Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Enter Contests to WIN!

Do you enter contests? I do sometimes, I have periods where I am super active and periods where I get too caught up in home life to bother. 
BUT...you know the saying, You have to be in it to win it! 


If you have any contests you are currently entered in, 
feel free to add the link to vote !

Here are also a few tips to help you get started when entering contests:

1. Choose a contest that focuses on one of your strengths. Don't enter cooking or recipe contests if you call the smoke alarm your timer (haha). I am not a great seamstress (aka, I cannot sew!) as a result, you will never see me enter one of those contests. I stick to the things I am good at, to improve my chances of winning. 

Example: 
I have 4 years of culinary school under my belt, so I feel comfortable submitting recipes to contests. This was my entry in the Classic Pastry Arts Contest. 


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2.Make sure your pictures stand out. Don't get too "artsy-fartsy" with it, as that can hurt your chances almost as much as a crummy shot. Just make sure you have good lighting, nice color contrast, and a unique perspective.  I have won several online contests in the past several years for my original recipes, but quite often, the judges loved the visual impact. 

Example:
The colorful fish stew, topped with fresh herbs, gives a nice color contrast. The camera focuses on the food, the bowl fading in the back. 

This won first prize in the Nordic Naturals Essential Fish Dish Contest!



3. Wording Counts. Be clever, make sure you spell everything correctly, and make sure you have filled out the forms properly. There is nothing worse than having people point out your spelling errors on a contest entry!

4. Show your creative side! Don't be afraid to break the mold when entering a contest. Check out the other entries, and figure out how you can make yours stand out a little. 

5. Enter as many contests as you qualify for! I have entered cooking, baking, Pet and family photo contests...even  DIY contests on Instructables! If you can take step by step pictures and write clear instructions, this is a great site to join. 
2 years ago I won second place in a Spring Clean Contest, this year I was runner up for 3 seperate cooking and DIY contests!



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6. Follow the Directions. Make sure you qualify, make sure you cross your 'T's and dot those 'I's...it is a horrible thing to have one of your entries chosen, only to be disqualified! 

7. Don't let haters stop you from being awesome. I personally have had some recent experience with jealous adults acting like bratty kids because they weren't getting votes, and I was attacked (verbally) online. 

Just ignore them, know that whatever you did, it was great enough to make them try to take action against you. Sure, you might occasionally not win something due to one of these people, but in the long run, as long as YOU do not fall down to THEIR level, you will be fine. Judges DO take harassment into account, if you make it known (if it is severe enough - in my case it required legal action).  

Do you have any contests that you are currently entered in, and need votes? Add your link to the comments below! Make sure to tell us if it is a daily or one time vote! 
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