How to Earn Extra Cash By Entering Online Competitions

by wrylilt

You've seen it on TV. You've heard about it. But you probably don't know where to start. Here's a guide to earning by entering competitions.

Why Should You Enter Online Competitions?

Each day, hundreds of competitions start and end - both on the internet and in the real world. You might assume that you can't easily win these, but think again. Here are some great reasons to start entering, starting today:

  • Many competitions are created in an effort to gain more notice for a company. Sometimes this doesn't work, and a surprising number of competitions get only a handful of entries.
  • The more difficult a competition is, the less likely the average person is to enter it. If you're willing to like a Facebook page, write 25 words or less or do something else above the average, you'll increase your chances.
  • Someone has to win. And the more competitions you enter, the higher your chances. You have to be in it to win it!

Before You Start Entering Competitions

Before you start chasing the winning entry, it's a good idea to do the following:

  • Set up a new email just for competitions. Many require a subscription, so to limit the spam sent to your main email address, create a new one. 
  • Start a diary for competitions you have entered, as well as competitions that you can re-enter every day, week or month.
  • Decide on a goal. Will you enter 5 competitions a day? 10 a week? 
  • Decide how you're going to find competitions:
  1. Will you be using a free competition directory or pay money for one?
  2. Are you going to be using one competition directory or many? 
  3. Just online competitions or real life ones too? 
  4. Free competitions or ones that cost money?

Types of Competition Entries

On the internet alone, there are many types of competitions. Although they all share basic traits, they differ in difficulty and entry requirements.

  • Simple Entry - Just submit your details.
  • 25 WOL - You need to answer a question in 25 Words or Less.
  • Facebook - There are many competitions that simply require you to like a Facebook page before submitting your details in the competition.
  • Subscription - In an effort to get more email subscribers, many companies give random prizes to subscribers. 

Bad Competitions and Things to Check

Although there are dozens of free and legitimate competitions on the internet, it's important to make sure you're entering competitions that are worth your time. Here are some things to look for:

  • Does the item need to be picked up or will they deliver?
  • If you can't use the prize (such as a holiday) can it be transferred to another person?
  • Is it a huge referral site with thousands of members and very small chance of winning or a legitimate one off competition?
  • Do you need to buy anything before you're allowed to enter or receive your prize? 

What You Can Win

Most online competitions seem to revolve around particular items. Here are the main ones:

  • Cash (Generally in lots of $500 or $1,000, anywhere up to $10,000)
  • Gift cards & gift vouchers
  • iPads, iPods and iPhones
  • Household appliances - Coffee makers are popular
  • Cars, scoooters and boats.

How to Find Online Competitions

There are several good ways to find free online competitions:

  • Find a free article competition for your country. My personal favorite (that covers UK, US and AU) is online competitions. I also love the rafflecopter list at the steady hand.
  • Keep an eye out on Facebook adverts (displayed on the right hand side as you browse Facebook.) You'll often see adverts about current or upcoming competitions.
  • Visit some of the bigger online sites who often have a dozen or more competitions going at once. Some of the ones I frequent include TV channel sites, nappy and mummy sites and other large companies like Panasonic.
Make Money Through Competitions
Make Money Through Competitions

My Winnings Log

I began entering competitions regularly in October 2011. I try and enter at least 10 a week. Here I'll keep an up to date log of winnings. 

  • November 2011 - $1,000 cash.
  • January 2012 - Signed edition of Lauren Kate's "Fallen"
  • January 2012 - Place on a TV show with cash to spend on a date. I turned it down.
  • February 2012 - "Detox tea" pack.
  • March 2012 - Cheesecake Shop voucher.
  • March 2012 - New release eBook.
  • April 2012 - Copy of "Baby's First 6 Months" book.
  • April 2012 - Fish foam - no idea what it is, still waiting to receive it!
Updated: 05/04/2012, wrylilt
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


sheilamarie on 06/18/2013

I've always been wary of these things, though I do enter writing contests. They usually have an entry fee, but the fee often covers a subscription to their journal.

Jeannieinabottle on 02/20/2012

This is great advice. Looks like you are doing well with contests. I haven't won anything in a while, but you've inspired me to try harder.

PeggyHazelwood on 01/21/2012

I should enter more contests. I won a Xyron craft stamp making machine from a blog entry. Love it!

petunia on 01/21/2012

I did this for a year or so and did well - winning a fun trip to the Bristol 500. You have inspired me to try again. As much as I am on the computer, I should do at least one a day.

Angel on 01/20/2012

Wow.. I never knew these existed. I think I will try this. Thanks for the great information.

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