Tag Archives: making money on the internet

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 By Answering Questions with WebAnswers

make money answering questions on WebAnswers

Do you like to write? Do you enjoy trivia? Do you consider yourself to be a fact junkie? Then you could make money by asking and answering questions at WebAnswers. This is a website very similar to Yahoo Answers.   The main difference is that WebAnswers is a revenue sharing website and their members get paid for participation. It is free to register and ask questions.

Members get paid through Google AdSense.   Members can either set up a new AdSense account through WebAnswers or link to an existing AdSense account. New members need to answer at least 50 questions before they are eligible to link their AdSense account to WebAnswers. Once there is $100 or more accumulated in the AdSense account, the member is paid by Google.

 

More detail about AdSense Earnings on WebAnswers

Quality Score

Each contributing member is given a Quality Score rating. The more thorough and accurate answers that you provide, the higher your Quality Score will be. Quality is much more important than the quantity of questions answered.   Quality Scores get a boost when answers are lengthy (not just a few sentences), logical, and written in proper English grammar and spelling.

 

WebAnswers does not reveal exactly how they determine members’ Quality Scores. They won’t divulge the intricacies of the Quality Score system, since they don’t want any members attempting to manipulate the system. It is safe to say that your Quality Score is heavily impacted by level of participation and the quality and completeness of answers.
There is a direct correlation between Quality Score rating and the amount of money you will make. WebAnswers tend to show more ads with a member’s AdSense ID when their Quality Score rating is high. This translates into more AdSense impressions compared to members who have a lower Quality Score. More page impressions increases the possibility of more AdSense clicks on a member’s AdSense ads.

 

In order to get the most out of WebAnswers, you will need to be very active and participate regularly. Successful members stick to answering questions from topics where they are knowledgeable. The members who make the most money are the ones who provide very thorough, detailed answers to several questions per day. It goes almost without saying that members who participate seldom, do not make as much money as the most active members. So, quantity, quality and consistency are very important to the Quality Score rating and earnings potential.

 

Awarded Answers and Adsense earnings

When someone asks a question, they have the option to “award” one person who posts an answer to their question. The Awarded Answer is the answer that the asker chooses as the best answer.

A member makes a percentage on of the AdSense revenue from webpages displaying their Awarded Answers. The asker also earns a percentage of the adsense revenue until the question gets an awarded answer.

 

As mentioned before, members are paid through AdSense. The amount of money earned is based on factors such as the number of clicks to your AdSense ads, the number of page impressions, CPC (Cost per click), and eCPM. Certain advertisers are willing to pay more money per click from the ads that display on WebAnswers.   Ad categories such as Health, Legal, Finance, Beauty tend to have higher AdSense CPC (cost per click) and eCPMs.

 

Please understand that you aren’t allowed to click on your own ads or ask others to. This will get you kicked off WebAnswers and banned from the AdSense program. WebAnswers doesn’t tolerate plagiarized content on their website. Plagiarism could result in termination of a user’s account.

 

Copying and pasting is not allowed. They use a software which detects when users have copied and pasted a group of text from somewhere, even word processing software. Any posts containing copied and pasted text will be flagged and checked by moderators for plagiarism.

 

How much can you earn on WebAnswers?

Don’t expect to make big money on WebAnswers. There is no real way of knowing how much money you will make on WebAnswers, because of the unpredictability of AdSense revenue. Some members are able to earn several hundred dollars per month. What I gleaned from reading forums and responses from members, is that the average member makes about $50-$150 per month by answering a 5-10 question per day. This is just a rough estimate, because people aren’t allowed to give exact figures on their AdSense income and CTR’s.

 

Also, WebAnswers shows member’s ads on different pages through out the website- not just on Awarded Answer pages or questions asked. They don’t tell members where their ads are shown. As far as I know, you can’t track your earnings in Google Analytics. So, it is pretty difficult to tell which webpages are earning more money.

You can also make money by referring traffic to WebAnswers and others to join WebAnswers.

Cons of WebAnswers:
Some of the members who ask questions take a very long time to award answers or never award answers. Each member who participates in answering a question, will receive AdSense impressions on a rotated basis until the question is awarded. The more people who answer a question, the more dilute the earnings potential of the question. So, if 30 people answer a question the asker and all 30 of the members who’ve answered the question will have their AdSense ID rotated on that webpage until an Awarded Answer is selected.

They don’t like for people to put links in answers, especially affiliate and self-promotional links. Therefore, posts that contain links are flagged by their system and moderated. It is a measure taken to reduce spam.

Google has removed their ads from WebAnswers quite a few times. I am not sure why this happens and it could be due to many reasons. My guess is that Google may find some posts on the website that they don’t think are appropriate. When this occurs all members lose AdSense revenue until Google decides to reinstate WebAnswers‘s AdSense account. The last time that this happened the ads were gone for nearly a week.

 

Their support forum for members is not very active. It is supposed to be a place for members to voice their concerns in an organized fashion. The members seem to prefer to just post direct questions and concerns through WebAnswers. That’s okay, but I think it would be easier for members to access this type of info in the dedicated support forum. The owners of the website don’t seem to be very active over there. Since I joined, I haven’t heard any updates from them, including when problems arise.

 

One thing that should be pointed out is that WebAnswers is not open to people in all countries. Check the terms of service to find out whether you are eligible to register.

 

I am a firm believer in not putting your eggs in one basket, so I spend just a few days a week there. I do it to keep my participation levels up and my account active.  Some people complain that as their participation drops, their earning levels and AdSense impressions decline.  Another thing that I should add is that once you submit content to WebAnswers, you lose copyrights to what you publish there.   So, be sure to keep this in mind.

 

I joined WebAnswers in March 2014 and expect good things from them. I plan to experiment with it for some time and see what develops.

Are Writedge and DailyTwoCents Suitable Alternatives to Bubblews?

I am currently researching alternatives to writing on Bubblews.  This led me to a couple of revenue sharing websites called, DailyTwoCents and Writedge. They are jointly owned by Danielle McGaw and Michelle Harlow.  Writedge (WE) and DailyTwoCents (DTC) are partner sites. DailyTwoCents is a website similar to Bubblews and it allows people to write and publish short articles of at least 100 words.  One of the site owners is a former member of Bubblews, who didn’t get paid by Bubblews and I think they deleted her account.  She “fought back” by starting her own website.

 

Bubblews has many issues with delayed payment to its contributing members.  Bubblews have raised their cash out threshold from $25 to $50 last year.  They also increased the amount of time that it takes to be paid, from roughly a week to about 35 days now.

 

I have been checking online for what people are saying about DailyTwoCents and Writedge.  The reviews are overwhelmingly positive; Other than low traffic (compared to similar sites), I have yet to find anything that raises a red flag for me.  There haven’t been any complaints that I know of about delayed or missing payments from DTC or WE.  They have a Facebook page set up, where the owners are active.

 

They are much more responsive to the questions and concerns of their writers than Bubblews tends to be.  Some members on Bubblews report that they don’t receive good member support and very ambiguous and often rude answers from Bubblews support staff on issues. Some members had their accounts deleted without notice along with their accumulated earnings.

 

Writedge and DailyTwoCents has a PPV compensation system, which pays a little lower compared to Bubblews.  DailyTwoCents and Writedge pays ½ cent per unique view, while Bubblews pays 1 penny per view, like, share or comment.  WE and DTC doesn’t pay for likes, shares, or comments.  The payout minimum at WE and DTC is only $5, which is much lower compared to Bubblews’s $50 minimum payout threshold.

 

WE and DTC allow something that Bubblews doesn’t allow; Their contributors are permitted to insert affiliate and self-promoting links.  You are allowed to insert a few links, within reason. This offers contributors more opportunity to make more money and get increased exposure on other projects.  The  sweetest part is that the contributor gets to keep 100% of the revenue from their affiliate sales.

 

They are also accepting content that was previously published on other platforms like Squidoo or Hubpages.  The previously published content must be deleted from other places on the web and de-indexed from search engines prior to re-publishing.

 

Another thing that I like about WE and DTC is that they have standards. Bubblews doesn’t edit any post, which results in higher degree of plagiarism and low-quality garbage getting published there.  This isn’t a good practice in the long-term for search engine optimization, relevance and rankings.  I have actually seen several posts published on Bubblews with a string of incoherent nonsense, stuffed with keywords.  Not good.

 

DailyTwoCents edit posts prior to publishing them, which results in higher quality content.  You aren’t allowed to publish any and everything there.  Editors will check over the first 3- 5 submitted posts in order to ensure that they meet a certain quality level before the posts are published.  So, it is not possible to submit plagiarized, spammy content, filled with spelling and grammatical errors.

 

There is an unspoken rule that members on Bubblews are not allowed to write on subjects that entail making money.  Or, subjects that can lead the members away to competitors.  DTC and WE doesn’t seem to have any issues with publishing submissions related to these topics.

 

Though I am reluctant to call them a scam, I don’t feel 100% assured in writing for Bubblews.  They have the reputation of not paying for articles that go viral- even, when the poster follows all of their rules.  I’ve got the lingering feeling that one day I may not get paid for all my contributions or that my account may be mysteriously deleted without warning.  Diversification is important to me and I dabble in many different platforms to spread my eggs into different baskets.

 

So, I am seriously contemplating whether I should delete all of my better quality posts which I have published there, and find other platforms to republish them.  I have about 200 posts published on Bubblews.  I will likely re-write and tweak the content before moving it.

Ten Things You Should Know Before Taking Surveys

Participating in online surveys conducted by market research companies can be a

good source of extra pocket cash. There are some things that you should ponder

before deciding whether to the join survey panels of market research companies.

Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful:

 

  1. What are your reasons for participating in online survey panels? Are you taking

online surveys strictly to make money? Do you enjoy the opportunity to express your

opinion and influence marketing decisions? You will want to explore your reasons for

participating, since this will make it easier to determine whether surveys are worth

your time. Don’t ever get fooled into thinking that you can make a full time living off

of taking surveys. Any money you make from taking surveys is supplemental income

at best. I use the extra money to put gas in my car or to buy a cup of coffee from

time to time. I question the veracity of statements such as: You can make $75- $100

an hour by taking online surveys. The average survey offer is between $1- $5, for

10 minutes to 30 minutes of your time. Once in a while, “specialist” surveys are

offered which can pay $20 or more for your time.

 

  1. Understand the incentive system that each company offers. Some companies

utilize a points system, whereby you earn a certain amount of points for each survey

completed. Those points can be converted into amounts which can be redeemed for

money or other merchandise. It’s important to understand the conversion factor for

points awarded (example, 1000 points = $10 or 1000 points = $50 ). This way you

will avoid wasting time with surveys than may not pay as well compared to others.

Other companies don’t reward in points, but rather reward dollar (or cents) amounts

for surveys completed. Also, the payout threshold varies from company to company.

Where one company might have a payout as low as $5.00, another may require you

to have $50.00 in your account before you are allowed to cash out.

 

  1. Related to #2, familiarize yourself with payment methods. Some market research

companies payout in cash via PayPal or check. Others make payments in the form

of gift certificates with major retailers like Amazon.com, or through virtual gift cards.

If you aren’t aware of payment methods, you could find yourself taking surveys only

to be rewarded with a magazine subscription or points for a tote bag, or perhaps, a

no-name brand MP3 player. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself. But,

what if these incentives don’t tickle your fancy?

 

  1. Know the market research company’s policy regarding account inactivity. It is

often required that you login to your account within a certain time frame in order for

the account to be considered active. If not, you run the risk of your account getting

deactivated. There are market research companies that will go as far as removing

points from an inactive account and then closing the account.

 

Just as a hypothetical, a panel member at one market research company hasn’t used

her account for over a year. The terms of service clearly states that if a panel

member has not taken any surveys or logged into their account within 12 months,

then the account will become inactive. This market research company considers all

money rewarded in inactive accounts to be forfeited to the market

research company. You don’t want all of your hard work and time to go down the

drain. So, be sure to read up on this. As a matter of fact, you should read the entire

terms of service agreement very thoroughly to avoid unknowingly violating any of the

terms of service.

 

  1. Thoroughly read the privacy policy of the market research website. As a general

proposition, you should be reading the privacy policy of every website you visit.

There may be information in the privacy policy which is shocking to you. The last

thing that you want is for a company to take your private information and use or sell

it to another company without your permission. Reputable market research

companies have privacy policies and they do not use your information to sell things

to you. Avoid websites that don’t have a privacy policy.

 

  1. Never pay to join a survey website. Bona fide market research survey panels don’t

charge members to join. You should not have to pay for a list of real survey

companies, either. This is information readily available to you with a little common

sense and Googling legwork.

 

  1. Be honest in the information that you provide to market research companies.

Panelists that provide dishonest answers just to qualify for surveys, are often

permanently kicked out of the panel when discovered. Also, the market research

company is collecting data for their clients. Providing incorrect information during a

survey, leads to skewed statistics and unreliable data. Market research companies

and their clients aren’t willing to pay for bad information.

 

  1. You won’t qualify for every survey opportunity that you are offered. You may find

that you start a screener in the beginning of the survey, and get disqualified after a

few minutes. During the screener you get asked questions about your demographics.

That’s because market research companies often target specific segments of the

population. Most market research companies don’t pay for the time it took for

screening. You get paid only if you complete the survey and your results are

approved. If you are disqualified during a screener, don’t feel discouraged. Just keep

it moving.

 

  1. You might want to sign up for a free e-mail address and use this e-mail account  for

panels. In the event that you sign up for a company which poses as a market

research company, your e-mail inbox might get flooded with spam. To save yourself

some headaches, refrain from providing your personal and business e-mail unless

you are very certain that you’re dealing with a reputable organization. Scammers

won’t hesitate to sell your information and then proceed to spam you.

 

10.   After you sign up with a market research panel, you will receive an activation email.

It is very important to click on the link in the activation e-mail, so that your

account is activated. Afterwards, you will be able to receive survey invites in your email

inbox. Add the market research company’s e-mail address to your contact list,

so that the e-mails that you receive from them won’t go to the spam folder.

Massive Changes at Bubblews

The entire look and feel of the website was revamped. Here are some of the major changes that occurred. In general the changes have made the website more enjoyable and easier to navigate.

1. The dislike button was eliminated. That’s cool, since I didn’t hate on or troll other members like that. If I don’t like someone’s post, then I just move on to another one. Some people were abusing it.

2. Members can no longer like or dislike comments.

3. Bubblews added the ability to delete comments. Yay! Members are more empowered to get rid of people who leave spam or idiotic comments.

4. They limited the ability to edit posts. The option to edit posts is only open for a short while, although I can’t be sure how long. I wanted to update some old posts but that option is no longer available.

5. It now takes about 30 days to get your money after cashing out. It used to be around 72 hours after hitting the redeem button that you would receive an e-mail notification about your payment. Then, members were supposed to receive their payments within about five business days after that e-mail. Bubblews started having problems with delayed payments to members. Hopefully, this will give them a chance to get caught up with paying their members.

6. The website moves much faster now, with fewer errors and less downtime. The 504 error is a thing of the past. It is now easier to leave comments, without double posting them.

7. It is easier to upload pictures from Pixabay. Members can search through Pixabay for free images in the public domain to put on their Bubblews posts.

8. The notifications page is improved. It is broken down into different tabs, with a tab for “likes ” received on your posts and a tab dedicated to comments left on your posts. The confusing “commented on your comment” thread in the notifications was removed.

9. They removed the ability for members to leave comments on another member’s profile page. I was happy about this, since the comments cluttered the profile page and most of the comments were spam.

10. It seems that spammers and plagiarists have dramatically decreased. I think that Bubblews staff will eventually weed out all of most of them as they continue to refine their system. The other members are taking a stand by deleting the spam and reporting members who violate the rules.

11. Many members are complaining that their earnings have decreased, while others are saying that their earnings have increased. My overall earnings per post have dropped a little. I haven’t quite figured out what I need to do to get it back up.

12. Members can no longer hog the front page of Bubblews for days at a time. Now, more members have a better shot at getting their posts on the front page of Bubblews for at least 10 minutes.

13. Bubblews removed the categories. People are compensating for this by using more tags. The “+” and dashes are used for tagging words and phrases. “&” is used to tag another member in a post or comment.

14. Some of the interlinks and tags disappeared in older posts. This is a glitch that will probably be fixed.

15. The archive wasn’t great before. Now it has gone from bad to worse. I don’t know how to easily access many of my old posts. If I run a title search with their search tool, I may or may not find some of my old posts.

16. The like icon is now a star. When you click it to like a post, the star turns yellow.

17. The bank is cute now. It displays how much earnings are currently there and how much you have to earn before the next redemption.

18. I think that their referral program is gone. I don’t see any information on the site regarding the program. I don’t have access to my referral link.

19. Some Bubblews members are reporting that they were paid some of their missing redemptions.

20. Views to posts and earnings per post aren’t as predictable. Some of my newly published posts are making less than $.50 after the first few days published. But, other posts perform much better and earn much more. It is hit or miss in trying to figure out the types of posts that will earn more money now.

Yahoo Contributor Network Shutdown and Squidoo is Merging with Hubpages

Yahoo! shutdown the Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo Voices the end of July 2014 and all of the published articles were deleted from their servers.  I wrote a short review about the Yahoo Contributor Network in another blog post.

Even though I wasn’t active there, I am a little upset to see them go. This was one of the first websites that allowed me to publish my content and get paid for it.

I published less than 40 articles, and continued to receive a few dollars in Performance Payments every couple of months. It’s not much, but every bit helps if you want to buy a cup of Starbucks.

I had stopped publishing for YCN over a year, ago. I developed a bit of a distaste for them after I submitted an article to them and never heard anything back (even after 10 business days). I deleted the article from YCN and published it on my personal blog instead.

There are some contributors who published hundreds and even thousands of articles on Yahoo Contributor Network. Many of them were making hundreds to thousands monthly in Upfront Payments and Performance Payments. To see all of that residual income vanish with short notice has to be devastating. Not only does this impact their income, it also impacts the amount of time that it will take for them to download those articles and come up with another plan.

The contributors are going scramble to find somewhere else to put their writing. They will do this in order to keep their residual income stream flowing.

And another one goes down in smoke… Squidoo is shutting down, too!

Squidoo announced that it is closing down. Helium is closing down in December and I hear that Zujava lost their Amazon Associates account. Suite 101 is no more. I see a recurring trend here. As the saying goes: “The only thing that is constant is change”. Many user generated content mills and revenue sharing websites have either shutdown or have problems paying their contributors.

Squidoo is a writing platform founded by Seth Godin that allowed individual authors to publish articles called “lenses”. I joined in 2010, but decided not to publish there, because I didn’t like some of their rules and standards for publishing. I lost interest in Squidoo a few years ago when I noticed how much poorly written stuff was published there. Plus, I didn’t like the way that they treated some of their publishers. Lenses (the articles published on Squidoo) seemed to be locked in an arbitrary fashion, without warning.

Squidoo was acquired by Hubpages (another publishing platform). Lensmasters (the publishers on Squidoo) with at least one featured lens are permitted to migrate their work over to Hubpages, if they wish to do so.

Squidoo was hit really hard by the Panda update, along with many other similar websites. So, the update caused a reduction in search engine traffic, which led to reduced readership and revenue. Hubpages was able to bounce back a little from the Panda update. I don’t think that Hubpages ever made a full recovery of most of its high ranking in Google and traffic. Some of the authors on Hubpages complain that they aren’t making nearly as much money as they were prior to Panda. Many of them have jumped ship due to this fact.

I am going to be honest. When you submit your content to a revenue sharing website, you are building up their internet property and adding value to their system. More good quality and relevant content and media added to a website tends to make Google happy.

The biggest takeaway that I get from this situation is that they can kick you to the curb, whenever they want. They don’t care about your bills and the amount of time that you have invested into producing content and helping their business. They probably won’t be moved if you were to scream “Murder!” and cry tears of blood about the debacle.

Just look at how much courtesy and respect that Squidoo paid to their contributors by dropping the bomb on them at such short notice. The owners of revenue sharing websites are obligated to look out for their own best interests; your interests and financial welfare take a backseat to theirs.

I won’t come down on user-generated content mills and revenue share websites too harshly; that would be like throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water. There are some benefits to utilizing them. Revenue sharing websites are fine for building up a portfolio and earning some residual income. They are not a permanent or dependable income stream. We should never become overly dependent on them. If you are going to use them and other third-party money making systems, keep in the back of your mind that you aren’t in control.

Like I said in my video, diversify your income and your efforts. Don’t make the mistake of putting all of your eggs in one basket. Again, look at what has happened to some of the people whom have published their content on Squidoo. Some of them published anywhere from hundreds to thousands of articles there. Those articles were netting many of them hundreds to thousands of dollars per month in residual income.

Now, they are going to hustle and scramble to find a way to replace their lost income. They are going to need to figure out if they should rewrite, repurpose their content, republish it or retire it. Some platforms don’t want content that has been published elsewhere on the web- even if the content has already de-indexed in search engines. So, it may or may not be a good decision to try and put the articles up on another website.

I would love to go on about this, but I think that I have rambled about it enough and beat this topic into the ground. So, I will leave you with this: You can either stop using revenue share websites/user-generated content mills or continue to use them. The choice is yours. If you decide to continue using them, get what you can out of revenue sharing sites, but make sure that you create your own internet property and other revenue streams.

 

Earn Some Extra Cash Writing For Bubblews

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you decided to join this website through the link, I may receive compensation.

I stumbled upon this website in December 2013, while doing Google searches for ways to make extra money online.  It is a revenue sharing website and social blogging platform that allows people to express their thoughts and ideas on just about any topic (within their policy agreement).  Bubblews is open to people in the United States and all over the world.

What are some of The Pros of Using Bubblews?

It has a very user-friendly interface.  You aren’t required to learn any HTML coding or be a professional writer to make money there.  You can write about almost anything that comes to mind, and make money off it.  The website design is very clean and uncluttered.   Most of the other “Bubblers” or people that participate on Bubblews, are cordial and will make helpful suggestions to other users.

Bubblews is a revenue sharing website, meaning that writers are paid some of the advertising revenue generated from Bubblews.   Members are credited a penny for each unique page view to their posts. You are credited a penny whenever someone “likes” a comment or post that you wrote.  You are credited when someone shares one of your posts, too.  Members are permitted to make up to 10 posts per day.

Each post must contain a minimum of 400 characters (not words).   You could easily come up with something to write about as there are no assignments, and the webmasters don’t tell anyone what to post.  Their rules appear fairly straightforward and  simple to follow.

Members can redeem earnings once “The Bank” reaches $50.  The earnings can be redeemed by e-check or PayPal.  I takes about 72 hours to receive an e-mail notification from them that your e-check is on the way.  After that, it takes another 3-5 business days for the e-check to clear in a PayPal account.

It seems that the more posts that you make, the more page views and earnings you make.  Also, the more “Connections” and interactions you make there, the greater your earnings.

The average member making posts occasionally, will make a few pennies or dollars here and there.  Nothing to get excited about.  There are quite a few members who claim to make several hundred dollars per month (or more).  These are very active members, with thousands of connections on Bubblews.  You need to put in a lot of work and remain active in order to reach regular payout thresholds.

What are Some of The Cons of using Bubblews?

Bubblews is glitchy at times.  On many occasions, I have attempted to log on and got a “504 error” or some other message that the website was offline.   You can end up wasting time browsing through the “Notifications Page”.  For example, I am not very fond of the so-and-so ‘commented on your comment” notification.  This notification appears each time that someone comments on a post that you left a comment on.  It is not very clear whether any person even commented on a comment that you made.

Also, there is no control over who is allowed to leave comments on your posts.  In other words, you can’t moderate your posts.  So, anyone can leave offensive remarks on your post and you can’t remove them yourself.  However, you could make a complaint to the staff at Bubblews to have spam and offensive comments removed by sending an e-mail and clicking on the “Flag this” button.   It is rare for people to harass others there, as it is against their policy and could result in account removal.

There is no editorial oversight on Bubblews. So, anything that you write can be submitted instantly.  Although there are members who submit very engaging and informative posts, many of the people writing posts there tend to submit posts which are very dull and uninteresting.  Others submit posts filled with spelling,  grammar and syntax errors.

Another thing is that some of the writers there have complained that either their payments were delayed or that they did not receive some of their payouts.  It is possible that some of these people violated Bubblews terms of service agreement in some way.  Several others whom have run into this issue say that they followed all of the rules to the letter, but still had the problem.   Some people complain that their accounts were deleted for no apparent reason.

I have never had these issues and most of the people who have been using the website for a number of months haven’t had any of those issues, either.   So far, I have been able to cash out once for a little over $50.  I will continue to make posts there and participate unless I start to have the same problems.

Some people “connect” with other members in the hopes that the other members will connect back and start reading their posts.   Many of them have no intention of reading your posts.  It can be annoying when you catch on to this tactic.  I usually stick to reading the posts of members who submit educational or interesting content.

Overall, I really do like Bubblews and I recommend it as a way to earn a few dollars here and there, while having a little fun.  But, remember not to put all your eggs in one basket.  Join today!   www.bubblews.com

 

 

© Copyright 2014  Susan Broadbelt

Making Side Money On The Yahoo Contributor Network

Yahoo Contributor Network (formerly known as Associated Content) is an online platform where writers can publish content on a variety of interests and passions while getting paid to do it. Associated Content was purchased in 2011 by Yahoo for $100 million. Soon thereafter, Associated Content became known as Associated Content by Yahoo and then the Yahoo Contributor Network. The purchase was a move to provide more content to its audience at a much lower cost. The web address for viewing content and logging in to an account is www.voices.yahoo.com. Contributors are allowed to produce and submit almost any type of content to the website, provided that it does not violate the terms of service agreement and that it Is not deemed as offensive.

When I joined back in 2009, the website was a bit more liberal in allowing most contributors to place content on its website. Contributors mainly needed to have the ability to produce original content, with marginal to fair writing skills and good (not great) English grammar and spelling skills. However, over the past few years, there were several updates to the Google search engine algorithms. Websites with poorly written, duplicate content were penalized with lower rankings in the Google search engine. Associated Content developed a reputation in certain writing circles as a “content farm”, meaning that much of the content placed on the website was viewed by some as poor quality. I won’t call anyone out, but based on some of the articles that I have read there from certain contributors, I found that to be partially true.

Prior to the Google updates, I was able to write an article and publish it on Associated Content almost immediately. Nowadays, the process of submitting an article and having it accepted by the Yahoo Contributor Network is more rigourous. All articles must be reviewed by an editor and is usually accepted or denied within 10 business days. If the content passes the muster of the Submission Guidelines then it is good to go and usually published. Article length is generally between 400-600 words.

Contributors have the choice of submitting unsolicited articles or submitting articles from the Assignment Desk. An “unsolicited article” is an article that a contributor writes on a topic of his or her choice. An “Assignment Desk” article is just as the name implies: the contributor will go to the Assignment Desk and select an assignment there to write about and then submit the finished article to an editor for review. There are usually guidelines that need to be followed for submitting an Assignment Desk article, such as how much the contributor can expect to be paid for accepted articles and how many words the article must be.

There are two main systems of compensation with this website: Performance Payments and Upfront Payments. Performance payments are based on the amount of views that an article receives. It is calculated and paid in the range of $1- $2 per 1000 views to an article. So for example, you have an article that recieves 2700 page views in one month. And your performance payment level is $1.50 per 1000 pages views, then you will be paid $4.05 for that particular month and that article. Assignments for Upfront Payments are obtained through the Yahoo Contributor Assignment Desk. Articles have the potential to earn performance payments for as long as the article remains published through YCN.

Although the pay is not great for an experienced professional writer, it is a good way for a newbie to the game of blogging/ internet writing to get his or her feet wet, gain some exposure, and earn a few extra dollars. Contributors aren’t allowed to use their profile and articles for self-promotion purposes. They are allowed to place links to their “affilliations”, blogs and websites in their contributor profiles, though. I have been contacted in my inbox by people interested in having me write for them. So it is a good way to network and put yourself out there.

In order to be eligible to write for The Yahoo Contributor Network, you will need to be a U.S. Citizen or resident and at least 18 years old, with a valid PayPal account. If you want to use a pen name, this is permitted. At the same time YCN has rules about the type of pen names you can use and suggests that you use your real name and a good profile picture of yourself.

All in all, my experience with YCN has been a positive one. I have not had any major problems with comment trolls or spammers. I simply delete the few offensive comments and block the pain-in-the-ass commenting and keep it moving. Their forums and blog generate a lot of useful information as well. I had to contact the staff of Yahoo only once or twice for help with some website technical issues and questions. Those times the staff responded in a few business days and were able to address my concerns quickly.

One thing that the Yahoo Contributor Network has that it did not have when I started, is the Academy. Contributors learn more about how to navigate through the system and produce better quality content through the Academy. It is open to both new and seasoned Yahoo contributors. Enrollees learn things like, how to set up an eye catching profile, how to promote their content, and how to use proper SEO in content.

Have I made lots of money? No. There are definitely other platforms where professional writers command a higher pay for their work. When I run the numbers and average everything out. My articles have generated around $3 each since I started producing content on YCN. Bare in mind that I only have less than 40 articles published there and that I have not published an article on that platform, since 2011. Yet my articles still generate a little residual income.

Other things to consider are that I haven’t asked for Upfront Payments on my articles and the earning on my published articles are from Performance Payments. I have not been very active with YCN lately, nor have I promoted the content that I produced since 2010. There was even a period of time that I missed out on Performance Pay, because I did not log into my account regularly. I would say that my earnings are probably in line with my minimal output and participation.

If did more work, then it is only logical that my earnings potential would increase. There are many contributors to YCN who earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly at YCN. These are contributors whom have gained notoriety through consistent production and hard work.

The amount that you earn may also depend on the demand for the topic and type of content that you produce. I have found that certain topics such as celebrity gossip and current events may garner more page views on some of their sites. This will translate into more money. My highest paying article on YCN has to do with a salacious topic about a former reality TV personality. It’s sad to say, but unless you have a huge following, other topics/genres like history or sociology are not as popular. In my opinion it is a reflection of American obsession with popular culture.

If you love to write and express yourself, then The Yahoo Contributor Network may be a good match for you. Check it out!  www.voices.yahoo.com

 

© Copyright 2013 Susan Broadbelt

www.cashmoneyhustle.com

What is a hustler?

One day, I was sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast and my little nephew looked at me and said, “Auntie, you’re not a money hustler!”.  I was wearing an oversized t-shirt which I  “borrowed” from my father.  The t-shirt is very worn, with holes, but it is still one of my favorite things to sleep in.  The front of the t-shirt bares a graphic design with a wad of hundred dollar bills and the phrase, “I am a hustler”.

I pondered what my nephew had said for a few seconds and then asked him, “What is a hustler?”.  He told me that a hustler is a dope dealer or robber.  Although, it bothered me that he thought this way of hustlers, it didn’t entirely shock me.  This conception is really a prevailing thought in the way that many people perceive hustlers.  Since the word “hustler” carries a negative connotation,  when it is uttered, it instantly conjures up imagery of pimps, prostitutes, the con man, the booster (professional thief), strippers, drug dealers, cliques, etc.

The media has also influenced the way that we view hustlers.  I grew up in the 70s and 80s and am very familiar with shows like Starsky and Hutch.  I remember quite well, the character Huggie Bear played by Antonio Fargas, a small time hustler/informant.  If you have ever watched the movie “American Gangster”, starring Denzel Washington, you probably know that it is based on the true story of Frank Lucas who rose from small time hustler status to global hustler/ heroin importer. These are just a few examples of images that come to mind when we hear the word “hustler”.

But really there are different types of hustlers.  Yes, the characters that I just mentioned do play roles in the game of hustling, but they are just different types of players in the game.  You might agree or disagree with me on this, but here’s my definition of a hustler, as explained to my nephew:

A hustler is a person that seeks and knows how to take advantage of ways to earn money in order to improve his or her quality of life. A true hustler (one who has mastered the art and science) always has a solid plan with clear objectives and takes consistent, right action to achieve the objectives.  He or she simply knows how to “make it happen.” A true hustler also, understands how to enhance their mind in order to improve his or her quality of life.

Being a hustler can encompass many characteristics, but it is not limited by gender, sex, race, age, religion, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.  It doesn’t matter whether you are single, married, or have children.  Like I said,  there are different types of hustlers.  Employees, self-employed small business owners, and investors are examples of hustlers. Lil Wayne, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, and Beyonce are all hustlers (at least by my definition).  Some people are better at their hustling game than others, and some people choose legal ways of hustling instead of  illegal means.

This situation with my nephew is partly what inspired me to start this blog.  The other part of it is that, I don’t claim to be an expert or guru at hustling or making money.  This blog is focused on discussion and exploration of ways to make money.  The economy is in a slump and many people are either having trouble finding or keeping a job.  We are living in a world that is shifting more towards a globalized economy. We have shifted into the Information Age and relying more heavily on technology.

Society is placing more value on technological and scientific advancement. Just to give you an example, I was watching a TV show about John-Deere.  This company uses multimillion dollar computers and machinery in order to manufacture most of their products.  Their manufacturing process turns out a more accurate and precisely put together product.  It also speeds up the manufacturing process and reduces the need for human beings, thus cutting jobs.

As another example, look at what is going on with the United States Postal Service.  This organization is not able to keep up with the fast paced changes in the way consumers communicate and ship packages. Consumers have greater options for making bill payments and communicating. The end result is that the United States Postal Service will need change its business model to keep up with the times or else. Therefore, those whom have not prepared themselves (companies and individuals) and adapted to the changes in technology are getting left behind.

With all this said, we are living in an era where it has never been easier to obtain information and make money.  The advent of the Internet and the computer has made it almost seamless to communicate with others and conduct business from almost anywhere on the planet.  The Internet and advances in technology have made it easier for companies and governments to outsource jobs overseas.  I want people to come to the realization that they should not rely on the government or a job for income. Don’t wait for the government to create a job for you. Don’t expect for your job to be safe and secure for the next five to twenty years, either.

Although, I mentioned above that some hustlers choose to engage in illegal activities to earn money, I have no interest in illegal ways to make money.  Some people don’t care how they make money, but I am concerned about ways of earning money which are strictly legal, because I value my freedom and reputation.  Oftentimes, the risks of engaging in illegal acts to make money are not worth the reward.  I must also point out that I have no interest in get rich quick schemes.  Also, it is beyond the scope of this post to engage in a philosophical discussion on the ethics and morality of hustling.

What are your thoughts?  Post a comment below.

© Copyright 2013   Susan Broadbelt

www.cashmoneyhustle.com