When most of us use social media, we do it for fun. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are platforms to get information, socialize and even get our daily dosages of humor.
But, Shannon Schulte, the full-time sweeper behind the blog Sweepstakes Mama, has taken the social media boom, twisted it and made it into a career.
Though her methods may be controversial to some, you can’t deny the payoff. Shannon has won some impressive swag. So, we decided to ask her a few questions to better understand the Sweepstakes phenomenon and learn the benefits of sweeping.
What is sweeping and what first drew you to it?
Sweeping or “Sweepstaking” is a hobby that is tons of fun and has become part of my daily life. What started as a passion for finding deals, coupons, and freebies and finding a sweepstakes to win a new truck started a new part of my life. I was drawn to sweeping by trying to find a way to help our family financially, without sacrificing being at home for my kids and husband. When I started winning, I was enjoying bringing fun things home for free! Restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, toys, and even cash made us able to enjoy things we could not otherwise afford.
How long have you been entering sweepstakes?
I’ve been sweeping for almost two years now. I started from entering just a few giveaways and sweepstakes a day to about 400-600 sweepstakes a day. I’ve taken it from a hobby to a career. I love sharing sweeps with my readers!
Approximately how much time in a day do you devote to sweeping?
I spend about 7 hours a day on sweeps. Normally I get up very early, and do some sweeps before my sons wake up. I take a break and get them ready for the day. I normally start some chores, play with the boys for a while, then start them a quiet time activity so I can get to work. My daily sweepstakes routine normally starts about 6:30 am, earlier if I can, and I often don’t log off until about 8-9pm, sometimes later if there’s a Twitter party. This often means waking up as early as 5 am to get my family ready for the day. I start off as early as possible to complete my IWGs (Instant Win Games) and my first run of tweets for twitter contests. If I have other obligations or I’m running late sometimes I finish them at the end of the day. Next, I do my dailies which is somewhere between 200-400. This will take about 2-3 hours to finish, when I’m not disrupted. (That’s rarely the case as I’m a Navy wife, Mommy to a 6 and 2 year old boys, I have an eBay business, and I’m a busy blogger.) I continue on the evenings after dinner with Facebook and Twitter Sweeps and research of new sweeps for my readers at http://www.sweepstakesmama.com and maybe even a Twitter Party or two.
Does the time you put in usually pay off in the end?
The time has consistently paid off in the end. Usually at least 6 days a week I have a win, whether it be big or small. My family relies on my wins to be able to afford to do fun things and have things we could not afford otherwise. Most days, my husband comes home and first thing he asks is “What did you win today?”
What’s the best prize you’ve ever won?
My favorite prize by far has been our trip to South Africa! It was fabulous! Here’s some other prizes I’ve won.
- Many Gift Cards ranging in value from $5-$1000
- Big Screen HD 3d TV
- Days at the Spa
- Gaming Systems like a Wii and a PS3 Move
- $1000 entertainment prize pack from Family Dollar
- Several Trips including a luxury safari in South Africa and to an all inclusive resort in Jamaica. I recently won a trip for our family to the Mall of America to visit Nickelodeon’s new theme park.
- Over $4500 in Groceries and Free Food Coupons
- Home Appliances
- Celebrity Meet and Greets including hanging with Sarah McLachlan at Lilith Fair, chatting with Paula Deen and Michael, and jamming with Stone Temple Pilots and video taping their performance on stage. My boys loved getting to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.
- Season Passes to Six Flags
- Designer Shoes, Purses, and Jewelry (you should see my closet I love shoes!)
- 8 Flip Cams
- iPod Touch
- JVC Camcorder
- Several Cash Prizes
- Gift Baskets
- Toys and Board Games for my boys
- Tickets to many fun concerts and shows and family passes to the zoo
- LOTS of other miscellaneous prizes
What are your favorite contests to enter?
I love to enter Twitter sweeps and one-time entries. One-time entries are great because you can enter and hope that luck’s on your side. Daily sweepstakes can become very time consuming.
How has sweeping benefited your life?
Last year (2010) was the first year we did not have to buy Christmas for any family members. I am definitely making more winning sweepstakes than I did on a teacher’s income, and I don’t have to pay for daycare. Winning sweepstakes helps those on a middle class income afford to do things they never could imagine doing. Some jokingly say we can do things when they “win the lottery.” I don’t know about winning the lottery (I have won some scratch off tickets), but it’s more than that. Once in a lifetime experiences, taking luxurious trips, and indulging in things we could only dream of is possible by winning sweepstakes. Our grocery bill has gone down about 25-30% since I’ve been sweeping due to food coupon wins, and I love that I can cover most of our date nights out with my husband.
If you’d like to get started sweeping, visit Shannon’s blog Sweepstakes Mama to find instant win games, daily sweeps, and more. She offers one-on-one sessions for those that are ready to get serious about winning as well. Send her an email for more information.
What are your thoughts on sweeping? Do you do it, or have you done it in the past? Share in a comment below!
Category: guest posts