So you've heard that you can make money entering competitions – and it's true… You can!
In just 12 months I won 107 prizes with a total value of over £11,000 and today I'm going to explain exactly how…
First things first, I didn't just accidentally enter a couple of competitions and end up winning. I spent real time, effort and in some cases money to maximise my chances of winning.
- A Breakdown of My Competition Prizes
- Competition Resources
- Competition Equipment
- Winning Techniques
A Breakdown of My Competition Prizes
Here's a list of all the prizes categorised by month and value. This is based on the time I was notified that I had won the prize and that's important to remember.
Some competitions can run for hours, others months so keep in mind that if you enter competitions in January you may not find out you're a winner until February, March or even later.
The biggest de-motivator for new compers is not winning prizes after spending a lot of time and effort entering.
However, you'll be kicking yourself if you find out you've won a prize come March that you didn't continue with that effort of entering competitions and stopped because you didn't think you were going to win.
There are some noticeable peaks and troughs in this table so let me talk you through them… February I won 21 prizes.
Pretty epic right?
That included two valentines nights away.
Events such as Halloween, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Valentines Days generate an influx of competitions so be sure to be on the lookout for season-specific competitions based on such events.
Then, of course, there is November, where four prizes won me £7,783 worth of prizes. That included a PS4 and VR headset bundle and a family trip to Universal Studios Orlando.
Those are the prizes I'd been dreaming of so to win both in the space of two weeks was both shocking and overwhelming. It still doesn't feel real.
Both prizes were won from purchase necessary/instant win competitions. The Orlando competition cost me £18 to enter and the PS4 £1.
Here's a list of the resources I have used to source competitions both in online and physical media, products.
The location in which competitions are announced and shared can vary so be sure to be active on multiple websites and social media platforms to increase your chance of finding competitions.
Of the 107 prizes, I won 49 came from the social media platform Twitter. I owe a lot of that success to Twitaculous.
This used to be a service you had to pay for, however, Twitter changed the terms of the API in which Twitaculous integrated with.
As a result, entering competitions using Twitaculous became harder and therefore they removed the paid service and allowed anyone to use the programme completely free.
Compers News is a physical and digital magazine and forum that has a heritage of over 100 years. No wonder it's the UK's most successful competition magazine.
I've been a member of Compers News since January 2016 and it was thanks to a listing in the magazine that I found, entered and won a new TV and Blu-Ray Player in August.
SuperLucky is a website run by prolifent comper Di Coke. Di is a well-known figure in the UK competition community and her blog has been helping people enter some of the best competitions for over 10 years.
All the information on her blog is free, however, she also has a book that you can purchase from Amazon.
It comes with loads of additional information, hints and tips to help you increase your chances of a win.
HotUKDeals is a fantastic deals website. However, HotUKDeals also has a section dedicated to listing competitions currently available to enter.
There are currently over 500 competitions listed and available to enter on the website so you've plenty to chose from.
Money Saving Expert – MSE Competitions
Much like HotUKDeals many of us associate Martin Lewis's famous Money Saving Expert website as somewhere to get financial advice and understand the best deals.
Competition Database currently boasts a list of over 2,000 competitions to enter (at the time of writing) it's one of the easiest to use competition listing websites with a live web chat community and a comprehensive list of competition winners.
What I personally love about Competition Database is the ability to filter the competitions by location (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blog) and / or by value (so I'm not entering prizes worth peanuts)
Prize Finder is similar to Competition Database. The site categorises competitions and prizes to make it simple and easy to find and enter the competitions that you want.
Latest Deals has a fantastic emerging comping community. If you're looking for your standard competition listing website then this one is for you.
The format of the site makes it super easy to find the competition prizes you want to win most.
The filter allows you to mark the competitions you've entered, saving you time and preventing you from entering twice and potentially getting disqualified.
For the most part, entering competitions are free. However, at times you're going to want to create entries that will stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of winning.
Here's my list of competition equipment to help you create the perfect entry.
Some competitions will require a postcard entry. Unfortunately, postcards are much harder to find than they were a decade ago. Especially if you don't live in by the coast or in a tourist location.
Which is why I recommend keeping an eye out for unused postcards in charity shops and at car boot sales, and order online at Compers News or Amazon if you have none and need some quickly.
Cards & Envelopes
Particularly popular for magazine entries. Companies want you to disclose details such as your phone number, age and gender and ask you to protect that information (and reduce spam) by sending your information in a sealed envelope which is why it's essential to have some cards and envelopes to hand.
Of course, to post your entries you're going to need some stamps. Sometimes a company will give you the choice of postal, online or text entry.
Often sending a postal entry can be the cheapest form of entry by around 50% so it's well worth investing in some postal equipment.
Of course, there are some final tips and tricks I have up my sleeve to really help boost your chances of winning and more importantly help you enjoy entering competitions as a hobby.
Set up a prize spreadsheet to record the prizes you've won and to see what prizes haven't arrived yet that you've been informed you've won.
Next, record when major competition dates are; Halloween, pancake day, mothers day etc. and get photos ready in advance to enter the competitions on the day.
Finally, be sure to get a folder to store all your purchase necessary coupons, receipts and proof of purchases.
If you win any of these prizes (and they are usually big ones) you'll likely need to show the documentation to prove that you did, in fact, purchase the item.
Put In The Effort
It's one thing entering a competition. It's another thing going the extra mile. Creating a competition entry that's really going to stand out from the crowd.
Many promoters are looking for photos and slogans that they can mention in future advertising make your entry one that they'd want to share again and again.
Only Enter For Prizes You Want To Win
Finally, something that took me six months to truly realise. Only enter competitions for prizes you want to win.
That means looking at locations and selected dates for those holidays and nights away – what's the point in entering if it's a 100-mile drive or if you can't go because the kids are in school.
Create a wish-list and enter competitions for those prizes specifically, sure it's going to reduce your win rate but it's also going to stop you entering competitions for prizes you don't want or need.
That's just about everything, I've had some fantastic tweets from people who've had great success from comping thanks to us mentioning it in some of our Youtube videos and I hope that will continue.
Let me know in the comments if you've won any great prizes recently, or if you have any advice for increasing your chances of winning.