So you’ve decided that you’re going to do some comping and you want to know what to do next? You’re not alone. People ask quite frequently how to start comping, so here’s a beginner’s guide to what is a great hobby.

1. Get Yourself A Dedicated Email Address

The downside of comping is that the amount of emails that you receive is going to sky rocket. You should therefore not use any email address that you value. Set yourself up a new gmail address for free and get ready to receive those WEMs (Winning EMails)!

2. Get Yourself A Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Facebook Account

Chances are you’ve got a Facebook account already, but you may not have the others listed. Promoters launch competitions on all the major social networks. Get yourself an account from the following:
Twitter : Instagram [You need to use your phone or tablet to upload pictures] : Pinterest

It would be good practice to use the same nickname / username for all.
Done that? Right, you’re all set.

3. Enter competitions!

Ok, but where do you find the competitions?

My site of choice is The Prize Finder.

Register an account and then you’ll be able to track the competitions you’ve entered. The site lists competitions by closing date, new competitions, competitions by type of prize etc. The downside is that it does include competitions from sites that will overload you with spam. A bit of practise and you’ll learn which sites to avoid.

Another site that lists competitions being run by blogs is Super Lucky Di’s Blog Comp Linky. In fact, that site is a must-read for anyone wanting to enter comps online. There’s so much gold on there that you’d find it impossible not to win something if you pay attention to Di’s advice.

Loquax lists competitions but it’s more like a forum. So is the Money Saving Expert site. Both, however, have loads of competitions listed although they’re probably more or less the same ones listed on The Prize Finder.

Twitaculous used to be THE site for twitter competitions, but since they switched to a pay / subscription model, I’ve lost interest. You should NEVER pay to enter a competition. There’s plenty of free alternatives. See Competwition and Ninjawin.

4. Join the Comping Community

Facebook has two groups of note – Lucky Learners which is a combination of comp chat and great advice. The second is Competition Winners where members tag winners of competitions that they spot. Its brilliant for helping find competitions you’ve won but might have missed.

5. Get Creative

Creative comps [slogans / photo comps / painting with kids etc] have lower entries and are more fun to do. You’ll have a better chance of winning and enjoy yourself along the way!

6. Win Stuff But Be Prepared to Lose

Random entry draws are crazy difficult to win. You should therefore be prepared to lose almost all of the competitions that you enter. As long as you begin this hobby with realistic expectations then every win will seem like a bonus.

GOOD LUCK and hopefully I’ll spot your name on the Competition Winners page!