4 Ways to Make Money From Sweepstakes, Giveaways and Contests
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's 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're 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 theater!
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.Helpful 79
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.Helpful 50
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.Helpful 40
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.Helpful 23
Is pch.com (Publishers Clearing House) a legitimate sweepstake?
Yes, it is. You do not have to purchase a magazine subscription to win.
They have received some criticism and been fined for some of the terminology they use in their literature. If you wish to read more about that, Wikipedia has links to some interesting articles.Helpful 6
© 2016 Mary Wickison