Do you sometimes wonder whether participating in contests is a good idea or just a waste of time? So far I have participated in quite a few contests. Different contests have different entry requirements. I am not going to write about those contests that require entrants to pay a certain amount of money, because I do not think participants should be charged for such things.
The contests I am usually participating in do not have high requirements, although the exception was one contest where ten highest ranked posts written by ten different bloggers were winning an award. All of the winners of that particular contest put a lot of work into writing their posts.
Generally, I am more interested to participate in contests that will give me something valuable for my blog, like a link back, or directed traffic. I especially like if the organizer promises to link back to each participant just for entering the event.
I am almost always avoiding contests that have high entry requirements, and want me to do at least a few things like leave a comment, subscribe to RSS feed, write a post, and so on. Additionally, if there are many participants, and there will be only one winner, then do not get your hopes up too high.
To sum up, I would like to say that the right contests can be really great. Simply participate in contests you are interested in, and make sure you have a chance to win.