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I recommend starting with "Getting Started." That page contains some information to help you get started and provide the best chance of winning. Good luck!

Getting started winning

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have really benefited from the advice of my sister-in-law, the queen of freebies!  I have learned a lot and have decided it's time to start sharing.  I plan to share links to contests and sites where you can win stuff for free.  Instant win games have been my specialty so that is what I will share about first.  There sadly are people who have found ways to cheat in those games, but I have legitimately won a lot of great stuff (ipods, gift cards, gaming systems, etc.) and it really is possible.  I have just begun to enter blog contests and will share links to them, but am not yet proficient enough to share advice on them. 

My first bits of advice to those who are new to contests:

1.  Create an email that is just for contests
This is the MOST IMPORTANT advice. I say this because you WILL get spammed and your email will be shared.  Not all sites will share your information, but many will and you just have to accept that. You must use a real email address and a real street address when you register for games because this is where they will send the prize if you win and the way they will contact you about your win.

2. Be persistent
You win by random luck most of the time, so the more you enter, the better your chances. Enter as often as the contest allows.  Also, even if you don't win instantly, there is usually a sweepstakes involved and you are entered in that as well.  I've won several times through the sweepstakes end of the game (most notably $100 gift cards to online stores!)

3. Timing is everything
 Most instant win contests are based on a set time for winners.  Random times are predetermined as winning times.  If you sign in to play at that moment (or are the first after that predetermined time) you win.  SO...if you wake up in the middle of the night, or get up early, etc., that is the time to enter.  I have a bookmark folder called "Enter in the Middle of the Night".  In that folder are the contests I really want to win and which seem reasonably possible to win, ie. lots of prizes.  I open all the windows in that folder and enter all the contests in a matter of minutes (unless I just really need sleep!).

4. Ignore those random "You (may) have already won!" type emails (and regular mail, too)
If you did not go to the site or sign up for emails from a site, ignore those emails that tell you can win or have already won something.  At best they are trying to confirm your email address is a real one, and at worst you will end up with a virus.  After you have entered an instant win game you will often get emails from the company sponsoring the contest, and unless you opted out when you signed up you may get other emails about future promotions.  These are reasonably safe. Otherwise, do not open the email and certainly do not respond!  You have not suddenly won a lottery where a random email address was chosen...blah, blah, blah.  Stick to contests where you go to them to enter.

5. Save winning email confirmation and take screen shots.
When you win there are 2 wise things to do.  First, take a screen shot of the winning message that pops up and save it.  It is useful in case there is a problem later and a prize doesn't arrive. The screen usually has some sort of confirmation number, and you screen shot records the time/date as it shows on your screen (I use the snipping tool in Windows 7 for this).  Second, if they send you a confirmation email (they usually send it very shortly after you win) save it!  Again, you'll want it in case the prize doesn't arrive.  I've replied to that email or otherwise contacted the company a few times because a prize didn't arrive, and only once have I ended up with no prize (never got an answer).  Once in a while something just happens, but when you contact them they usually take care of it.

6. (NEW)  Skip the game!
You usually can skip the game to find out if you won.  Look for a small link to click, usually near the bottom of the game, which says "Click if you can't see the game" or "Click to skip the game".  It will take you right to the screen that tells you whether you won.  Playing the game HAS NO IMPACT ON WHETHER YOU WIN.  It's all based on the time you enter.

That is my initial advice.  I'll add more ideas as they occur to me.  Be sure to look at the sidebar (Places for Free Stuff) for links to sites where you can win!  GOOD LUCK!

3 comments:

Erica K January 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM  

great advise. some of it I don't do but should thank you.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am following you now.
hang in there, a year ago I had 5 followers and they were just my family. If you're passionate and hard working on your blog it will grow quickly.
http://www.bassgiraffe.com

Aimee from Classified: Mom February 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM  

Looks good!- I'm glad I can help ;-) Only thing I would do is make what your blog is about a lighter text. Rule of thumb is light text on dark background or dark text on light background. The white against the purple is really clear. Try this color #66FFFF if you want the teal family!
Next tutorial for bloggers will be how to make an e-mail me button with free graphics!

Marni's Organized Mess February 22, 2011 at 3:38 PM  

This is a great blog! I can't wait to explore more! I am your newest follower!


Come over and say hello sometime! Or, come to win of my giveaway's; Rockin' Green Detergent, Baby Bond Nursing Cover (great gift idea too!), or Roundabout Cupcake Sleeves. They all have more than a week with very low entries!

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About This Blog

I have really benefited from the advice of my sister-in-law, the queen of freebies! I have learned a lot and have decided it's time to start sharing. I plan to share links to contests and sites where you can win stuff for free. Instant win games have been my specialty so that is what I will share about first. There sadly are people who have found ways to cheat in those games, but I have legitimately won a lot of great stuff (ipods, gift cards, gaming systems, etc.) and it really is possible. I have just begun to enter blog contests and will share links to them, but am not yet proficient enough to share advice on them.

My first bits of advice to those who are new to contests:

1. Create an email that is just for contests
This is the MOST IMPORTANT advice. I say this because you WILL get spammed and your email will be shared. Not all sites will share your information, but many will and you just have to accept that. You must use a real email address and a real street address when you register for games because this is where they will send the prize if you win and the way they will contact you about your win.

2. Be persistent
You win by random luck most of the time, so the more you enter, the better your chances. Enter as often as the contest allows. Also, even if you don't win instantly, there is usually a sweepstakes involved and you are entered in that as well. I've won several times through the sweepstakes end of the game (most notably $100 gift cards to online stores!)

3. Timing is everything
Most instant win contests are based on a set time for winners. Random times are predetermined as winning times. If you sign in to play at that moment (or are the first after that predetermined time) you win. SO...if you wake up in the middle of the night, or get up early, etc., that is the time to enter. I have a bookmark folder called "Enter in the Middle of the Night". In that folder are the contests I really want to win and which seem reasonably possible to win, ie. lots of prizes. I open all the windows in that folder and enter all the contests in a matter of minutes (unless I just really need sleep!).


That is my initial advice. I'll add more ideas as they occur to me. Be sure to look at the sidebar (Places for Free Stuff) for links to sites where you can win! GOOD LUCK!

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