Guest Author - Sandy Lovern
For sweepstakers, holidays mean more than fun, food and family, they mean sweepstakes!!
Many websites use the holidays as another way to get consumers to their sites by offering holiday contests and sweepstakes. Itís a great time for sweepers to sharpen their eyes and their wits because many of the holiday sweepstakes revolve around essays, photo submissions and recipes.
Holidays such as Fatherís Day, Motherís Day, Valentines Day, etc, usually spur websites to run sweepstakes requiring essays describing how the entrantís mom or dad changed their life or made them who they are today. Valentineís Day contests usually ask entrants to submit a short story on how they fell in love or what keeps them in love.
Thanksgiving and Christmas contests frequently ask entrants to tell a short story about what the holiday means to them or explain how traditions have been carried on throughout their generations. There are also many skill contests requiring tasty recipes or crafty gift ideas. Halloween skill contests are usually looking for pictures with costumed participants or recipes. The 4th of July may find requests for essays on why you love your country.
As you can see, the general requirements to enter holiday contests sometimes require skills, so there are ways to prepare ahead of time. Then when the contests come out, you already have some entries ready. You can create some short stories about your familyís traditions or maybe a tear jerking tale of a holiday that changed your life or the life of someone you know or love. If you have a family hand-me-down recipe, have it ready to submit to some of the recipe contests.
If you look at sweepstaking as more than a hobby, almost a second job, then you can get into an organized mode, and prepare for the unexpected. Take pictures during the holidays and if you get some that are really good, upload them onto your computer and create a separate folder labeled ďContest Pictures.Ē Maybe you have a tip that others can use to make their life easier or the holidays less stressful. There are many sites that are looking for your little nuggets of gold.
Always read the rules and adhere to them completely. If the essay requirements are 200 words, then donít send in 201 or you will be disqualified. Also, most contests count contractions as two words, so be very careful. An example is: using the word ďcanítĒ would be considered two words, yet the word counter on your computer would only count it as one.
Another thing to watch for is if the rules state that the entry will be put on the web and voted on. Here you may be at a disadvantage. Unless you have enough friends to fill the Yellow Pages, you might be up against some stiff competition, especially if people can vote more than once for an entry.
But, donít let the negatives deter you from entering. If youíve got a great story, a delightful picture or a scrumptious recipe, go for it. And if you donít have any of the above, youíve got plenty of time to get some together. There are many more holidays yet to come!
To read more from Editor and Author Sandy Lovern, please visit
Sandy Lovern; and Sweepstakes Success