I have been asking so many of you guys questions about how you got into comping and what you like about it that I realised I had never answered these questions myself! So here you go, a day in the life of this comper, questions asked by my lovely Mission Competitions Facebook Group:
What was your first prize and how old were you? What sort of competition was it?
My first ever prize I distinctly remember winning. It was from the Dorset Cereals 'Spin to Win' Competition around 6 years ago, so I would have been 15. I remember sitting on my bed upstairs at my parents mindlessly clicking the spin button I had pressed so many times before. I wasn't in the best of moods was really tired. However, as soon as that 'WINNER' notification came up, I had a burst of energy and sprinted downstairs to tell my dad (who also entered most days). We were so happy and after that I was hooked on comping!
When did you start and how long do you tend to spend a day on comping?
Although this incident was when I first won, I didn't start comping to the serious extent that I do now until about 2 years ago. I was taking a year out of uni to get my life back together, and needed something to focus on. Comping gave me that buzz and time-killer that I needed. 5 months later I started this blog and haven't looked back since.
I spend 2-4 hours per day on comping, spread throughout the day. I tend to spend 10 minutes here and there on my phone entering competitions too, so it may add up to more than that. I try to work it into my daily routine to make it more manageable.
Check my daily routine post <here>
How do you keep motivated?
For me, having this blog, filming prize unboxing and chatting to my lovely followers over on my Facebook group really inspires me to keep going. If you aren't wanting to start up a blog (I don't blame you, it takes time) then try and think of another way to keep track of wins - a spreadsheet, a notebook or try to display your favourite wins somewhere (I have a bookcase dedicated to this in my tiny room). That way, if ever you are lacking motivation, you can have a look at what you have won and know that it is possible to win again!
Where are you most lucky?
I'm not sure if I am most lucky on Instagram or if I just spend so much time on it, that it is where most of my wins come from. I love photography, and so entering creative competitions by posting photos on my Instagram is easy! I also love the like, tag, comment competitions (feel free to tag me @lornab22) and always try to add in a personal comment or emoji to the promoter.
Do you use comp list sites or Google more?
Here's a confession, I can be a lazy comper. I find it so much easier to just go onto Prize Finder or Loquax and hit 'Closing Soon' to find some competitions than search them out. If I am looking for something in particular (currently a bike) I will search for it on Prize Finder or, on a rare occasion on Google (setting filters to 'UK only' and 'within the last month'). I know that I should probably use Google more to seek out low entry comps, but we ain't all perfect. Maybe I'll make that my New Years Resolution.
What's the most effort you've made for a comp?
This is a hard one to pin-point, but probably one of my creative photo comps. There is currently a competition on to take a photo in a Windfarm just outside Glasgow, and so, when I saw that the sky was pretty, I strongly encouraged my Dad to drive the pair of us out there (about 40 minutes) and then walk round in the -3°C Scottish heat to take pictures of wind turbines....
There is also a photo of me dressed as a Christmas tree kicking around that is amazing for Christmas comps each year, but man it took ages to get that green out.
How many friends have you converted?
Well, this is a tricky one. Not for want of trying, but not very many. I think people underestimate how much effort goes into comping. They hear about wins and think they can click a few buttons and have prizes arriving at their door by the end of the week. As many compers know, it takes a lot more than that. And so a couple of friend who have tried have then stopped as they didn't want to put in the effort.
Also, outside the comping world, I'm not very vocal about this hobby. It's not that I'm ashamed, quite the opposite, I am just afraid that it will seem like I'm bragging if I go on about the Apple Watch and iPad that I won. If people ask, I am more than willing to tell them about it, but I don't shove it in their faces. Therefore, I convert less people than I possibly could.
Recently, I have managed to get my flatmate into comping, after I won us tickets to the Good Food Show and the Girls Day Out Show. It always makes me smile when I see that she has tagged me in a competition, as I know she would never have done that before. I'm still working on converting my dad, although he does enter the odd Instagram competition. However, after I won a competition last week that he had also entered and tagged me in he is beginning to lose faith. One win and I'm hoping he is fully converted.
What has been your most unwieldy or weirdest prize? (I love the wording of this question)
These days, I always stick to the rule that if I don't want a prize, I won't enter. However, due to random runner up prizes I have had a few odd ones. One of the weirdest was an automatic toothpaste dispenser. It sat in its box for months, until one day I decided to use it....I now use it every day. So random, and seems so lazy, but keeps my bathroom shelf nice and tidy!
Another one that my sister likes to take the mick out of me for was a runner up prize in the Frubes competition. I won a single bed Angry Birds duvet cover - I have a double bed and don't like Angry Birds. Still, it made someone happy when I gave it away. (see her oh so subtle point <here>)
What has been your favourite prize?
I think it has to be my Apple Watch for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was my first big win and first radio win. It was with Kiss FM and I won a technology bundle - Apple Watch, iPod Touch, Beats Headphones and iTunes Vouchers, I was on holiday in France when I got the call and couldn't believe it! Shows you're a comper when you still answer the phone even though you'll pay extra for being abroad! The other reason that it's my favourite is that I use it everyday! I love my Apple Watch, and don't know what I'm going to do when it breaks, because I cannot afford a replacement! Because I wear it everyday, it's a great reminder about what comping can achieve.
What's your favourite group on Facebook for competitions?
Well I mean, apart from my own Facebook Group <join here> I love Lucky Learners. Sometimes I find it's a bit busy and so enjoy smaller offshoots of it such as the Instagram Competitions group (a fabulous source of my fav comps). Facebook Groups are such a good source of inspiration and I learn so much from hearing other peoples stories. They really do show that Compers are Lovely People
Obviously you're very organised & methodical about comping, but do you have any secret superstitions as well?
Although I do follow a comping routine, I do not stick to it so seriously that I'll be stressed if I veer from it. Life is too short to worry about missing the free lottery one day or entering competitions in a different order than normal. This is a fun hobby, and so I don't want to taint it by superstition and stress. Every so often I like to take a couple of days off comping (shock, horror) and appreciate life on the outside.
Thanks for all your questions guys, it was fun to answer and hear what you wanted to know. Please comment any other questions below and I'll try to answer as many as possible :)
Luck and Love,