Sunday 16 January 2011

Bringing the Comping Fairy back!

If you’ve ever had a winning streak you’ll know how exciting it can be. But being realistic, that doesn’t happen all that often and most compers go for weeks at a time winning little or even absolutely nothing. And when you first start comping, that first win sometimes seems to take forever to come.

A few years ago I was feeling very discouraged. For many months I’d won nothing more exciting than t-shirts and inflatable rugby players (remember those?) and if it hadn’t been for searching for competitions to put in Grape Vine every month, I might have been tempted to give up comping. But then, without my doing anything differently, I won FOUR holidays within the space of a week!

One of the joys of comping is the surprises it brings – and a winning streak is ALWAYS a surprise. Pay no attention to people who speak disparagingly of “Professional compers” as if you could make a regular income from it. Comping isn’t a profession and never can be – it’s a great hobby that can produce some wonderful bonuses. Bear that in mind when you are having a lean spell, and you will be able to continue enjoying the hobby even when Lady Luck seems to have forgotten your name.

If you are having a lean spell, make sure you keep in touch with your comping friends, either through your local comping club, an online forum, newsgroup or email group, Facebook, Twitter or a postal round robin. Keep up with all the comping gossip, swap news of new comps and share the joy with friends who are winning prizes. Sometimes the news of a friend winning something they really want is just as exciting as winning something yourself. Just staying in the loop can help you through a lean spell, but there area few things to help to persuade the Comping Fairy to start scattering her lucky dust in your direction again.

Try something different. There are so many kinds of competition around now, there must be SOMETHING you’ve not done. Send a text, visit a blog, make a video, invent a recipe – anything you’ve not tried before and is more challenging than just putting your name and address on a form, a postcard or a website.
Get the odds in your favour. Look out for competitions that aren’t likely to have many entries. Some blog competitions only get a handful of entries, and occasionally local papers get no entries at all! Keep your eyes open in local shopping malls, too. Sometimes a poorly positioned box to post entries in means that most shoppers will walk right past it. When entering online, competitions on big, well known websites or those listed on popular forums and portals will have several thousand entries, so the less well-known the website, the better your chances will be.
Make sure your entry counts. You may be winning less than you used to because you have got careless. Always double check that you have got any questions right, have obeyed any rules about the number of entries you are allowed, have included the correct qualifier where one is asked for and provided your details correctly – clearly and legibly for postal entries, and in the correct boxes for online ones.
Increase your output. I know we all have busy lives, but see if you can squeeze in an extra hour or two every week to devote just to comping. If necessary, write it in your diary and treat it as an important appointment. Tell the family you are not to be disturbed. And then use that time to settle down with your computer, your mobile phone or your pile of postcards and comp, comp, COMP. Don’t use the time to reorganise your desk, defrag your computer or sharpen your pencils, devote it entirely to comping.
Think positive! Stop saying to yourself “I’ve stopped winning, I’ll probably never win anything decent again.” Turn it round and say “I wonder when I’ll start to win again? And what will my next BIG win be?”

No winning streak lasts forever – and neither does any losing spell. You WILL start winning again, the only question is…… WHEN?


  1. I love your blog. This by far is my fave article- then again I think that everytime you publish something new!

  2. Great blog jane. I agree about hearing about others wins. With twitter and facebook it feels as though you are a group of friends so when someone wins it brings the wins a bit closer to home and feels achievable

  3. Thanks very much for the advice Jane. I'm having a very lean spell at present even though entering the usual number of competitions.

    I generally enter competitions at both Loqauax and MSE, and it seems there are 1000s of entries to many online comps these days, the odds of winning are increasingly diminishing.

    I have wondered whether the link from where you have accessed the comp page might count against you.

    I also do local competitions, Twitter and Facebook when time permits, also enter some more 'creative style' competitions.
    But the comping fairy has passed me by.

    However, your blog has given me hope and I will become more positive. Will let you know when I win my next prize.

    Thanks very much for your blogs, they're inspiring and motivating.

    Frankie @libra10001

  4. I see alot of comments from people who feel the odds are stacked against them when going through dry spells and they begin to imagine a host of paranoias about it, there is no skill in random luck im afraid, look at the lottery and remember that when wondering why out of thousands of entries you have not been selected. Your blog is right, try the harder ones, that require effort and stick at them, and have fun. I aim for one win a month, even a small win makes someone in our household happy. We won a fruit shoot pack yesterday, kids have a ball and rope and grab gets a new webcam so we get to see her! Result x

  5. Too true - when we're not winning and see other people having a winning streak, it's all too easy to think "It's not fair, they're winning everything, they must be cheating." But it's all just proof of randomness - true randomness doesn't spread things evenly, it leaves clusters - our winning streaks - and blank spaces - our lean spells.

    By choosing your comps carefully you can help to make the clusters appear more frequently and the spaces smaller, but you can never guarantee where or when they will happen.

  6. Very true you have to keep positive and carry on


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