6 Ways to Win Free Stuff from Blog Giveaways
Some of you may recall that I used be a hardcore sweeper. My past winnings included everything from trips to cash to a private movie screening. In the years since I wrote that article, the landscape of prize promotions has changed drastically. More specifically, blogs have gotten in on the action, and many brands are choosing to work with them over their traditional online promotional methods. If you want a piece of the prize pie, check out these tips for scoring sweet giveaway offerings via blogs.
Why blog giveaways? Prizes can be small in value (less than $5) or large (like a new iPad or a backyard play set). The number of entries, however, are reasonable. My own blog (with a monthly reader count of less than 10,000) has given away a variety of prizes over the years. For some, like a $25 Walmart gift card, the entries were in the hundreds. For others, there were less than 10 entries! With odds like that, it pays to enter. (You just don’t see odds like that on national promotions, where the entries are often in the tens of thousands!) (See also: 6 Signs That a Winning Notification Email Is a Fake)
Now that you’re certain you want in, here is how to find those blog promotions:
Search and Win
Back in the early days of blog giveaways (2007 or so), you had to crawl the web to find giveaways. Sites like IceRocket were useful for plugging in search terms like “giveaway” and “contest” to see who was giving away what. If you were lucky, you could find three to five new blog giveaways a day that no one had heard of. Now, of course, there are thousands of blog giveaways going on at any one time, so this method is a bit vague. If you insist on searching specifically for blog giveaways, be sure to plug in prize descriptors to narrow down the results. (Try searching “blog giveaway Tony Hawk Shred,” for example, if you want to find that particular prize being offered.) There are no guarantees that your results will net only active giveaways, but it is a start. IceRocket is still a very good tool for this method.
As the number of blog giveaways increases, so does the giveaways' influence on sites like Online-Sweepstakes.com. When I joined there over eight years ago, there was no such thing as a “blog giveaway” listing. Now they make up over half of the active giveaway listings. Some longtime sweepers complain about this (they find the system of commenting for prizes more annoying than just filling out a form with automatic form-filling software). Others welcome the chance to get entered in prize drawings with a smaller number of entrants than a national prize promotion. The odds are just better. Sites like OS and SweepsAdvantage have updated their systems to accommodate the requirements for blog entries, so if you like what they have to offer, they are a great way to stay organized with your entries.
Blog Giveaway Directories
If you’ve had enough of the traditional sweepstakes altogether and want to focus solely on blog giveaways, there are a number of great directories to help you out. Among my faves are Prizey.net and Blog Giveaway Directory, both of which selectively choose which giveaways to list. Tip Junkie also allows users to add their own to the directory.
One of the best ways to find a great number of giveaways at one time (in one place) is to stay on top of blog-link roundups. Link roundups are posts within popular blogs that allow other bloggers to link up their own giveaways in hopes of helping them get promoted. Sites that do this well include Deal Seeking Mom’s Giveaway Gathering and A Nut in a Nutshell’s Giveaway Parade. Both offer over 200 active blog listings each week!
Your Favorite Blog’s RSS Feed or Email Newsletter
There is always a reward for being a loyal blog follower, and that’s evident by the number of blogs that give away prizes specifically for their email or RSS feed subscribers. To ensure that you’re eligible for these “subscriber-only” promotions, be sure your subscriptions are updated and that you check your feed and emails regularly. While you can’t closely follow every blog that gives away prizes, by staying true to a handful, you can increase your odds of jumping on promotions while they are hot and the odds are in your favor.
Yep, even Twitter is getting in on the action. Just do a search for #giveaway at any time of day, and see hundreds of Tweets promoting prizes from bloggers and brands. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll see a lot of clutter via this method, but it can be an effective way to find and enter blog giveaways that are closing soon or that are looking for last-minute entries for a poorly attended promotion.
As with any method of winning, it takes persistence and patience to see the prizes come in. I can tell you for a fact, however, that consistent entering will pay off. There are frequent visitors to my blog who enter every promotion, and they have won more than a few times. If you’re willing to put in the work of visiting blogs, commenting, and waiting, you could be a winner, too!
Have you won a prize from a blog lately? Tell us about it!