Voting for the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards is OPEN

Title says it all: you can now VOTE for your favourite nominees in the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards.

Please note that you have four weeks, until December 8, 2013 at 11:59pm EST (December 9, 2013 at 5:59am Nigeria Time) to vote, so there is NO RUSH. Take the time to visit the blogs and read them, so that you can make an informed choice. This will allow the voting to most accurately reflect the quality of the winning blogs.

The following guidelines appear on the voting page, but we’re including them here for you as well:

  1. If you did not participate in the 2013 nomination phase: Enter your name and a valid email address. Double check your email address BEFORE submitting: if it is incorrect you will not receive a validation email. After submitting your voting form, check your email (including junk mail and spam folders) for an email from nigerianblogawards@gmail.com and click the link in the email—this ensures your votes are counted.
  2. If you nominated a blog in September or October 2013 and clicked the validation link in your email: you will not receive an email and your vote will be immediately counted.
  3. If you nominated a blog in September or October 2013 and did not click the validation link in your email: please check your email (including spam and junk mail folders) for an email from nigerianblogawards@gmail.com and click the link in the email.
  4. Vote for one blog in each category. You may leave a category empty if you wish.
  5. If you do not enter your email address in an appropriate format, you will be asked to enter a valid email and you will need to resubmit your votes.

If you have any questions or need assistance, just email nigerianblogawards@gmail.com.

Happy Voting!

2013 Nigerian Blog Awards nominees

Since the nominations closed on October 13, we’ve been working to finalize the list of nominees. This involved first giving those who nominated blogs but who didn’t validate the nomination form time to sort that out. Then we sifted through over 8,500 nomination forms and visited nominated blogs to ensure they were eligible for nomination. In some cases we had to ask bloggers to confirm various details and in other cases some blogs would be online one day and offline the next, which added to our process of evaluating the blogs.

We’ve done our homework and checked it many times and we are pleased to present the nominees. There are three cases where we indicate “To be announced”; this refers to blogs that initially appeared to be eligible but were offline during our final check—we are giving the owners 48 hours to sort out their hosting issues otherwise another nominee will be selected.

Please note: If you were certain that your blog was a strong contender but it was not named as a nominee, in most cases the blog had not been established for a long enough period—as indicated on the eligibility page, blogs had to be established in March 2013 or earlier. We encourage these wonderful bloggers to keep up their excellent work and to try again next year—we’re excited by the crop of new blogs we perused. If your blog is well-established but was not named as a nominee, it did not receive enough nominations in comparison to the other blogs in the category.

Your nominees for the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards are (listed in alphabetical order):

Best Beauty Blog
Blog about makeup or other beauty products

Best Book, Poetry, or Writing Blog
Blog that focuses on books, poetry, or writing, in particular the blogger’s original works

Best Business or Entrepreneurship Blog
Blog that focuses on building a business or on entrepreneurship

Best Career or Job Blog
Blog that focuses on developing career skills or on finding jobs

Best Collaborative or Group Blog
Blog on any topic, written by two or more people

Best-Designed Blog
Blog that is visually appealing. Although the design can be based on a template, it must be modified from the original template

Best Educational or Instructional Blog
Blog that focuses on the education industry, or on instructing its readers through tutorials

Best Entertainment Blog
Blog about the entertainment industry, including celebrities and gossip

Best Faith-based Blog
Blog with a focus on religious beliefs or themes

Best Fashion or Personal Style Blog
Blog about fashion, fashion design, or personal style

Best Fitness or Health Blog
Blog that focuses on healthy living, exercise, or wellness

Best Food Blog
Blog with a focus on food, cooking, catering, or similar

Best Humour Blog
Blog that is amusing or lighthearted in nature

Best Movie Blog
Blog about Nollywood or other movie industry, or movies more generally

Best Music Blog
Blog that focuses on music or the music industry

Best New Blog
Blog established in August 2012 or more recently

Best News Blog
Blog with a focus on Nigerian news or current events

Best Parenting or Family Blog
Blog with a strong focus on parenting, family life, or the journey to become a parent

Best Personal Blog
Blog that focuses on the author’s experiences, or shares the author’s opinion on a variety of topics

Best Photography Blog
Blog that focuses on photography and includes the blogger’s original photographs

Best Political Blog
Blog with a strong focus on Nigerian politics

Best Relationship Blog
Blog with a focus on romantic relationships

Best Science or Technology Blog
Blog about science or technology, including information technology

Best Sports Blog
Blog that focuses on Nigerians in sports, or on sports in general

Best Student Blog
Blog by an individual currently enrolled in school

Best Topical Blog
Blog with a clear niche that is not represented in any of the other categories

Best Travel or Tourism Blog
Blog about travelling within Nigeria, Africa, or elsewhere in the world

Best Wedding Blog
Blog that covers personal preparations for a wedding, weddings in general, or industries related to weddings such as event planning or coordinating

Nigerian Blog of the Year
Best overall blog by a Nigerian or best blog with a strong focus on any aspect of Nigeria

Voting will begin on Monday November 11.

*Refers to blogs that appeared to be eligible during initial checks, but were having technical issues at the time of the final check. These bloggers will be given 48 hours to ensure their blogs are back online, otherwise another nominee will be selected.

Last weekend to nominate blogs (2013 Nigerian Blog Awards)!

Happy Friday! We’ll keep this short and sweet:

Nominations for the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards close in just over two short days: Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:59pm EST (or Monday, October 14, 2013 at 4:59pm West African Time) is the deadline! The time for procrastinating and delaying is just about over so make your move: fill out the nomination form now!

We can’t wait to reveal the nominees on November 4.

Let us know in the comments: Did your nominate your blog for one or more Nigerian Blog Awards?

Last week of nominations: have your fans received their confirmation email?

Including Monday, October 7, there are only seven more days of nominations! Nominations close on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 11:59pm EST (or October 14, 2013 at 4:59am West African Time). The nomination form has been filled out over 8,600 times so far so as we wrap up nominations this week, we need to address questions we’ve received in the last week.

My fans and friends haven’t received their confirmation email? What should they do?
We’re sorry this happened. On our side all emails are being delivered. Please do one or both of the following:

  1. Please ask them to check their junk mail or spam folders. The length of the link in the email may be causing email clients to consider them junk mail or spam and label accordingly.
  2. If they don’t find an email from Nigerian Blog Awards (nigerianblogawards@gmail.com) junk mail or spam folder, please ask them to send an email to us at nigerianblogawards@gmail.com with the email address used to submit the nomination. The email address may have been entered incorrectly.

Can I nominate my own blog?
YES!

How many categories can a blog be nominated in?
As many as are truly applicable. For example, a blog about technology that writes one or two posts about beauty should not solicit nominations in the Best Beauty Blog category.

Any nomination form with the same blog nominated in each category will not be counted. No exceptions. If any of your fans thought they were doing you a favour by doing that they weren’t so please tell them to contact us (nigerianblogawards@gmail.com) if they want to resubmit their nomination form.

How many times can I nominate a blog?
Your email address may only be connected to one submission.

Those are all the questions we’ve received; what are your questions?

2013 nominations begin now!

Yes: it’s finally time to nominate blogs for one or more of the 29 available categories! We’ll keep this post short but please read it carefully to avoid disappointment:

  1. Only one blog can be nominated per category.
  2. You do not have to submit a nominee for each category.
  3. The blog address (e.g. http://blogaddress.com) of the blog (not the blog name) must be entered.
  4. You must provide a valid email address before your nomination will be registered.
  5. Once you’ve submitted your nomination form, please check for an email from nigerianblogawards@gmail.com and follow the instructions in the email to ensure your nominations are counted. If you don’t follow the instructions in the email your vote will not be counted.
  6. Blogs nominated for categories they do not qualify for will not be counted.
  7. Forms that nominate the same blog in most or all of the categories will not be counted.
  8. If you make errors in your submission, send an email to nigerianblogawards@gmail.com and we can help you make the appropriate changes.

The Nigerian Blog Awards are not responsible for nominations that are not counted due to noncompliance with the above.

Nominations are open from September 23 to October 13, inclusive, so there is plenty of time to carefully consider which blogs you wish to nominate.

Does the above make sense? If so, It’s nomination time!

Customized badges for the first 10 bloggers to comment

If you read yesterday’s post about getting ready for the nominations (coming up in less than a week on September 23!), you’ll know that we encourage you to put one of our badges on your site.

The only thing better than one of the available badges would be a customized badge, with the colours changed to match your blog’s colours. So, instead of selecting one of these badges:

NBA-badge-2013-green-200x120

NBA-badge-2013-black-200x120

NBA-badge-2013-violet-200x120

you could get one that looks like this:

Or this:

The first 10 bloggers to comment on this post will receive a customized badge. What are you waiting for? Leave a comment!

5 ways to get ready for the Awards

Nominations open in just one week: are you ready? Here are five things you can do to put your blog in the best light possible:

  1. Check your content. There’s a reason “Content is king” is such a popular saying in the blogging world. Does your content match your niche (area you blog in)? Is your writing clear and easy to understand? Do you proofread your entries?

    Action: Look at your blog from the viewpoint of an outsider. Would you want to read your blog if you just stumbled across it? Is it easy to read?
  2. Check your blog’s design: are you putting your best foot forward design-wise? Is your site pleasing to the eye? If you don’t like what you see, make some small changes to make your site more visually appealing.

    Action: Small changes to the colour of the background, the fonts used, or the layout of your blog can make it more visually appealing.
  3. List your blog on our site! Some people may show up at the Nigerian Blog Awards site without knowing which blogs they want to vote for in every category. If your blog is listed, it may get visited and nominated as a result.

    Action: LIST YOUR BLOG.
  4. Put our badge on your site. This will lead people where they need to go to nominate your blog.

    Action: Instructions for adding your badge to your WordPress.com or Blogger site.
  5. Publicize! How will your friends and fans know that you’re contending for an Award if you don’t tell them?

    Action: Send your family, friends, and fans an email letting them know what’s happening just one week from today, put up a blog post saying the same, or tweet your heart out (our Twitter handle is @naijablogawards)!

Doing all of the above will certainly put you in a position to get a coveted nomination. What else will you be doing to get ready for the Nigerian Blog Awards?

Official launch of the 2013 Nigerian Blog Awards

It’s launch day! Hurray! The new, improved Nigerian Blog Awards website has been open for a week and we’ve really appreciated the feedback we’ve received so far. Check it out and let us know what you think, and pass the link to your readers and fans too!

If you’re a blogger and you intend to contend in 2013 (just two weeks away) here’s what you should do:

  1. LIST YOUR BLOG on the site…what are you waiting for?
  2. Declare your intention to your fans and readers by displaying one of our badges on your site (the two sizes are 300×180 pixels and 200×120 pixels):

    To display on your site:

    1. Right click on an image and save to your computer.
    2. Upload the image to your blog. Take note of the link for the image.
    3. Use the following code to display on your blog:

      < a href="http://nigerianblogawards.com">< img src="insert link to image file"> (remove the space after each “<")

    Detailed instructions for adding your badge to your WordPress.com site:

    1. Select a badge above and save to your computer.
    2. Login to your WordPress account.
    3. Click on Media on the left hand side of your screen, and upload the badge you’ve selected. Click on Edit beside the image.
    4. On the right hand side of your screen it says File URL and there is a link in a grey shaded background. Copy the whole link.
    5. Select Appearance from the left hand side of the screen, then Widgets.
    6. From the middle portion of the screen, under Available Widgets, drag the widget titled Image to the right hand side under Sidebar. You can move Image widget wherever you want relative to the other items in your sidebar. In the box that pops up, fill out the following fields:

      • Image URL: this is where you paste the link you copied in step 4
      • Alternate text: type Nigerian Blog Awards
      • Link URL (when image is clicked): type http://nigerianblogawards.com

    7. If you would like the image to have a title above the badge, then under Widget title you can type NIGERIAN BLOG AWARDS or NOMINATE ME.
    8. Select Save at the bottom.
    9. Check your blog, the image should now show up there.

    If you have any difficulty displaying the image on your site, let us know.

  3. Follow us on Twitter to get updates on what’s going on with the Awards.
  4. Like our Facebook page – we’ll be sharing trivia about past Awards and we’ll be happy to answer questions there too.

Welcome to the redesigned Nigerian Blog Awards site!

After months away (thank you for your patience!) we’re pleased to unveil the newly-designed Nigerian Blog Awards website! Please have a look around: the goal was to make the site more user-friendly for people wishing to add their blog to the list of Nigerian blogs, view the list of Nigerian blogs, or see the winners of past Awards.

Details of the 2013 Awards are also easy to access: just click on the appropriate submenu in the navigation bar.

In response to some requests we’ve received in the past, we’re finally accepting sponsors! Please review the sponsor packages to see if there’s one for you. Please note that bloggers who intend to participate in the Nigerian Blog Awards cannot sponsor the Awards.

As you get re-acquainted with this site, you may come across some errors or have some questions. Please send any questions or concerns to jummy@nigerianblogawards.com. You may also leave a comment below or fill out the contact form.

Once again thank you for your patience. We hope you enjoy your newly-designed Blog Awards website! If you like what you see, please share the link to our site with a friend.

What can you do next?

Delays in listing blogs on our site

Please note that there is currently a backlog to add blogs to our site, and we hope to clear it up by the end of April at the latest.

We thank you for your submission and appreciate your patience.