announcement http://ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
    PDF http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

  27. I posted again because I never really got a satisfactory answer to the question of by blogspot.com is mechanically able to handle third party apps and Javascript but WordPress isn't, nor do there seem to be any comparable alternatives for those with the free blogs.

    I love my WordPress blog but running giveaways is extremely tedious for me (and my readres) using the comment forms. With blog giveaways so popular it seems like there should be some sort of mechanism that could make this easier for us.

    Are there anything tools out there that I'm not aware of?

  28. "If Javascript is a requirement for you then you need to hire a web host and set up a self hosted"

    Again, I never said it was a requirement. Just that it, or something very comparable, would make my WordPress experience (and lots of other bloggers) so much smoother.

    Also, I cannot afford self-hosting right now. I'm starting small, like lots of other "mom bloggers," and that's something I'll have to work up to as I get more subscribers. And the giveaways are one of the tools I'm using to reach that goal.

  29. Sorry about the typos. I'm in a big hurry right now, got lots of irons on the fire!

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