Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Get the Giveaway Fairies to Like You

This week, despite being a bit rough in the general life category, turned out to be quite prosperous online. I won not one, not two, but THREE online blog giveaways.

If you've been a reader for a long time (and bless you, because this blog has been basically dead for three years) then you might recall I had a spree of winnings back when our oldest boy was a newborn. I was online all the time and blog contests were just getting started, so I think I just got lucky. I won baby gifts and toys and all sorts of things -- some I still use and enjoy and some I gave away as presents! But this week I proved that the magic can still happen.

Not only did I win the previously mentioned camping gear, I won TWO prizes from Half-Pint House Handouts. I've been following Megan's blog Half-Pint House for years now and started entering her contests only recently, whenever I saw something that struck my eye. Earlier this week, I won a $50 Spa Gift Card, which I fully intend to use on myself once I recover from surgery.

Plus, this morning Megan let me know I won a Baby Bullet! I've secretly wanted one for a while, ever since my previous mini-food processor bit the dust after the birth of our second boy. Our oldest, 4 year-old Jacob, will probably be the most excited about this since he has been declaring for months, even before Calvin arrived, that "We NEED to buy a Baby Bullet, Mommy! To feed the new baby!" I think he's been watching too much Sprout. He even quotes the commercials. He's going to be psyched!

Well, all this happened because late one night last week I went on a twitter-flurry of entering giveaways. And I'm here to share my secrets with you.

1. Enter contests only for things you actually want to win.

2. Enter often, maybe a few times a week, but only if you feel it is worth your time. If a contest takes me a few minutes to enter without too much effort, I'll do it. But if I don't really like the product or the entries are too complicated, I usually don't bother. But even if you only enter once in a blue moon, you have a chance.

3. Enter small, blog-based contests. Half-Pint Handouts is a great site, and she has multiple giveaways each week! The contest I won from Southern-Savers had about 1,000 comments, which are pretty big odds in my book -- it might be the biggest contest I've won yet. Definitely the biggest prize I've ever gotten. I like to stick to smaller contests, usually from people I know. But I will still enter the Pioneer Woman and Money-Saving Mom Giveaways. Just because they have really cool stuff.

4. Go all in! If there are multiple ways to enter, use them all -- Facebook, Twitter, etc. I have a Twitter account mostly for the purpose of giveaways. And you can always un-like or un-friend something after a contest is over. Rafflecopter, a service that many blog giveaways use, makes this easy -- it tells you what to do for each entry and then you just check that you've completed that step.

5. Don't be disappointed. There are lots of contests out there, and lots of people entering them. For me, it's a fun diversion that I take part in every now and then, but I don't count on winning. Ever. Which is why it is such a great surprise when things like this happen! I count it all joy!

Alright, now that I've shared my tips and tricks my odds of winning are sure to decrease sharply since you found me out. But please show Megan some love at Half-Pint Handouts. And read all her other stuff, too. You'll like her. It's my way of saying "Thanks!"

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