Advent Competitions – How to make the most of Christmas competitions

In the words of Slade ‘It’s Christmaaaaaas’, or rather it almost is.  Christmas lights have been switched on around the country and you may have noticed you’re buying your weekly shop whilst listening Cliff Richard telling you to rejoice in the good that you see.

The Advents are coming

This culmination of festivities to a comper can only mean one thing – the advents are coming!  If you’re fairly new to the world of comping then you might not have heard of advents before.  Advents are usually daily competitions that companies run over the Christmas period.  Some companies will offer a competition a day much like a traditional advent calendar or others will run 12 days of Christmas competitions.

There can be so many competitions it can be incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume to enter.  I’ve rounded up the best advice from other comping bloggers across the web as well as offering you some advice of my own

Should I bother entering advent competitions?

Lets get started with some statistics.  There’s nothing more I love than some stats.  For the previous 2 years I kept a meticulous record of how many competitions I entered as well as how many prizes I won and their value.  Decembers figures offer an interesting insight into comping at Christmas.

2015

  • Competitions entered 5571 (yes seriously – this isn’t a typo)
  • Competitions won 23
  • Prize Value £569.50
  • Average Prize Value £24.76
  • Prize Value per entry £0.10

2016

  • Competitions entered 598
  • Competitions won 11
  • Prize Value £584
  • Avergae Prize Value £53.09
  • Prize Value per entry £0.98

As you can see from the figures above there is a very large difference between numbers of competitions entered.  In 2015 I entered every single competition I could.  It was my first year entering the advents (I’d been a comper previously but not a very good one and didn’t even know what advents were).  So i went nuts and entered every single competition I laid eyes on apart from a few I wasn’t interested in winning.  This was incredibly time intensive and took up all of my (very little) free time.

2016 was a very different picture.  I did 2 days of full on advent competitions and then gave up.  My heart just wasn’t in it and I didn’t have the motivation.  I now had 3 children to look after during the day and on top of this we took a 2 week holiday away to somewhere that had almost zero internet.  This meant I greatly reduced the number of competitions I entered.  I still entered some advent competitions but I was a lot more selective about which I entered.

Opportunities galore

The point I’m trying to make here is that Advents are a great opportunity to win lots of great prizes.  But as you can see from my stats that entering more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win a higher volume of more expensive prizes.  My December 2016 comping I found a lot more low entry advent competitions (yes there is such a thing) and was way more selective about which competitions I did enter.

My top tips for advent and Christmas comping

To Bookmark or not

Lot’s of people like to use bookmarks for advent comping.  I’m not one of those people!  I do however use bookmarks to have quick access to places that list the advent competitions such as competition database and the Compers News Chatterbox forum.  Last year competition database had a great tool where you could permanently ignore a promoters advent competitions.  This meant that you could greatly reduce the number of competitions you had to click/scroll through to get to the ones you wanted to enter.

Get photo organised

Before the 1st of December make sure you have easy quick access to a bunch of Christmas themed photos on all of your devices you like to comp from.  I’ve ensured I have a folder of Christmas photos on both my desktop and iPhone so I can easily enter at home or on the go.  I’ve also started planning a Christmas photo shoot to grab a new set of photos for this years.  Common themes of pictures to be prepared for are

  • Christmas jumper selfie
  • Christmas jumper family photo (check out my fave geeky Christmas jumpers here)
  • Christmas Tree Decorations
  • General Christmas Decorations (living room etc)
  • Christmas crafts and pictures
  • Christmas food you have made yourself
  • Christmas dinner photos of the everyone at the table

Although not many advents competitions ask for these I like to include them every now and then.  There will also be a lot of non advent but still Christmas themed competitons about that these will be very useful for.

Find your own

Finding competitions that are not listed on the common competition website listing sites mean there will be less entries so more chance of winning.  I’ve written a set of tutorials on how best to do thisTweetdeck is in my opinion the best way to find low entry competitions across the web.  When searching make sure you using Christmas themed words to help narrow down your searches. Searches could include

Christmas win

Advent win

Christmas jumper

Show us Christmas win

Tweet us Christmas win

The last two in that list are great ways of finding Christmas creative effort competitions.  There’s no right or wrongs for Christmas comp searching (well unless you get zero results then you’re possiblydoing something wrong)  but experiment and see what results you get using different key words.

Pressure

My last tip is don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  Yes there are some people who have the free time and motivation to enter every single competition.  Don’t feel that you have to.  The thing I struggle with the most at Christmas is the pressure I feel to enter as many as possible or feeling like I might miss out.  It’s a common theme in my inner monologue that I’m constantly telling myself that I’m not doing enough.  This type of thinking can be quite bad for self-confidence and this type of behaviour is something I’m going to be addressing when I set my goals for 2018.

Other compers

I’ve rounded up the best tips from different compers and blogging compers.  Everyone has a different way of approaching advent competitions so I highly recommend reading through all of these.

Di Coke at Super Lucky 

Seasoned comper Di has argubaly the best put together and most comprehensive UK comping blog on the web.  Her updated advent blog post has a plethora of great tips as well as details of all the sites that list the advent competitions.

Amanda at Amanda Golston – Mountain Walking Girl 

Amanda has some excellent blog posts about her prizes she has won over the years.  I know Amanda has yet to take her best advent prize win yet so no blog post to read for her amazing win yet but she offers this brilliant advice

Last Christmas I won a 7 night trip to Zermatt from the Swiss Tourism Advent Calendar comp. I won this on Christmas Day, so my best tip would be to enter comps when it is likely to be the quietest. It seems that fewer people enter the advent comps as it gets closer to Christmas. Pick out the prizes that you really want to win and focus on quality rather than quantity.

Cara at Jammy Jigsaw

Cara has a great blog post all about how she prepares for the advent competitions and also the prizes that are at the top of her wish list this year.  She’s also shared a screenshot of her bookmarks to show you how she sets out her bookmarks for advent comping

this is my bookmarks if that any use to anyone so I can prioritize which ones to enter – some days I only do the locals and essentials if I’m short on time.

Laura at Autmun’s Mummy

Laura is a lovely parent blogger I knew in a real life quite a long time before we both launched our blogs.  We used to work with each other and unbeknown to us we both had a shared hobby – comping! Laura has a different method of tracking her advent competitions

I make a mini database with links to advent competitions and categorise them in order of importance to me. Therefore, if I don’t have time to do them all, at least I’ve done the ones I care about the most. I also note which ones end before 5pm as if I’m at work I’ll be likely to miss them and I don’t want to waste time clicking through the link.

Neill at Gary Wasabi’s Golden Luck Muscle

Are your social media feeds filled with companies you’ve barely heard of?  Now might be a great time to clear out the deadwood.  Neill has a fab blog post about how to have a comping clear out before the advents get started

So there you have it!  I’d love to know what your plan of action is for Christmas comping or your top tips in the comments below.  Don’t forget to enter the regular competitions too.  Speaking of regular competitions there will be a new competition launching on my blog soon, make sure you keep up to date by subscribing or following me on Facebook here.

I’m going to leave you with one last tip, some very wise words about the advent competitions from my comping friend Naina…

Don’t stress. It should be fun, not a chore. If you can’t do them all, it really doesn’t matter.

18 Comments

  1. November 29, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Great post Nikki! I won’t have time to do many advents, but it does get me in the mood for Christmas!

    • November 29, 2017 / 11:25 am

      Thanks Di, they certainly do help set the festive mood!

  2. November 29, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Great post Nikki 😀 I’m finding Tweetdeck really useful for finding competitions so I’m hoping that will help me turf up some festive gems 🎄

    • November 29, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Wishing you lots of festive luck Cara!

  3. Lucy Mccormick
    November 29, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    Thanks for this Nikki, your stats are very interesting. I am hoping to keep up my advent motivation this year as i give up after a few days normally. Wishing you lots of Luck 😊

    • November 29, 2017 / 1:09 pm

      You too Lucy! I actually stopped counting my competitions entered this year and now roughly go by amount of time spent. I’m tempted to record Decembers figures though just so I can update with them next year!

  4. Chris
    November 29, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    Absolutely brilliant blog post. Spot on! I see so many people being totally over whelmed and wind themselves up about advents even when the Prizes are so small, Last year I won around £1000 in Vouchers in various Competitions because everyone was so sucked in by the advents they had no time to do anything else. I noticed for a candle there was 3.5k entries for £200 Amazon Voucher there was 25 entries. Great tips and advice with regards to the advents though, I am yet to win big on any of them though but I try not to get sucked into the whirl wind!

    • November 29, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      That’s great to hear Chris! It does seem that people can be more successful and enjoy the Christmas comping period more by entering less competitions and being focussed on what they enter instead. I wish you oodles of festive luck this December 😊

  5. fiona haward
    November 29, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    Thanks Nikki. I am gonna be sooooo on it this year!!

    • November 29, 2017 / 2:24 pm

      I’m hoping to be too – I’m not aiming to enter over 5k comps this year though 😂

  6. November 29, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I entered a shedload* of comps the first time I hit the advents and then had rotten withdrawal symptoms after, so I’d definitely add a hear hear to Naina’s comment – have fun people!

    *But far fewer than 5,000. That is INSANE.

    • November 29, 2017 / 4:51 pm

      I was heavily pregnant with my 3rd and unable to sleep – entering competitions seemed like a good idea to feel like the hours awake were not wasted 😂

  7. Gabriela
    November 29, 2017 / 6:13 pm

    Your tips are brilliant! I wish to have more time to do them all!

    • November 29, 2017 / 11:25 pm

      Just make sure you focus on the good ones and you’ll still do well x

  8. November 29, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Great post with some very useful advice. Thank you for including me. I had actually followed quite a lot of the other advice listed above. This was a comp I had seen right at the beginning and I knew that the grand prize was a trip to Zermatt, so it was top of my priority list for Christmas Day. I became more and more selective as the month went on, so I made sure I only entered the comps that were really important. I used The Prizefinder list as that allows you to permanently cross off comps that you are not interested in. Have FUN!

    • November 29, 2017 / 11:26 pm

      Oh fab didn’t know prizefinder allowed you to do that as well! Thanks for contributing to the post Amanda, can’t wait to read about your trip to Switzerland x

  9. Rebecca MacBain
    November 29, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Fab post Nikki enjoyed reading that. Saw your Darth Vader pic crop up on a few comps last year. And why the hell not it’s a cracking pic and it’s you all over! I love it 🙂 best of luck for December and I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like your not doing enough or fear of missing out! Sometimes it’s good to take a step back from the craziness and just enjoy comping again xx

    • November 29, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I’m going to see how I balance it all this year! I’ve got the same Christmas jumper and the same Christmas tree so expect to see more of my Sithmas tree this year too 😂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *