The Art of Entering Contests

I LOVE entering contests. It’s so exciting- especially when you win! I’ve won small prizes- the biggest ones being makeup/beauty product sets!

Did you know that there are people out there who enter contests for a living (affectionately called “sweepers”)? Check out this video I found about some people who enter sweepstakes for a living:

Entering Sweepstakes as a Job?

Do YOU want to learn how to enter contests so you can feel the thrill of a nice win? Want to avoid giving your information out to potential scammers/spammers?

Say no more, lovely reader- I am here to help you enter contests in the most efficient way possible, since the more contests you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win something!

Please note: This blog’s main focus is on ONLINE CONTESTS. That is where my focuses are.


HOW TO GET STARTED 

1. First things first, create a new email address.

You might be wondering- “But Amanda, if I have a different email address, won’t I miss the email when I win something?” Fear not! The separate email address is meant solely for entering contests or other “spam-like” emails, such as store deals, etc. that you don’t want to take over your main account. I am a big fan of Gmail as my email server because I can easily switch back and forth between my various email addresses, but you can use any server you’d prefer.

2. Next up- Google Voice number.

What is a Google Voice number? Well, Google Voice is a FREE phone number. I use this number whenever I enter contests so I’m not giving out my official phone number, but make sure you check your voicemails often so you don’t miss anything! You can set it so that they call the Google Voice number but you can answer it on your phone. You’ll know it’s from Google Voice because it will give you an automated message saying if you’d like to answer or not. I really like Google Voice’s layout- I check my voicemails and text messages just like I would emails! Plus- all my voicemails are written out (though you might want to listen yourself because the transcriptions aren’t always entirely accurate). This way, you’ll be able to more easily tell the authenticity. Click here for more information and to sign up for your own account: Google Voice

3. Download Chrome Browser and Set Up Auto-Fill Feature.

I am a Google fangirl in this blog, I swear! I’m sure there are other ways to do these things if you are anti-Google, but I am very pleased with the services they offer, so I will gladly promote them. I would recommend downloading Google Chrome, a web browser that I recommend for many reasons, not just for contest work. (Maybe I’ll talk about that in a future blog post!) Click here for more information and to download Chrome: Google Chrome

After doing so and taking a look around, you will notice that there is an “Auto-Fill” feature on this browser. This is one of my FAVORITE things that Chrome has to offer because it saves SO. MUCH. TIME. Click the 3 lines icon in the top-right part of your screen. This will lead you to a menu, where you will scroll down to “settings.” Scroll down until you see “Show advanced settings…” Click on that and it will expand with more options. Underneath the “Passwords and forms” section, you will see an option to “Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click” -Manage Autofill Settings.” Be sure to check that box off and click on “Manage Autofill Settings” so you can add your basic sweepstakes information in such as Name, address, email address, phone number, etc. Be sure to enter your NEW email address and Google Voice number in those spots!

After doing all this, you should have a basic set-up to start entering contests! What’s next?


HOW TO FIND LEGITIMATE CONTESTS

There are contests ALL OVER the Internet! How can you tell which ones are real and which ones are scams? A few tips:

  1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. $1,000,000 every day for life! Yeah…no. There are big sweepstakes, but don’t be caught off guard by ones just trying to get your information.
  2. If the website seems sketchy in some way, don’t enter your information (or enter at your discretion!)

If there are a ton of pop-ups and advertisements all over the site (especially ones such as “Hot Singles in Your Area” or those obnoxious popups that won’t let you leave the page), that’s usually a bad sign. Also, if you enter a contest and it starts having you fill out various surveys… skip it. A website might be totally legitimate but the creators did not do an amazing job… but I find that’s usually not the case. I’d rather play it safe than sorry, in my opinion!


Check out my various social media pages for contests that I’ve entered and am sharing my referral code with you! The majority of them will be posted at http://twitter.com/theamandaturns.


A website that I HIGHLY recommend for finding contests is Free Stuff Times. This site is fantastic about staying up-to-date and sharing legitimate contest links (and also free samples… but more on that on a different blog!) I use this site by getting emails sent to my contest email and clicking them as often as possible. I love that each email shows the contest information, how you enter and the rules/regulations.


Another GREAT way of finding contests is through your normal emails and/or social media sites! Plenty of businesses will host contests in order to promote new services/products, stir up attention, etc. Check your favorite store’s emails/social media sites and see what they’re offering. It doesn’t even need to be big businesses either- lots of small business owners will offer contests so people can be introduced to their work/products.


 
I enter a TON of contests. If you want to just enter the ones that really interest you, go right ahead. If you want to enter them all- that works too. Find a method that works for you!

I wish you the best of luck- be sure to share your winnings with me for helping you get started 😉

Let me know what you think about this post in the comments below. Did this advice help you? What do you think about professional “sweepers”? What’s the biggest prize you’ve won? Any other advice you’d like to share?

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Great advice! I like your focus on Google products as well as your safety tips. I generally don’t do contests but my mother does. She is probably a sweeper wannabe!

  2. Dylan says:

    Great article! 🙂

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