Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Entering Contests for Profit and Fun

Everyone likes to win and get something for free, and an unexpected windfall could easily be yours if you choose to enter contests. Not only is the anticipation a lot of fun, but most contests are free to enter and require only that you fill out a survey, or in some cases, merely provide your contact information. And you could win all sorts of prizes, starting with something as small as a discount coupon or a gift certificate and reaching such levels as an all-expenses-paid trip to see a show or exhibit, a new car, or even cash money! You may not win, but since it’s free to enter, you stand to lose nothing (except maybe a few moments of your time, which you could chalk up to entertainment). So how do you get started?

Depending on where you live, there are probably thousands of localized contests. You may find them in stores that you frequent or be approached by individuals looking for your John Hancock out in public. You can also find them on products that you purchase or in magazines (with mail in entry forms). But the best way by far to enter contests and sweepstakes is via the worldwide web. Not only are they offered at many of your favorite online retailers (often in the form of pop-up ads) and through blogs that you read regularly (as giveaways), but there are entire databases devoted to bringing you contests that are held online.

A good place to start is a website like They offer free links to current contests, but also provide instant-win opportunities like gift cards, coupons, and discounts given simply for signing up for a service or filling out a survey. However, entering contests piecemeal can be fairly time intensive. While you could spend all day seeking contests and filling out entry forms (and many people do) you may not have the time for such an undertaking. However, the more contests you enter, the better chance you’ll have of winning. For this reason, you may want to consider signing up for a service, such as Win for Me, that only requires you to fill out information once and then enters you in hundreds of sweepstakes using that information. Unfortunately, it is a paid service (starting at about $12 monthly, but going down as low as about $6 per month if you purchase a year in advance).

Of course, most people don’t want to pay to enter contests. It is for this reason that many of us do it as a hobby. Since there is no guarantee of winning (and most sweepstakes let you enter only once anyway) it’s probably better not to spend money on it. After all, you’ll be lucky if you win one or two prizes for every hundred you enter. The point is not necessarily to make money (although winning cash or prizes is the impetus and the ultimate goal), but rather to have fun. People participate in all kinds of time-wasting activities, but if you make entering contests a hobby, you stand to get more than a few moments diversion; you could actually win!

Kyle Simpson writes for Upgradeable where you can find the right ram and lap top memory to get your computer running like a powerhouse.
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Michelle M. said...

Great article! I actually have saved a ton of money from entering blog giveaways this year. I saved over half of everything I won for Christmas!
I love entering (blog) giveaways. Its so cool to actually win. I even made a blog about it. lol

Monique said...

Yes,it's fun to enter and even more exciting when you win!

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