Can You Make A Career Out Of Comping?

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by Jason 5 Comments

The comping community is all a buzz at the moment with regards to the latest newspaper articles to feature a successful comper. As ever the headlines scream out the amounts won and the number of comps entered etc. However the big difference to the usual article is that the comper in question has according to The Daily Mail “now given up work to fund her life through contests”.

Super Hard Working Di

The comper in question is Di Coke, who is well known in the comping community. She’s written columns for Compers News, worked for Theprizefinder and has been incredibly successful winning prizes. She has her own blog at Superlucky and works hard to try and educate promoters on running successful comps. She also has plenty of advice for compers, especially for those looking to take part in creative comps.

So is she funding her life through entering competitions or funding her life by carving out a career as a competition expert? We’d suggest the latter but then that probably wouldn’t make such exciting headlines or generate as many comments. Di’s success and determination has made her the UK’s leading comping blogger and it’s no surprise her expertise is in demand with the likes of CAP and The IPM. Kudos to Di for doing this – because no one else is!

Career Compers?

The question though is can you fund your life through entering competitions? We’d say that the answer is “no” simply because it’s long hours with potentially zero rewards. In fact the only way you’re going to make a living within comping is by not entering them. Back in 1999 a young Geochemist researcher gave up his career to make a business out of comping. This was featured in the papers – but back in those days social media and viral things weren’t even known about online.

A year or two later a Maths Phd Student followed suit, although that didn’t even make the presses. Today the people involved both still run Loquax. Let’s be very clear, although Loquax started off being funded by prizes, we’d not have been able to get this far just relying on wins!! In fact, given the recent history of the site we’d not have been able to sustain our involvement in competitions by having a career solely based around comping.

Similar stories can be found at other comping portals – but the situation is always the same – people who may have started life as compers working in comping to earn a living. But most of the cases we can think of off hand very few actually own the company that they’re working for! Jane Willis and Steve Higson are two names that spring to mind though. Up until recently, Jane ran her own magazine whilst Steve, who founded Theprizefinder and sold it to Accolade Publishing, remains with the site as editor 15 odd years later.

What Could You Do?

So if you’re hoping that entering competitions and prize draws is going to be your new job then think again. To make a career out of it you need to provide a service to compers or to people who want to run competitions. If you can code a cool site, think up a useful widget (e.g. Rafflecopter), provide a quality service or blog with style then you never know what lies ahead.

Just don’t ever think spending hours each day to win stuff is a career for anyone… even if the papers like to try and say otherwise.

Finally we’d like to say good luck to Di with her comping career!!!

Join The Conversation

  • Arabella99

    Di has a husband who works for cash to pay the bills doesn’t she? The prizes are normally worth only a third of their RRP if you bargain hunt when shopping and a nice canvas on the wall has little monetary value when it comes to putting food on the table. With regard to running a site, there are odd exceptions but the comping community is such that you need to be well established and have the everyone use your site if you are going to fund a lifestyle from it. I haven’t heard Jason and Kirsty talk about retiring to the Bahamas yet but I hope there is enough for them to put a turkey on the table at Christmas 😉

  • bristolgirl

    Agreed that you can’t make a living from solely entering comps. I do think it could be possible though to use comping as a ‘2nd income’ i.e equivalent to working part time. That doesn’t necessarily mean you could guarantee getting a set income every month, but if you are able to win a holiday or break, maybe sky for a year days out xmas prezzies etc, it certainly takes the pressure off the main earner. Added to that you might save on childcare, fares to work etc, it’s quite possible it could work out almost as much as you would take home working part time.

  • gemma43

    Giving prizes as presents is all very well but my family knows I’m a comper and get ‘freebies’. I always make sure I give cash or gift cards to family and friends at birthdays and Christmas. They wouldn’t thank me for comping ‘left-overs’.

  • libra100

    Very interesting reading.

    Several years ago I won a considerable number of prizes, and each Christmas we would have had sack loads of toys to give to our grandchildren. Also lots of prizes to give to friends, family and also some which I sold on Ebay.

    These days – with the advent of social media, rafflecopters, Mag Daily comps, etc, although there seem to be lots more competitions to enter, many more people are entering competitions and therefore prizes are fewer. And with the popularity of smartphones and tablet PCs, it’s so easy to enter competitions online.

    Magazine articles such as the one referred to do give a false impression about comping. Even the luckiest comper would struggle to win the amount of prizes mentioned in the article. To win takes perseverance and determination, along with a little luck.

  • SandraDJ

    I’m stuck at home at the moment with a virus, so have been catching up on the comps that I have missed while I was away on a (paid for) cruise holiday.

    To be honest, I have been getting bored with it. I would expect to have a few more wins in the near future because of the quantity that I have been entering, but wouldn’t expect more than a few extra small items such as DVDs. Anything else would be a bonus.