Sunday, 10 February 2013

My guide to competitions - You gotta be in it to win it!

As you can see from the posts on here it is obvious that I like entering competitions. I have been doing them for over 10 years now on and off and have picked up several hints, tips and useful knowledge about the world of online competitions.

I am not saying that I am the ultimate comping champion - there are other really successful blogs and people out there with a lot more experience than me. But still I would like to make my mark and share my opinion, if it helps anyone then it's a bonus!

Why do we enter competitions? (in my opinion) I think mainly it is the excitement, everyone can be skeptical about the odds and chances of winning. That is until you hear you have won your first prize - skepticism soon turns to feverish searches of other competitions you can enter and eagerly waiting for an email (WEM), phone call or surprise delivery off the postman! It becomes like a buzz / addiction and even the little wins can provide excitement. I also think the current economic climate plays a part in the massive rise of compers. Money is so tight for everyone that the little wins can mean a treat for the family or a pampering session for yourself.

Where to find competitions? 

  • I've previously mentioned which I still use daily because they have a clear and concise method of listing comps as well as providing a tracker system so you know what you have entered. I tend to go on the new competitions list and then check on the closing date list to make sure I have not missed any I wish to enter. It is worth checking back a few times as the new competitions list is updated throughout the day.

  • There is also which is a forum based site now, but as I have been logging in on a regular basis I have discovered that it is equally useful in finding other competitions. It can be a bit harder to navigate with just list after list - but there are some hidden gems of competitions on there. Like prizefinder you need to register with the site. Reading the forums it is a very friendly bunch of compers and they are ready to offer help and support where they can. 

  • On facebook there are several groups I have come across that generally focus on the thousands of comps on social networking sites. Competition Addicts is one of these and it may be a small group but with people helping to post competitions then I think it will grow and be a useful tool in comping success.

  • Another facebook group is UK freebies and competitions an even smaller group which focuses on only competitions that are shared on Facebook and contain no links to another webpage. Occasionally competition can be found on here that are no where else so it is worth checking out. 

What do I think of Facebook / Twitter comps?
I do like comps on facebook and twitter and over the past 6 months have had a bit of joy from both these sites. The groups mentioned above provide valuable comping buddies who help share the comps and keep an eye out for your name in a winning post.
There are downsides though, some people who don't like entering giveaways can get frustrated with the amount of likes and shares that you do. I think I have 'lost' quite a few school friends from my FB feed because I post too many posts about comps. But I am not particularly close to old school friends so have not gone to the effort of making a separate account just for comping. If people don't like all my posts then they have the option to delete me or change the settings so they don't see so many things they don't want to.

How do you know if you have won on Facebook / twitter?
Readers of my blog will know that I have missed several prizes through twitter and facebook because there are that many notifications your name can get lost. Some companies who run the comps can not tag you in a post to highlight the fact you are a lucky winner and even if you have selected to get all notifications from the company there is still the off chance your name can be missed.  is a website that helps you check if your name has appeared on social networking sites. It is free to use and most importantly easy to use, simply type in your name in the search box and put congratulations or winner next to it and press search. I do this several times a week to make sure I have not missed a prize.

There are also groups on FB which copy and past all the winning posts they come across - here people can tag you and highlight the fact you have won.

The winners circle  is a really popular group with a lot of updates on purely people that are named as winners.

Competition checkers  is another one - although this allows you to add to a document when you win something and offers some other general comping advice.

Both these groups in my opinion are worth joining and checking regular - if you are a competition addict!!

Rafflecopter competitions. 
Increasingly Rafflecopter forms are been used by blogs and independent companies through FB to run competitions.

Personally I love rafflecopter competitions because you get many ways of gaining extra entries and you can visibly see how many people are in the running for the same prize as you.
I use my FB account to enter them but using your email to log in is an option that some people may prefer.

Over the past couple of months I have won several prizes from these kinds of comps and always found the people who have run them to be friendly and approachable.

Other competition blogs which are invaluable! 

Here are the links for some other blogs which explain in a much better way than me about competitions, they also run a few themselves on occasion.

Competition Grapevine

A winning touch

Super Lucky

If you like entering comps as much as me then perhaps you should check these out and see if there is any advice and tips that will help you?

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Any comments and/or questions I am always happy to answer and will get back to you as soon as possible.
B xx