Saturday, October 29, 2011

How to #enter free blog #Giveaways

We all love entering giveaways and sweepstakes and win great prizes. But are we doing everything correctly? How can we increase odds of winning? And what can we expect in general?

First of all, I should tell you not to expect winning each and every contest! 

Remember - giveaway is like a lottery! Must confess, that I have never won the item I wanted to win most. But every "you won a giveaway" letter was (and still is) a great suprise for me because I have already forgotten about this particular giveaway. And that is the real truth about it. 

Never give up because you are not winning for a long period of time. It's just a lottery. I was winning several prizes a week several month ago. I got nothing (though entered about several hundred giveaways) during last two months. And then...I won again :-)

Now straight to the subject.

1. Prepare your working tools.
2. Save your time time.
3. Enter giveaways
4. Wait for winner announcement

Part #1. Preparing your working tools.

First - e-mail account.

Your should creat a special e-mail account for giveaways. You will get a lot of e-mail news and you don't want to spam your owm account, right? (I am getting at about 400 mails per day).
I would recommend you www.google.com (will explaine this a bit down).

Just one note. Always remember to leave your e-mail with every your entry in anti-spam format.
For example : giveaway(at)mail(dot)com instead of giveaway@mail.com
Than giveaway's host will be able to contact you (if you won) but spam-robots won't be able to get your e-mail.

Second - Other useful Accounts.

We were talking about increasing our odds of winning. In order to do this you should create accounts on most popular network web pages because many giveaway's hosts ask to share giveaway / follow them, etc.
Remember to save all your login / password details for every account in one place / file. This will make your life much easier.

Most  blogs will ask you to follow them via GFC (Google Friend Connect) and now you'll be able to follow them.

2) Then we create account at www.facebook.com
You will need it to "Like" Facebook pages, share giveaway's link, etc.

3). Account at www.twitter.com
Almost the same - for following people, sharing (tweeting) giveaways, reading some news :-)

For most people that's enough : Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts. But we are going further.

4) Etsy Account at www.etsy.shop
Etsy is a huge online shopmall. You will be asked to add shops to your favourites (heart them), add items to your favourites or share them on Facebook / Twitter.

5) Account at www.stumbleupon.com
Here you can login with your Facebook account
6) Account at Networked Blogs
You just log in with your Facebook account.

Now we are done with basic accounts. The rest of them you can create when you will need them.

Part #2. Save your time.
Create a special file on your desk stop where you'll write your "ready" entries. So you can just copy / paste most entries.
For example:

GFC follower XXXX
mailme(at)host(dot)com

FB fan XXXX
mailme(at)host(dot)com

Twitter follower @XXXX
mailme(at)host(dot)com

Part #3. Entering giveaways

The most important rule - read instructions and check if you are eligible to enter.

If it says "only US" that means that only US sitizens can enter. If it says "international / worldwide, opent to all" - than really everyone can enter from all countries. If it's not spesified - try your luck.

Though you can get an unpleasant surprise - once I won an "affordable scarf" giveaway. It said it's international. But sponsor just didn't want to send it to my country. So I didn't get my prize.

You should be careful only about one thing - shipping charges. 
Sometimes giveaway is open internationally but winner should pay for shipping. If you are willing to pay - it's OK. If not - than don't waste your (and others) time and efforts.

You should read a giveaway's rules really carefully aand follow them.

Never ever forget to do Mandatory Entry because all your addtional entries will not count. And don't cheat - every entry will be checked.

Mandatory entry is enough to enter a giveaway. The more addtional entris you do the higher your chances to win.
Always leave some proof. If you tweeted / shared on FB - leave a link. If you follow - leave FB/Twitter/etc ID name.
If giveaway's host can't check your entry it will be deleted! 

Also remember to wait for a while after posting your entry - some blogs have "capcha" verification. 

Part #4 Wait for winner annoucement.

You should check every letter in your mailbox (a spam section too) because some blogs never send special letter to a winner. They just announce them in their newsletter.
I've missed some prizes because was sure that should get a letter like "your are the winner of..."

Well, I think now I've told you almost everything I know about entering giveaways. If you still have some questions - don't hesitate to ask me!









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