How to Win Blog Giveaways: Tools of the Trade

When you’ve been entering giveaways for a while, you may start to notice the same names popping up on a lot of different blogs. When we’re taking a break from school, my name is likely to be one of them! These folks seem to be first to comment on every giveaway and they never miss an extra entry. Their names show up on the winners lists so often that they’re accused of cheating.

They’re not cheating, I promise. They’re just doing all the extra entries. All day long. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but some of us don’t have lifestyles that afford us that much leisure time! So how do the rest of us find time to win? Since we can’t find as much time for giveaways, we have to work smarter.

I’m a little worried about posting this one, because I’m not sure I really want to give other people the same edge I have. But I love my readers. You keep coming back here, and I’m grateful for that, so I’ll let you in on a few (not all) of my secrets.

I’ve been too busy to enter much lately, anyway. That happens, even to me. Might as well share the loot with friends, right? Sometimes the hobby has to take a back seat to reality. At the moment, I’m only expecting 5 prizes. That’s a low number for me. I’m a little depressed about it. ;-)

If you’re not using it already, now might a good time to download Firefox. I have a few add-ons for the Firefox browser that make entering giveaways much less time-consuming. Here are my two favorites:

  • Read It Later This plug-in allows you to temporarily bookmark webpages. That way, if you don’t have time to enter a giveaway you’re interested in, you can save it for later without cluttering up your bookmarks. Also very handy for keeping track of daily entries. Just pay attention to closing dates on the giveaways, or you might not get back to it in time!
  • Better GReader Read and comment on blogs without leaving Google Reader! This add-on loads the pages right inside Reader, so you don’t have to click through. And if you’re short on time, this plug-in integrates with Read-it-Later so you can mark giveaways without having to click through. Really saves time. Actually, everybody should have this plugin, whether they enter giveaways or not.

Besides add-ons for your browser, there are a few other things to remember:

  • Type fast. I know this goes without saying, but Mavis Beacon is your friend. Learn to type if you’re still a hunt-and-peck typist.
  • Know when a giveaway is worth your time. If a blogger wants you to visit 4 webpages, follow via Google Friend Connect, and call your mother just to say hi, but the prize is only a pack of sandwich meat, you’re probably better off spending your time elsewhere. Likewise, if there are 7,000 entries for a big prize, throw your name in, and do extra entries if they’re available. You could still win, but you’re better off playing somewhere else. Don’t spend too much time on it.
  • Caffeine. I’m joking. A little.
  • Look for low entry giveaways. If a giveaway has fewer than a hundred entries, make sure you do all available entries, even the daily tweets. Your odds are good enough to make it worth your time.
  • Skip the stupid stuff. If you don’t need padded panties, move on to something else. Don’t waste your time thinking you can sell them to the skinny girl down the street if you win. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of giveaway-lovers have a huge collection of crap they’ll never use because they like to win so much that they enter giveaways they aren’t interested in.

That’s it for now. Naptime is over, and I have to bake my bread. See there? I spent all my quality quiet time giving out hints instead of entering giveaways. That’s love, people. True love. Tip jar is on the right.

I’d love to hear what other contest-lovers think! Do you have any rules or tips that help you rack up the prizes?

Responses:

  1. It’s very overwhelming when you see a giveaway with 50 million bonus entries. How about when you can tweet hourly for a $5 prize? It can get ridiculous. I enter lots of giveaways and I see the same people entering feverishly like me (hello, my competitors!), but you’re right that you have to pick and choose what interests you and what’s worth your time.

    I have a blog myself and when I post a giveaway I will only have one entry per person or at most 1 or 2 bonus entries (like following the sponsor on Twitter or fanning them on Facebook).

  2. Ha! I don’t enter giveaways unless the item is something I would actually use, to AVOID having a bunch of extra stuff! :P

  3. Great tips!!! Now you need to give those of us who GIVE AWAY the stuff some tips!! LOL

  4. I think you’re lying. I can’t believe you were speechless. ;-)

    Great tips! I am not so much of a giveaway person, but I have scored some terrific Christmas presents from entering giveaways!!

  5. Cute suggestions Cindy! I love winning!

  6. Haha. I totally agree with you on knowing when a giveaway is worth your time. I still get surprised when I see 300 comments for a box of cereal and a water bottle. lol

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