Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Follow These Tips to Win Competitions

In the travel world, competitions come into play quite a lot. After all, you constantly see advertisements announcing travel competitions! I actually won a travel contest once—my husband and I enjoyed a free cruise to the Bahamas for our honeymoon after entering a drawing at a bridal expo.

Have you ever wondered how you can win a competition for a trip, or anything else, for that matter? Here are some tricks to help you join the comping fun and start collecting prizes! What will you win? A trip to Tahiti? Free airline miles? A cool product you love? Who knows! Ready to start entering competitions? Read on!
 

1    Enter a lot of contests

Don’t spend hours and hours writing up an entry form for a single contest and then expect to sit back and enjoy your winnings. If you want to win, you’ll have to play the game. Don’t try to beat the stats—try to join them! One way to win is to make it statistically reasonable that you would win a contest. The only way to do that is to enter a whole lot of contests.
 
Enter A Lot Of Contests
2    Know your strengths

Some people, like Australia’s Chanetelle Rau, can rack up prizes with 25-words-or-less competitions. However, not all of us are that good with words. Luckily, there are plenty of other contest types. Puzzle contests, online free entry, and brand sweepstakes are other competition forms you can try. Figure out what you’re good at, and stick with that!
 
Know Your Strengths
3    Make sure it’s worth it

Before entering a contest, decide whether it’s worth your time. If there are thousands of entrants and just one small prize, it’s probably not worth it. However, if there are only a few entrants, or if the prize is really big, it’s worth your time to enter the contest. There are endless competitions out there. Pick the ones that really count. Sometimes, you won’t be able to find a good competition for a while. Don’t drive yourself nuts entering tons of competitions for stuff you don’t care about.
 

4    Enter for big prizes… even if you don’t want them

If you think you have a pretty good shot at winning a competition with a valuable prize, go for it! Maybe you already have a TV and you don’t need another one. Enter anyway! You may be able to do a deal with the manufacturer to exchange a lower cash prize rather than the item, or you could sell it. If you’re feeling generous, you could also give it as a gift.
 
Big Prize
5    Make it fun

If you don’t enjoy it, this can be a stressful hobby! However, if you think it’s nice and relaxing to fill out competition forms, you’ll be more likely to enter many competitions consistently. Choose competitions that aren’t frustrating to enter, and try doing it during your down time. Maybe you can do it while watching TV, or use it as a way to relax after work. And don’t get upset if you don’t win! You’ll have a lot more fun if you never expect to win. Then, when you do get a cool prize, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and feel like you’re getting extra luxuries.
 
Make It Fun
6    Follow brands on social media

If you enjoy entering brand competitions, follow companies you like on Facebook or Twitter. Brands will often post their contests online. You can see them as they appear and enter them during your Facebook browsing.
 
Social Media
7    Read magazines

You’ll have better luck with non-digital competitions! Not as many people enter these, and the forms are usually more straight-forward. Take the time to fill out forms by hand and mail them. You can score some nice treats this way!
 
Read Magazines
8    Look Everywhere

Look everywhere for competitions! Keep your eye out no matter where you go. Browse comp sites, check product packages, listen to radio ads, and sift through your inbox. You never know where the next awesome competition will be!
 
Look Everywhere
9    Tell your friends

Tell your friends you like to enter contests! Talk about the contests you enter and win, and share the results of your winnings with your friends. Why? Because people who know about your hobby and are invested in it will be likely to help you. Although they might not enter contests themselves, they’ll tell you to enter them. After a while, you probably won’t have to search for contests anymore. Instead, you’ll get text messages, Facebook tags, and webpage links from your friends. Let your social network lead you right to the good stuff!
 
Tell Your Friends
10    Do tough competitions

While filling out endless pages of personal information for a lame prize is definitely not worth your time, entering contests that take some effort can help you reap major rewards. Rather than sticking to contests that involve nothing but clicking, try some that require writing, going somewhere, or buying a particular product. Not as many people enter these contests, and they often have the best prizes! That extra effort can go a very long way.
 
Do Tough Competitions
11    Make the judges smile

If your entry includes photos, writing, or art, do something creative and witty. Make it look like there was effort involved… and always highlight the brand, if one is involved. Something fun and creative will give you a huge edge!
 
Make The Judges Smile
Feeling excited? So am I! Today could be the day you score a big prize… you never know! If you do enter a contest and win, please leave me a comment and let me know how you did it. And if you win an all-expense-paid trip to Venice, I’d love to be your travel buddy.
 

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