There are few things more thrilling than receiving a prize package at your front door. And who doesn't love a brand new robot t-shirt? Instructables always has an awesome contest running. If you've never entered one now is a great time. Of course, if you don't enter you can't win. Here are a few ways to give your instructable a fighting chance.

Note: The contents of this instructable are based on my personal experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of instructables or its parent company. All photos used are under public domain.

Step 1: When in Rome...

Instructables has a culture. To know what makes a good instructable you have to know what a good instructable looks like. Check the home page often. That's where featured instructables go. Featured means your doing things right.

Keep in mind, like real life, cultures change. For example when I first joined, circuit boards and nixie tubes were about as high tech as you saw. Nowadays laser cutters, 3D printing, and arduino are common place.

Stay in the loop by visiting instructables. Check out the latest builds. When you do, read the comments. See what people are saying. Leave a comment yourself.

Staying current will help you think of "up to date ideas" for the next contest.

Well written and insightful!<br>Is there a limit to how many entries one user can enter into a single contest?
<p>Great idea, I can find here many good ideas for DIY</p>
<p>This is very well thought out and very helpful. Thanks!</p>
<p>thank you soooooo much.</p>
Thanks for this! I'm a big fan, and it's cool that you'd give contest pointers. keep making cool stuff for me to get inspired on!
Do I have to pay if I win any contest I'm from India
<p>I've had 3 Features, but contest wins are still eluding me. Thanks for the guide!</p>
This is a well written and thoughtful instructable! Thank you for spending the time to write it!
<p>I got copyright for UMASK (C) 2015 (Uniform Multi-lingual Alphabets Soft Keyboard) which is a touch screen keyboard and having all world languages like English, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, French, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, German etc., All are in alphabetic order. So that even a school child can learn native language very easy, we can also able to teach more languages through this UMASK. As well as anyone can start to type very easy without memory or practice. Because it has more languages, I need proper supporters from all of the country. I have shown English for sample. For more see my blog easyhappylifemaker.blogspot.com . You can't learn, teach or type with the help of the present any computer, because it not in alphabetic order. Nowadays all people need very simple method to type language. Calculator for Maths, likewise UMASK for easy learn and type languages..</p>
Hi, if you get tons of views in a contest entry does your chance of winning increase?
<p>Not necessarily. The quality of the content is a much larger factor to your winning chances than views. (I am not saying views don't matter, they just are not the most important) </p>
Thanks very much!
To enter a contest do you just submit an instructable then what? I'm hoping to follow your instrucyions
<p>Hi this probably wont get a reply but how do I enter a contest? I pressed enter and it said I dont have any eligible instructables. I have two published about hair dye, and the contest I want ks about dye, so I dont know whats going on</p>
Hey there, your instructable has to be published during the time frame of the contest you want to enter. There are several contest entry options from the publish screen. Hope this helps.
<p>Thanks this helped alot</p>
<p>Thank you for this instructable! I have already entered five instructables in contests while trying to follow these rules!</p>
<p>Quick question about contests (advance apologies if it was already asked in the comments)... is it frowned upon to solicit votes in your instructable?</p>
I don't think so. Sometimes I'll put a link to the contest into my instructable. I'll encourage people to both enter and vote. But if your instructable is truly prize winning it's not necessary.
<p>I definately learned more than a few tips to help in the contests! Great narrative! Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>Beautifully said!</p>
<p>you have an awesome picture sense dude</p><p>hats off.</p>
<p>This is wonderful. I love all your pictures! Thx.</p>
<p>thanks, I know how it feels to see someone's contest entry and say well I hope they win instead of me because they deserve it. I love the story and emotions portrayed in the end of this instructable. I absolutely love it. Favorite</p>
Fantastic insight! Thankyou.
<p>I love this. Thank you</p><p>Rima</p>
<p>i didn't do even a single thing which you have told... explains y i never won any contest.. But you have inspired me alot :) thank you for that.</p>
<p>very nice information you provided here. That's why you have won so many contests</p>
I love this!! This is great strategy and inspiration!! Thanks!!
<p>P.S. you have great ideas on what people are looking for also.</p>
<p>thanks for the input. I havent won a contest yet but I hope I have a good chance with one right now.</p>
<p>Since I have now won 2 robot T shirts, I thought I would write this instructable - but you did a much better job! Another tip - some of the judges will be female, so using sexy language may give us the edge over the others. Not that I've tried this myself yet but have seen others do it!</p>
11. Put jokes that are funny
One more important thing; I learned it the hard way and the details provided in the contest instructions were ambiguous-- put your Instructible up EARLY in the contest if it will be open for voting. My first one just made it up in time for inclusion in the 'Outdoor Survival' contest but, despite its awesomeness ;-) wasn't up long enough to compete in terms of peer votes needed to advance as a finalist. So I sort of gave myself the shaft. Lesson learned. I would have saved it for another contest with what I know now... Nonetheless, it was a bummer so hope this note keeps it from happening to another newbie.
That is the exact same thing that happened to me in the last contest I entered...<br>I waited literally until the last minute to hit the publish button.
<p>Thank you so much for this Instructable. It has been a great help and I will be using it in future contests. Keep up the awesomeness. </p>
<p>Entering an Instructable (forget actually winning!) has been on my &quot;bucket list&quot; for awhile now. This article gives me some courage to try. Thanks</p>
<p>I've only submitted three, but I've got a few drafts going, as well. Maybe start by creating a draft Instructable. Of the three I posted, only one did I submit on the day I made it. The other two involved more thought and preparation.</p>
<p>The last contest I entered was the survival contest. I knew I did well, I'd received over 25k views and nearly 300 faves in just a couple of weeks. It got featured, and is a finalist. Now if they'll just post the winners...</p>
<p>This Instructable is genius. I agree with everything you've written here, and the only thing I'd add is this: there's always room for more. That's the beauty I find with creative people- there are always more ideas, more projects, and there's ALWAYS more room for more people. Sharing my creativity has led to even greater ideas, more perspectives on how to accomplish things, and the pure joy of seeing people accomplish things they never thought to try for themselves.</p><p>It's one reason I love Instructables, even though I've never entered a contest. I will, eventually... but it's about sharing ideas and seeing new ways to look at the world. Oh, and meeting awesome people like you. :D</p>
<p>I've only done 2 Instructables</p><p>Winning an upgrade is definitely something worth having even if you don't win a T-shirt or anything else. Not sure if thats available to everyone but I guess it could be?</p>
<p>Very nice Instructable.</p><p>I should vote 100%</p><p>However it does not give me a foolproof method to win at all time. LOL</p><p>Perfection is a long term goal !!!!&hellip; LOL</p><p>Thanx for posting and have a nice week !</p>
<p>The first step should be: make sure you live in a country where you are allowed to enter the contest. If not, stop reading here.<br><br>I really wish the contests were open for more than the handful of countries there are. I've never been able to enter a single contest.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/community/Update-on-International-Entries-in-Instructables-C/">https://www.instructables.com/community/Update-on-I...</a></p><p>The restriction is on shipping prizes, <strong>everyone </strong>is able to enter. </p>
<p>This guide is pretty accurate. I only got round to writing one Instructable a few years ago and it did end up winning. The advice here is pretty on the money. You can, of course, have a sneaky look at what other people have entered and judge whether you can beat it. However, I guarantee that people will sneak out of the woodwork and enter something unspeakably amazing right as the contest ends.</p><p>My advice would definitely be to take good photos throughout. Make the construction as easy as possible for your audience. Explain everything, especially the stuff that seems obvious to you. Often people won't be able to get the parts you've used, so make it possible for them to substitute. If you're writing an electronics project, give them options for components.</p><p>Always follow KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. There are lots of Instructables that look cool, but nobody else has a hope in hell of emulating them. Either because the parts are hard to get hold of, they don't have some equipment or the Instructable glosses over an important step. You want to be sure that, unless you're just showing off a project, people can actually make the thing you're showing to them. Simple doesn't mean unprofessional though, a quality product will always do better than a mess of wires.</p><p>If you have to vote between two projects that both accomplish the same thing, odds are you'll choose the one that's simpler.</p><p>Also don't forget that as you write Instructables, you'll gain followers. Followers will be the people who get told when you write new material. They are far more likely to bring you votes than randoms on the site.</p>
<p>Also I should emphasise that you don't need a catalogue of featured Instructables to win! I still only have one Instructable to my name and it was exhilarating watching people read, comment and ask questions. I recommend the experience to everyone, even if you're not entering a contest. </p>
<p>Now I wish I made an Instructable when making a windmill for the KidWind contest. Everyone used the kidwind kits to start off (Which was optional) but we went full on and made a windmill out of insulation, epoxy, some 2x4s, nails, a steel rod, a treadmill motor, and some carbon-fiber stuff. We were DQed though because our treadmill motor was too big :|</p>
<p>By we I mean 4 of my friends and I</p>
<p>you've inspired me to try a contest entry! I'm off to do my research. </p>
<p>Very good advice. I need to take it to heart. Although I have been a member for years, I have never entered my own Instructable. I have one almost finished (awaiting better photos for a few of the steps) and you have inspired me - I will work on and finish it TODAY! No contest for it, but it will be a good learning experience.</p>

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