Monday, May 31, 2010

Google Alerts: A Tool to Win More Contests?

Have you heard of Google Alerts?  How it works is that you set up an alert for words or phrases and Google then emails you when instances occur.  Setting up Google Alerts is helpful to freelance writers (and even higher profile bloggers than me!) because then you will be alerted when someone lifts your work because you can set up an alert to notify you when key phrases from your articles are used elsewhere on the web.  Granted, it is not 100% fool proof, but other freelancers that I know actively pursue content thieves via this method. 

Aside from content theft detection, setting up Google Alerts for contests is a great way to help you win more often.  Take me, for instance.  I really want to win a SodaStream.  Bad.  I scour Twitter for tweeted contest links and even do Google searches once a week for "SodaStream Giveaway" and "Win SodaStream" in hopes to find a contest that I can actually win.  (I was soooo close this weekend; I was one comment off on a SodaStream giveaway that ended Friday).

If you want to win something badly - Amazon Gift Cards, CSN gift certificates, nook, Kindle, etc. consider setting up a Google Alert so that when contests are launched, you get notified by Google to check it out.  Of course there are no guarantees, but a Google Alert could help you find a contest at an out of the way blog that has just a few entries.  In addition, if you see a contest on one blog, chances are that is a similar contest running on another blog, so if you stumble upon a sweet contest that you'd want to win, then search for other contests for the same item. 
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