4 Ways to Make Money From Sweepstakes, Giveaways and Contests

Updated on September 7, 2018
Blond Logic profile image

I've been entering sweepstakes and contests since I was young. Let me share some of my tips which will help you win more.

Earning From Sweepstakes

If you think you can't make money from sweepstakes think again. I'm going to tell you four different ways sweepstakes and giveaways can earn you money. If you have entered before and not won then this could have put you off entering again. You might say, I'm not lucky or I never win anything, I'm going to show you how you can change this way of thinking. Let's use fishing as an example, if you went fishing and didn't catch anything would that make you not want to go again? I don't think so, it would just mean you needed to try somewhere else, use different bait or improve your technique. It is the same for winning prizes.

I believe you can greatly increase your chances of winning a prize by making a few changes to the way you enter. Some of these may include the types of giveaways you are entering and others may be the frequency.

Besides entering to win, I will also show you other ways to generate money from contests. Get comfortable because what I am going to tell you, could change your life.

1. Entering Sweepstakes: Top Tips To Win More

Your first thought when you read the title of this article was probably, you make money by entering and winning sweepstakes, right? This is, of course, the obvious way. You enter and win prizes which you can either keep, give away or sell. I won't kid you, it's time consuming if you wish to make an impact on your family's finances. The good thing though, now with many retailers offering online entries, there is no postage to pay like the old days when you had to mail in your name and address on a 3" x 5" card. Can you do this as your main source of income, probably not. There are people who use their winnings to supplement their household income however and some do quite nicely from it. One such lady lives in Canada and calls herself the 'Contest Queen'. She is just one of a handful of people who are called Super Sweepers.

Some people say they aren't lucky and don't enter or complain they never win anything. I believe luck has very little to do with it, and those who don't win normally don't enter many. There are several ways to increase your chances of winning.

Enter More Often

This may be stating the obvious but the more you enter, the better your chances of winning. Many online giveaways offer daily entries, if that is an option, make sure you enter daily. This one step alone can see your winnings increase. Sure it can be time-consuming but if you get into a routine of doing it, you'll find an efficient way of entering. If you spend time on Facebook watching cat videos, perhaps your time could be put to better use entering sweepstakes.

Enter More Contests

If you go back to our analogy of fishing, the more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch something. Enter as many giveaways as you can.

Follow the Rules

Don't waste your time entering a giveaway that you are not eligible to win. Don't try and enter late or scam the system by entering more than once if it isn't allowed.

Enter Skill-Based Contests

Skill-based competitions include photography, cooking, drawing, videoing, writing, or my personal favorite, creating a catchy phrase. Ones such as I love Dove soap because.... and then you have to come up with the ending in 10 words or less. I can't stress this enough, skill-based contests offer the best chance of winning. The reason for this is there are fewer entries. The general public might fill their name out on a form but to do something a bit more difficult such as writing down a recipe, many just won't complete the requirements. Some of the prizes on offer for skill based competitions are fantastic: prizes such as a house, a Bed and Breakfast business, and also a movie theatre.

2. Have a Promotional Giveaway

The second way to make money from giveaways is to run one yourself. Huh? If you're wondering how giving away something is going to make you money, I'll let you in on a not so little secret. Why do you think retailers give away prizes? This is a publicity maneuver which brings people to their products. They are hoping that when a person sees their product, even if they don't buy it then and there, it is planting a seed for a future purchase. Running sweepstakes or giveaways is just one way retailers grab the public's attention. Is this new? Of course not, this method of advertising has been around a long time. The famous Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes has been offering prizes since 1967.

That's okay for them, you might be thinking, but what does that have to do with me? Now, many bloggers, authors, and small business owners find they too can run successful promotions which bring in a new batch of potential customers. In these giveaways, the contestant is normally asked for their email address. They are giving the company permission to add them to an email list and if an address is required, they are also giving them permission to mail them propaganda. Some may even sell those details to a marketing company or a (third party). When someone puts a tick in the box that they have read the terms and conditions or the official rules, they're agreeing to this whether they've read the fine print or not.

There are companies who specialize in making it easy for you to run a giveaway on your blog or website. There is a fee for their service. Three of the most popular are:

  • Woobox
  • Gleam
  • Rafflecopter

These will offer the options for people to enter using their email address and then they can get bonus entries for following you or your business on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites. Some may offer bonus entries if the giveaway is shared with friends.

To offset the cost, often several bloggers or authors will pool their resources to promote and supply the prizes. These are often Amazon gift vouchers, books or products which have been given to the bloggers to review. It can be an interesting and eclectic mix of prizes.

At the end of the giveaway, your site will have had a spike in traffic and you will have new names on your email list. As the saying goes, The money is in the list. You can now market to these people who have opted in and supplied you with their email addresses.

3. Start A Contest Website

Contest Website
Contest Website

Have a Contest and Sweepstakes Website

The third way of making money from sweepstakes and contests is to have a website (or blog) promoting them. This is one of the avenues I have followed. People don't have time to go hunting on the internet to find sweepstakes which are offered by the various companies, it's too time consuming. For many sweepers, as they are called, it's better to find sites, which have done the hunting for them. The sites are merely a portal of current giveaways and sweepstakes. As with anything, there are of course pros and cons to any idea.

The pros are you can earn money by placing ads (Google Adsense), Amazon or other affiliate companies on the site. I tend to use just a few, such as Google Adsense, Shareasale, and Zazzle. Although the people who come to view the site are there to find sweepstakes links, they are also looking at and clicking on ads. This is where the money is to be made from having a sweepstakes website: it's the revenue from the adverts, not from them clicking the links to the giveaways. The list of contests is merely a way of getting them to the site and providing them with a good selection of companies and bloggers who currently have contests running.

You may wonder where to find all those sweepstakes to put on such a site. I have several methods I use but here are the main ones. All of these I can do from home online.

  • Magazines and newspapers (online)
  • Television and radio stations (online)
  • Retail stores (online)

Then there are social media sites which are havens for finding new contests.

  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Redditt

The disadvantage of such a website is that it has to be constantly updated. It is not what is called an evergreen site. To ensure people continue to check back often, it is necessary to have fresh giveaways listed and archive expired ones.

4. Selling The Sweepstakes Idea

The last way to make money is promoting this 'way of life' to others. This can be through books, videos, or talks. Carolyn Wilman, the author of the book below, is a good example of how this works. Her success began just with a love of entering sweepstakes. When television stations began requesting interviews she knew she had a skill that other people wanted to know about. Her list of wins is pretty impressive but she didn't stop there.

  • She also has books (her second is listed below)
  • She give lectures/ workshops
  • She runs a website with competitions listed

She has packed all her knowledge into her book and her workshops. You might think that she would be lessening her chances of winning by providing this information, but with the amount of giveaways being run at any one time, it is unlikely.

How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More!: 2nd Edition | You Can't Win If You Don't Enter
How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More!: 2nd Edition | You Can't Win If You Don't Enter

This is the 2nd edition of Carolyn Wilman's book. She is Canada's Contest Queen and in her book she reveals the strategy she has used to win. Carolyn has appeared in television specials and been interviewed by journalists who want to know her secret. It's a great read packed full of useful information, which if put into practice will help you win more. This would also make a wonderful gift for someone who is interested in entering sweepstakes.

 

Closing Comments

There you have it 4 different ways to earn from giveaways and contests. The internet has changed the face of entering sweepstakes making it much easier. The amount of prizes and value of these prizes is staggering.

**Be aware in most countries you will have to pay tax on your winnings.**

Questions & Answers

  • Are there any worthwhile sweepstakes that don't require a purchase/laying out some money?

    Yes, there are in fact, some companies will also give you a 'free option' to enter. This will often be in the rules, in the fine print.

    I don't encourage you to buy anything to enter or pay for a phone call to enter.

    However, in bonafide contests, where you have to buy something the number of entries is lower. Sometimes there is an element of skill involved as well, such as making up a jingle. I once had to buy a shovel to enter to win a cargo van. I didn't win the van, but the shovel is still used weekly.

  • How do you know if a sweepstake is legitimate?

    Enter sweepstakes that are sponsored by major retailers and companies. Their reputation is on the line and will ensure that the correct procedures, regulations and awarding of prizes is in place before the promotion is launched.

  • How does one pay taxes on winnings from sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests?

    It would depend on which country you live in. You will need to put the market value of the prize on your tax form and pay the tax on that, on top of your income.

    A good tax advisor would be able to help you.

  • What about these other countries that contact you saying you won an email lottery for $3 million, and then ask you to pay for the release of funds? How can you tell if it's the real thing and not a hoax to rip you off?

    The old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," is true. If you have to pay any money, it isn't a legitimate giveaway. Do not part with any cash. In fact, many of those emails are phishing attempts. Mark them as spam and delete them.

    If you didn't enter it before they contacted you, you didn't win.

  • How do you know the Big Name company is really them, I googled Amazon and was given a bogus site?

    That surprises me as the revenue Amazon spends on advertising normally keeps them at the top. I would suggest a couple of ways.

    Make sure you have an up to date security system running on your device.

© 2016 Mary Wickison

Comments

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    • profile image

      Cheryl Langbata 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi i'm from Marshall Islands but im in State now at denver colorado can i register?

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Calisto,

      No matter what country you are in you will need to check to see if you are eligible by reading the rules of each sweepstakes. Some countries do not allow gambling and that includes sweepstakes or giveaways.

    • profile image

      calisto 

      3 months ago

      Can I get shipments to come to my country(uganda

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Joseph,

      To know if you are eligible for any giveaway you will have to check the rules associated with each specific contest. In the rules it will tell you which countries or regions can participate. It will also say the deadline for entries, if there are age restrictions and more. Before spending any time entering a sweepstakes or contest, the rules should be read first to be certain you're eligible to enter.

    • profile image

      Joseph 

      3 months ago

      I am from Nigeria can I register and participate?

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      That is very cool.

      Yes, radio contests are a great way. I won not cash but a trip to Nashville on a radio giveaway. It was to see a showing of the Dolly Parton film 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" at the Grand Ol' Opry. It was a wonderful trip.

      Thanks for sharing your story, and you're right, don't listen to those voices that say you can't win. Your mother is proof that you can.

    • profile image

      angelawr7777 

      3 months ago

      One often overlooked method of winning monetary prizes are radio giveaways. My mom two times from the same radio station. Her job required long hours and tedious work, so she listened daily to this station. She had to call them if they called out her birthday or other qualifying event. She first won $25k back in 1989 and the second time $10k. We couldn't believe it the first time! We often made fun of her for entering contests, but we stopped after that! I remind myself of this when the little voice inside says "you can't win." haha We needed that money, too. She was a single parent and she was able to buy a house for us. She even bought a used car for me (which was beyond sweet of her). How cool is that?

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Kevin,

      Unfortunately there are many companies that say you've won when in fact you have either 'won' something with no value, or are trying to get you to give them money.

      Never give them money to get a prize.

      If you didn't enter the sweepstakes before receiving the notice, you haven't won.

      The instructions to claim any prize will be in the small print that has the terms and conditions, read it carefully.

    • profile image

      kevin barasa 

      3 months ago

      have been sent congratulations, is it true that I have won.secondly am from Kenya how can I get that reward

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      3 months ago from Brazil

      I'm sorry to hear that Mark. Seek out competitions that have fewer entries. Avoid those that are simply a 'fill in your name', as everyone will enter those.

      Contests that have an element of skill such as writing a jingle, writing an essay, or coming up with a new recipe, receive fewer entries so the chances of winning are greater.

      Good luck and stick with it.

    • profile image

      Mark Smith 

      3 months ago

      Never won anything!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Sandra,

      I'm sorry to hear this. The only papers you should have to sign is perhaps a tax form declaring your winnings and also a consent form. The consent form entitles the company to use your likeness or story to assist in their promotional efforts.

      If a company is asking you to pay, don't, it isn't a genuine prize or win.

    • profile image

      sandra sitton 

      4 months ago

      It since to me everytime they say you won you have to pay before you win and filling out papers and never gettting it.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Kiran,

      If you are getting emails about contests or sweepstakes you didn't enter, then it is a scam. Just delete those or report them as spam.

      Go to the websites of reputable firms that you know, it is likely they have giveaways from time to time.

      Once you begin entering that type, you will be able to spot 'scam' giveaways more easily.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Darshan,

      There are strict regulations and rules on all sweepstakes, competitions and contests. It is best you check these to see if you are eligible to win. Some contests do not allow entries from locations other than their own country. The rules should be the first thing you check otherwise you could be wasting your time entering.

      It also may be that your country may not permit this type of 'gaming or gambling'.

      Any legitimate contests will have a clear and concise set of rules and eligibility requirements.

    • profile image

      Darshan 

      4 months ago

      I live india.i summit this?

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Finn,

      I believe we make our own luck. It seems the luckiest people are also those that work the hardest and the smartest.

      I believe that holds true for many things in life.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      4 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Jamie,

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams and it is necessary to be cautious. My best advice is, if you didn't enter it, then you didn't win.

    • wpcooper profile image

      Finn Liam Cooper 

      4 months ago from Los Angeles

      Well some good ideas. I think luck has a lot to do with it plus you have to have a lot of time on your hands and be able to narrow down various places to enter.

      sounds like you had success and congratulations to you on that.

    • profile image

      Jamie spriggs 

      5 months ago

      I been getting messages saying I win 1000$ I was wanting to know if I did

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      It's a case of entering ones which attract fewer entries, entering frequently, following the rules, and sticking with it.

    • profile image

      Douglas Ausborn 

      5 months ago

      I can never get my winnings when i do win im glad you did

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      5 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Judith,

      You should see a reddish-orange button in the top right corner that says, join. It may be slightly different if you're viewing on a mobile device.

    • profile image

      Judith Morgan 

      5 months ago

      How do I get a Hub Pages Network account

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      9 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Sarah,

      I hope it happens for you soon. Keep entering and your odds are much better.

      Good luck to you.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      22 months ago from Brazil

      You're welcome. Once you scratch the surface of most things, there are often more ways to gain from them. Glad you like it.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      23 months ago from South Africa

      Now this, for me, is a brand new view on sweepstakes. Thanks for all the ideas!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      23 months ago from Brazil

      There are so many avenues open to people to use giveaways for promotional purposes.

      Great to hear from you.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      23 months ago from England

      You clever thing you! lol! I would never have thought of it! something to look into, and thanks!

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      You're very welcome. Now is a great time for in store giveaways. When you train your eyes to spot them, you'll be amazed how many you can see.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      You're very welcome. Now is a great time for in store giveaways. When you train your eyes to spot them, you'll be amazed how many you can see.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      teaches12345 

      2 years ago

      This is wonderful advice. I will keep this all in mind. THanks for sharing and doing the leg work for us.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Dora,

      The internet has changed many things including entering contests. It has not only made it easier and cheaper for people to enter, but also it also people to run their own giveaways. It's an exciting time for both the entrants and the prize givers.

      Thank you for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Interesting and informative facts about winning. Inspiring to hear from one who actually wins.

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think the best thing I won was a trip to Nasheville. It was a radio competition. Myself and another lady won a trip to see the premier of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. It was at the Grand Ole Opry, and Waylon Jennings was sitting just a few rows down from us.

      After the show we went to a party where Dolly Parton and Loni Anderson were. I was about 20 at the time and it was such a thrill for me.

    • profile image

      happymommy2520 

      2 years ago

      I really loved this Hub. I am going to visit your web-site. I am also thinking about reading that book. Entering sweepstakes is fun. What is the best thing you have won?

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Suhail,

      There are many avenues to make revenue from them. Although entering them is fun and often the prizes are wonderful, there are other ways to generate an income from them.

      I'm pleased you enjoyed the article, thanks for your visit.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Great suggestions, Mary.

      I never paid attention to sweepstakes and other contests and now i think I should.

      Very well written hub!

      Regards,

    • Blond Logic profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      I've been entering since I was young. I think the bug bit when I won a fishing contest as a kid. I had gone deep sea fishing and my mom put in a dollar as my entry money. The ocean was really choppy and many people were seasick but I just kept fishing.

      At the end of the day, I had caught the biggest fish and won $32. Not a fortune but for a 12 year old it was exciting.

      Thanks for your continued support and congratulations on your latest book.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow! You've given this a great deal of thought, and you're experienced in it. This is something I've never done. No reason other than I've never done it. :) It was helpful, your reminder to give something away for free. I need to keep that in mind with the release of my new book. Thanks, Mary!

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