How I Won Over £11,000 From Competitions In 2016
That’s a pretty bold title right? But it’s true.
In 2016 I won 107 prizes with a total value of over £11,000 and today I’m going to talk about 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.
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 we’re going to win.
|Month||Number of Prizes||Approx Value|
There’s 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 look out 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 we’re 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. Time is money in my book so I pay for a £40 a year subscription to Twitaculous. It sounds a lot but that works out at less than £0.001 per entry and less than £1 per prize. It’s important to mention that Twitaculous isn’t for everyone, however I wanted to maximise my chances of winning and minimise the time it takes me to source and enter competitions – too many competitions, too little time.
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.me is a blog run by one of the UK’s most prolific compers, Di Coke. I had the pleasure of interviewing Di and learning more about how entering competitions has changed her life last year. Since then I’ve been a regular reader of her blog and her book is my bible.
You may know about HotUKDeals for there fantastic deals (it’s in the name, right?) but HotUKDeals also has a section dedicated to listing competitions currently available to enter. There’s currently over 500 competitions listed and available to enter on the website so you’ve plenty to chose from.
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. However, hidden within there forum is an active community of compers.
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 an live web chat community and a comprehensive list of competition winners.
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.
Remember when we used to laugh at the people holding them? Yeah… now we’re those people. That’s because companies love a good product selfie. Luckily a very simple and basic selfie stick is highly affordable and can be the difference between creating ok selfies and competition winning selfies.
Some competitions will require a postcard entry. Unfortunatly, 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. Luckily, Amazon and Disney have you covered with this amazingly beautiful collection of 100 postcards.
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. The price difference between 1st and 2nd class is so minor that I send all my entries via first class stamp. 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.
Make your entries creative, fun and eye-catching by using coloured pens (just make sure the information is still readable) I personally invested in some Sharpies for this and they’ve worked like a treat!
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 ensure that you’ve received what you were promised. This is also a great resource to look back on when you’re lacking in motivation or having a dry spell. Of course getting organised doesn’t end there. Be sure to record when dates such as pancake day and halloween are and buy your goods in advance to create tip-top entries ready for the day.
Put in the effort
It’s one thing entering a competition, it’s another thing going the extra mile and creating an 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 prizes you want to win
Finally, something that took me six months to truly realise. Only enter 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 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.