..AKA how I learned to win free stuff on the internet.
Let me preface this by saying that if you read “giveaway” and you immediately say “waste or time” or “scam”, that I understand. We all signed up for free iPods and laptops and few of us ever got them. But I’m not talking about pyramid scams (which can work, but usually aren’t worth it). I’m talking about honest to goodness blog giveaways hosted by bloggers not unlike myself and sometimes sponsored by awesome companies.
So what kind of stuff can one find at a giveaway? All kinds but there seems to be focus on kiddie and baby items, housewares, health and beauty tools and.. food. Food? Yes, food. Cookies and cakes and eco-friendly treats among the ranks.
Where can these giveaways be found? On blogs like this. But there’s not exactly a list of blogs that host giveaways, is there? Well, kinda, yea. There are a few sites that lists current giveaways and are a great way to get started.
- Sweepstakes & Contest List Directory
- The Contest Hub
- big List of Giveaways
- A Contest Blog
- Mom Giveaways
- Free Blog Giveaways
Of course, the giveaways listed on sites like those are simply a small fraction of the giveaways which exist. Some blog owners do not choose to (or know to) list their giveaways. However, like attracts like and there is an active review blog community (especially around Blogger) where giveaways are common. Find a site which hosts giveaways and you’ve likely found a site which links to other giveaways specifically or, at the very least, links other bloggers who also host giveaways. Some bloggers even have special link sections for bloggers to add their giveaways (similar to old “Add Your Link” pages).
Off the top of my head, I know An Island Review does a weekly contest round up of others’ giveaways (in addition to their own) as does The Fashionable Gal. Shelly Uncensored not only has an entire section of her sidebar dedicated to giveaways (where you can add your link) but has an entire section of the site dedicated to them. There’s also this list on Mom Made That. Basically, you can follow the links from pretty much any giveaway/blog and never run out of giveaways to enter.
If that’s not enough for you, or if you’ve your eye on something specific, I’d advise you to notice the trends. Generally, some items are up for multiple giveaways. Last week it was cakes and EdenFantasys gift cards so I employed some “Google-fu” as Dez calls it, and googled “EdenFantasys giveaways” for a whole slew of them.
Twitter is also your friend and I suspect the business of giveaways has boomed, at least partially, because of Twitter. Most giveaways you can enter simply by commenting but the hosts allow extra entries by completing certain tasks like subscribing to feeds or following and Tweeting @ the host. Thus, Twitter is full of giveaway messages and you can easily search for giveaways in general (or keep your eyes peeled for those which your friends are joining). You can also try a more specific search like “Eden Fantasys Giveaway”. Of course, overly specific giveaway searches may yield no results as the giveaways may not even exist.
Now that “what” and “who”/”where” and “how” have been covered – wait, you wanna know about the “Why?” This is actually a pretty straight forward answer. Giveaways hosts garner traffic and comments on their sites. Giveaway sponsors spread word about their products or service and company. Giveaways serve the purpose of PR.
Now where was I? Oh, yes. “Does it work?” Yes. I have already won 2 giveaways and I have only been paying attention to this scene for 2 weeks or so. I am thinking of setting aside time every week just for entering giveaways because, hey, who doesn’t like free stuff?