Tag Archives: make money online

Review of Vindale Research: Is it a Scam?

Is Vindale Research a scam? In a word, “No”. I joined them in 2010 and have successfully cashed out my earnings twice there. Therefore, I conclude that they are not a scam. This certainly doesn’t mean that they are perfect.

Here are some of the things that I like about Vindale Research:

• They are free to join with no membership fees.
• They credit your account with cash. You don’t have to convert points to cash dollar amounts in order to figure out what you earn per action.
• It is super easy to make money there.
• They have a referral program, so that members can make more money.
• Members receive credit for some of their activities immediately after they are completed but sometimes it can take a few days to receive the credit. It takes much longer to get credit or reimbursement after completing product evaluations.

You certainly don’t need to spend any money to make money with Vindale Research. Members can earn money for free in the following ways:

• Complete studies (what I consider market research surveys through a third party company)
• Watch Videos: they pay around $.02 (most lack variety)
• Reward Mail: Earn a few pennies by reading e-mails. They don’t send them often. Also make sure that Vindale Research is added to your contact list so that the e-mails don’t go to your spam folder.
• Photos: Take a picture of yourself holding your payment check or a sign stating that they paid you and upload it to their site and they pay $5 for that.
• Print and redeem coupons through the Daily Deals section
• Refer others to join Vindale Research. At the time of this blog post, you can earn up to $5 per referral.

There are a few things which I don’t particularly care for with Vindale Research. One, being that they sometimes do not pay according to their own schedule. Two, the panelist support is not very good. Sometimes their support is not very responsive to questions that you have about late payments, survey crediting, etc. On more than one occasion I didn’t receive the proper credit for some surveys that I completed from start to finish. So, I e-mailed their support. The response that I received was not helpful at all. It appeared to be ambiguous, automated or script-like, with no solid explanation as to why I had not been paid.

The panel support basically tells you that if the third-party administrator of the survey doesn’t accept the panelist’s survey results, then the panelist won’t be paid. This tells me that Vindale Research is probably not a market research company in the traditional sense, but rather a third-party between the panelist and legitimate market research companies. They also help other companies to generate leads.

They list offers or product evaluations as “market research surveys”, which I find to be somewhat misleading. The way that some of these trial offers and product evaluations work is that a member can participate in the evaluation or trial offer through links advertised on the website. After a certain amount of time has lapsed (trial offer period), the member is reimbursed for upfront payments. Some members complain that they aren’t reimbursed after signing up for trial offers or completing product evaluations.

They have had numerous complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Then again, this in and of itself doesn’t make them a scam. Vindale Research is owned by a company called Say For Example, Inc. which was established in 2005.

It is hard for anyone not intimately involved to know what has happened in each particular case filed with the BBB. In fairness to Vindale Research, they state in their terms of service that they will not pay for fraudulent transactions or situations where the member does not complete actions (for example, cancels an offer before a specified amount of time).

The payout minimum is really high at $50. I am a member of some market research companies that have payout minimums as low as $10. There are only two pay periods per month. They pay in batches of $50. So, if you accumulate $55 in your account, you can redeem up to $50 and $5 will remain in your account. They pay members through PayPal or check. According to their FAQ’s it’s supposed to take a few business days after redeeming to receive payments, but that hasn’t been my experience.

The studies through third-party market research companies pay is usually very low and in fixed amounts.

Signing up for offers and doing product evaluations on Vindale Research. Here’s my take:

1. I am not a huge fan spending money in order to earn money on these types of sites. There are other websites like Swagbucks, CashCrate and SendEarnings that will pay their members to sign-up for free offers. Most of these offers don’t require members to provide personal information beyond name, physical address and/or valid e-mail addresses. Understand that the companies that make offers or trials on these types of websites are marketing their products or services. The main goal is to get more customers or prospective customers. I don’t see anything wrong with this. However, be vary wary and cautious of any marketer or offer requesting banking information, credit card numbers, date-of-birth or social security numbers.

2. In the remote chance, that I were to sign up for a trial offer or product evaluations that required upfront pay:

a) I’d make sure that I were signing up for any offer or service that is useful and truly interests me.

b) I’d make damned sure that I were signing up for an offer with a reputable company and that I understood all of the terms that go along with that offer. Do your due diligence with scam review and government websites and read consumer product and service reviews prior to making any purchases. You can find out more about the terms by reading up on it at their third-party website. This will reduce the chances of providing personal information to a spammer or scammer.

My overall conclusion is that they aren’t a scam but not really a great place to make money on the internet. Don’t expect to make a living off of this site. Any money earned there is merely pocket change. Join Vindale Research at your own discretion.

Make Money Writing For Revenue Sharing Websites

What are revenue sharing websites?

These are third party websites, which pay for user generated content in the form of articles, video, audio and pictures.  This post refers to writing websites that have a payment scheme in place for sharing their revenue with content producers and writers.

If you observe closely, you will notice that there are always some form of advertising on these types of websites.  Revenue sharing websites generate  their income from the ads placed on the website and/or affiliate links.   This is how they keep the ship afloat, aside from providing newly published content to attract more visitors.  When someone visits the website and clicks on an ad or makes a purchase through an affiliate links, the website generates revenue.  The revenue is then split between the website owner and the content producer. Please be advised that writers who contribute to most revenue share websites are independent contractors and not employees.

There are two common compensation structures:

Pay per view  Writers receive a certain amount of money per 1- 1000 unique views to content.  For, example Bubblews pays 1 penny per unique view to a post. The amount paid varies with the platform.

Advertising/Affiliate revenue splits- Websites that pay through this method allow their members to sign up with an advertising network or affiliate programs, like AdSense and Amazon Associates.  The website shares a portion of the revenue with contributing members.  Some websites don’t require their members to sign up for an ad network.  The website owner uses their own ad network account and distributes revenue share to the writers.  The ones that do this, usually pay writers directly via PayPal, wire transfer or direct deposit.

What are the pros of writing for a revenue sharing website?

These platforms are a great creative outlet for people who have a thirst for knowledge and a knack for stringing words together coherently. Writing offers flexibility for the person in between jobs, full time students, stay at home parents, or people looking to ease into freelance writing and copywriting.  It is free to register and it is a nice way to supplement your income.   It is open to beginners, with very little experience,  as well as seasoned pros.

They are helpful for people who don’t know anything about blogging or writing for the internet .   Members don’t have to worry about learning coding (HTML, CSS, PHP, etc.).   The main requirements  are that you do your research, abide by the rules and then let your creative juices flow.

Most of these websites will give you the freedom to write on most topics that you care about.  So, you aren’t required to write in a specific niche or topic. Whenever I am in the mood to blog about diverse topics, I publish the articles on a revenue sharing website.  This makes more sense than publishing the article on my own blog in an unrelated niche.

Unless you are writing for upfront payment, there are no deadlines.  There are no taskmasters demanding that you submit articles on a scheduled basis.

Another good reason to submit your content to these sites is that they have high amounts traffic from loyal visitors.  The owners spend large amounts of money on SEO (search engine optimization), advertising and marketing to promote their business.  Most revenue sharing websites have high rankings in the search engines.  Therefore, many of the articles placed on these websites appear on the first page of Google.

This means that you stand a much better chance of publishing an article which receives a healthy number of page views, by submitting your articles through a revenue sharing website.  It can be much more difficult to get your articles on the first page of Google with a new website/blog.  That is true especially if you know nothing about driving traffic, social networking or SEO.

Some revenue sharing websites allow writers the opportunity to earn residual income from their articles.  Once you publish an article on one of these websites, it has the potential to continue making money for you into the future.  In most cases, no additional work is required beyond writing and promoting the articles via social media.

I joined some revenue sharing websites in 2009, and had no idea what I was doing.  I was honestly not that serious about it at the time. It took me about six months to a year to learn what I needed to know to start increasing my earnings.  People who join revenue sharing websites stand to benefit in so many ways.  At the very least, they will help you to become a better writer and a better internet marketer.

Some people wonder why a writer would ever want to put his or her content on another company’s website.  There are a few easy explanations for this.  For one, an unknown and inexperienced writer may gain more practice and develop a portfolio by writing for a platform owned by someone else.  It is also a great way to network with other writers in that website’s community and learn more tools for success.   Some writing websites provide style guides, forums and support for their member writers.

The forums at the sites are chock-full-of information about SEO, affiliate marketing, keyword research, blogging, and many other topics.   Most of the members are very generous about sharing information on how they’ve succeeded online and other opportunities to make money on the internet.

What are the cons of writing for a revenue sharing website?

The owner of the website retains control over what is displayed.  Some revenue sharing websites have very strict rules for the types content that is published on their platform.  Some of them have editors that hold contributors to a certain quailty standard before articles are even published.  They do this in order to please their audience and remain in good standing with the advertisers.  There is the looming risk that content that they consider to be too controversial, illegal, offensive to readers and advertisers, will be removed without warning.

Anyone who is already experienced with web writing knows about Google algorithm updates. From about 2010- 2013, Google implemented major changes to their algorithm.  The most notable among the updates are Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Google algorithim updates.   This was done to prevent worthless, poor quality, duplicate, spammy content from ranking high in the search engines. Some revenue sharing websites are regarded as content farms with poor quality content.  So they were dramatically impacted by the algorithm changes.

Basically, the traffic to and readership of your content is at the mercy of the major search engines.  This holds especially true if you rely mainly on organic traffic from the search engines.  This is the reason why many revenue sharing websites are now editing/moderating content, whereas they did not before.   And some of them will not allow content which has been published elsewhere on the web- even if you are the original author.

Some discourage or limit affiliate links or backlinking to build traffic to your own website.  For example, Bubblews does not allow any affiliate or promotional links.  Hubpages places limits on links that are promotional and will not allow any affiliate links from Clickbank.

Most revenue sharing websites will agree that the writer retains copyright ownership over any content that is produced and submitted, unless otherwise stated.  So, the writer is usually free to remove their content, if desired, without penalty.  However, there are few revenue sharing websites that grant themselves certain rights to repubish your content.  So, always be sure to read the fine print.

Will you make money with revenue sharing websites?

Yes, but you will not become an overnight success or eek out a full time living for several months or even years.  This requires lots of hard work upfront to build a large portfolio of good quality content and marketing the content.  The process is very time consuming to do research for articles, drafting, and proofreading before publishing them.  It is your call whether to invest the time and effort that is required to make money on these sites.

The most obvious disadvantage is related to the pay structure.  There is no guarantee that you will make money.  There is also no upfront payment for article posts submitted. Writers on revenue sharing sites need to share the advertising revenue with the website owners.  This is only fair since the website owner is responsible for the financial, legal and administrative drawbacks of owning and maintaining such large platforms.  You always have that option to publish content to your own blog or website and keep 100% of any earned revenue.

Popular revenue sharing websites:

Hubpages

Infobarrel

Bubblews

DailyTwoCents

Wikinut

Wizzly

Writedge

You will need to make the determination as to whether you can benefit from writing for a revenue sharing website and whether it is worth your time.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you come up with some goals, a good strategy and an action plan for maximizing your time spent curating content.  Professional writers can skip these websites altogether, as they are capable of earning more money through freelance writing for private clients.  As soon as you gain enough knowledge and skills, devote more energy towards building your own niche websites.

Make Some Extra Cash on Fiverr.com

Fiverr.com is a website where people can sign up to buy and sell Gigs for a base price of $5. A Gig is simply a task or service offered by a seller on Fiverr.com. The thing that sets this website apart from similar websites is that sellers may offer Gigs ranging from the mundane to bizarre and outrageous. Almost anything goes (of course users must operate within the terms of service agreement).

The seller is limited by his or her own imagination. A Gig buyer might also be able to work something out as far as modification of the Gig. I have purchased a few Gigs on this website and they worked out well. I am considering further use of the website by selling my own services. The following are examples of Gigs that I have seen offered on the website:

  • Graphic artistry (creating web banners, editing photos, digitally produced drawing, etc)
  • Transcription services
  • Proofreading and copyrighting services
  • Writing essays and website content
  • Voice over work
  • Crafting
  • Internet marketing and SEO consulting

Here are some of the more strange and unusual types of Gigs that I have seen offered:

  • “I will get ghetto on video.”
  • “I will translate your message into Jamaican patois”
  • “I will do an impersonation of Christopher Walken”
  • “I will do an impersonation of Robert DeNiro”
  • “I will hold your company logo and take fun photos”

These are just a few of the things that people are willing to do for only $5. The way that sellers receive payment is through PayPal or via a Fiverr Revenue car. The seller receives $4 into their account after a Gig is paid for and completed. Fiverr receives $1 out of the five dollars earned by the seller. PayPal also, charges a small percentage of the $4 deposited into a PayPal account.

 

 

Five dollars does not seem like much money. It does add up quickly for the seller that is able to build up a large base of repeat customers. The marketplace on Fiverr is very competetive. Good marketing and word of mouth advertising are useful tools in winning more business on Fiverr.com.

 

There several sellers that are able to make a full time living from Fiverr.com, but I think that the majority of sellers probably earn a part-time income there. It is evident that sellers with feedback in the thousands have made thousands of dollars through Fiverr. The most successful sellers offer a very unusual service or products, which are not easily replicated, thus minimizing competition in the same niche.

 

The website has a ratings system, and buyers are able to leave feedback about their experience. Sellers that provide consistent great service, will naturally receive good feedback and the opportunity to offer “Gig Extras” for more money than the basic $5. There are some people that are able to upsell Gig Extras, that cost $5 to $100 or more. Some people also make money through purchasing Gigs on Fiverr and then reselling the service at a premium. It is a form of arbitrage and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know what you are doing and you find a reputable and reliable seller on Fiverr. I think that is where the real money is.

 

If you decided to sell a Gig on Fiverr, be sure to create a very thorough description. Spell out exactly what you will do as part of the service that you offer, as well as limitations. It is best to suggest that buyers ask questions prior to placing an order. Always make customer service and getting Gigs completed as quickly as possible a priority.

 

I placed a few Gigs on Fiverr and the next day, someone placed an order for my service. The Gig was cancelled, because the purchaser wanted much more than what I offered through the Gig. So far, I’ve had positive experiences with the sellers that I did business with. I bought a Gig and was very satisfied with the level of service that I received. Let’s see what happens with this website.

 

© Copyright 2013 Susan Broadbelt