Earning Money Through Free Promotions

by WorkFromHome on June 9, 2011

An often overlooked source of income on the Internet is the Free Promotion. What exactly are Free Promotions? They are advertising campaigns by larger companies that offer cash or prizes for entering their sweepstakes. While there is no guarantee to this type of income, and it is doubtful that you will make a lot of money from this endeavour, if you are already doing work from home, it is a good way to make extra money.

Two Types Of Promotions

There are two types of promotions that are available on the Internet: Advertising Campaigns and Performance Contests. Understanding what each requires will help you decide what types of promotions to enter.

  • Advertising campaigns are promotions created by large companies to entice you to look at their website or try their product. You will see advertisements for these promotions claiming “No purchase necessary – enter to win …..” It is part of our cynical nature to believe that this is a scam. However, the truth is that these companies are actually giving the products, holiday vouchers, gift cards, or money away. Because so many people ignore these competitions there is a better chance for you to win. Most of these competitions do not require you to make a purchase, and are free to enter. You should avoid any type of “free” promotion that has an entry fee. Companies are trying to encourage people to visit their sites with these promotions. Some are trying to build a mailing list for future promotions. It is wise to create a separate e-mail account just for this type of work.
  • Performance Contests are based on submitting an idea, writing assignment or other work into a competition for money. Many freelance writers love these competitions because not only do they generate cash prizes, they also offer opportunities to get published off-line. Some of these competitions require an entrance fee; this is how they cover their prize money. Always perform a background check on the competition prior to submitting your work to see how previous contestants felt about the contest.

How Does It Work?

With the promotional campaigns, you will be required to fill out an entrance form, and possibly answer a few questions about the newest product being offered by that company. The company will post the rules and regulations of the contest, such as one entry per-day or one per e-mail address, and will list when the drawing takes place. For your own convenience, you should keep a list of competitions you entered, drawing dates and prizes offered. This way you can check back for the results after the competition. Many people win contests and never claim the prize because they are unaware they are the winner. It is a mistake to believe that you will automatically be contacted if you win a prize. Many competitions state in the “small print” that winner must contact company to receive the prize.

Performance contests will state exactly what is required to enter their competition. As a rule, you should follow these directions to the letter. If, for example it requires you to send your work in via snail-mail in a 9×12 envelope, do not fold your submission up and place it in a business class envelope, you will be disqualified.

Can I Make A Living At This?

Sadly, it is quite hard to make a living at this type of work, but you should not be discouraged. Receiving a gift card in the mail or a voucher for a free weekend stay at a beach side resort is nothing to ignore. Also, some of these competitions extend for several months. You cannot rely on winning each week, or each month, or even each year, entering competitions should be a way to generate some fun cash, not to pay your bills.

Where Do I Find These Competitions?

The first place to look for these types of competitions is on the websites of companies that you are familiar with already. Many major corporations have begun only advertising their competitions on their website, greatly reducing the number of entrants, which increases your chance to win.

The next place to watch is banner ads on sites that you visit. Some classified ads will also advertise these types of promotions, but it is a method less often used.

The final place to search for promotional competitions is in advertisements in the newspaper. Many companies will place little blurbs in their advertisements encouraging you to visit their site and enter to win.

Performance competitions can be found by using a search engine. While local competitions may be found in newsletters and papers, large competitions will be posted on the Internet.

Many agencies that deal with performing arts, literature and graphic arts will hold these types of competitions. Many corporations will sponsor these types of events, especially publishers, print houses and literary agents.

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