What follows here will go some ways to ensuring at the very least that your entries in TechStyles’ competitions are valid. I can’t provide you with a surefire way to win, but given that it’s mostly me, Scott, that is the judge, here’s a few suggestions:
Entries that are funny, or witty, or show some thought and craft, that get somewhere close to the worlds of good grammar and spelling, and get the brands and product names right, will always do better than, “I’d really like to win.”
The question… be sure to read it, and answer it as asked. There are a lot of people who think any answer is OK. It’s not. The competition is judged, so whether the question is answered has a direct bearing on its chance of success.
In the interest of fairness, I will not edit entries that contain typos.
Read closely and follow the How to Enter instructions. The first point of reference will probably always be a competition entry page, that is ON the TechStyles site. As a rule, there will usually be a a question asked, that you answer ON the entry page. There may also be secondary requirements, such as subscribing to our newsletter, or Liking the TechStyles Facebook Page.
I hope those few style pointers, and the FAQs below, go some way toward helping you ensure your entries are valid, and go some way to helping increase your chances of winning.
The other thing to keep in mind, is that the more entries TechStyles receives, and the more readers I have for all the articles on the site, mean that more, bigger, and better prizes will be offered to me to give away.
Did you answer the question?
Did you stay within the word limit?
Did you read the How to Enter of the competition, and fulfil all requirements?
Did you provide your full name with your answer?
Now, a few FAQs…
Can I enter a competition more than once?
Yes. But remember, the competitions are judged, not drawn. So if you enter the one answer 10,000 times, that is just one entry. And yes, I have seen this tactic used. So enter as many times as you like, just be sure to provide different answers to the competition question.
Why do you ask for a full name in the entry?
Two reasons. First, it allows me to get an overview of the gender balance of the competition entrants. Some prize providers like to know the makeup of the TechStyles readership. And to be honest, so do I. It might help me pick the sort of products and services I write about.
Secondly, Liking the TechStyles Facebook Page may be a requirement for a valid entry. In which case I need to compare the FULL NAME under which you entered with your name on your FACEBOOK PROFILE.
So again, reading and following the How to Enter instructions on the entry page are a must-do!
Why doesn’t my answer to the question display immediately?
More often than not, the space used to place the answers to the question is the TechStyles comment system. As all comments that appear on the site need to be approved, there could well be a lag between when you enter, and when the comment/entry is approved.
The other thing to keep in mind, is that the comments are paginated. So if there are a lot of entries, there will be multiple pages of entries, and while yours may not display on the first page of entries, rest assured, your entry will be in there. If you need to check, you can flick through the pages to find your entry.
Do you read all of the entries?
Yes I do. Twice at the very least. Once when I approve each and every entry/comment that is published on the site, and then at least once again as I run through all the entries, picking a shortlist as I go.
Why are the competitions all ‘x’ words or less?
Running a competition that is drawn rather than judged, is classed as a ‘Game of Chance’ by the various State authorities. You have to apply (and wait) for permits, be somewhat restricted in the way you run a competition, and, it costs around $1,000 for the permits and the Australia-wide Public Notice in a newspaper.
However, running a ‘Game of Skill’, i.e. the ‘x’ Words or Less entry method, requires no permits, allows more flexibility, and I can get them published quickly with no waiting. So while I apologise that this may favour those with writing skills, at this stage of the site’s development the competitions simply must run as Games of Skill.
Years ago publications used to ask an easy question, for instance, “What colour is the sky?”. As everyone, you would hope, would get that answer right, the competition would then need to be drawn, using a random number generator in a spreadsheet program. And that of course pushes the competition into what gaming authorities would rightly classify as a Game of Chance. Hence why the questions we ask you to answer leave scope for creativity, and are unique answers that can be adjudged.