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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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It's going to be swell in 2012!

Yeah, that's my crappy motto for this year. I try to come up with a new one each year, and after 2012, I've got nuthin! I mean, what rhymes with 13,14,15,16,17,18,or 19? But if the Mayan calendar is to be believed, I am not going to have an issue with it either...so who cares, right? RIGHT!

I really should have written a blog post before now. I was planning on writing something on the last day of 2011, but eh...I didn't. What can I say? 2011 was the year of the lazy for this blogger. Oh who am I kidding? The last 44 years have been the year of the lazy for me! LOL Yeah, I know it's not really funny, but it's my blog and I'll bitch, moan, groan and make cheesy jokes and bad puns if I want to. I'm sure that could have been a song title, but it would have taken too long to print and sing to..so moving along.

Happy New Year!

and yes, I am actually writing this on day 2 of 2012...but it's still the first day of 2012 in California and probably some of western counties or states, like Hawaii, so it counts and it's all good! Right? RIGHT!

Last year wasn't anything spectacular for this little sweeper. In fact it started off pretty grim as my mother in law passed away on Jan 13. And even though we are still having to go through so many things that was brought on from her death, we are still together as a family of three and have somewhat to moderately good health. I pray daily for all my family to stay healthy, safe and happy. It's really more important than anything else, especially a prize....however! I am going to continue to enter sweepstakes and maybe even a contest here and there. I mean, I won't win squat if I don't enter, right? RIGHT!

I actually tried to keep track of my wins from 2011 in a spreadsheet like I've been doing for many years. I believe I am now entering my 9th year of being a sweeper. I still can't believe it to be honest. I never really stick with hobbies for very long, unless you count sleeping for longer than 12-14 hours at a time. That hobby I have always excelled in and probably will continue to do so. When you are a stay at home mom and are disabled, sometimes you get a case of what my husband likes to call "the case of the sticky mattress" which basically means, my fat butt doesn't get out of it until after about 12 hours or more. Yes I'm lazy..let's move on.

Even though I don't have the proper spreadsheet to look at or prove to anyone, I would have to state that it was my husband that was the biggest winner in this household over all of us! Even though we didn't win a trip or anything that made me wet my pants, I would still think or at least like to believe that we stayed in the black and not the red, as far as cost goes. I enter a lot of snails mail sweepstkaes and stamps cost money. I may end up switching my entering methods for 2012 and that will probably be the subject of my next post. Yeah! An idea...cool...something to think about and write...sweet!

I have realized something else...Voting contest are for the freaking birds! I know I never came back to give any more updates on the last voting contest I was in, but that's because it became very apparent that the people who entered that same contest, well...I hate to say it..but there were CHEATERS! I mean come on! Some of those photos had well over 12,000 votes (and no that is not a typo) in less than 24 hours. Even though the rules stated that it was unlimited voting..after 1000 votes, it wouldn't let you vote anymore. (I know this, because I clicked that dang vote button over and over and over and over, etc) At first they ( the people hosting the contest, which was a local news station) let the number of votes be seen, but they later changed it, so you couldn't see it. (Probably due to other people who entered, bitching about how a few entries had so many votes, so soon after the contest started. They should have stopped the contest and discounted every vote and started over...but they didn't. Well surprise surprise (NOT) that the photo that won, was also one of the photo's that had thousands of votes right at the very first of the competition!

I don't know what it is, but when you offer up a free trip to Disneyland or World, some of the worst can be seen in people! UGG. I am now just about certain I am done with voting contest, unless it states in the rules about no one using bots (computer programs that help cheaters win contest on the internet) and that it's either judged by a panel of judges and not basically a popularity contest. That's really leaves a bad taste in so many people's mouths and honestly, it makes the company (or local news station) look bad. I personally am very tempted to write a strongly worded letter to let them know, but I'm still shaking off the bad case of the lazies!

Soon after posting this blog post, I will be making my new spreadsheet for the wins for 2012. I have also been giving some thought as to what I want to write about here, in regards to this hobby. It's a wonderful hobby and it's given me and my loved ones a lot of pleasure. In fact, some of the wins (i.e. Gift Cards) came in really handy for Christmas.

I am also hoping that I will write on a more regular basis. I would love to be able to say I would commit to a weekly post..but I'm not so sure about that to be honest. But then you never know, so please continue to check back now and then. If you don't see anything new, shoot me an email and, well I was going to say write and tell me to get off my butt, but to write a blog post, I actually have to sit on my butt, so that wouldn't work. But you could say get on it and write something gosh darn it!...It's not like I have a job or anything to go to, right? RIGHT! Ok now I think I may be depressed...thanks a lot! oh wait..I'm probably just talking to myself again, so oh well...moving on...again.

I'm not really sure why I keep doing that right? RIGHT! thing, but it's working for me today, so just go with it, ok? OK! Oh crap...I think this post needs to stop now.

So that's it for today. Hopefully this post has made my Dad happy. (or just confused by his youngest daughter's mentality or personality disorder) He's basically my only reader, and maybe my sister, since it was her post on her personal blog that lite the fire under my butt to actually write...gotta go..two more minutes until 1-2-2012 in California. Bu-Bye