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Trying to change up my ways

of doing things in regards to entering sweepstakes of course. :)

Note: This is a REALLY long post, so I warn you in advance. You can read the first two paragraphs and then skip down to the last six paragraphs to save you some time. I basically just go into more details about the various ways to enter sweepstakes. But if you are already a seasons sweeper, you probably already know most if not all of what I wrote.

I've been entering Sweepstakes for right at nine years. I've won some nice things and had some wonderful experiences and had several opportunities to travel. However, one thing you learn if you stay in this hobby long enough is that sometimes the game changes and you need to be flexible to change with it, otherwise you will be left a loser and wondering why you are no longer winning like you used to. Thus becoming depressed and thinking that once again all sweepstakes are rigged, even when that's not the case.

After my last post, which was all of yesterday (I know I can't believe I've made two post so close together either..back to back basically...will wonders never cease?) I've been thinking of how I should or rather *need* to change my method of entering sweepstakes. Especially if I want to continue to win and maybe win something Big for 2012.

Right now there are so many ways to enter sweepstakes and be a winner. A few of those methods and an explanation of what and how to enter them are:

Snail Mail - (My all time favorite..I know I am a little crazy and alone in feeling that way. But I've always been drawn towards repetitive things, like Data Entry). Snail mail entries is usually your NAZ and maybe other requested information written down on a piece of paper or card, usually a 3x5..sometimes they like to throw in odd sizes like 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 cards/papers..thinking that people won't use them and thus being disqualified. So it's always important to read the rules people! Then you place your card or paper into an envelopes (you will never go wrong when using a plain white #10 envelopes also known as a business envelope) and put a first class stamp on it, and hopefully, Lord willing it will go to the right address and be added to the collection of all the other entries.

Online entries - a fairly cheap way to enter, as long as you have a computer/laptop and an internet connection, which does cost money, but you could also go to a library and enter from there. However, I doubt anyone going that route would get a ton of entries in daily, unless they seriously loved going to their local library!

Contest - This usually involves more participation and it also usually means a lot less competition. This can be anything from recipe contest, video/you tube, essays, talent (singing/dancing) and more. (This is my least favorite..because I feel so totally UN-creative and boring).

Facebook - This is a very popular way for sponsors to advertise their products/services and Facebook has millions of users, so it only makes sense that sponsors are going the route of using Facebook to attract new customers. This is a social type way of entering sweepstakes along with ...

Twitter - This is what is also known as micro blogging. I am sure most people have heard of twitter, even if they haven't posted a tweet. I will be the first one here to admit that I am not very keen on twitter contest. I've been told that it's a good way to win, because a lot of people feel the same way about it as I do, thus meaning the competition is low. I have won one or two twitter promotions, and I have decided to give it another shot for 2012. It still confuses me, especially when there are "Twitter Parties". I will hopefully go into more detail at a later time about what a twitter party really is and what it involves so that you can have a better understanding of it.

Texting - I don't know of anyone, unless they are under the age of 5-6 years old and possibly over the age of 80, who doesn't know what Texting is. Now the older generation probably doesn't use this method of entering promotions all too much, so it can be a great way to enter and win prizes. I've found that beer companies use this method a lot and I've won several nice prizes from texting. One of those prizes was a Cruise! It does involve using a cell phone and if you choose to enter this way a lot, please also remember that texting cost money and to look at unlimited texting plan from your cell phone provider. But if you have a teenager with a cell phone under your roof, you might want to invest in unlimited texting just for that reason alone.

Drop Boxes - You usually see these at grocery stores, but you can also see them at Malls and other places of businesses. Now the ones at the mall, I personally never enter. Those usually end up being given to Time Share places and they call you, trying to get you to come and view/listen to their pitches to sell you a time share property.

Now some people can use this to their advantage, if they have the will power not to buy into the spill they give to you. I've thought about seeing if my husband might want to try this, as we know someone personally who does this and they've received airfare and sometimes even hotels, just to listen to a sales man try to hock their properties. I'm just not sure I would be very good at it. I think once I saw the properties being offered and hearing only the good points of it from the sales person, my eyes would glaze over faster than a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut and I would sign something before my good sense came back.

But not all drop boxes are like that. I especially like the ones that are found at the grocery stores. Or department stores. Even though I just mentioned above about not entering drop boxes at the mall, I don't mean the ones inside a department store. I've found most of them in the ladies department or the teens/kids department, like at Dillards, Macy's, J.C.Penneys, etc.

Blogs - Well, as you know by reading this website (which happens to be a blog) you know a little bit. A blog promotion is usually held by the person who writes/creates the blog. The blogger normally writes a review about a product that was given to them from a sponsor and they are told to either keep it and give away another exact product to one of their readers or just give away the product that they've reviewed.

The biggest blog sweepstakes/promotions are from what is typically called "Mommy blogs" This area has become highly saturated in my opinion and they usually want you to jump through a LOT of hoops to get your entries in. And the prizes are not usually for anything spectacular. Small amounts in Gift Cards like $10, DVD's, Cd's, books, etc. I don't mind entering these occasionally, but I don't spend a lot of time on them, because like I just wrote, they usually want the person entering, to do several different things, to make the entry complete.

Things that range from posting a comment, following their blog, making a tweet and then coming back and posting that status link to that tweet, to prove that you really did tweet about their promotions, and many other things. Sometimes they will give you 5+ entries for each action taken, but then I get really confused about how in the world they could possibly keep up with all the entries for it to be truly legit. Some people have also expressed their skepticism towards mommy blog promotions and think that they either don't send the prizes out, which are normally provided by the sponsor or they give them to their friends/family members, instead of their readers. I am sure some of their fears are correct, but there are honest bloggers out there and it is another way to enter and win stuff. It's just not for everybody. Personally I think it's you either hate them or you don't.

Snap Tags - This is probably the newest on the scene of entering sweepstakes/promotions. You may have seen some odd little black and white photo with a lot of pixels/dots. There are also colored ones too. Well, if you have something on your "smart" phone, called a "Tag Reader", you use that application and take a photo of that picture and it then normally takes you to a special web page on your *smart* phone so you can enter. I can't say that I've been impressed with this method of entering, but it's still in it's growing stages I suppose and I am going to try and be more aware of snap tap promotions around me, and enter. But it's towards the bottom of my list when thinking about entering sweepstakes. Basically, I'm not going to be losing any sleep over it, if I don't enter one of them.

Radio Call Ins - I know you know about Radio call in...The DJ's will announce at a certain time to call to either win something or be put in a drawing for an even bigger prize. These are hard to win in my honest opinion. Basically because you tend to get a busy signal all the time. But some people really really love them. I guess if you spend a lot of time listening to the radio, perhaps either at work or maybe being a stay at home or work at home parent, you can enter these more frequently than other people. I also think that if you listen and enter on the week-ends, you might have a better chance of getting through, since most people like to do things with their families and thus making the competition lower. Or at least, that's my opinion. So far I've only gotten through once to be put in a drawing, which I didn't win. It made me feel the same way inside like I do when I only have one more number left when playing Bingo! It's not a happy feeling either. It's more like I'm on the verge of having a panic attack...so not fun to me!

Radio Remotes - This is where a radio station is at a certain location and they mention where they are and for how long and encourage their listeners to come and visit them and try to win various prizes or get entries in for something great, like trips or a car.

Game Shows - These are harder and probably not a lot of people do these. But some of the Games shows that come to my mind are Jeopardy (which I despise), Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, etc. There is usually a cattle call and long waiting periods and then you get interview basically. They are usually looking for people that are exciting or at least project excitement and that makes for good TV, even if it does embarrass yourself and your children for years to come.

I am sure there are few more ways to enter promotions and if you can think of anything that I might have missed please comment on this blog post or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

So in answer to what I wrote at the beginning of this blog post, I am thinking about changing my way of entering. Last year I spent most time on snail mail entries and it really didn't pay off for me in the long run, which is most disappointing. My husband was the biggest winner and I think (although I am not certain) that most of his entries was from entering online.

The biggest change I think I am going to do is continue to enter my husband with online sweepstakes (possibly only, unless it's a local/restricted one) and just enter myself through the mail. I also now get to enter our child, since the birthday that was celebrated last year, makes her more open to more sweepstakes and contest! Whoo Hoo.

A couple of years ago it wasn't unusual for me to start my day entering online sweepstakes. I would normally take about 2-3 hours each and everyday (and yes I do mean every day) and enter online. I would later make time during the evening hours to do my entries for snail mail entries. Last year I tried really hard to enter 11 snail mail entries each day, but I didn't keep to it as well as I wanted to. What can I say? Life got in the way and I just wasn't going to make myself feel bad for not making my goal.

I guess I could make a goal of trying to enter 12 snail mail entries each day if I gave it some thought. I know I have a batch ready for tomorrow's mail and there are only 11 in it. My mind was still thinking 2011. So I guess I will end this post now and enter some more sweepstakes. Who knows..you might even get another post from me tomorrow. I don't want to say that's one of my new year's resolutions, which is to post each and everyday. I will say that I am hopeful that I will write more consistently on here. I mean that was the purpose of creating this blog space in the first place, right?

So bye for now and good luck to everyone that chooses to enter sweepstakes...because you will never be a winner if you don't enter!

~Cheers~

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