Compers take their pastime very seriously, and with some time and effort the rewards can be phenomenal! There are even some who enter competitions for a living and report prize winnings to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
Sherry Sjolander, a committed Australian comper, has penned a top-selling comprehensive how-to guide on entering competitions titled How to Win Competitions, and her advice to those beginning this hobby makes for great reading. One basic premise remains, however, and that is: if you want to win it, you have to be in it!
Where to Find Competitions
Once you start looking, you will see that there are contest opportunities everywhere. Here are just a few places to seek out competitions with prizes on offer:
- The grocery store – you may be required to purchase a product or even just drop an entry form into a barrel; keep a close eye out for promotional stickers and signs
- Magazines – those you already purchase or subscribe to will often be offering a number of competitions per issue
- Television or radio promotions
- Newspapers – both local commercial papers and community newspapers will regularly offer prizes
- Email – before automatically deleting junk or promotional email, first browse to see if there is a competition included
- Websites – a Google search for “competitions” will lead you to a number of websites – some of which are forums for compers where current competitions are shared and other links will take you the many online competitions available at any time.
Competition entering is a hobby that mixes luck, effort, creativity and persistence. While the rules for comping are determined by the terms and conditions of each particular competition, there are some general guidelines and tips that diehard compers swear by.
Some Basic Comping Tips and Hints
- You have to be in it to win it!
- Spread your effort around – a single entry in many competitions is better than many entries in one competition.
- Enter competitions that will probably be less popular – many people avoid the “25 Words or Less” competitions and so these are the ones you should have a go at.
- Read all the competition terms and conditions carefully and stick to the rules to make sure your entry counts
- When writing “Words or Less” entries, consider a rhyme, a witty one-liner, a mention of the product or maybe an acrostic poem!
- Set a budget for stamps and phone entries and try to stick to it.
- Keep all barcodes and receipts safely if purchase is a condition of entry.
- If you need to provide answers to a question – double check that they are correct.
- Make sure your writing is legible and that spelling is correct.
- Competitions that offer a lot of smaller prizes rather than only one major prize only will offer more chances of winning.
- Lots of people forget to enter second-chance draws – make sure you submit your entries for these!
- The more obscure the competition and the less it is promoted – the better for you!
- Submit “Words or Less” entries towards the end of the competition period so yours is fresh in the judges’ minds.
- Keep an eye open for entry forms as you do your grocery shopping and purchase products if you can make use of them in your weekly menu or if they are a regular staple item.
Somebody has to win, so why shouldn’t it be you? For the cost outlay of some stamps, phone calls, SMS messages and your time you could be the recipient of some great prizes! Happy comping and good luck!