Friday, November 21, 2014

Tsu: A Social Network That Pays YOU

I don't make a habit of recommending paying sites I have just joined, particularly a brand new site, but I'm going to make an exception with Tsu.

Tsu (pronounced "Sue") is very similar to Facebook or Twitter with the exception that Tsu keeps 10% of the ad revenue your posts bring in and shares the other 90% with you, the person who invited you, and the person who invited that person.

It may take a little time after joining before you see more than a small amount in your bank, but once you are established, you earn not only off your own posts but the activity of those you refer (your "children") and the users they refer (your "grandchildren"). Once your bank reaches $100, you may request a check. You may also transfer money from your bank to other members or charities.

Admittedly, most people who post casually and have few children in their network will take awhile to reach payout, but when was the last time Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ offered to pay you anything for the revenue you earn them?

Tsu places an emphasis on original content, so please don't post someone else's words or photos as if they were your own.

For me as a writer, Tsu is a wonderful place to promote my writing in the same manner that I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ while earning a little extra cash for doing the same thing I do on the corporate giants without being paid for the service I provide to them, and without many of the privacy concerns I have about Facebook and Google. Although I've only had an account a few days, I'm loving it so far.

Once I have had more experience with Tsu, I will do a full review.

Because of the nature of the payment system on Tsu, you must have an invitation to join, so let me be the first to invite you. Come on over and get paid to post! Just click on the link below.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My First Inbox Dollars Payout

After four months, I have finally requested my first payout from Inbox Dollars after reaching $40 in my account.

The minimum payout is actually $30, but when I initially started to request payout at that amount, I was offered the option to save the $3 processing fee by agreeing to wait until $40. The catch was that I had to commit to reaching $40 within 30 days of agreeing.

Initially, with a $5 signup bonus and rewards for joining several of the other websites I currently use, my account built quickly. After leveling off on joining new sites, Inbox Dollars became a slow, steady earner for me. I qualify for occasional surveys, but since most of them only pay in the 50 cent range, I don't bother with many of them. There are not a lot of video options, so most of my earnings average 10-20 cents a day for paid emails and searches. Clearing $10 in a month would necessitate several signup rewards or surveys, and I could not be sure of getting that many. So I decided to wait until closer to $40 to commit, and then I forgot to commit before reaching $40.

When I clicked to redeem at $40.03, I was again offered the option to waive the processing fee by agreeing to reach $50 within 30 days before cashing out. I weighed the benefits of getting my money sooner and achieving gold status (which should allow me to earn more) against saving $3, and opted to go ahead and cash out on October 8.

It was a good choice. I was immediately credited with a $3 payout bonus. I got another $2 bonus for completing a very short survey about my first payout.

Inbox Dollars only offers two payout options: a paper check or a Visa cash card. I chose the Visa card, which is supposed to be processed on October 22, 14 days after requesting payment.

I will do a complete review of Inbox Dollars and it's sister site Send Earnings as soon as I have a chance to evaluate the difference gold status makes on my earnings. In the meantime, I can recommend both of these sites if you are interested in paid email, paid searches, or joining other Get Paid To or Survey sites. I have not personally used the paid to shop opportunities, and I haven't tried paid games, but those are options for those interested in them. They don't pay as well for most surveys as many other sites, but they do pay as well or better than some. They also have all the usual GPT offers typical of sites of this nature.

Inbox Dollars and Send Earnings pay a 10% commission on Qualified Earnings from your referrals. By clicking on the banners below to sign up, I will get a bonus at no cost to you.

Monday, September 1, 2014

What Do You Get Paid to Do on a Get Paid To Site?

A "Get Paid To" site is a website that offers monetary incentives to do certain easy tasks, most of which have to do with either viewing advertisements, answering surveys, buying merchandise or services, or signing up for other sites or mailing lists.

Many GPT sites use the same providers, such as Trialpay, Payment Wall, Peanut Labs, SuperRewards, SupersonicAds, Revenue Universe, Matomy, Radium One, SponsorPay, JunGroup, etc., so you will see many of the same offers at different sites for different payment amounts.

Some offers, such as videos, can be done over and over at different sites, sometimes one or more times a day. Other offers can only be done once, so be sure to compare and chose the site which pays the most on an offer you may be interested in.

Here are some of the things you can get paid to do on many GPT sites:

  • Play games.
  • Read emails.
  • Watch videos.
  • View slideshows or take quizzes.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Get cash back for shopping, including some services.
  • Take surveys.
  • Daily polls.
  • Click to view advertisements or webpages.
  • View a list of offers. (Signup is not required. Just click skip or next.)
  • Sign up for other websites (including other GPT and survey sites).
  • Sign up to receive information.
  • Sweepstakes.
  • Bonuses and contests.
  • Do internet searches.
  • Refer new members.

Not all GPT sites offer all those options. Before signing up for a site, if possible, view the different ways you can make money on that site to see if there is enough activity for you to cash out in a reasonable amount of time doing what you want to do. Be honest in your assessment of sustainable activities. You can snag a good amount of bonuses for signups and free trials, but at some point you are going to run out of those. Earning five or ten cents a day at a site is fine, but not if the payout is $50 or your points will expire before you can use them.

Below are some of my referral links to sites I use. If you are interested in joining any of them, I would appreciate it if you would click through my link. Thank you.



Free Money at FusionCash!

Monday, August 25, 2014

SwagBucks TV Review

Watching videos on SwagBucks is hugely popular, and there are several good reasons why. Many sites pay you to watch videos, but they tend to be advertisements, and are very limited in number. At SwagBucks, you can find many of those same ads, but they are usually listed under "Special Offers" or "Encrave".

SwagBucks TV is completely different from the special offer type videos, and offers a huge variety of videos you might actually want to watch from sites such as YouTube and AOL. Categories include entertainment, fashion, music, food, health, news, home & garden, pets (lots of cute animal videos), travel, technology, and some original SwagBucks content. You can earn up to 150 Swag Bucks per day on SwagBucks TV at the rate of three SB per ten videos. This is in addition to any special offer videos and any videos watched on the mobile app.

I have not personally used the mobile app to watch videos, but I have read a number of positive comments by others who seem to be well pleased with their ability to earn Swag Bucks on their phone.

The SwagBucks toolbar has a handy detachable always-on-top window that you can move around to some unused corner of your desktop, making it easy to watch while you do other tasks. I really enjoyed that convenience during the time I had the toolbar installed.

Guest Endorsement

This is Guiness the Cat from the Guiness Blog. I highly recommend the Uzoo and VetVid videos, except I personally don't like the ones that have vets in them.


Join SwagBucks Now

If you would like to join SwagBucks and begin earning easy cash, I would be very appreciative if you would click through my referral link above. Thank you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Review of SwagBucks

Summary J
Type of site? Get Paid To, Survey
Is SwagBucks a scam? No
Does SwagBucks pay? Yes
Do I recommend SwagBucks? Absolutely
Does SwagBucks pay cash? PayPal
Does SwagBucks offer major gift cards?, Walmart, Target, many others
Is SwagBucks free to sign up? Yes
Age 13+
Does SwagBucks require you to download software/app? Optional

SwagBucks was the first Get Paid To site that I joined, and it quickly became the standard by which I judge all others.

It's very easy to earn money on SwagBucks, and they have a very large variety of ways to do it. Many of them deserve an individual review of their own.

The site is easy to navigate, easy to figure out, and looks appealing.

SwagBucks also has a very large variety of rewards available, including many popular gift cards and PayPal. One Swag Buck (point) is equal to one penny, with a $5 gift card equaling 500 Swag Bucks, although the Amazon $5 card is 450 SwagBucks and other cards may sometimes be "on sale".

As of this writing, I have been with SwagBucks two and a half months and redeemed one $5 Amazon gift card and had $75 deposited into my PayPal account, with most of it coming from easy things, like videos, games, and searches.

How Do You Earn SwagBucks?

Probably the most popular way to earn SwagBucks is by watching videos. They are definitely my favorite way to earn, and when I am on the internet, I usually have a video running.

SwagBucks TV (read my review here), in my opinion, is the main thing (among many) that sets SwagBucks ahead of every other GPT site I have tried. Swag Bucks are awarded at a rate of 3 SB for 10 videos, with a limit of 150 SBs per day, That limit does not include special offers videos or videos watched on the mobile app.

Another favorite of mine is the free games. While SwagBucks has tournaments which you pay Swag Bucks to enter in hopes of winning more Swag Bucks, they also offer SB for playing free games at a rate of 2 SB per two games, up to 10 SB per day. This lets me get my game fix in while I get paid 10 cents for something I'd be wasting time on otherwise, and the 10 SB limit helps me control the amount of time that I spend on games.

SwagBucks also offers paid searching, although they reward differently than other paid search sites. Rather than paying for each search, they reward randomly. I typically get paid 6 to 8 SB at a time, although I have gotten as many as 23 at once. SwagBuck search is powered by Yahoo.

Getting paid to use coupons is another of my favorites. For every coupon that you print and redeem from SwagBucks' link to, you are supposed to get ten SwagBucks. It takes awhile for the payment to come in, though, and there is no way to track it to make sure you get everything you are supposed to. As of this writing, I have had SwagBucks awarded on two separate occasions, once for three coupons, and once for four.

SwagBucks also offers many of the same type things you find on most other GPT sites: cash-back shopping, surveys, a daily poll, a no obligation special offer path, content to watch or read, offers to sign up for information or services (some free, some for which you pay).

Some of the offers are for other Get Paid To, Survey, and Freebie sites, so if you are looking for similar sites to join, I suggest joining SwagBucks, then searching the offers carefully. You could end up getting Swag Bucks for joining another site.

SwagBucks is generous with bonuses. There are daily Swag Codes posted on social media which will earn several SB if entered before they expire. Contests also occasionally provide extra SB.

Then there are the bonuses for reaching your daily goal. Each day, you are assigned two goals, which each have a bonus of 9-10%. Reaching the first goal seven days in a row will earn you a 25 SB bonus. A 14-day streak pays 100 SB, 21 days pays 200, and reaching the goal every day of the month will earn you 300 SB.

The only thing I don't like about the daily goals is that they are based on your activity and creep (and occasionally leap) higher as the month goes by. I can comfortably manage 70-90 SB per day doing the things I normally do, but when my goal jumps up to 110-120, it's very difficult to meet it without a survey (and there is no guarantee of completing a survey). Since I don't do many high-paying offers, it then becomes a matter of spending my whole day trying to earn my goal one or two SB at a time at the expense of more profitable endeavors.

I've changed my SB goal strategy therefore to trying for a 21-day streak and the 200 SB bonus. I then give myself a break from heavy activity on SwagBucks the rest of the month and cut back to just my favorites without worrying if I only make 30 or 40 SB. That seems to adjust the goals I am assigned back to a more comfortable level by the beginning of the next month.

While I really like the bonuses, I do feel that the way the goals are set psychologically hinders me from earning more money on SwagBucks. It makes me hesitant to go far beyond my second goal for fear of bumping up my future goals. If the goals stayed at a set rate, I would feel much more free to earn higher amounts on some days.

Is SwagBucks Right for You?

SwagBucks has such a variety of ways to earn that there is probably something to interest just about anyone who is looking to make a little extra money without a big commitment of time or effort. There is also the potential to earn significantly more if you are willing. Referrals can also be a good source of passive income.

And since SwagBucks offers PayPal payments, you can have cash to pay bills with and not be limited to buying at a specific store. If surveys and GPT activities are something you are interested in, then SwagBucks is definitely a site to consider. If you were only going to join one GPT site, I would recommend it be SwagBucks.

If you would like to join SwagBucks and begin earning easy cash, I would be very appreciative if you would click through my referral link above. Thank you.

If you have any questions about SwagBucks, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try to answer them for you.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Review of Bing Rewards

Summary J
Type of site? Paid search
Is Bing Rewards a scam? No
Does Bing Rewards pay? Yes
Do I recommend Bing Rewards? Absolutely
Does Bing Rewards pay cash? No, but you can buy SwagBucks points which can be converted to PayPal.
Does Bing Rewards offer major gift cards?
Is Bing Rewards free to sign up? Yes
Age 13+
Does Bing Rewards require you to download software/app? Optional


Bing Rewards is a one-trick pony, but what it does, it does very well. Bing Rewards pays you to search. That's it. No offers. No signing up for things. No ads to click. No captchas to enter. No junk mail. Just search.

You must be 13 or older to open a Bing Rewards account. Sign-up is free and only requires a Microsoft account (such as a Hotmail or Outlook email). I can safely recommend it for teenagers with parental approval. It would, in fact, be a great way for teens to earn a few dollars in spending money since they most likely will be doing a lot of internet searching anyway, and many of the gift cards available have teen appeal.

Credits are earned at the rate of one credit per two searches up to a maximum of 15 credits a day on a PC and 10 credits a day on a mobile device. Usually there is also one or more special searches available per day for a whole credit each. (Bing Rewards refers to these as "offers", but they are simply bonus searches, not the type of "offers" you find on other Get Paid To sites, which usually require you to sign up for something.) Frequently, and often on weekends, the maximum is increased to 30 credits per day.

One credit is worth approximately one cent. (Slightly less at Member and Silver Status, slightly more at Gold.) $5 gift cards are 525 credits for Silver Members, or 475 for Gold.

Other than a 50 point bonus upon reaching Silver Status and a 500 referral credit if your referral reaches Silver Status within 60 days, that's basically all there is to it. Yes, at a maximum of 16-26 credit’s a day, you won't get rich quick, but it does add up if you consistently search over time. It took me right at two months to reach my first 525 credit redemption, but that was at an average rate of about 14-16 searches a day out of 30 possible on a PC. I have not yet used a mobile device to earn Bing credits.

To reach Silver Status, you must follow the links provided to complete an introductory slideshow. Next, choose a reward as a goal. (You are not obligated to choose that reward when you redeem.) Then earn 200 lifetime credits, at which time you will immediately receive a 50 credit bonus. Once earned, Silver Status is permanent unless you delete your account.

Gold Status requires a first redemption and 750 lifetime credits to reach. After that, you must perform 150 rewardable searches per month, up to 20 per day, to maintain Gold Status or your account will revert to Silver. Gold Status offers a 10% discount toward redeeming rewards.

Bing Rewards does not offer a cash option at this time. They have and a small selection of other gift cards, but they do offer a SwagBuck trade at the rate of 525 (475 for Gold) Bing credits for 500 SwagBucks, which is the equivalent of $5 towards a PayPal deposit.

Bing definitely has the coolest landing page of any search engine I have seen. Can't think of anything to search? Check out the awesome photo of the day on the homepage and click on the suggested search by one of the four squares that appear when you hover over them. From there, you'll find more suggested related searches.

I highly recommend Bing Rewards as an easy way to earn a small amount of extra money for doing something you are probably doing anyway.


(Note: This is my referral link. If you use this link to sign up for Bing Rewards, I will receive 500 credits if you reach Silver Status in your first 60 days. Thank you.)


Friday, July 25, 2014

Second Sign-up for Online Earners: Paid Searches

When it comes to earning money online, whether you are interested in writing, getting paid for surveys, or joining sites that pay you to do certain things like watch videos, sign up for offers, play games, etc., the second thing I would recommend that you do (after opening a new email account) is sign up for a site that pays you to search the internet.

You aren't going to get rich doing this. These sites typically pay about half a cent per search, and limit the number they will pay on per day to around 15 cents or so. So why bother?

Because you're going to be doing a lot of searching as you research the sites you are looking for. If you're a writer, you'll be researching your topics.

And because 15 cents is still 15 cents.

Granted, it can take a long time to get to a redemption level on nothing more than searches, but it does add up over time. And other than Bing Rewards, most sites have an assortment of other activities that you may be interested in that will pay you more money.

Which site should you join first? It depends on what else you're interested in. Match the site, and it's payout offerings, to your interests and preferences, then start using it.

Stick to just one site initially to start your serious searching. Because it doesn't matter which you start with if you end up joining one or more "Get Paid To" sites. You're always going to find an offer somewhere to get X amount of points from Site B to sign up with Site A (the one you just joined) through them.

I don't want to post a full review of a site until after I've cashed out on it, and as of the date of this writing, so far the only site that pays for searches that I have redeemed from is SwagBucks. (Update: since this writing, I have redeemed from Bing Rewards. See that review here.) That said, I do feel confident enough in these sites to tell you that I also use paid searches at the moment through Inbox Dollars and Send Earnings. I'm looking for additional paid search sites to join.

Bing Rewards, Inbox Dollars, and Send Earnings all pay one cent or one point for every two searches up to a maximum of 15 cents or points per day (although Bing sometimes increases the limit on certain days).

SwagBucks does not pay on every search, only randomly, but I have received between 6 and 23 SwagBucks on searches that do reward. Typically, they run in the 6-8 range for me. In my first two months on SwagBucks, I have made a cumulative total of $3.29 on searches.

I will review each of these sites in future posts.

If you do decide to join one of these sites, I would appreciate it if you would use my referral links below. Thank you.


First Sign-up for Online Earners: One or More New Email Accounts

One thing every website, every e-newsletter, every sweepstake, and every freebie that you sign up for is going to require is a valid email address. The reason they want your email address is so that they can send you emails. And many of them want to send you LOTS of emails.

This is why it's important to have more than one email address.

There are plenty of places to find free email accounts--Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook/Hotmail, your internet provider, etc. Take advantage of that opportunity to open as many accounts as you need to organize your email to suit your specific needs.

If you are only interested in signing up for writing sites, junk mail should not be an issue. Most writing sites usually only contact you about payment. Others allow you to opt in to receive notices about certain issues. But payment emails are something you don't want to miss, so when signing up for writing sites, it's wise to use the email address where the important stuff, like bills and bank statements, goes. If you are going to be paid by PayPal, it should also be an account tied to your PayPal account. (More on that in a future post).

One email address might be sufficient if you're signing up for writing sites only, but it never hurts to have one or more extra.

If you intend to get paid more than an occasional 50 cents for taking surveys, then you may want to set up an account just for surveys, or for surveys and other things that you want to check on several times a day. The ratio of surveys you are offered to surveys you actually qualify and are paid for is very low. The invitations that land in your email box should theoretically be the ones most likely to match your profile, so you want easy access to them so that you can respond to them as soon as possible before all the slots in your profile group are taken. You don't want the notice to get lost in a long list of other mail.

Then there's the other stuff. If you like to enter sweepstakes or sign up for freebies, you already know how much junk mail that can sometimes generate. Even if the site doesn't share your address with their "partners", you could end up with multiple sales pitches in a single day from a single site.

"Offers", either free (as in not supposed to cost you anything) or paid (as is fork over your credit card info), are a big part of some "Get Paid To" (GPT) or "Paid to Click" (PTC) sites. All of them require an email.

The free ones are basically a trade-off. You give them your email address in exchange for a token amount of points. All of them are going to generate some email. Some of them are going to generate a lot.

As of this writing, I haven't had much extra mail from the GTP sites I have signed up for themselves. Some of the offers, on the other hand, send one or more emails daily. I still have many more sites I want to sign up for, so I expect the junk mail to increase.

Most of the time, you can unsubscribe without any more hassle than clicking on the unsubscribe link and following through the instructions. It's not difficult, but it does take a little time. If you multiply that by a lot of sign-ups, it could take a lot of time.

So, it's a very good thing to have a separate account for anything that could be spammy: newsletters, sweepstakes, contests, online retailers that you aren't currently placing an order with, organizations that offer you information, etc. If it turns out that the communication you get is something you really want to receive, you can always change your contact information later.

As far as GTP and PTC sites, it should be okay to sign up for the reputable ones with a regular account tied to your PayPal (if they pay via PayPal). I haven't had enough experience with some of them to know. If in doubt, use the junk mail address. If it turns out okay, you can change it later easier than you can unload the junk mail from your regular account should they turn out to be spammy. Just be sure to make certain that you sign up for offers with your junk mail account. Sometimes they automatically fill out part of your contact information on offer forms, including the email you signed up for the site with. Watch out for that and change it.

When signing up for a junk mail account, choose one with a good spam filter. Just make sure to check for confirmation emails after signing up for something new. You will need to respond to these to confirm your account, and you may need to hunt them down if they are sent to the spam folder.

What I Do:

I'm preaching from hindsight more than practice, but I am in the process of taking my own advice. I have a "good" account that I keep as private as possible. This is my main PayPal email, and the account I use for important things. I've opened a new junk mail account for many of my new sign-ups.

And then there's my "regular" account.

This was formerly my primary account for almost everything, which is how it ended up being clogged with a lot of junk. I'm in the process of reclaiming it now for the things I want to see daily, such as surveys and emails from stores and websites I use daily or weekly (got to have my free downloads from Book Shout, Kroger, and Saving Star!), and sites that I trust but don't want to give my good address to. This is my secondary PayPal address. I'm in the process now of moving other things over to either my good account or the junk mail account.

As I see more organizational needs, I'll probably open one or more additional accounts in the near future. Right now I'm noticing two different types of emails in my junk mail account that I'd really like to separate. I'm considering another account for things that are somewhat important but that I don't want in my regular account.

You Can Earn Anything Online From a $5 Gift Card to a Fulltime Income

Looking for a little extra spending money each month? Or are you looking for a full time or part time job working from home with a flexible schedule? Earning money online may be the opportunity you are looking for.

Although there are many companies offer opportunities to perform various jobs from home, either full time or part time, the scope of My Road to Earning Online deals with opportunities to earn cash, gift cards, or merchandise via a number of websites as an independent contractor. And since you are your own boss, it's up to you how much time and effort you wish to commit to earning, when you do it, what you do, how you do it, what websites you will choose, and how you will be rewarded.

It is what you make it.

If you're looking to make a fulltime wage working from home on the internet tomorrow, you need to be reading someone else's blog. I don't know how, and the opportunities available are not ones I am interested in. Go search Bing for get rich quick schemes.

If you're looking to make money writing, answering surveys, searching the internet, watching videos, or a number of other easy things, keep reading.

What I am pursuing is a dream to have writing pay as many of my expenses as possible, supplemented by activities that I can pick and choose according to my needs, interests, and time, activities that will not significantly detract from my writing.

No one option of the kind I am choosing will provide you a living wage. And while it is extremely accessible, it's not always easy. It's simple to earn a $10 gift card over a period of several weeks. To bring $500 a month into your PayPal account from multiple sources is a huge challenge when much of the time you are literally working for pennies.

The trick is not bringing in $50 an hour from one website. It's in bringing in $5 here, a dollar there, 50 cents here, 10 cents there, and doing it from the amount of sources it will take to add up to your goal.

Don't quit your day job just yet.

Is earning online going to be just a hobby for you? A meal out at your favorite restaurant every once in a while? A way to earn money for Christmas presents? School clothes for the kids? Cash to pay the rent? A full time job?

Start with a small goal and work up from there. It takes awhile to learn what does and doesn't work for you. What works for someone else might or might not be what you want.

The first thing to do is research. Find out what is out there. What are the things you can do to earn money online? Which ones are you willing to do?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Road to Earning Online

First of all, let me emphasize that my blog My Road to Earning Online is MY road to earning online. This isn't what someone else did, or a comprehensive list of every way someone could make money online. It's what I do.

Unless I specifically state otherwise, each website I write about is one that I either currently use or have used in the past. The opinions I express about them are mine, and they will be honest ones.

I do use referral links when suitable. If you click on a referral link, sign up for that website, and complete any specific tasks the referral agreement calls for, I will be paid. What I earn will depend on the website. It might be a dollar. It might be a commission based on how much you earn. Or it might be just a penny. I will include referral information, if applicable, in each website review if you want to know what I make or what you can make also.

That said, I will not refer you to a website that I cannot endorse just so that I will make a little money. Unless otherwise stated, all referral links will connect you only to sites I currently use myself. It would make no sense to use a referral link to a website that I don't expect to get paid from.

When I review a site, I will tell you what I like about it, and what I don't like. I will only post comprehensive reviews of sites that have paid me. If I feel confident enough to recommend a site that I have not yet cashed out on, I will specifically state that I have not yet redeemed from that site.

My reviews, of course, will be colored by my expectations of the site. For "Get Paid To" sites, for instance, I am most interested in:

Things I am doing anyway, such as internet searches,
Things that are quick and easy, like daily polls or confirming paid emails,
Things I can do in the background, such as listening to the radio,
Things that are fun, like playing games or watching videos.

I rarely shop online and I'm very leery of signing up for things I have to pay for. For that matter, I'm leery of signing up for some things that are free. If you were looking for a site that gives cash back for shopping, you might have a completely different expectation of a site I love for playing videos or doing searches or that I don't like for doing surveys.

I will strive to be as accurate as possible in what I say. It doesn't hurt my ego a bit to say "I don't know."

I don't expect you to take my word as a sole recommendation. There are a lot of scam sites on the internet, and a lot of legitimate sites. There are also a lot of legitimate sites that have serious shortcomings. Do your research. Search for reviews and complaints. Be aware that many people who whine about not being paid didn't get paid because they broke the rules. Try to sift the legitimate complaints from those that have no basis.

Always read the terms and conditions and the privacy policy of any website you are considering. A good idea would be to read through them upon first interest, then research how the site works, how you earn money there, and how you get paid there. Then, if you decide to sign up, read through the terms again carefully before you commit.

As a consideration to me, I would ask that if I influenced you to try a site, that you would come back and click through my link should you decide to sign up. You are free not to, of course, but doing so would ensure that I got the referral. I will be very thankful if you do.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What Did I Write About on Yahoo Voices?

Other than my Old Roads Once Traveled blog, Yahoo Voices was the first website I wrote for online, or for that matter, for the public to read. As a new and rather intimidated (not to mention timid) writer, I admit to being at a loss for ideas. I knew I wanted to create a niche offering advice to owners of diabetic cats, so my experience with Guiness' diabetes was an obvious inspiration.

That written, submitted, and published, I was then faced with the "what next?" question. Nothing inspires writer's block faster than that question. Writing is easy. Coming up with topics can be hard. Fortunately a reunion concert with former members of the Cathedrals (one of my all-time favorite Southern Gospel quartets) had just been announced. I wrote up a short news story, submitted it, waited, and it was published a week after my first article.

Those two articles are my top articles on Yahoo Voices, being viewed just over 460 times each over the last 12 months and earning me 39 cents in performance pay (for views), not counting the $3.23 upfront payment I received on the first article.

By comparison, had I published those on Bubblews, I would have gotten paid over $4.60 each for views, plus a penny for each like and comment. And that is just one of the reasons the Yahoo Contributor Network--while I am adamant about being glad I joined--got neglected very quickly once I joined Bubblews.

I followed those two articles with two book reviews, an article about the Book of Kells, a how-to/review on uses for toothpaste, one assigned topic, and a museum review.

My total views for the eight articles surpassed a whopping 2000 views and failed to make me rich beyond my wildest dreams. Still, I don't regret the time or the effort I put into them, and I remain continually grateful for the Yahoo Contributor Network and it's Academy for the training and experience they gave me. If they weren't closing, I would highly recommend anyone interested in writing online get their start there.

Here are the eight articles I published on Yahoo Voices, but they will only be available to view until July 31, 2014.

7 Things Not to Do when Your Cat Has Diabetes

Cathedrals Family Reunion Brings Together Former Cathedral Quartet Members

Little Farm in the Ozarks by Roger Lea MacBride
Little House on Rocky Ridge by Roger Lea MacBride
What is the Book of Kells?

Putting Toothpaste to the Test
5 Life Lessons I Learned Teaching Piano Lessons

Seven Springs Museum in Powder Springs, Georgia 





Yahoo Voices and Yahoo Contributor Network to Shut Down

Yahoo has announced that it will shut down it's Yahoo Voices site on July 31, 2014. The Yahoo Contributor Network, comprised of the writers who contributed to Yahoo Voices, will follow suit in August after making the final payments to the writers.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Yahoo Contributor Network was my first paid writing experience. It wasn't the most fun and I earned very little there, but the education and experience it gave me was well worth it. I will always be grateful that it was the site I joined first. If I had joined Squidoo or Bubblews first, I would never have gained the knowledge and skill that I am still applying to every other writing opportunity I've had.

Despite the low pay, the Yahoo Contributor Network was a site I continued to recommend to new writers, and would continue to recommend if it as not closing.

I only published a few articles on Yahoo Voices. There are only a few days left to read them on that site. Here is the link to my profile page.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A "Real" Writer

I remember the moment. I had searched for a topic I no longer remember, and opened a blog I no longer remember the title of by someone I don't remember the name of, and started reading an introduction. When I clicked on the "Read more" link, I was directed to an article on Yahoo Voices.

Somehow in discovering that blog, I discovered a writer who made a decent income writing as a member of the Yahoo Contributor Network. Whatever information I originally sought from him was forgotten as I read his articles on how he made money writing on the Yahoo Voices site. I did some research and was hooked.

I joined the Yahoo Contributor Network July 4, 2013, and it was a decision I have never regretted, and don't foresee any reason to although they announced their closure almost a year to the day (July 2, 2014) later. I ended up only publishing a handful of dollars there and made just a little over five dollars, but it was the most productive five dollars I have ever earned.

I will always be eternally grateful that the Yahoo Contributor Network was my first paid writing site. Before I ever tried submitting an article to Yahoo Voices, I paced myself through all three levels of their online Academy. The Academy not only taught me what Yahoo expected of me as a writer as far as content, quality, and submission practices, it taught me so many things about writing online for any platform. Things that were sorely lacking from my 1983 Media Writing class in college (imagine that!). I'm not sure I had ever heard the term "Search Engine Optimization" before then, but by the time I completed all the courses, I had a basic understanding of it and how to apply it to writing content for the internet.

My first article for Yahoo was published on July 15, 2013 and netted me an upfront payment of $3.23 (plus performance pay from views). I was now a "real" writer. A "professional". I had been paid.

You can read it here, but read it quick. The Yahoo Voices website will be shut down July 20, 2014.

The photo is of my cat Guiness. Guiness' diabetes was the subject of my first article, and he's still one of my most profitable topics.

He's also a "real writer" himself. He posts his own feline spin on life on "The Guiness Blog by Guiness the Cat", in addition to frequent "The Guiness Blog" journal posts on Bubblews.

The Blog

It sounds so simple. Start a blog. Get a Google Adsense account. Make money.

So I set up a blog on called "Old Roads Once Traveled" and commenced writing with a warning that I really didn't know what I was doing. I've learned a lot since then, but as far as the technical stuff, the warning still holds true.

I wrote a few posts and then, as Blogger had encouraged me to do, I applied for a Google Adsense account.

And promptly got rejected.

I got no explanation from Adsense why I was rejected, but common sense since acquired makes me certain it was because I was applying for a brand new blog with just a tiny bit of content. So, now monetization shy, I set about building content with a view to monetizing later, like, say, after three months.

Just so you know, as of this writing over a year after that "after three months" estimate, I still haven't monetized that blog. But it's still on the to-do list. When that happens, you'll read about it here.

In all fairness, I did get sidetracked from making money writing a blog by making money elsewhere, which is the subject of my next post.

How I Became an Online Earner

I have been a writer all my life.

I just never got paid for it until 2013.

Taking the plunge that spring with my first blog, I began the process of trying to figure out ways to make money writing online. That process led first to writing sites, but it is very difficult to make a living writing online, or at least not without a steady reader base and a large portfolio of online content.

And that takes time. I needed money now.

I enjoy the freedom of working for myself and the flexibility that writing online offers and I enjoy working from home, so the next logical step for supplemental income was other online opportunities. A search for potential online earning that would (1) supplement but not interfere with my writing, and (2) allow me the freedom to pick and choose what I wanted and how much time I wanted to devote to it led me to survey and "Get Paid To" sites.

This blog will chronicle my journey into my online work. I don't claim to be an expert about any of the topics I share. I'm simply sharing what I've learned and what I think. This is what has, and hasn't, worked for me. It might or might not work for you.

It's an ongoing process. I'm still learning, but what I'm learning I'm happy to share.