15 Tips for Entering Competitions (& Winning!)

Entering competitions has been a hobby I’ve enjoyed since I was a teenager.

My first competition win was an mp3 player way back in 2007, which I won via a contest on the back of a Nik Naks packet. I remember submitting my code and excitedly shouting to my family that I had won. From that moment on, I was hooked!

I’ve won a range of competitions over my comping journey and received some weird and truly wonderful prizes, a few of which include:

  • 3 months’ worth of tea bags
  • A 6 month make up subscription box
  • A luxury spa day for two
  • Tickets to a preview film screening in London
  • A pottery class
entering competitions

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Which method of entering competitions is best?

There are lots of ways to enter competitions; entering by post, via social media such as Instagram or Twitter, via radio or text, and through brands’ websites.

There are pros and cons to all methods of entering competitions. Depending on your preferences, you will probably favour certain methods more than others.

I was selected for a radio competition several years ago, where I answered a series of quick fire questions to win a prize. The process was time-consuming, as I spent the morning waiting to find out if I had been selected and was then on standby during the show ready for my segment. It was extremely nerve-wracking answering questions on the spot, too. Big shout out to my family for helping me with a few of the answers as I was so tongue-tied! It was a great experience, but I decided it probably wasn’t for me.

My personal preference is entering via brand websites and social media. They are both easy to complete at any time of day, and even more importantly, are both free to enter. Radio and text competitions can be exciting to participate in, but often there are fees associated. If you are entering multiple contests per day, paying to enter can add up fast!

What can I win by entering competitions?

It’s a good idea to think about what you’d like to win most. Make sure entering those specific competitions is your priority. There are opportunities to win holidays, cars, toys, home décor, books, food, alcohol, gadgets, hotel stays and more! The list is truly endless.

What would you love to win? Write a list of 10 dream prizes before you start, and keep it safe so you can review your progress in 6 months.

15 Tips and Tricks for Entering Competitions

  1. Use a competition directory, such as The Prize Finder to easily find new competitions daily. You can filter or search within the directory by prize type, to find competitions to win the things you particularly want (E.g you could search ‘by prize’, and then view all holiday or short break competitions)
  2. Winning competitions is a numbers game ultimately. You should enter plenty before expecting to start winning any prizes. Think into the 100’s – it definitely takes a level of commitment!
  3. Set up a separate email account for entering competitions, as you will often need to subscribe to mailing lists so are likely to receive a high volume of emails. It’s also easier to spot any winning emails if you keep all entries linked to one email account!
  4. Don’t enter competitions for prizes you don’t want. It’s best for prizes to go to people who would value them, and it’s also a waste of your time entering too! Comping can be a time-consuming hobby; spend your time entering contests you would be excited to win.
  5. Try entering competitions on a variety of platforms; Twitter competitions, Instagram competitions, website competitions, entering codes on the back of snack packets, etc.
  6. Complete your details in the autofill section of your web browser by heading to ‘settings’ in the top right-hand corner. This will save you a significant amount of time, and it will be less tedious too; you don’t want to be completing the same fields 50 times per day!
  7. December is a great time for comping, as many brands run advent calendar-style giveaways, with daily contests in the lead-up to Christmas. Search hashtags on Instagram or Twitter to enter the daily competitions (search #giveawayuk to get started).
  8. When using social media, it will be easy to spot if your profile has been set up purely for entering competitions. You will have a better chance of winning by using an authentic (or authentic-looking) account, including a personal profile, some genuine followers, and a varied feed, so keep this in mind.
  9. Personally, I don’t enter competitions if I can see there are tens of thousands of entries on Instagram or Twitter. When I can see the competition has gone viral or is hugely popular, I usually scroll past, as the odds of winning are so slim. Obviously, it depends on how much time you are choosing to dedicate to your hobby though! Look out for social media competitions with a few hundred entries or less for higher odds of winning.
  10. I don’t pay to enter competitions. There are plenty of contests to enter completely free, and paying to enter can become dangerously close to gambling. Stick to free entry comps, particularly if you are a newbie!
  11. The more complex the entry requirements, the fewer the entries. If the competition involves writing a rhyme, drawing a picture, sending a photo of yourself, or baking a cake, for example, fewer people are likely to enter compared to a ‘follow and retweet’. These competitions are definitely more time-consuming to enter though!
  12. As well as actively searching, enter competitions as they present themselves in daily life too. Competitions and raffles can be found at food markets, via Instagram ads, at your local supermarkets, on the back of food packets, etc.
  13. Stick to a time limit each day. Entering competitions can be time-consuming, so try setting yourself a timer for 20 minutes per day to start with; consistency and steadily building the habit is better than going all in for a few days and then giving up.
  14. Read the competition thoroughly – Is the location specified? Are you available on the date that the prize needs to be taken on? Sometimes competitions are local, and you don’t want to receive a notification letting you know you’ve won an afternoon tea 300 miles away!
  15. Only enter your details on websites you trust. If in doubt, skip it. It’s not worth it!

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Getting started with entering competitions as a hobby today

  1. Set up a new email address specifically for comping. Do this first before anything else!
  2. Add your details to your browsers autofill function
  3. Start with either 10 competitions per day, or 20 minutes per day
  4. Comping isn’t a science – change up your strategy until you are in a rhythm that you feel is enjoyable. Try different platforms and methods to see which you prefer (and which you find are more successful)
  5. Track your wins! It’s fun to look back on to see your prizes

Want freebies?

One of the main reasons people comp is the opportunity to get freebies. Here are a bunch of other ways you can get your hands on some fab freebies:

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FAQ Entering Competitions

Is entering competitions worth it?

I believe entering competitions is worth it, yes! Depending on your circumstances, decide how much time you can dedicate to entering contests each day. It’s important to remember however that there are no guarantees that you will win. Up the odds by increasing your number of entries.

Is entering competitions gambling?

Comping is comparable to gambling when you begin paying fees to enter. It’s similar to entering the lottery. There are plenty of free contests to enter instead, so stick to comping as a no spend hobby.

Where can I enter competitions?

As a newbie, head to a competition directory or try searching via social media as a starting point to find new competitions.

Can you enter competitions for a living?

I strongly advise not to plan to comp in place of earning an income. This puts significant pressure on yourself to win high-value prizes regularly, and it’s fairly unrealistic. For me, comping is a chill hobby to do in front of one of my favourite comfort shows while drinking tea!

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Final Thoughts: 15 Tips for Entering Competitions (& Winning!)

Go forth and win lots of exciting prizes!

Let me know if you do win any prizes after using these tips – I’d love to hear! You can find me on instagram, and I always welcome DM’s 🙂

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