Do you enter sweepstakes/contests? I think contesting is a fun hobby and I have won some great prizes in the past, but I don't spend an excessive amount of time on it. When I do enter, I tend to enter blog contests (a great way to show support to fellow bloggers!) and merit-based contests (essays, photos, etc.). I'm what you might call a "sporadic sweepstaker" because I am definitely not systematic in my approach.
But some people are sweepstaking "pros."
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing two people who fall into that category - Ken and Diane Carlos of Sweepstakes Advantage ("The Largest Directory of Free Online Sweepstakes, Freebies, and Contests"). Read on for their best tips.
Q. How does Sweepstakes Advantage compare to other sweepstakes sites?
A. Some sweepstakes sites are charging an entry or membership fee nowadays, but one way we strive to separate ourselves from other sweepstakes sites is by continuing to be a free site. Our members are important to us, so we are constantly making changes & improvements to accommodate those who make suggestions. Also, one of our goals is to add more new sweepstakes every day than our competive sweepstakes sites to give our visitors the winning edge.
Q. What things have you personally won from entering sweepstakes?
A. I starting entering sweepstakes in 1996 before creating sweepstakes advantage with my husband in march of 1997. While he was at work and with my being a stay-at-home mom at the time, I thought maybe I could help out financially by entering sweeps. I was amazed when the wins started rolling in. The most fun prize to win was a sony playstation kiosk gaming center worth close to $4,000. We also won a 4-day trip to the Bahamas. Another favorite win was $1,000 worth of toys from amazon.com.
Q. What kind of sweepsakes/contests are most "lucrative" in your opinion?
A. Your best odds of winning a sweepstakes by entering our very own SA member sweepstakes that we offer occasionally. We pick our winners randomly and in some cases have only a small amount of entries so your chances could be like 1 out of 25 or 1 out of 100. Also, merit-based or essay type contests are more time consuming but you have a better shot at winning. For example, one contest I simply wrote a 1 to 2 line sentence to say why my husband is the "best hungry man" for those hungry man dinners. I couldn't believe I won 2nd place for $500!
Q. What are your top contest tips?
A. Enter as often as you can & use roboform to make things easier. It's a good idea to read the rules so you don't disqualify yourself. Patience will be your best friend in this hobby.
Q. In your opinion, are sweepstakes "mere luck" or can you take steps to become a more frequent winner?
A. Being consistent & taking steps to be organized will definitely help you in the long run and will give you the better odds of winning. You can gain a lot of tips and knowledge by visiting the forum, where you can ask questions and get answers that can give you some insight on what will work best for you personally. Some of these folks are experienced veterans and can be very helpful. And most importantly, you can only get lucky if you enter! Have a winning day!
YOUR TURN: Do you enter sweepstakes/contests? If so, have you won anything fun?