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Stay up-to-date with all the latest promotional industry changes and news along with tips and tricks to increase your odds of winning legitimate sweepstakes, contests and giveaways!

The Winning EDGE

vol 8 | issue 20

October 26, 2013

In This Issue

  • Vancouver, Here I Come!
  • Dirty Links
  • Your Questions Answered
  • Sweepstakes, Contests & Giveaways

The CQ Blog

NOTE: As ContestQueen.com is currently offline there will be no blog posts until the site is rebuilt. I will be posting blog-style tips, tricks, stories and rants on my CQ Facebook timeline and in this newsletter until then. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Where The Winning Begins!

Vancouver, Here I Come!

When I was planning last summer's U.S. Secrets to Winning Tour many western contest friends complained they weren't given the opportunity to attend one of my workshops.  Well, Vancouver, here I come and I am holding a workshop!

Similar to the U.S. #CQTour, all attendees the topics will be:
  • How to Effectively Use RoboForm
  • How to Win on Facebook
  • How to Win on Twitter
  • How to Win on Pinterest
Although the focus of each workshop will be how to win online, any contest question will be answered.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to:
  • meet fellow sweepers
  • shop the Contest Queen store in person (everything is 50% off!)
  • and of course WIN PRIZES!!
I already have prize donations from Blenz Coffee, Hypersweep, ContestCanada.com and RoboForm.

Attendees should bring:
  • paper and a pen
  • a laptop, notebook, netbook or tablet
  • money to support our location host (to buy tea, coffee, cookies, etc.)
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.  PREPAY HERE via PayPal or credit card.  NOTE: All pre-registered attendees receive a FREE copy of You Can't Win If You Don't Enter.

I am very bias.  I think everyone should attend.  Don't just take my word for it.  Read what Gary had to say after he attended my workshop in West Palm Beach FL.

SEE YOU SOON!
Carolyn

Dirty Links ??

An interesting topic came up at the last convention: dirty links.  You may be asking yourself, "What is a dirty link?"  

A dirty link is a personal referral link placed on a sweepstakes aggregate website so the poster (or website owner) garners the referral entries potentially giving them an unfair advantage in the sweepstakes or contest.  A clean link is a direct link to the contest or sweepstakes.  A clue to a potential dirty link is the characters id= within the URL.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of who the guilty parties are, so I cannot warn you to steer clear.  However, at the convention both Gwen (SweepsU) and Tom (IWINCONTESTS) stated the links they post are clean.  Johnathan didn't address the issue in his speech.

Your Questions Answered

Monica emailed me this good question after she read about RoboForm, RoboForm Companion and Sweepstakes Ninja in my last few issues of The Winning EDGE.

Hi Carolyn - sounds like you are having a great time at the convention! Question - your recent newsletters have mentioned that RoboForm Companion would be considered an "auto-fill" program and therefore would be disqualified on those contests that state they are not to be used.  However, I originally started using RoboForm Companion because at the time, the company indicated it WOULDN'T be considered an auto-fill program.  What would a company look for that would disqualify me by using this program?

This topic is a slippery slope and the question is a tough one to answer because there are so many variables.

The rules clause was originally created because there were online services that offered to enter you in hundreds of contests for a monthly fee.  The entries would come from a singular IP address and it would be very easy for contest managers to cull hundreds or thousands of entries out of the entry database.

What makes RoboForm Companion and Sweepstakes Ninja unique is the fact all those auto-entries are generated from your computer.  There are two problems with this:
  1. sweepstakes entry forms are shifting away from plain online forms to those with captchas along with those on social media sites requiring you to be logged in plus complete other tasks to garner entries,
  2. once companies realize that entrants are using auto-entry programs to win, they will change their forms to the styles listed in point one or add timers and hidden forms to the entry page to catch what they deem to be cheaters.
I am still on the fence with regards to personal auto-fillers because I:
  1. used to use RoboForm Companion and loved it and,
  2. have had long conversations with contest sponsors.  
Some sponsors are in the process of changing their entry pages to block personal auto-fill programs and others welcome all the web traffic as they make their money from onsite advertising.

I have been watching the trends in sweepstakes for over ten years and I believe that the shift towards Consumer Generated Media* (CGM) will only continue to grow therefore auto-fill programs will naturally fade away making the debate mute.

*CGM is going back to the golden days of contests.  Think The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio and Evelyn's jingles.  Now there is Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. all requiring the entrant to log in and take some creative or social action.  Auto-fill programs cannot enter those types of sweepstakes.

So to answer your question Monica you can use an auto-fill program if you wish for the few straightforward entries forms that are left.

As for me, I stopped using auto-filling programs because RoboForm Companion no longer works on my computer and am not comfortable paying a monthly subscription fee.  I enter what I can, when I can and I win what I win.  I have fun.  To me that is the essence of the hobby.

GOOD LUCK,
Carolyn

Sweepstakes, Contests & Giveaways

WORLDWIDE
ENDS TUESDAY OCTOBER 29th
Listen to Win a First Cabin Membership from MyFreeLotteryPool.com

UNITED STATES
ENDS SUNDAY OCTOBER 27th
Win a 3 month subscription to IWINCONTESTS

ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER 31st
Win a #HallMOOween Prize Pack from Udderly Smooth

CANADA
ENDS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8th
Win an Alokozay Tea Chest from Happy China Doll

ENDS TUESDAY OCTOBER 29th - British Columbia Only
Win a Trip to San Francisco from Blenz Coffee

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