Free online competitions
As detailed in my competition blog I have been doing competitions online since the middle of 2003. Over the years I have had quite a few wins and it has given me a lot of pleasure.
There is no mystery to winning online competitions, it is mainly a matter of entering as many as you can.
Most people, like myself, have jobs, kids or other things to occupy their time so it is a matter of finding the odd few minutes or an hour every day to make some entries.
Finding competitions online
If you try to locate the competitions yourself you are going to spend more time finding them than entering them. Instead use a competition website where competitions are listed and sorted into categories.
The one I use is The Prizefinder and it has provided me with most of my wins.
It's easy to use and if you register with them (for free) the competitions you have already entered are listed in a diferent colour so you can keep track of your entries.
Entering online competitions
There are many different ways to enter internet competitions, from simply submitting your email address to playing games and answering questions. I tend to avoid tiebreaker and lengthy entry comps simply because I don't have time for them.
Over the years I have found a core of websites where entry is quick and easy (sometimes just one click of the mouse) and I make sure I enter every month, plus I also do cometitions with major prizes such as holidays and cars and things of particular interest to myself.
My dream prize wins would be tea at the Ritz, a trip on the Orient Express or a holiday to Japan or the Maldives. Occasionally these are offered as prizes but I haven't been lucky so far.
Tips on winning
Enter as many as you can. If you only have a few minutes a day don't just enter all of the big prize competitions as these will have more entries and be harder to win.
There is nothing worse than a long spell where you don't win any prizes and it can be very dispiriting. Try to spread your comping effort over a variety of prizes. Even winning a DVD can gve you a winning feeling and spur you on to enter (and win) more.
Make sure you know the answers to the questions. If you are guessing all of the time you are cutting down your chances of winning straight away.
A quick search on Google is normally enough to confirm you have the right answer if you're in any doubt.