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Sandra Grauschopf

Getting Started with Sweepstakes Part 1: Entering Online Sweepstakes

By July 25, 2010

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Are you new to the sweepstakes hobby, and looking for some tips on how to get started? This week, I'm running a special four-part series as part of the About.com Hobbies Channel's "Start a New Hobby" initiative. If you want to get started with the fun and lucrative sweepstakes hobby, this series will make it easy! And if you're already a sweepstakes fan, these tips might help you win even more.

What Materials Do You Need to Start Entering Online Sweepstakes?

One of the great things about entering sweepstakes online is that it's so easy and inexpensive to start, and the payoff can be so large! (You only need three things to get started entering sweepstakes online:
  • A computer
  • An internet connection (the faster, the better)
  • Sweepstakes to enter
Optionally, you may want to download a form-filler program like Roboform to speed up your sweepstakes entries. Roboform has a free option that you can try to see if you like the program.

Your First Steps to Enter Sweepstakes Online:

Step 1: Before you dive into entering online sweepstakes, take a moment to consider the information you use on sweepstakes forms. This can help you recognize sweepstakes win more easily, protect your privacy, and avoid scams. Click here for more information.

Step 2: Next, you'll need to find sweepstakes to enter. You can find lots of online sweepstakes on About.com Contests. You might enjoy starting with these sweepstakes lists:

You can also visit the Sweepstakes to Enter page to see all of my lists, or my article, Top Ways to Find New Sweepstakes for more ideas.

Step 3: Learn to handle difficult sweepstakes. Sometimes, you'll come across sweepstakes that are difficult to enter. The problem may be with your computer setup, or the sponsor may be having technical trouble. Read about what to do when sweepstakes don't work. Sweepstakes that use Flash often act up as well; here are some tips about how to make Flash sweepstakes work. And if you're still having trouble, report your problem to the sponsor and in the Sweepstakes Problems and Solutions section of the Sweepstakes Forum, where other sweepers may be able to offer suggestions.

Step 4: Enter regularly, and don't lose patience. The secret to winning sweepstakes is patience, perseverance, and a positive attitude. Especially when you've never won a prize, it can seem like a waste of time if you don't win as quickly as you'd hoped. Sometimes, people win within days of starting to enter, and sometimes it takes months. But if you keep at it, you will win. You can read other sweepers' reports on how long it took to win their first sweepstakes prizes to get a better idea of how much it varies. If you're starting to feel discouraged, you can also read how to beat sweepstakes burnout.

Step Five: Make sure you don't overlook any prize wins. It doesn't do you any good to win if you aren't able to claim your prizes! See the following articles for more information:

This should give you everything you need to get started with online sweepstakes. If you have any questions, click the "comments" link below. And be sure to tune in tomorrow for Getting Started with Sweepstakes Part 2: Sweep More Effectively and Win More.


July 25, 2010 at 8:38 am
(1) Steve says:

Good article. I often get people ask me about how and why I do sweepstakes. Now I can just show them this.
Does anyone know how to get RoboForm to work on a flash web page? I usually do not even bother with those sweepstakes unless they are a one-entry sweepstakes.

July 25, 2010 at 8:41 am
(2) Sandra Grauschopf, Guide to Contests says:

Thanks, Steve!

Roboform won’t work with Flash sweepstakes, but Texter will. I have some tips about how to set up Texter to work with sweepstakes that might help as well. It’s also nice for remembering UPCs and codes. Good luck!

August 18, 2011 at 9:57 pm
(3) Calvin The says:

Hi Sandra, that is a great article about sweepstakes online. I enjoyed so much and recommend About.com contests for the popular sweepstakes on my website. I’m very pleased to do that :)

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