Here it goes, a big confession.
I've not had a win in a while.
Yes, it happens to all of us, even those who have Prize Unboxings to record (please can some prizes arrive before mine has to be published!!). But as the old saying goes, it's not about when you fall, it's about how you start picking those parcels up again. Or something like that. The trick is not to give up. Quitters never win and winners never quit (I'm trying to beat my record for most motivational quotes). For the last two weeks in August, I was away volunteering with the RSBP, where there was no Wifi, limited signal and I was miles from the nearest town. Safe to say, I didn't get much comping done. This has resulted in the first two weeks of September having a lack of those 'congratulations' messages we all love to see.
The thing is, this is something I often say to new compers. You can't expect to start entering competitions today and have the winning messages tomorrow (unless you're incredibly jammy). There is often a lag time between entering and winning. So if you are just starting back after a break, be prepared for a small gap in your winnings, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.
My point is, we all get dry spells and start to wonder what's going on. Why that magic winning streak is over. So if you are stuck in a rut, follow these steps. I call it the 12 Steps to Comping Recovery...
1) Switch it up!
Do you spend hours a day mindlessly doing Click-to-Win comps? Maybe try switching it up and seeing if you can 'Win on Instagram'! I like to change up my comping routine every so often. When I first started entering competitions, I was mainly doing Twitter comps, which resulted in lots of little wins. Then, I decided to set my sights on bigger things and began with the effort comps, which resulted in my first Snapchat win of an iPad! The results weren't instantaneous but I'm so glad I stuck with it.
2) Get Outside
Sometimes, when I feel I've been looking at the screen too long and my brain goes that fuzzy way, I know I need to take a break. It can be soul destroying sometimes to be entering hundreds of competitions with no results. To combat this, I grab my camera, get outside and take some pictures that I think will be good for future competitions. This feels so productive and gives me a real boost. I then go back, upload them to my computer and put them in my comping file.
3) Get Organised
On the topic of filing, I like to be organised when it comes to comping. I have a cute little notebook with a motivational phrase on the front that I use to write down slogans, closing dates of big comps and prize wish lists. This gets me away from the screen and, as a list enthusiast, makes me feel productive and so boosts my comping mojo.
Another way to get organised to is sort your bookmarks on your computer and set up AutoFill. Or, if you already have Autofill, make sure your details are entered correctly! I heard a horror story about a comper who had been filling in her email address wrong on all the comps! Maybe you're not winning because the people can't get in touch with you!
4) Look Back
Before I started doing my Prize Unboxings, I would keep a list of all the competitions that I had won and how I won them in a big spreadsheet (got to love a spreadsheet). When I was having a time without any wins, I would look back at all the prizes I had won before and remind myself how lucky I am to be part of this awesome hobby!
5) Celebrate With Others
For me, one of the best things about comping is the community. On my Facebook group (join here) and groups such as Lucky Learners (an amazing place to find comps and chat to other like minded people), people share their wins and others are so happy for them. It's great to see other people celebrating their prizes, even if it's just something small. Rather than this being a source of jealously, it can be a way to remind you that comping success is real and to help you appreciate those small wins too (which we can sometimes take for granted).
One of the first places I go when looking for specific competitions is Prize Finder. A frequent search of mine is 'camera' (a prize that has been on my wishlist since my wishlist began) and then I will systematically go through all the competitions.This works really well when searching for presents for people. My dad was over the moon with the cycling biscuits and bag I won him after entering countless cycling comps.
7) Go Shopping
This is a combination of the 'Switch it Up' and 'Get Outside' tips from earlier, but something I love to do is wander round the supermarket at a leisurely rate and find competitions in the supermarket. My weekly shop changes frequently depending on the current competitions (I've discovered I love Frubes since the Angry Birds comp). I may look a bit weird (especially when I'm standing studying the back of a pack) but I love doing it, and it helps my daily step count as I walk from shop to shop finding the best deal! Who know comping would be a form of exercise?!
8) Read a Book
But not just any book - SuperLucky Secrets! A while back, I wrote a review on Di Coke's book SuperLucky Secrets. Since then the book has been read many a time, and is rather bashed from always being in my bag so I can read it on my travels (a bashed cover is the sign of a good book!). I love reading something that's not on a screen for a change (ironic as I write a blog), and I am always learning something new from it. It gives me a new perspective on some methods of comping and encourages me to continue comping!
One thing that keeps me motivated more than anything else is my wish list. I like to make colourful and creative wish lists and then pin this on my noticeboard in front of my desk. I include big things (one day I'll win that camera) and smaller things (I have a thing about winning tea) so that I can tick things off and see the success of my wishlist. Every so often, I'll make a new one to keep things fresh! For more tips on making a wish list, check out this post.
10) Take a Break
This may sounds drastic, but take a night off. If constant comping is starting to get you down, forget about it for a night. When it becomes more of a compulsion that something you actually want to do, it's time to take a break. Even if it's just a night off, it can be good for you to take a break. It was really good for me to have two weeks without comping, spending all day outdoors and just switch off for a bit. Holidays are a great time to do this and, after attempting to comp on holiday once before, I would say, switch off the computer and have fun (making sure to take photos of these fun times for when you're back into comping). Something that I love about this hobby is that you can put as much or as little time into it as you want.
11) Stay specific
Just because you're not winning lots, don't enter anything and everything. Winning an iPhone charging station when you own a Samsung Galaxy may be a win, but if it's not one you want or will use, it's not much use. Don't waste your time entering random competitions, but instead invest that time in finding specific competitions that you actually want, or lower entry and effort competitions you'll have more chance of winning. This will make the hobby so much more rewarding and make better use of your time.
12) Stay Positive!
Just remember, winning does happen and comping is awesome. Everyone has times when they don't win for a while, but stay positive and follow the tips above and you should be back to winning within a couple of weeks. In the week and a half it took me to write and edit this post, I have already started to see my wins return to normal.
If you have any more tips to add, please comment below. I think you can always learn more about comping, so am always keen to hear other compers opinions!
Luck and Love,