Online contests, giveaways and competitions can be found literally everywhere and new ones start every day! The more people that get turned over to contesting means that your chances of winning contests goes down. But there are some tips which I follow and other successful contesters adopt as well to save time entering, to keep on top of contests and increase our odds of bringing home great prizes!
Here are my top 15 tips for winning more contests:
#1 – The tip that I live by is setting up a new email address exclusively for your contest, giveaway and sweepstakes entries. This will keep your personal email free of junk, spam and your winning email notifications won’t get lost or forgotten about. I have a routine where I check my contest email in the morning and afternoon, so I can swiftly claim any prizes I may have won. Plus it gives me a chance to scan my messages for new contests.
#2 – Get a form filler program to save on the repetitiveness and time consuming task of entering your contact information into one contest entry form after another. I personally use Roboform but there are browser extensions too. You will be thankful you followed this tip, not having to type and re-type your information repeatedly.
#3 – Organize your contest links and bookmarks, so you don’t miss any opportunities to enter.
#4 – Consistency helps to ensure you entering as often as permitted. Allocate time to enter contests every day.
#5 – Read the rules to make sure you are eligible to enter and to determine some other key contest terms like the frequency that you may enter and if there are any costs to collect or use your prize (like travel expenses).
#6 – To increase your odds of winning prizes, you should enter giveaways or contests, as often as permitted. But never enter more than permitted, as you may be disqualified.
#7 – Sign up for all of the social media sites to have access to more contest opportunities or to get extra entries into the contests that you are entering.
#8 – Hashtags are very functional when it comes to searching for available contests. Look for hashtags such as #contest, #giveaway, #CANcontest, #winprizes, #win, etc.
#9 – Increase your odds of winning prizes by entering skills contests which require you to show off your talents. These contests are gaining popularity in our selfie and picture happy era, however, these are still one of the lowest entry contests out there.
#10 – Contesting and sweeping has changed since the social media era, with a big emphasis on sharing contests with your friends, family and colleagues. Sharing contests can earn you extra contest ballots or entries, which in turn increases your odds of winning!
#11 – Contests are supposed to fun and rewarding but there are always bad apples in the bunch. Be vigilant when entering contests and learn to recognize the scams. Some signs to pay attention to are: having to pay a fee for your prize (a big no-no!); contest promoter uses a free email (this may not apply to personal bloggers who are trying to keep costs down); receiving winning notifications for contests that you have not entered; and typos are often an indication of red flags.
#12 – Many contests promoters provide a limited time for claiming prizes. It’s wise to check your emails and social media message boxes regularly and reply promptly to winning contest notifications. As a contest promoter myself I know how it feels to have to pick new winners; it’s lousy, but it happens more often than you would think. Don’t waste your efforts entering contests just to blow it by not claiming your prizes!
#13 – Contesting is not a job, it’s supposed to be a fun hobby; so enjoy entering. It’s fun to dream about winning and what you would do with the prizes.
#14 – Stay motivated and don’t get discouraged. It’s not a good idea to get fixated on winning a particular prize, because you set yourself up for failure and disappointment if it doesn’t happen. There are so many contests all the time, just enter and move on to the next possible prize win! When you do finally win that prize you’ve wanted, you’ll be delightfully surprised.
#15 – Keep track of your contest wins in a journal. Not for bragging rights, but as an easy follow-up system in the event that prizes do not arrive. I track these details to help me stay organized and on top of my wins: Date of win, Prize won, Company or Blog where prize won, and Date received. I check off prizes as they arrive and follow-up with the contest promoters on any prize that doesn’t arrive within 4-8 weeks (depending on what the contest rules state).
To make things more streamlined and to ensure that I could enter as many contests as possible each day, I came up with my personal contest plan or strategy that I follow. I follow this plan during the time that I set aside to enter contests each day:
- I start by entering the instant win contests first. There usually aren’t too many to enter, so it only takes a couple of minutes. Plus there’s nothing more motivating than picking up an instant win to start your daily contesting.
- Next, I enter any new one-time entry contests that I can find, and file them into a bookmark titled ‘One-Time Entered’. This helps avoid entering twice and disqualifying my entry.
- Then I scour through my social media feeds and contest aggregators looking for new giveaways and I enter the ones I wish to win. I bookmark the contests into their appropriate folders: daily, instant, one-time, weekly, monthly and unlimited.
- On the first of the month I enter my monthly entry contests and I try to use one day in the week to enter all of the weekly entry giveaways.
- Finally I use the remaining time I’ve set aside for contesting to re-enter the daily entry contests that I’ve bookmarked; maximizing the number of entries I have to win. I even use asterisks in the bookmarked titles of the most desired prizes, so I always re-enter those first.
Once you’ve been contesting and sweeping for a while, you’ll also develop your own strategy and habits for entering to win heap loads of fabulous prizes!
Do you have any contest tips that you’d like to add?