This is the subhead for the blog post

In Portland, my friend Julian Chadwick runs a site called PDXPipeline. On it, a ton of events (including many concerts) are posted with the opportunity for the best commenter(s) to win a free ticket. The site has become quite popular (as you might imagine), and over the years, I’ve won a few free passes to shows from the site (Hank Williams III, Levon Helm, and Dr. John were the shows that I attended by leaving “winning” comments).


Now, for the most part, it isn’t Julian or one of the other site operators picking the winners…it’s the folks putting on the event. So, in order to win a free ticket, one has to say something clever enough to convince a total stranger that he/she should get the pass. For example, here’s what I said that got me a pass to see George Clinton (a concert I unfortunately wasn’t able to ultimately attend):

best contest comment






Our SEMpdx Portland Search Marketing Group has put on a summer rooftop networking event, and for the last few years, we’ve posted the event on PDXPipeline to draw interest and give away some passes. Because of my relationship with Julian, I’ve been the person coordinating this, and it’s been up to me to choose the winners. Now, I’m fully aware that our event isn’t as sexy or popular as a George Clinton concert…however, the event does have a lot of value to someone in our industry, and even a quasi-relevant comment would give the person a chance of winning the pass.


However, too many of the comments left on the post were along the lines of:

generic comment





Now, a few pointers on how to give yourself a chance of winning a contest like this:


1)      Reference the event in your comment. See Ben’s comment above? Ben could write the exact same thing for our event, the George Clinton concert, a free meal, etc. If you don’t make reference to what you’re trying to win, your comment is no better than auto-generated spam, and you have no chance of success.

use event in comment


Jesse attended our event.  :.)


2)      Reference the industry in your comment. We’re a search marketing organization. We’re looking to meet up with other search marketing professionals because those folks are most likely to attend future events and become members.

industry comment contest


Skylar attended our event.  :.)


3)       Utilize humor, personality, and/or sympathy. When combined with #1 & #2, you’ll greatly increase your odds. When all else fails, we’d rather party with a cool, worthy person than a boring one. Given the very poor quality of answers, we had to fall back on this comment.

personal contest comment


Not a great answer…but with a weak pool to choose from, Anne was the winner of the final ticket.


Many opportunities to comment and win exist online. With a little thought and consideration, you can greatly increase your odds of winning.


Todd Mintz, Sr. Account Manager