Finding giveaways and contests
I’ve had friends and family ask me how in the world do I find so many giveaways and contests each day. There are several methods I have identified on finding giveaways to enter:
1) Search giveaway listing sites.
There are several sites out there that are specifically set up to list giveaways. One such site is Online-Sweepstakes.com (sadly, no longer in existence; I haven’t found a good replacement). They list thousands of giveaways you can search for free. If you’re serious about entering, I highly recommend signing up for their premium subscription ($30 a year). All users can use the MySweeps tab which tracks which giveaways you enter and helps you track which ones to enter daily, weekly, etc.
Other sites I use are About.com – Contests, Sweetie Sweeps and Sweepstakes Daily. Every day they post several giveaways, usually from big-name companies or for bigger prizes. The odds on these won’t be as good because lots of people are entering, but it still could be worth your while to enter. There’s always Publisher’s Clearing House, but I’ve had issues with them sending too much email, and I’m sure these have very low odds. I’ve found Etsy Giveaways a good place to watch for jewelry and other handmade goods.
2) Search big company sites.
Some of your favorite companies are probably offering giveaways right now! Think about brands like Kraft, Pillsbury, SC Johnson, Kelloggs, DIY Network, HGTV, Redbox, automobile manufacturers, Purex, Taste of Home, Subway, TJ Maxx, Kimberly Clark, Nabisco, Mother Earth News … the list could be endless. Go through your household, garage, cupboards, or just think of brands that you use!
Magazine sites are another great prospect: Woman’s World, Woman’s Day, and Rachael Ray. Meredith Corporation is the parent company for Better Homes & Gardens, AllPeopleQuilt, Scrapbooks, Etc., Recipe.com, FitnessMagazine, Parents, My Traditional Home, and Family Circle). Each has its own set of giveaways – most have daily entries. Just make sure you watch for links that allow you to enter without signing up for a subscription!!
Again, since these are big-name companies and the giveaways are usually well-advertised, the odds will be slim that you will win. However, the big prizes are often worth attempting.
3) Follow your favorite sites
I talked a little bit on my other blog about my RSS addiction and how I keep track of some of the blogs I like to subscribe to. I now have a folder in my Firefox Live Bookmarks just for sites that I want to monitor for giveaways. My theory is that even if I don’t get around to reading articles from some of the other sites, by the end of the day, the giveaway folder should be read and emptied.
Sometimes you don’t have to work very hard to find giveaways. Just reading your favorite blogs and websites might find you some great giveaways. Some I see quite often:
Crafts: CraftGossip, CREATE:blog – Northridge Publishing, Jimmy Beans Wool, Lawn Fawn, American Crafts, Phat Fiber, Pretty Prudent (weekly), Sew,Mama,Sew! blog, Ucreate, Craftaholics Anonymous, Creating Keepsakes, May Arts, Moxie Fab World, Paper Crafts Connection, YarnOnTheHouse (bi-weekly)
I have a list of sites I follow for daily deals and sales. They occasionally have giveaways too.
Tips sites that also have giveaways:
And sites that seem to host quite a few giveaways of various “mommy” related prizes:
4) Social Media and Memberships
Following companies on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. all can lead you to new giveaways as soon as they are offered, as well as presenting you with additional entries into giveaways.
Not only can you find giveaways from your favorite sites, but you can search for giveaways on Twitter (search #giveaway), Pinterest (search #giveaway), or look through a list of them on Facebook. I’m sure there are ways to search on other social media sites, but I’m not as familiar with them.
Sometimes if you’re a member of a group, there are special giveaways.
Ravelry is probably the most common one I showcase. It’s free to join. They have free patterns, organizational tools for your fiber-related crafts and forums where any member can post. Two of the forums I follow are Contestants – Enter Here! and Giveaways Everywhere!. The giveaways found in these forums will either lead you to another forum/group where you may need to join the group to enter, or there may be a link to a blog where the giveaway is hosted.
I believe you need to be a member of Cooking Club of America to enter their giveaways, but they have two or more giveaways going on at all times.
I’m listing this separately from social media because there are times that signing up for emails will present you with on-going entries, without any additional work from you in the future (just to read the emails). Some examples:
- Maggie’s Crochet – Prize changes daily. To qualify, you must be subscribed to our newsletter. We select one member from our list daily. Prizes are sent to the winner’s email address within two business days!
- (in)courage – Sign up for free email updates and be entered to win our monthly giveaway of over $100 in beautiful product.
- Hawthorne Threads – actually you do need to enter each week, but they only send one weekly email and it reminds you and posts last week’s winner.
- Money Saving Mom – All email subscribers to the newsletter are automatically entered into the $100 Monthly drawing. You can also enter each month (without subscribing) using the link posted above.
- Penny Pinchin’ Mom – All email subscribers to the newsletter are automatically entered into the $100 Monthly drawing.
Mailing list groups. I am a member of several Yahoo crafting groups that occasionally host giveaways, but you have to be a member of the group. Often, these giveaways are hosted by the members and you can participate by hosting one of your own (shipping a box of yarn to the winner, for example). Atmyhouse has frequent giveaways. I believe Crochet_in_Common has infrequent giveaways. Threadaddicts and threadanimals will occasionally have contests where you have to make something and they are judged by the other members.
6) Recurring Giveaways
Sometimes you don’t need to search for giveaways because the sites have giveaways all the time.
- I mentioned Woman’s Day and Woman’s World Magazine above, but another one is AllYou. The link is for the monthly giveaway (enter daily), but they usually have other giveaways too.
- Meredith Corporation has a daily $100 giveaway on several of their sites (you can only enter once across all sites). One such link is Better Homes and Gardens.
- FaveCrafts sites have giveaways that you can enter daily: AllFreeKnitting, AllFreeCrochet, AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns, FaveQuilts, AllFreeSewing, AllFreeChristmasCrafts, FaveHealthyRecipes, RecipeLion,
- Bays English Muffins – trivia contest (one question)
- Eastland Shoes
- Think Crafts – one day giveaway; enter on Friday only
“You could win fabulous prizes”
Once you start searching for giveaways and contests, you can easily become overwhelmed by the large volume that are available. Just remember these tips:
- It’s best to enter for things that you truly want to win, not just so you get “something”. Winning giveaways you don’t care about just leads to junk, a full house, and in my opinion, stress.
- Think of the odds – small-name blogs will have lower odds, so you are more likely to win.
- I would recommend setting up a separate email account for giveaways. You will need to make sure you watch it closely, as many times the winner will be emailed and have to respond in a timely fashion. But if that email list starts getting clogged, you can always start using another email address and eventually cancel the original.
- Enter as often as possible, but don’t get stressed if you can’t enter as often as you’d like to. Remember, this is supposed to be a hobby – and fun!
* These are referral links where I get credit if you sign up under me. I have not been compensated in any other way by the company.