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A Place for Winners

Copyright 2014 Drew Conroy

Published by Drew Conroy at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of Drew Conroy.




Welcome! Do you like entering Sweepstakes, Contests, Giveaways or other types of Promotions?

Maybe you are interested in picking it up as a new hobby?  Are you trying to promote your Facebook or Twitter Contest? If you can answer “Yes” to any of the above your eye's are looking in the right place. 


“A Place for Winners” evolved from blog posts via Sweepstakes13.com. Our initial intent was to create good quality content for our directory.  At the same time we wanted to share and present the different aspects that surround the Sweepstakes and Contest world.  Sweepstakes and Contests are extremely broad as they can involve anything and everything.  They also branch off into closely other related area's like Giveaways, Drawings, Competitions, Free Stuff, Freebies, Freebie Jeebies and so on.


This book is an informational education tool to help you become a better “Sweeper” and to increase your chances of winning more Cash and Prizes. Some of this book is repetitive but for a purpose.  The goal was to combine and make a collage of our blog posts to drive certain points home.  By the end of this book you should have a good understanding of the Sweepstakes and Contests World.  Along with a few important tips you can keep in your back pocket for the future.



Table of Contents


Top Tips for Sweepstakes and Contests

Sweepstakes & Speed = WINNING!

The Benefits of Starting Your Own Cat Contest

Shoot to Win – Video Contests

Win a New Ride With a Car Sweepstakes

Instant Win Contests are for Those Who Lack Patience

Pursing Online Competitions

Enter a Sweep and Enjoy the Fun

Cydia Apps - Make that Jailbreak

Contests to Win - There are Several to Choose From

Need a Scrapbook Idea for a Contest?

A Singing Contest - The Do's and Dont's

The Challenges of a Talent Show

Dance Competition - The Beginning

You Could Be the Next Contest Winner

National Geographic Photo Contest

Newborn Baby Photos

The Competition of Comping

It's “Sweeps” in the Sweepstakes World

8 Ball Tips for Competition

Lucky Charms... Do They Really Work?

Christmas Contest for Your Business

Music Competition is All About Preparation

Are You Witty? Enter a Caption Contest

Enter a Pumpkin Carving Contest

Give a ways are an Advertising Vehicle

Win a Halloween Costume Contest

What is Freebie Jeebies?

There is Free Baby Stuff All Around

Is There Really Such a Thing as "Free Stuff"

HGTV Home Giveaway and the Facts

There are Plenty of Free Freebies

Search for a Wide Variety of Sweep stakes

Free Giveaways, Corporate Presents

Enter a Contest Online

Radio Contest - Listen to WIN!

Giveaway Contest, Win Great Prizes

Contest Rules are a Must Have

Win Prizes by doing just about anything

Food Competition - Let's Get Cooking!

Guidelines for a Video Competition

Art Competition - The Art of an Art Competition

13 Top Tips for a Video Contest

Dream Home Giveaway - It Can Really Happen

Dog Competition – Make Some Extra Money

13 Top Tips for a Video Contest

Sweepstakes Scams - The Red Flags

Tips on Entering a Writers Contest

A Photo Contest Can Improve Your Skills

Promotional Giveaways are Always Happening

Recipe Contest - Cook Your Heart Out!

Sweepstakes Advantage

Contest Ideas are Endless

Enter to Win and Win Big!

Most Effective Best Sweepstakes to Enter

The Truth About Auto Sweepstakes

Holiday Contest - Promote Your Business

Contests for Kids

Enter an Online Contest

Wedding Contest - Pay for Your Wedding

Money Contest


Unique, Unusual and Offbeat Contests

Facebook Contest

Freebies in Your Snail Mail

Tips for Running Your Own Twitter Contest

Apps for Kids Free for Your iPhone

Instant Win Sweepstakes are a Blast

Free iPad & Apps

Sweepstakes, Contests, Giveaways,What's The Difference?

BEWARE SWEEPER When Entering Online Sweepstakes

Entering Writing Contests

There are Sweepstakes Out There for Everyone

iPhone and Smartphone Apps – Win some Cash

Thank you!



Top Tips for Sweepstakes and Contests


Okay, so you want to start entering Sweepstakes. Your excited and dream about all the cash and prizes you can win. You spend the next 4 weeks entering everyday and nothing happens? Do not give up though. Many people do give up and that is where you hear "Nobody wins, they are not for real" and so on. To win and win often you need to be patient. Again, we can not stress that enough. Winning your first prize could take months. The only way around that is to keep entering until you win. All those entries will eventually start to pay off sooner or later. Are you guaranteed to eventually win a new house or car if you keep entering Sweepstakes? No, of course not. The excitement and rush you do get from winning even a smaller prize is amazing. If you get bit by the "Sweeps Bug" after your first win, then your hooked for life!


A good foundation always makes a much better outcome. Being organized when it comes to entering Sweepstakes is a MUST.


We suggest putting together a spread sheet. Keep track of all your Sweepstakes you have entered and continue to enter. Using the spreadsheet along with setting up a Sweepstakes 13 Free Membership will make things much easier for you. Having the spreadsheet will serve many purposes like knowing what you have won in the past, tax reasons, are you winning more one-time entries verses daily, and so on. You will want the name of the Sweeps, sponsor, contact information, entry page, frequency you can enter, start and end date and dates, plus the dates you have entered already. It is up to you as to the information you want to track but keeping some type of tracking system will help you out in the long run.


Keep the solicitations in check - It is much advised to set up an email to use just for sweepstakes entries. That way you are not plugging up your personal email if that address ends up getting spammed. You know to look to that address only for winning notifications as well. There are a ton of opportunities to get a free email address and we go into that further down in this article.


RoboForm is a MUST for Sweepers. But also for entering any forms. RoboForm saves your entry information so you do not have to keep typing it over and over. If you enter Sweepstakes and Contests everyday RoboForm will be a much welcomed blessing. You can try RoboForm for Free.


Layout a schedule for entering Sweepstakes, Contests, Giveaways etc. and stick to it.


Entering consistently means more entries - More entries increases your odds for winning. Set a goal or a minimum amount to enter each day. If you are busy like most of us are, then be selective and only enter the ones you really want to win. A day with only a couple of Sweepstakes entries is a day with no entries. Just make sure you set aside time everyday to make entries. If you happen to miss a day or a couple of days do not sweat it. Just jump back into it as soon as you can and keep plugging away.


Speed and Rhythm - The less time you waste with entering forms, the better. That is one big reason why using RoboForm is so crucial. Like the saying "Time is Money". The more Sweepstakes you can enter in the time you have blocked off for yourself, the more you could win. You want to hurry but do not go to fast. Remember, you should read through the rules, especially if you are just starting out. After you have done it for a while you will be able to fly through the rules and know exactly what to look for.


What type of entry Sweepstakes are the best odds for entering? - Daily, Weekly, Monthly? If your schedule does not allow you to enter frequently then enter Sweepstakes that only allow one entry per person would be your best bet. If you can actually enter Sweepstakes daily that allow it, you are better off then most people. Most people do not enter Sweepstakes on a daily basis that allow it.


A sweepstakes strategy helps you cut down on wasted time, while avoiding duplicate entries. Here are some tips on setting up a strategy that works for you:


Before you enter a sweepstakes for the first time, be sure to read through the rules first. There is nothing worse than wasting time entering a sweepstake that you can't win because you're not eligible. It would not be a nice feeling knowing that you have been selected as the winner but can not collect the prize because you did not read the rules correctly. Read the rules always, especially if you are new or if it is a Sweepstake you are not familiar with.


Several Sweepstakes will give you the option of receiving more entries if you refer the Sweepstakes to your friends, family, and social media. Using referrals is a great way to increase your odds of winning.


There are always more sweepstakes to enter then there is time to enter all of them. That's why it's a good idea to narrow them down and focus only on the main Sweepstakes you want to enter. When you select a Sweepstakes to enter, you will always look at the prize first. Then take a step back and think, "Do I really want to win it?" Next, you will want to take a look at the odds of winning. Look to see if there is something about the Sweepstake that gives you an advantage. The sweepstakes with the prizes you want to win the most and the ones where the best odds of winning are what you will want to enter first.


Try and not to get hung up on certain Sweepstakes you want to win. Some people get their hearts set on winning one particular Sweepstake. When that does not happen, you feel disappointed and discouraged. Keep in mind there are always plenty of Sweepstakes to enter.


Simply, fill out the entry form and send them in. Forget about what you just entered and then move on to the next one. If you win, you'll be pleasantly surprised and if you don't, you won't feel badly about your entry. Always be looking ahead when you enter sweepstakes. Looking back too much is wasted time. Use that time to move forward.


The key to moving forward is moving forward with a positive attitude. You need to keep entering even though you know the odds are stacked against you. Holding on to an optimistic outlook will keep you going through the ups and downs. Every Sweeper no matter how experienced they are goes through that.


When it comes to luck you will hear many theories like "You were born with it" or "There is no such thing, it is all by chance". Does it seem like some people are luckier than others, yes it does. However, to change your luck or fate as it may be there are some things you can do to alter the outcome.


A common mistake for sweepers is not providing accurate contact information. If the sponsors can't get in touch with you to tell you about your win, what is the point of entering to begin with? Email: Get an email address just for entering Sweepstakes. Gmail and Yahoo offer them for free as most of us know already. That way, if you move you can always keep it. There is nothing worse than using a an email to enter Sweepstakes then having to change it after entering several Sweepstakes. Then you win, but you can not be contacted.


The same goes for a phone number. You can get Google Voice for FREE. You really only need a phone number for inbound calls and for voice mail messages. Messages telling you that you have won of course! Google Voice has other features but focusing on the inbound, you can take calls with your own personal Free number that you have selected along with setting up voice mail to collect messages. The great thing about it is the messages can be emailed to you so you do not have to keep checking the actual voice mail. So your Sweepstakes email and phone all are connected into one. However, you can still have it forwarded to ring into your cell or home phone if you want. It is inbound, so they will never know those numbers it is being forward too. Finally, NEVER EVER use your personal email or cell/home phone numbers when filling out forms. Most of them will say in the rules they will never sell or give your information to a third-party. Unfortunately, that is not always true.


The key is to check your email, phone and snail-mail daily. Really check through because with snail-mail or even email, some winning notifications can look like junk-mail and it is not.  Educate yourself and be a smart Sweeper. There are many scams out there that feed off of people like you everyday who have a big thirst for winning. Often scams have some factors in common that will help you distinguish them from real wins.


Here are some things to look for:


Sweepstakes Scams Require You Pay to Receive the Prize - Legitimate Sweepstakes are always free. Period


Sweepstakes Scams Use Free E-mail Accounts - Some smaller Sweepstakes might use free email accounts.  However, when you receive a win notice from a larger Sweepstakes like HGTV and they are using a free email address. It is not legit. Delete it.


Sweepstakes Scams Tell You You've Won - But You Don't Recognize the Contest?- This is where keeping a good tracking system comes in. A quick glance at your spread sheet will tell if you have entered that Sweepstakes. If you have not entered it before then you know it is another scam.


Sweepstakes Scams Send You a Large Check with your Notification - If you have won a cash sweepstakes all legitimate sweepstakes require signed and many times notarized affidavits before sending out any prize valued of $600 or more. The affidavit is to confirm that the information you submitted on your entry form is correct. The sponsors may also ask and have you confirm that they can publish your name as the sweepstakes winner for publicity purposes.


Sweepstakes Scams Instruct You to Wire Money - Again, with a legit Sweepstakes you will never have to pay to enter or accept a win.


Sweepstakes Scams Pressure You to Act in a Hurry - Chances are if they want you to act in a hurry is because they want money. Occasionally they might have a question and that is fine to answer. Questions are not fine if they are asking for your bank account number.


Sweepstakes Scams Require Bank or Credit Card Information to Receive Your Prize - Legitimate Sweepstakes will never send money through direct deposit or will need to withdraw money from your account. The only other personal information they should ever need is your Social Security number.


The "Win" is From a Lottery - To win the lottery you need to buy a ticket. Any lottery will never contact you if you have a winning ticket. You need to contact them with the winning ticket.


Sweepstakes Scams Often Don't Use Your Name - If you receive a notice by email or snail-mail that you have won and it is not addressed using your name it is a for sure scam. Scams like that send them out by the thousands. Often from purchased email lists without names.


Sweepstakes Scams Can Pose As Government Organizations - Government organizations will not be involved in awarding sweepstakes prizes.


Sweepstakes Scam Notifications Are Usually Sent Via Bulk Mail - A legit win notification will often be sent by first class postage or services such as FedEx or UPS. They want to make sure it arrives on your door-step in a reasonable amount of time. Bulk email is always sent the cheapest way possible. The scammers want to send as many out as they can for the least amount of money.


Sweepstakes Scams Contain Many Typos - This is a very common red flag. Many Sweepstakes scams originate outside of the US. Typos can happen from time to time. However, most of the time the errors you will see when it comes to a scam are so blatantly obvious. Usually it is not just one but many.


Network with other Sweepers - A great way to get to know other Sweepers is visiting a Forum or Chat Room. You can always learn something new and the in's and out's of Sweeping from a different point of view.


Sweeping can be a very fun hobby - Have fun playing the games, learning about new products and getting to know other Sweepers like yourself.


If you have not done so already, make sure you sign up and get your Sweepstakes 13 Free Membership. You will have access to hundreds of the Latest Sweepstakes and Contests, updated daily 24/7. You can customize your own personal list to keep track of your favorites that you have entered.  Your account comes with built in alerts letting you know when they are expiring.  Those are a just a few of the features included.  All yours to use to make your Sweeping faster and easier.



Sweepstakes & Speed = WINNING!


The faster you can enter Sweepstakes the better are your chances of winning. Yes, it is true. Faster sweepstakes entry is crucial if you want to up your chances of winning.


Just to clarify when we say "faster" we do not mean being the very first person to enter a specific Sweepstake. When are referring to "faster" we are referring to the amount entered. The more sweepstakes you enter the better your chances are to win.  It's that simple. With speed, when you enter a large number of sweepstakes on a daily basis, your odds of winning rise tremendously.  Time is really the key but no one has an unlimited amount of time to spend entering sweepstakes and contests. It only makes sense to optimize your time so that you can get the most entries possible in the time you have available.


Here are some tips that will help you enter sweepstakes faster so that you can increase your chances of winning.


Roboform is the tool that you must have.  It will help you enter sweepstakes much faster. RoboForm stores and saves your entry information so that you can fill out the majority of all entry forms with one click.  It saves you from doing a ton of typing and the risks of making a typo that could prevent you from receiving win notifications.  Wouldn't that be a bummer knowing you missed out on that $5000 a week for life when your name is selected for the PCH Sweepstakes.  You can even download Roboform and try it for free.  However, the upgraded version is totally worth the $29.95 it costs to use it for a lifetime.  They also have downloads for both PC and Mac for your convenience.


Most computers now days are easy to multitask with.  Having several screens open on your task-bar at one time is common for most people.  Keep in mind that keeping those screens open can and will slow your computer down.  That will vary depending on your RAM, Bus Speed and Hard Drive etc. Sweepstakes will load faster if your computer is not slowed down by other programs. Close any unnecessary windows on your computer and task-bar, leaving only the browsers open for entering your selected Sweepstakes.  By doing that, your pages will load faster, increasing your speed for entering sweepstakes.  If you find yourself dealing with a dragging computer when you have several windows open you might seriously want to think about beefing up your computer.  The easiest way is adding more RAM.


Be prepared and have a list ready of Sweepstakes to enter.  That way when you are ready to start entering them, you can enter much faster.


We usually open about 6 to 8 Sweepstakes pages at once so that they can start loading.  Then it is best to start with the ones that load the fastest, filling out and submitting their entry forms.  By the time you get through a couple Sweepstakes entries the other pages will have finished loading.  This will shorten on the waiting time, allowing you to have as little downtime as possible during your entry time.


Many Sweepstakes, especially instant wins, will let you play a game to find out if you're the winner.  Games can include running a race, spinning a wheel, sinking baskets, or gathering icons for prizes.  How well you do has nothing to do with your odds of winning or not.  Not to worry, many of them will not force you to participate.  You can enter these type Sweepstakes much faster if you look for a link that is something like "Can't see the game?"  Clicking that will tell you right away whether you have won or not.  In turn, speeding up the entry process.


There are those Sweepstakes that will slow you down every time you try to enter them.  It could be page load time or the length of the entry page.  You might want to consider removing these Sweepstakes from your daily Sweepstakes list.  If the prizes are really good then it might be worth the effort to enter.  If not, replace them with Sweepstakes or Contests that have faster entries. It really boils down to what works for you and what's more important to you.



The Benefits of Starting Your Own Cat Contest


Cat Contest - You can make a living off other people's Cats.  Every year, over forty billion dollars is spent on pets. Most people treat their animals like there one of the family and they take really good care for them. Because these animals are so deeply loved, their owners spare no expense for them. Now wouldn’t it be great if you could get some of that pet money? If you are an animal lover and want get into veterinarian school, it is tough and would take a while so you might want to cross that option off the list.  That is if you are not up for a challenge. Selling your own pet food would also be difficult. You need a moneymaking opportunity that can be set up easily and managed just as effortlessly. What you need is a Cat Contest. Create a Cat Contest and in particular Cat Photo Contest.


How to get your Cat Contest up and running.


The theme of your Cat Contest should be one that pet lovers find attractive. For instance, the idea of having a road kill picture competition would not go over well with most animal fans, but everybody loves a cute Cat Contest. Once this decision has been made, you have to determine if you want participants to pay a fee or not to enter your Cat Contest.  A paid Cat Contest will need site maintenance and funding of prizes. Free Pet Contests usually make money through advertisements and affiliate programs. Your website will need to be professionally designed and looking great. Your website for your Pet Contest is your store front. People will look it over briefly and move on if it looks like an amateur did it. That's not to say you have to hire a so-called pro yo do it. A simple clean look always goes over well. Your website design for your Cat Contest should be solely based on your theme and get right to the point.


Every good contest has a set of requirements and rules to follow outlining who may participate and what needs to be entered. Those guidelines will set the direction of your Cat Contest and keep order with your entries. Plus, there are legality issues which should be listed in the rules. The rules you decide upon should be clearly visible on your website.  Make them easily accessible all over your site. Not having those rules will cause people to question if your Cat Contest is not legit.


People enter contests because of the prizes, so you should take some time and really give your Cat Contest some serious thought. What kind of prizes will you giveaway? The possibilities are endless. You can giveaway cash, gift certificates, vouchers, and various gifts. Whatever prizes you choose for your Cat Contest, make sure they are items of value to pet owners. When it comes to money, you can never go wrong because everybody loves it.  If you prefer not to use cash as a gift another option is to offer free advertising to pet supply merchants in exchange for prize donations. This is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get awards for your Cat Contest.


If people do not know about your Cat Contest, then they will not enter, it's that simple. You will need to work hard to spread the word about your Cat Contest. You will need a marketing plan in place to get the most effective means of promoting your Cat Contest.


Social media - Use every social media site you know of to promote your contest. Like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Make a screen cast video for your Cat Contest. Everybody knows that if you are not promoting an event on YouTube, then it really cannot be an event. You can do a search online for "Screen cast". There is a lot of sites where you can make one for free.


Submit as many articles as you can to directories. Be sure to include a link back to your contest. That is a must or you are defeating your purpose.


Issue a press release announcing your contest. There are many sites online where you can submit releases for free. Keep in mind it can take up to a week or two or more before they show up.


Tell everyone you know about the contest. Nothing beats word-of-mouth. Send an email to everyone in your address book and social media lists. Have them forward it on to everyone on their lists as well.


Once the word spreads about your Cat Contest, entries will start to show up in your mailbox.  Do not expect to have a large number of visitors right away. Be patient and allow some time for the word to spread. Before you know it your Cat Contest will start bringing in some extra cash. Will you get rich? Well, how much you make that is up to you. There are many pet lovers out there.  All you have to do is get your contest up and going.



Shoot to Win – Video Contests