Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Bargains Online

Since it's nearly Christmas and I've become some kind of hermit, I've taken up online shopping. Nothing like benefiting slightly from currency conversions and saving petrol while at the same time avoiding the crowds!

Some of the best deals I've found lately are on Ebay. I have recently discovered a quick and convenient way to go straight to the cheapest items by checking out Ebay Deals where you'll find the auctions ending soon, some of which haven't been bid on yet (I had to struggle with myself not to start bidding on a Nintendo Wii console with Wii Fit and great games packages just now!).

Overstock: I haven't bought anything there because the shipping charges from the U.S. to Ireland were too high but try it out if you are in the U.S. They have a wide selection of refurbished items (these are just like new and have been quality checked so you might end up with even better quality than a brand new shop-bought item). Sign up to their newsletter and they will send you regular emails with even greater discounts.

Having 2 young children a lot of my Christmas budget will be spent on toys (Ok, chocolate too!) so my usual shops are Argos, Smyths and Toycity(which seems to be still under construction; pretty disappointing at this time of year). I used Argos' and Smyths' websites to compare prices and used last week's promotions to fill the bottom of my wardrobe with well hidden Christmas presents (just don't go and tell my girls as they still believe in Santa!).

If you don't like the idea of shopping online or are afraid not to have your purchases delivered on time for Christmas, you can always use your local shops' websites to compare prices and then head to the stores offering the best deals. On top of the delivery cost that you won't have to pay, you'll also save yourself a lot of time and the stress of physically visiting each store.

Another idea that I haven't tried myself but could be worth its penny is to ask a store to match a cheaper price from another store (you could take along a printout of your desired item from the cheapest website with you). If you compare stores within the same country, a retailer might lower an item's price for you so you won't take your business elsewhere (probably a good thing to try especially if you plan to buy several gifts in that store).


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Freebie Hunt Is On!

We may well be in a recession but there are ways you can still try and get free stuff without having to spend a fortune.

If you feel lucky (or even if you don't), you can try and win prizes. Find out about promotions locally or even online. The best example I can give you is the promotion that was held for 3 days at my local Renault garage and which I participated for free on Monday: all I had to do was test-drive a brand new Renault Megane (without being obliged to buy anything) for my name to be entered in a draw with a chance to win one. I must say I got a little kick out of making the salesman feel very nervous sitting in a car being driven for the very first time by a reckless French woman driver; at least that's the feeling I got judging by the sweat on the guy's forehead!

Another thing I did is join the online newsletter from a national radio (Today FM; I just love listening to the Ray D'Arcy show!) and it turns out that the newsletter they send me once a month has great free competitions: this morning I entered one to be in a chance to win a case of 12 bottles of French wine and another for tickets to a kids' show in Dublin with 2 nights in a hotel.

These are great competions because they are free to join but before you go and join all online competitions, make sure you read all the fine print and don't join a site like this: I came across it a few weeks ago and thought at first that this was a great opportunity but it's only after reading the full terms and conditions that I found out it was actually a mobile phone subscription service: the first text is free but after that and until you unsubscribe, they will send you a text that will cost you €2 every 4 days; a great way to be left without phone credit when you need it the most.

Read the local papers, listen to radio ads and sign up to any newsletters you may be interested in; the more competitions you enter, the more chances you get to actually win something!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Squidoo Still in my Good Books

It has been a while since I have talked about my lenses and since the September earnings have just been paid to lensmasters, I thought that now is a good time to update you on how I am doing with Squidoo at the moment.

I am not running to buy a new car yet (although I could really do with one) but yesterday Squidoo credited my Paypal account with a whooping $30.77, my highest payout yet from Squidoo!

Granted, there were $9.58 included in that figure which I had been accumulating from previous months because Squidoo only pays lensmasters who have earned $10 or more, but even considering that fact, November has brought me my record revenue from Squidoo so far of over $20.

My best lens for the month of September (shared advertising revenue is being paid 2 months after the actual month in which it has been earned) was my Squidoo Lensrank Experiment which was a real success for me as it stayed in the top 2000 lenses for most of the month, earning me a handsome $11.52! I also had 4 lenses that didn't rank too bad and earned me $1.92 each and 3 lenses that made $0.08.

In case you are wondering about the total not adding up, my November payment also includes Amazon affiliate revenue (I am not an Amazon affiliate but can still get a small portion of this through Squidoo) earned in October from my Halloween lens; this was a lens that I created at the end of September and ranked pretty well throughout the month of October so I should see more royalties for October that will be paid in December.

Here's for you if you'd like to see what I am up to on Squidoo:
All my lenses so far.

P.S. Christmas is coming soon so why not experiment on creating a Christmas wishlist lens like I did here? Join Squidoo today, it's free! A word of warning though: you could actually enjoy this a lot (I know I do!).


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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Haggle, Haggle and Haggle Some More!

The time has come again for my car insurance renewal. Once again I went online and compared prices and since I took my ex-partner off my policy, my insurer was quoting me a premium with a huge increase this year.

I got several quotes ranging from under €200 to over €500; of course when you decide on an insurance cover you must also look at what's included in the policy: for example I could have gone with a company that was charging me €177.70 but only covered me for damages done to other people and properties with a €500 excess and did not cover me for fire and theft.

I found a quote for a reasonable insurance cover that was over €150 cheaper than my current insurance but I didn't really like the hassle of switching companies since I am at the moment with a reputable insurance company with an office in my town so I phoned them and asked them if they could match that other quote. The person who answered the phone put me on hold for about 2 minutes and came back and told me they could give me the same cover that I already had with them for about €100 less, which I thought was reasonable since they do have a few extras included in the policy such as breakdown assistance and free car rental for up to 35 days.

What about you? Does your insurance company overcharge you? If you don't shop around and compare prices, you will never find out. Insurance companies are used to people haggling so don't be shy! I am sure that a lot of companies (and not only insurance companies) bank on the fact that their customers don't bother questionning what they are being charged.


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Got My First Clickbank Check!

I was going to post a picture of it here but since my scanner hasn't been working for the past 2 years (don't use it often enough to have it fixed or replaced) and the photo I took with my camcorder is ridiculously small (I don't have a digital camera), I just won't bother. Anyway, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it when I tell you I have received a check from Clickbank for $84.48 (the figure isn't big enough for you to think I am lying!).

It won't finance my Christmas yet, but if I add the €130 on my Paypal account (that's about $160) and my Adsense balance of $49.78 (another $50.22 to make payout yet), I reckon I'm not doing too bad!

Now let's think: $290 in about 12 months; I made an average of $24 per month or $0.80 per day. Yep, I'm definitely wasting my time online! Now, let's try a new career as a hooker (maybe I'll just marry a rich man instead, which is quite the same thing really).


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Earn 100% of Your Pages' Advertising Revenue at Stumpedia Articles

I have got to know Stumpedia a few months ago but back then, it was just a directory for Squidoo lenses. Now Stumpedia's owner has launched a new site where you can get paid for your articles.

I haven't tried Stumpedia Articles yet as I am trying to slow down the hours spent at my computer, but if you have an Adsense account and write articles (it's never too late to start!), I would recommend joining this one as it is still pretty new, which means that the on-site competition between writers can't be too tough yet!

Of course the site being new, it probably isn't as popular with search engines as other article websites such as Associated Content or Wiki How, but it should grow in the next few months because article sites usually do well with Google and other search engines as they contain fresh (often updated) and useful content.

I haven't seen a FAQ section on Stumpedia Articles' home page so all I know is that "publishers (that's you if you sign up) get complete control and management of their ads and 100% of the advertising revenue". Since I have spotted some Google ads on the website, I guess that means that if you decide to become a member, you can add your own Adsense publisher ID on pages containing your articles and get Adsense revenue when readers click your ads.

If you decide to sign up to Stumpedia Articles, make sure to do some keyword research before you publish your articles as this will maximize your adsense earnings.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Irish Budget 2009: How Does It Affect You?

I know budgeting is a tough job and although I am not really qualified to judge Mr. Scrooge's decisions, here are a few obvious things that I just know are going to come out of this:

The finance minister wants to encourage foreign investment in Ireland but didn't even think of what he is doing to the Irish people whose jobs depend on the stability of companies that are already settled in Ireland: increasing VAT and applying a 1% levy on all annual wages under €100,100 is all very well to finance the hole our government has dug itself into but it would only be fair if this money actually went to fund our children's schools and facilitate students' access to higher education, because after all, our children are our future! Unfortunately our schools have now been promised even less teachers and third level education fees are increasing: how fair is that?

This decrease in purchasing power will undoubtedly result in people spending less on the Irish economy which could result in even more job losses and the government needing more money to finance social welfare payments...I wonder where that money is going to come from?

Oh yeah, and how exactly the VAT hike doesn't apply to people on social welfare as one Minister said earlier? Well, apparently all that social welfare recipients spend money on is children's clothing and food (and possibly cheap booze, now that the duty has been cut by 50% - wine goes up, low-alcohol drinks go down: I don't get it, do you?); not heating oil, not electricity, not phone costs or anything else. Well at least they can still get drunk on cheap beer and cider to help ease their worries.

Thanks, Minister, you can expect to see me soon sleeping rough on your doorstep clutching a bottle of Blue Nun (or riding around on my bicycle shouting abuse at the current government since my car just ran out of petrol)!


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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

An Easy Way to Update Your Blog When Inspiration Goes Missing

I have decided to do a little experiment today. As you can see in my last post: Spot a Golddigger-wikiHow, I have just posted an article from WikiHow.

I did not write this article myself; I just republished it under a Creative Commons licence. I guess you could say that I'm cheating by not writing my own content and yes, I could have just read the article, rewritten it and not given credit or linking to the original author, but that's not what I've done here.

After reading the article on WikiHow, I just saw that I was allowed to republish it on my own blog and I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea to use this when my blogging inspiration dries out. Of course, I can't really say now that my inspiration really dried out as I am writing this post but I just thought that some bloggers out there could do with the tip when they haven't written anything for a while and are looking for a quick way to post an article.

As long as you respect copyright laws, it is not against the law to publish duplicate content; you should be prepared to get a Google slap, though, especially if it's something you plan on doing a lot of (ouch! That hurt!).


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Spot a Gold Digger - wikiHow

Spot a Gold Digger - wikiHow


How to Spot a Gold Digger


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Have you ever been suspicious that the person you're dating is more interested in your money than in you? If you are concerned about this and want to find out, here are some ideas to accomplish this and protect yourself before it is too late.

Steps


  1. Understand what a gold digger is, and is not. There's nothing wrong with a person being concerned about your financial stability. A long-term partnership means depending on each other through the ups and downs, and being financially reliable does help with that to a degree. The difference between a gold digger and someone who values your role as a provider is that the gold digger would deride and perhaps leave you if you lost your ability to provide for them financially. A good person can appreciate your financial resources, but a gold digger appreciates only that, and will not see the relationship as worthwhile if you're not well off.
  2. Gold diggers drop hints that they're having trouble paying their bills (sometimes they might even ask you directly for a "loan" to tide them over). They know that you don't want to see them get an eviction notice, or get their car repossessed, and you're a good person who's in a position to help. But there's a difference between a gold digger and someone who's just fallen on bad times. What you should be looking for is if, despite their situation, this person is making poor financial decisions. Do they buy a brand new car with luxury features when they're struggling to pay rent? Do they buy $300 shoes or watches when their phone service is at risk of getting cut off? Do they go to expensive restaurants when their credit cards are maxed out, because they "work hard" and they "earned it"? Many gold diggers know better than to ask you to fund their more luxurious tastes, at least in the beginning; they'll tap into your desire to help them afford the things they need (food, shelter, transportation) so that they can spend their own money on the things they want.
  3. When they discuss their financial woes, suggest ways in which the suspected gold digger can make money fast. When you mention the possibility of them selling their luxury car, video console, guitar, diamond bracelet, or any other expensive item that could keep them from becoming homeless or having their utilities cut off or car repossessed, how do they respond? The average person will be saddened and may even become angry or upset, but a gold digger will be appalled at the very idea that they should have to give up their prized possessions in order to meet their own basic needs. They'll treat the idea as ludicrous.
  4. Look for a sense of entitlement. Gold diggers feel that they deserve to be treated well, and that includes knowing that someone is willing to spend money on them. Maybe it's because they had a bad childhood or relationship, and they feel they deserve to be happy (and it just so happens that their joy carries a high price tag). Or maybe they feel it's their right to be able to pursue their big dreams at the expense of financial stability, and, coincidentally, haven't considered who will foot the bill of their soul-searching. Have you noticed unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment? This sense of entitlement is one of the symptoms of narcissistic behavior, which has other symptoms that a potential gold digger might harbor:[1]
    • grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    • preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    • believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    • requires excessive admiration
    • lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    • often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

  5. Ask them meaningful questions.
    • What is the best gift they've ever gotten? Gold diggers will almost always cite an expensive, material object, not a uniquely personal and thoughtful gift.
    • What's the biggest thing you ever had to give up to do or get something you really wanted? What you're searching for here is evidence of delayed gratification - the ability to give up something now so that you can achieve something greater, later. Gold diggers are notoriously spoiled or sheltered, and have never had to really wait, work, or struggle for what they want because somehow, someone was always there to help.

  6. See what questions they ask you. Certain questions which might seem harmless might really be an attempt to judge your ability to provide. None of these questions, alone, should get you worried but all of them on the first date should definitely send up a red flag:
    • How much do you make a year? Why would she/he ask this question? Because a gold digger is a mobile calculator, therefore every question that relates to money is calculated to determine the percentage of the total amount that she/he believes she/he "deserves".
    • Are you a homeowner? And what type of car do you drive? They are trying to determine your overall worth and whether being with you is a profitable investment for them.
    • How many kids do you have? Your answer to the question will help her/him determine (calculate) much of your income and attention goes to your children and how much time you can devote to her/him. A gold digger is a needy individual that will take up a lot of your money, time and energy.[2]

  7. Search for signs of generosity and gratitude towards you. After having gone on several dates, has this person ever offered to pay? When you do pay, does he or she say thank you? Do they ever offer to help you in other ways? (And no, physical intimacy doesn't count); do they cook you dinner when you've been out working late? Fix your computer? Run an errand for you when your schedule's especially tight? If these character traits are missing, is this really someone you want to get involved with? A person doesn't develop gratitude and generosity overnight...
  8. Indulge in a pipe dream. A pipe dream is basically a long shot. Take one of your childhood fantasies and run with it. Tell the person you're dating that you're thinking about becoming the mechanic, farmer, supermodel, writer, [insert dream career here] you've always wanted to be. Explain how if you were to ever do this, it would require a significant lifestyle change; you'd have to go back to school, relocate, or whatever would make it clear that your standard of living will go down dramatically. How does this person respond? Do they seem concerned? That's normal. A good person will encourage you to follow your dreams while simultaneously helping you think of ways to do it practically and responsibly. A gold digger will look horrified or disgusted and say things like "You're not really serious, are you?" OR they are ready to call it quits and leave because you are paying attention to "you" instead of "them".
  9. Watch yourself. It feels good to help people, whether you just helped someone avoid becoming homeless, or you're helping an aspiring artist or entrepreneur launch his or her career, but you have to be careful that you don't fall into a pattern where your help become the norm, so much so that without your financial assistance, the relationship would crumble. If you're the kind of person who has trouble saying "no", or who is intensely sympathetic and compassionate, you're more likely to bump into a gold digger. You might also face the feeling that this is one of the most attractive or intriguing people you've ever dated, and you don't want to ruin your chances, but don't be fooled by a good looking exterior. It could cost you.


Tips


  • Gold Diggers can be business partners as well.
  • Protect yourself by maintaining your financial independence. Keep your own bank accounts and approach joint accounts and credit cards with extreme caution.
  • It's not a coincidence if your date goes to the bathroom every time the bill shows up or always forgets to bring his or her wallet.
  • If this person complains that you don't ever do anything nice anymore, think of 2-3 inexpensive dates and one expensive one and see what your date says. A gold digger will reliably pick out the most expensive one, every time.
  • A gold digger moves the relationship too fast, perhaps trying to push marriage and not signing a pre-nup agreement. If you mention a pre-nup and this person makes up every excuse and tactic necessary to get out of it, this is another red flag that you are dating a gold digger.
  • Once a physical relationship has started, a gold digger will usually not engage in "physical" activities unless given incentive i.e. taken on a date, given a gift, etc.
  • It's always a good idea to check court records to see if the gold-digger has been divorced. You can learn a lot by reading their complaint, motions and responses, etc. Don't simply rely on 'their side' of the story.
  • Have you met their family? You can learn a lot from people close to them.
  • Watch other people's reactions when they hear you've been out with someone or spending time with someone. Often, others will attempt to subtly let you know through reactions and comments that the person is a gold digger.
  • Most people don't want to be obliged or beholden to others for large sums of money. A gold digger doesn't have to be prompted twice to take a "loan" from you. Think about what makes sense: would you open up to someone you just met about your financial woes? Would you take a loan from a guy or girl you've been out with once? Probably not, but a gold digger is looking for his or her next "sugar daddy/mama" at all times.


Warnings


  • If you find yourself dating gold diggers more often than you'd like, think about where you meet people, and how you present yourself. If you look like you could be somebody's "sugar daddy" or "sugar momma" (successful, with a high standard of living) then guess what kind of crowd you're going to attract?
  • Don't become overly stingy in an effort to spot a gold digger. The above steps all involve getting to know the person, and observing their behavior. You don't have to pretend to be a total cheapskate in order to judge someone's character.
  • Gold diggers are often thought of as female. Men can be gold diggers too.
  • Watch out for people who frequently change jobs, or go long periods of time unemployed. Be careful when there is always an excuse to explain their unemployment, especially when the reason is always someone else's fault (I got laid off, my boss hated me, they wanted me to work all the time, there was no room for advancement, they kept shorting my paychecks, etc.) Stuff happens, but when it happens to that person over and over, it's a red flag.
  • Many gold diggers won't let go of one relationship until they have a more lucrative one on the line. Watch out for the guy or girl who grows close to you, and more dependent on you, but won't let go of the unhappy relationship they are in. They may be working both ends against the middle, wringing the last drops out of their current relationship, while setting you up to be their next.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations



  1. http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/narcissisticpd.htm

  2. http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-5-Tips-on-How-to-Spot-a-Gold-Digger&id=1028124



Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Spot a Gold Digger. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can You Live on £1 a Day?

As President Bush's $700 billion bailout plan is rejected by Congress, the World's economy is facing even bigger trouble. In Ireland, hundreds of jobs are being lost every week so if you are having trouble making ends meet, you might find the following article useful:

Kath Kelly is an English teacher who recently spent a full year living on just £1 a day (£1 is currently $1.80 or €1.26; I used this currency converter). Kath Kelly paid her bills in advance and lived on £1 a day for her daily expenses. She lived mostly on freebies, and she says that her social life even improved during her "free" year (although I'm not sure a sane person would see drinking cheap booze outside as a social improvement).

Without going to that extreme, there are ways you can find to save money:
- Walk or cycle if possible instead of using your car;
- Bring the kids to the playground (if weather permits) instead of the cinema or overpriced activity centres;
- Plan your menus in advance, write a shopping list to avoid unnnecessary trips to the grocery store;
- Recycle stuff: here's how you can reuse you old toilet-paper rolls;
- Find out what foods are in season and that you can pick for free in your local area (apples, blackberries, mushrooms, mussels, winkles...);
- Keep your eyes open when you walk (my daughter has an eye for coins on the streets and she has a new addition for her money-box almost every day);
- Surf the Internet for free samples and enter free competitions (you might win something that you can keep or even sell on Craigslist, as Ebay is getting too expensive or so I'm told);
- Reduce you electricity bills;
- Don't spend money on stuff you don't need: make your own lunch to bring to work instead of buying the all-expensive, all-fattening Subway sandwich, don't fill your wardrobe with clothes you'll never wear, etc.

There are lots more ways you can avoid to spend money; I wrote an article a while ago on how to save money on your grocery shopping. Saving money is not rocket science, but sometimes it is difficult to resist temptation when you see TV commercials and all that's on offer in the shops.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Meet My New Best Friend: Social Marker

One of the things I find the most time-consuming for bloggers and anyone else who needs to get some sort of traffic to webpages is submitting content to social bookmarking websites. Up until now, it was a real chore that took me away from creating content (quite ironical since I had to submit lots of content to be able to actually submit my own!) and I just submitted my articles to a handful of social media sites manually but a few days ago I started looking into a few social bookmarking tools.

If you have been reading this blog for a little while, you probably know that I love getting free stuff so I was a bit disappointed last week when I saw a few automatic social bookmarking tools costing around $100; I came accross Social Submitter and downloaded the free demo version but I didn't get the chance to use it before the 3 day expiration period; then I heard about Bookmarking Demon which looks pretty good and I guess I could have bought it with my Clickbank affiliate ID but even though, the $97 price tag put me off.

Among the best I could find and that were free was Socializer, which isn't very bad, but isn't something I would call "automatic"; Socializer is slightly better than having a bookmarking folder containing all the social media sites you are a member of and inputing all your articles' details manually into each site, one by one.

I thought I was going to be stuck with using Socializer until I found Social Marker; I was pretty happy to find out this automatic Bookmarking tool was free and even though I had to download Firefox to use it (shame on me, I was still using Internet Explorer 7 until 2 days ago!), it is well worth the trouble.

When I find some content I want to bookmark, all I have to do is click on my toolbar link for Social Marker and I just have to type a description and tags for the article (the URL and title are automatically copied but check the fields, just in case) and select the websites I want to bookmark my link on (there are 49 to choose from and the most popular websites like Digg and StumbleUpon are included) and click on the "Submit" tab. You don't need to re-enter your article's details for each website as Social Marker makes it very easy for you to just copy and paste the details in each bookmarking site without making it feel like a spamming tool.

Other free Social bookmarking tools that I haven't tried:
Social Poster;
SocialList.net;
These seem to work similarly to Social Marker; you can do your own search and find the bookmarking tool that works best for you.

Of course as with all social bookmarking tools and websites, you still need to participate a little on each website and submit and vote for links other than your own but with Social Marker, that job is much quicker and best of all, it's completely free!


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Squidoo Lensrank Experiment Is Finished!

About a month ago, I created a new Squidoo lens called Squidoo Lensrank Experiment.

Using my knowledge and the knowledge of other lensmasters (I found a great number of Squidoo tips lenses that were very helpful and I also used information from Squidoo's forum) I gathered all the all the Squidoo tips I could come up with and used them in my Lensrank Experiment.

What makes my experiment interesting for other lensmasters or anyone thinking of joining Squidoo is that not only I used all the tips I am talking about, I also disclosed what I was doing as I was applying my tips; I reorganized everything and republished my all-new Squidoo Lensrank Experiment yesterday.

The outcome of my experiment is not bad, as I got my best lensrank on August 26th with my lens getting an overall lensrank of 765 (I started out at 641191). Although lensrank changes everyday, my lens has been in the top 2000 for most of its lifetime so far; I still have to try and update it often to try and keep a good lensrank (at least until the end of this month, as Squidoo royalties are now being calculated based on average lensrank for the month), and I am also also working on a few new lenses at the same time. The good news is that I now have my own Squidoo blueprint to help me with my other lenses.

If you have a Squidoo account, check out my Squidoo Lensrank Experiment; you can even bookmark it if you think you can use my Squidoo advice in the future. If you are wondering what the heck Squidoo can do for you, why not find out by making your first lens for free?


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No Fee Data-Entry Jobs, Another Scam?

I already talked about data-entry jobs and how I am never joining one of these so tempting opportunities that require an upfront payment but yesterday as I was doing an Internet search I came across some no fee data-entry jobs.

Don't get all excited here because when I say no fee data-entry jobs, I don't necessarily mean that these aren't scams either. There might be some legitimate work at home opportunities out there, but I think it would take a very long time finding one.

Let me explain: the first No Fees Data-Entry Jobs I found required me to sign up to Dubaimlm! I am sure that signing up for an MLM Scheme (free or not) isn't your idea of a legitimate work at home job; it isn't mine either.

I looked for another No Fee Data-Entry Job and came up with a website asking me to sign up to Revolution Money Exchange; I had never heard about this website before but apparently they are yet another PayPal alternative. I am not sure they are legitimate and even if they were, do I need one more online payment processing thingy? I keep wondering why can't I sign up to a No Fee Data-Entry Job that uses Paypal (mmm, I wonder, have they got their Paypal account closed for some reason?).

More links to No Fee Data-Entry point to full pages of Google ads (some for sleazy automatic money-making systems, others for survey websites and everything else except what I am looking for) and a few not-so-legitimate-looking websites containing lots of Google ads and what looks like a list of comments copied from somewhere else with links pointing to the same website (?!); I guess these websites are just looking for some clicks (someone's gonna get their Adsense account closed!).

Well it looks like I spent the best part of my day doing some useless Internet searches and, as the Irish band U2 would say: "But I'm Stilllllll Haven't Found What I'm Looking Fooooooooor!"


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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Large Selection of Online Affiliate Programs to Choose From on Affiliate Ranker

I was doing a search for affiliate programs the other day when I came across a website that should be very useful to anyone interested in affiliate marketing.

When people talk about affiliate marketing these days, the names that cross almost everyone's mind are Clickbank and PayDotCom but there are many more affiliate programs to select from if you want to earn money online by selling affiliate products.

Affiliate Ranker is a search engine and directory for affiliate programs so if you are looking for a new affiliate program to join, I recommend you to take a look there.

Clickbank is not the only affiliate program and if you are tired of the way Clickbank operates (there are a few conditions to fulfill before getting paid that may seem a bit strict to some), Affilate Ranker's directory of affiliate programs includes a large selection of categories from books and web hosting to consumer electronics and furniture without forgetting weight loss, dating, casinos and many more.

Affiliate Ranker makes it easy to select the affiliate program for you with a detailed description of each program and the methods with which you can earn commissions from these. Some programs pay their affiliate members a fixed amount per sale, percentage per sale, number of banner impressions, number of clicks or leads so you decide what type of product you want to promote and if the commission type for your selection suits you, away you go!

As always with affiliate programs, only join the ones that don't require a sign up fee, read all the terms and conditions before you start and only join if you are comfortable with these.


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Monday, August 25, 2008

How Using StumbleUpon Got me New Friends on My BlogLog

MyBlogLog is a blog directory that doubles up as a social networking site for bloggers. I have been a member of MyBlogLog for a good while but I never really knew how to use this site; I still don't use it very much to tell the truth (I am much more active on BlogCatalog) but last week something strange happened to me.

After studying Caroline Middlebrook' Stumble Rush email course (only the first 10 lessons which are free, mind you, I am still too much of a cheapskate to buy the extra 10 lessons), I decided to become more active on StumbleUpon; I admit that I only skimmed through the e-course but nevertheless I started to use my StumbleUpon toolbar everyday, write more reviews of the sites that I liked and add a few more StumbleUpon friends.

Then I noticed that I was starting to get people following me on MyBlogLog; this seemed very strange to me as I never visit this site (I could hardly remember being a member!). When I logged into my account I checked my new followers' profiles, visited their blogs and added them as contacts (not sure what else I could do) and then I realized why I got this surge of new followers: my Stumbles and Diggs were showing up on my MyBlogLog profile!

I am not sure that this will really do much for my traffic, especially since I have been quite a lazy blogger lately, but I think this is a good thing; this feature is also on BlogCatalog and if you use MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog I think this can make it easier to find people who have the same interests as you.

Now all I need is an extra 10 hours a day (at least) to give me time to do a bit more social networking!

PS. If you are a member of MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog, you are welcome to add me as a friend; I will add you back.


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Friday, August 15, 2008

Squidoo Lensrank Experiment

I have written about Squidoo in the past and the reasons why I find it a very exciting way to earn money online.

As far as I know there is no magic formula to get a good lensrank on Squidoo and get a popular Squidoo lens that gets lots of traffic which can in turn make it a good income source, even though many lensmasters have tried to "crack the code", but there are a few things you can do that really help achieving this goal.

All of these tentatives inspired me to create an all-new Squidoo lens which I called Squidoo Lensrank Experiment. As the name indicates, this is an experiment I am conducting to see if I can implement all of the tips I can find to get a good Squidoo lensrank but what makes my new lens original is that I am explaining in detail every single thing I am doing to try and make my lens popular, both in the making side but also the promotion side of things.

So far I have started with a lensrank of 641191 and have come to a lensrank of 8073 in just 3 days (the lower a squidoo lensrank is, the better).

If you want to know how I did it and more importantly if you would like to copy my method and get a good lensrank for your own Squidoo lenses, check it out here and bookmark it (Stumbles, Diggs or anything else you can spare would be greatly appreciated) because I have lots of great tips to add to it every day.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Much Of Your Working Time Do You Spend Actually Working?

I am sure there are hundreds of blogs featuring a post today on procastinating; with all the activities blogers are supposed to do on top of blogging itself, it can be vary easy losing track of time and actually spend a whole "day at the office" doing no constructive work.

I wish I could set a routine for myself firstly on actually sitting at my computer (I have 2 small kids and a house to look after and I also like to have my own time to relax before going to bed at night), but so far even though I have tried, I haven't yet managed to find a balance between work and play (if you consider cooking, cleaning and shopping as play).

Supposing you have set hours to sit at your computer to do some of the activities necessary to blogging and promoting a blog or whatever else it is you are trying to promote, you must find a further balance between your work and promoting it. You can easily fool yourself into thinking that a whole day spent reading and commenting on blogs, stumbling, digging, participating in forums is work but what is going to be left for you to promote (ie Stumbling and Digging) if you don't write a blog post or article?

While all this social nonsense (not to use a stronger word) is necessary to get exposure, it is more important to create content (blog posts, articles, Squidoo lenses for me) and because everything takes time, you should spend at least half of your daily working hours working (creating content).

The best way to make sure you are not going to over-socialize (and then not have enough time to write that article you have planned days ago) is to start your day by doing the constructive work; if you base your articles on what you find on other blogs or social bookmarking websites, just take notes on interesting content you read the day before and then make a point of writing about it first thing in the morning.

I find that breaking my time in hours for writing content, half-hours for reading blogs, commenting, using each social bookmarking website you are a member of, and 20 or even 15 minutes for each forum is a good balance. If you feel that after 30 minutes of Stumbling, you haven't found enough good sites (a very common occurence for me), don't worry, there is still tomorrow!

If, like me, you don't have 8 hours a day to spend online, try not to join too many social networking/bookmarking websites. My personal favourites are StumbleUpon, Digg and BlogCatalog. I would have added Propeller but they banned me just as I was starting to Digg their system (sorry for the miserable pun). I have accounts with Facebook, Furl, Reddit, Technorati and others I can't think of right now but I just can't find the time to use them at the moment.

To find the right constructive work/not so constructive work balance, you must be very disciplined. What works for me might not work for everybody, but if you treat your blog (or whatever your online source of income is) as a real job, you are on the path to finding the right balance and I wish you all the success you deserve.


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Writing for Associated Content

I haven't updated this blog very frequently lately but this is mainly due to my children being on holidays. I have less time to myself as I haven't had to get up too early (Ok this is my own fault, but I also deserve a holiday!) and I have been spending more time with them; however, I am still working on my Squidoo lenses.

My latest lens is called Writing for Associated Content; I created it to help promote my Associated Content articles but it also includes excellent articles giving tips on increasing pageviews by other Associated Content producers.

The lens is not completely finished yet as there are lots more useful articles I want to include but it is worth taking a look, especially if you are familiar with the Associated Content website. If you like Writing for Associated Content, don't forget to bookmark it as I will be updating it as I find more helpful tips to help you promote your articles.


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Friday, August 1, 2008

Buying a Used Car?

Recession, recession! Just because there is a recession doesn't mean that my car doesn't need replacing in the next year or so as this piece of junk that I am calling my car is more than ever nearly falling apart. Of course I can't afford a brand new car so I am looking into buying a reliable used car.

Being an Internet Junkie, I did a bit of online research and came out with great tips on how to buy a used car which prompted me to write an article on this topic.

If, like me, you are driving a piece of junk, or if you'd just like a change (with oil prices so high, how about a more economical car?), check out my last article: Things You Should Know Before Buying a Used Car.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Setting my Priorities Right

Last month I joined 6 get paid to click (PTCs) sites to see if I could make a little bit of easy money.

I must admit that joining PTC sites wasn't the smartest thing I ever did; I always looked down on blogs containing a bunch of PTC banners and little useful content, but for my defence I can always say that I did it for research purposes. PTCs are usually the first sites joined by people who want to earn money online. Me, I started with an online casino affiliate website, then moved on to this blog and writing articles, Being a Squidoo lensmaster and finally joining PTC sites. As I am pretty busy with all of these sites, I must select the most rewarding websites if I want to actually try and make a living online so I will not waste my time anymore on PTCs.

My favourite site so far is Squidoo; this site is great because it can be used to combine several income streams: for my latest lens for example, I have chosen one clickbank product to promote (a product not related to internet marketing or making money online), wrote a few paragraphs about the topic and included a few links to articles related to the same topic; this lens is now my most popular lens and the last time I checked, I had one clickbank sale (I am now a few cents away from payout!) and I haven't even got to publishing articles to promote this lens on free article directories!

If you want to see what my lens looks like (I still plan on adding a few graphics to make it more attractive), take a look here.

If you are interested in making money with Squidoo, don't forget to check out these articles:
Simple Ways to Make Money Online with Squidoo;
5 Easy Ways to Make Money with Squidoo - Associated Content;
How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 1);
How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 2);
How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 3).


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Monday, July 21, 2008

ForumBooster, Highest Paying Forum and Articles Site


Forum Booster
is a website that pays you for posting on forums and, if you choose to also apply for content writing, they pay you for your articles.


Forum Booster
works a bit differently from other paid forum sites, as when your application is accepted (this took me about a week, although the site says that applications are usually approved within 2 days), you get assigned different forums that you can join to make quality posts on and you get paid $0.10 for each post or reply until you have 200 posts and the rate goes up to $0.15 after that. They pay via Paypal and so far I have made 151 posts and received $15.10. Some forums are interesting to join so it's easy to make money with them but those (like the forum I joined about anabolics for example) that don't interest you can get pretty boring but you are not obliged to post on all of them. At the moment I have 8 different forums to choose from on different topics so all I have to do is choose my favourite ones and cash in on those.


Forum Booster
also has a content writing section that you can apply to separately from the forum writing; they will assign you a test article and if your article is approved, you can select from a list of articles (believe me, there are lots of them!) which one you want to write; so far I wrote 2 articles and got paid $6 for the first 500 word article; I did spend a long time writing that article because I had to do some research on something I knew nothing about but I hope to get some practice and speed up my writing soon so I can make lots more money on Paypal.


Forum Booster
is so far the most lucrative guaranteed way I found to make money online (affiliate marketing is more lucrative but it comes with no guarantees) but sometimes it can be a bit difficult to find things to say in a forum you don't really like so I might still use them for quick cash but my favourite paid forum is still Morachat and I will also stay with it because it may not pay very much, but I am having a lot of fun on that forum.


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

6 Days Without Internet Connection!

I have just had to have a forced holiday after not being able to connect to the Internet for 6 whole days!

Luckily now the problem is sorted (and so is my bank balance after paying the computer repairshop) and I am back in action. I was lucky enough to have a few plr articles downloaded and I was able to use these to write 3 new articles that I am now going to publish on Associated Content. I could have written more, but with the kids and a house to tend to, I just got a bit lazy.

I spend yesterday afternoon catching up on emails and Morachat and was happy to find out that I had been paid from a few sites while on this forced break:
- I got $10.88 from Squidoo,
- Associated Content paid me $3.28,
- ForumBooster paid me $15.10 for forum postings and $6 for an article (yippee!).

I meant to write a post about Forum Booster but this came when I lost my internet connection, so I guess that will be my next post.


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Monday, July 7, 2008

My New Associated Content Articles

Associated Content is a website where you can publish articles, poems, short stories, even audio or video for money. They pay via Paypal; if you live in the U.S. you can get an advance fee for the content you submit and if you don't, there is always the performance fee, which is the payment structure I am entitled to, as a European member.

I thought I would give you a quick update on how I am doing with Associated Content. I joined the website last October and so far I have 40 articles on the site; they have paid me $15.92 in total and I am expecting another payment for the page views my articles received during the month of June, which should be roughly $3.00.

I know this is not much, but the good thing about writing for Associated Content is that you keep being rewarded even for content that has been published before the current month, as long as there are people who read them. So even if one of my articles doesn't do too good on the month it's being published, I can always get paid for it if gets successful a few months or even a year later.

Here are the last articles I published on Associated Content:
Betfair Gambling: Is it Worth It?;
The Disgusting Habits that May Save Our Lives;
How to Make Money with Free Article Directories;
Safe Online Dating for Women.

And here is an article that should help your articles get more pageviews if you are a member of Associated Content or if you are interested in becoming one:
Use Blogging Tools to Get Traffic to Your Articles.

If you like my writing, please subscribe to my Associated Content.


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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My PTC Income So Far

Since joining 6 Paid to Click (PTC) websites on June 22, I have been clicking away and even though I haven't reach payout on any of them, I just wanted to let you know how I have been getting on so far.

11 days of clicking on Clickyu earned me $0.105, while during the same period I made $0.32 with Clixsense, $1.715 with DailyClicks, $1.67 with FoxCash and $0.270 with Neobux. It usually takes me about an hour and a half each day (usually while doing other things at the same time) to do all my clicking so this could translate as earnings of $0.54 per hour. I could easily double or even treble this if I joined more programs and did 3 of them simultaneously but I usually just read emails or even log into my Morachat account and add up the cents there too. Sometimes I even do household chores at the same time, so I get my daily exercise (getting up and sitting down;).

One of the PTC programs I already gave up on is OrangeBizs; after spending 2 hours on the day I joined in front of a very slow loading screen, I only earned $0.013 and got a virus alert in the bargain so I don't think this program is worth it.

I will get clicking until I reach payout and I am not planning on joining any new programs at the moment as I still need to work on my Squidoo lenses and articles and these are pretty time-consuming too but more enjoyable than PTC websites!


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Official, I Am a PTC Zombie!

I have spent a lot of time reading reviews about Paid to Click websites and trying to join them under some of the most active Morachat members referral IDs and here are my first impressions about the PTC programs I have joined so far:

Most PTC websites are not supported by PayPal anymore, due to the high number of websites that did not pay their members; I guess PayPal doesn't want to be associated to scams, which is understandable, so it is a good idea to open an AlertPay account before joining PTC programs. It is free and is accepted on most PTC sites.

Clickyu is a PTC program that pays via e-gold or AlertPay; minimum payout is set at $5 and they pay 0.75 cent per click; so far I had 2 clicks per day and have a balance of $0.03.

Clixsense pays by check every month as long as the minimum of $10 payout has been reached. They pay $0.01 per click and in my first 2 days I had 12 ads and earned $0.12.

Daily Clicks pay via AlertPay and you must earn a minimum of $10 to cashout. They have a rate of $0.01 per click and I have already got a $0.54 after 2 days (54 clicks).

Foxcash also pay via AlertPay after a $10 minimum payout and they have a rate of $0.015 per click. They have a $0.05 sign up bonus and after clicking on 24 ads in 2 days my account balance is $0.41.

Neobux has a lower minimum payout of $2 on AlertPay and they pay $0.01 per click. I got 8 ads in 2 days, bringing my account balance to $0.08.

I have also signed up to another program that doesn't seem to accept my password anymore; I will tell you more about this as soon as I can check my account with them if they decide to re-send me my login information.


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Friday, June 20, 2008

Looking for PTR/PTC Websites to Join

I have decided to join a few Paid to Read Email (PTR) and Paid to Click (PTC) websites; I don't intend to make lots of money from these as they usually pay only a few cents but I think I should try them anyway.

A few of my fellow Morachatters are members of PTR/PTC websites and reading their posts almost sometimes makes me think that maybe instead of slaving over articles I should try clicking, which may be a bit boring but is dead easier, and since I have a blog about making money online, trying them out and sharing my experiences about PTC/PTC programs would be like paid research!

One thing about PTR/PTC websites is that there are a lot of them that are scams, but my Morachat friends often talk about their experiences and I know which programs to avoid.

I have come to know and trust some long standing Morachat members and I will visit the Morachat referrals section to find out which PTR/PTC websites have paid them so I can sign up under their referral links. This is one thing I like about Morachat: I can find out if a few members are happy with one website instead of reading online reviews which may have been written by someone just trying to gain referrals. If you spend a little time everyday on one forum, you do get to know which members are genuine and which one have joined just to spam and get referrals and the Morachat moderators are doing a great job everyday to ensure that the site is as free of spam as it is possible to be.

I want to keep writing articles, but I also want to get in on the action with PTR/PTC websites so I will update you with the sites I join and update this blog with my experiences with them. I will also try to write an article on how to choose a PTR/PTC website as soon as possible.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Short Experience with Betfair

I had been tempted to join Betfair for a few months as I thought that this was a safer sports betting website than other online betting sites so I decided to try it out last week.

Betfair is a gambling website that allows you to lay events (bet that a team, horse or whatever you are laying will not win) as well as back events (the more classical way of betting, which mean that you need whatever you are backing to win the event in oder to win money).

It also allows you to trade bets, meaning that if you manage to find, let's say a horse with a low paying price, you can lay it and if its price later increases, you can back it; if you get the right combination, you can make money whatever happens (horse wins or loses).

I wrote an article on Associated Content about the reasons why I have decided to give up betting on Betfair even though I came up with a total profit of €4 in 3 days.

I am transferring my balance back to my Paypal account before I lose everything and
I do not recommend gambling or sports betting (even on Betfair) to anyone!

Betfair Gambling: Is It Worth It?


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Friday, June 13, 2008

Help! The Internet is Dying!

If you're broke and, like me, think the Internet is a great way to earn a bit of extra cash with very little investment (the monthly cost of your broadband connection), or you just use it to socialize on Facebook, MySpace or other non-commercial websites, you need to wake up now, as the Internet as we know it is about to end!

Find out how you can help stop the big phone and cable companies from taking over the Internet and dictating you what websites you can access depending on the amount you are ready to pay for your Internet by following this link: Help! The Internet is Dying.


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Monday, June 9, 2008

My Search Funds Now Called Homepage Friends

After a full week off the Internet (call it Internet Rehab if you like, actually I had some family members over and I knew that if I switched on the Internet while there were here, it would just suck me up for the whole day!), I am back in the swing of things and after checking my emails I noticed already something new going on with My Search Funds:

They are now called Homepage Friends and work exclusively with the Yahoo search engine; not a huge change, but I thought I would let you know anyway.

On checking my account with Homepage Friends today I was pleasantly surprised when seeing my account balance of £0.48 and that was in just 7 days (22 searches) as I avoided logging on the Internet for a full week.

Now that I am back to being an Internet Junkie (I wrote 2 articles between today and yesterday for the extra work forum of Morachat and did 28 searches (not included above) in the process, I think that reaching payout is doable for me before the end of the year; I won't be a millionaire yet but small amounts in my Paypal account add up in the end!


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Get Paid to Search: MySearchFunds Pays You for Using Google

are you still using Google, Yahoo or Ask.com for your searches? Are you trying to make money online but yet are not getting paid for your Internet searches?

If so, I have good news for you: yet another way to make money online is to sign up to MySearchFunds and install their very unobtusive search box. When I first heard about this I thought this would be a search engine with only a few websites but to my big surprise I noticed that they work with Google, Yahoo and Ask.com so when you search through the MySearchFunds searchbox, you are taken to the Google search page; the only difference is that you get paid for searching!

I did a few searches about the site and so far it doesn't seem to be a scam, as a few MySearchFunds users have confirmed that they got paid. The only complaints I read about the website was that they are a bit slow to pay (45 days after the end of the month, once you have reached £20).

Good news also for Dollar and Euro users as you will be paid in pounds sterling, a currency that is strong at the moment (you get more dollars per pound).

If you haven't done so yet, I recommend you to sign up to MySearchFunds; use it as you would use Google or any search engine you like to use: it doesn't require you doing any extra work and will make your bank manager smile!


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Monday, May 26, 2008

I Am Convinced (at last!?) that Numenmail is a Scam

A few months ago I joined Numenmail, a Get Paid to Read Emails/Get Paid to Click program and even though it took me a while before I decided to expose them (I just wanted to be sure!), I can now say this loud and clear: Numenmail is a scam!

Of course it was not realistic to hope that I could earn more than a few cents per day on a PTR/PTC (Paid to Read/Paid to Click) program so when I joined a program like Numenmail that gave me a $800 sign up bonus and $80 per email that I read, I should have known that this was a scam.

Numenmail were very generous with their emails (I got 3 or 4 $80 paying emails plus a good few links to click at $5 each every day) but when I reached the $8888 payout after just over a month reading emails I requested the money to be paid onto my Paypal account and of course it never came!

I gave them the benefit of the doubt and sent them an email enquiring about my money but I was not surprised to get no answer from Numenmail.

It is now 61 days since I have requested my $8888 payout (it would have been nice to get it!) and the website states that payments are sent within 30 days of being requested so I can now safely say that Numenmail is a scam.

If you would like to have more details about this website and follow my progress on Numenmail, visit the Squidoo lens I have created especially for this purpose: Can I Really Make Money Reading Emails?

P.S. I may never get paid by Numenmail, but at least I will make sure that I earn indirectly from them, with my Squidoo lens (wicked, I know!); it is time for me to start spending the balance of my Numenmail earnings (about $20,000) on advertising on the site!


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Monday, May 19, 2008

What a Smart Way to Drive Visitors Out of my Blog!

For a while now I have had a Hunger Site banner at a prominent place in my blog. While I like the idea of my blog's visitors helping a good cause, I don't like the fact that I may be losing potential readers by displaying the banner on top of my blog posts.

This blog is supposed to be about Smart Ways to Earn Money Online but let me be the first to admit that placing the Hunger Site banner on top of my posts was everything but a smart move, this is why I have decided to move it to a less prominent location.

It wouldn't have been too much of a problem if the Hunger Site opened in a new window after someone clicked on it but it doesn't; once you click the banner, you are taken to a different website where you have to click on another banner if you want to help fight poverty, which means that once you have done your good deed, you have to hit the back button twice if you want to come back to Smart Ways to Earn Money Online with Internet Junkie, and that's assuming that you don't do any more browsing around the Hunger Site!

I have nothing against the Hunger Site, in fact I love the idea of being able to help fight poverty online and I want to keep their banner on this blog, but until they make one that opens in a new window and make it easier for the Smart Ways to Earn Money Online's visitors to come back and read my content, I will keep the Hunger Site banner under my blog posts.

P.S. Once you're done reading, commenting and bookmarking Smart Ways to Earn Money Online with Internet Junkie, please don't forget to visit the Hunger Site; it's free to give, all you have to do is click!


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Top 5 Get Rich Quick Schemes and Why You Should Avoid Them like the Plague

Whether we like to admit it or not, we would all love to find a way to get rich quick.

A few months ago I read somewhere that Oprah Winfrey had been talking about an online chain letter that could make you $800,000 richer in about 90 days! I almost got sucked in but a few online searches saved my wallet and my Paypal account.

If you want to know the truth about chain letters, MLM, HYIPs, gambling and work-at-home programs that claim they will make you rich quick, read Top 5 Get Rich Quick Schemes and Why You Should Avoid Them like the Plague.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Freebie Alert: Article Submitter

You may remember an older post on this blog saying that it was a good idea to convert your blog posts into articles to submit to article directories.

Article writing and submitting is a good way to get good-quality free backlinks from article directories but unfortunately I must admit that I haven't been one to take my own advice and I think I have just about 3 articles so far published on free article directories other than Associated Content.

The reason why I haven't been so active in submitting articles to those directories is that even after an article is written, it still takes a long time to submit the same article manually to just 10 or 12 article directories.

Well today one of the newsletters I subscribed to sent me a link to download Article Submitter for free so of course I took advantage of this great opportunity.

Article Submitter is a software that allows you to submit your articles to about 700 article directories easily and thus saves you a huge amount of time; all you have to do is write your article (no, unfortunately, it doesn't do that for you!), fill in the required fields in the software, indicate the directories you want to submit to and click to submit.

I toyed with the idea of using a free article submission service before but never actually downloaded one and I can safely say that this is the best thing that happened to me in a long time!

If you are interested in downloading the Free Article Submitter, click here!


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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Viral Marketing and the New Cinderella

Sophie Merry, an Irish girl and complete stranger who posted a few videos of her dancing on YouTube was picked by an advertising company to represent the French clothing line Etam and is one of the best examples of successful viral marketing.

This modern-life fairy tale has been widely publicized (I heard of this on the televised Irish news) and now the company is running a contest for other girls to show off their dancing skills and the winner will get a year's supply of Etam jeans for the winner and 10 of her friends.

This is an example of viral marketing used by a clever company: a video showing Sophie Merry and her Groovy moves is being shown on a mini-site that is heavily linked to Etam's main website.

By spreading the Groovy Dancing Girl video and attracting young girls to their website (which offers contestants the opportunity of dancing to a slowed soundtrack and then producing a fun video of their dancing; once the soundtrack is being converted back to its normal speed, the results are amazing!), Etam is trying to modernize its image (they were one of those clothing lines that I would have considered as "For Grannies" before now) and so far, it looks likes their attempt at viral marketing is working!


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Monday, May 5, 2008

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

A few months ago, I published a post about organization and the way I intended to work on this blog but of course, the very next day something came up and I forgot all about it!

Being a single mum with children who are only attending school in the morning, I often get sidetracked; whether it's a child getting sick, a day off school, the realization that my house needs cleaning, clothes need ironing, a family member visiting or simply the need to take a break, I recently realized that I would be lucky if I could get 4 hours online a day.

I have decided to list everything that needs to be done:
Writing blog posts;
Writing articles;
Updating Squidoo lenses;
Posting on Morachat, Squidoo and Associated Content forums;
Visiting blogs, Squidoo lenses, Associated Content articles;
Commenting on blogs, Squidoo lenses, Associated Content articles;
Participating on BlogCatalog, Facebook and other social bookmarking websites.

Since I can't do everything in only 4 hours a day, I will have to slow down on some of these activities, at least until school starts back next September; I have noticed that it doesn't make much difference whether I post here every day or twice a week so I will try to keep this last frequency (although I can't guarantee that this won't slow down to once a week especially during the summer holidays).

When I started with this blog, I never knew that keeping it afloat would be so time-consuming. At the beginning, I tried to do everything I read in the articles I read about blogging advice but now I realize that it is impossible to do everything, so before I start suffering from burn-out I need to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my children.

After spending a little over 6 months trying to earn money online, I realize that it is not difficult; the only difficulty in making money online resides in the fact that it is so damn time-consuming!


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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A New Way to Increase your Articles' Pageviews

This morning while I was browsing the Associated Content website, I came across an article that took me by surprise as it showed me a totally new way to increase articles' pageviews.

As you may already know, Associated Content is a website that pays you for publishing your own written articles. If you live in the U.S., you can apply for upfront payment, which means that you get paid a fee for each published article that is accepted for upfront payment, but if you live in Europe (like I do), you are stuck with the performance payments, which means that you must bring traffic to your articles to get paid (at the moment the website pays $1.50 per 1000 page views). The members who can avail of upfront payment also get a bonus payment depending on their pageviews.

This is why it is very important to get as many visitors as possible to your articles and the Associated Content website is a great resource of reference articles for people looking to increase their articles' pageviews.

As many social bookmarking websites have been increasing in popularity for Associated Content producers who have been using them to increase their articles's pageviews, some are slowly closing their doors to new content from Associated Content, sometimes treating it as spam.

I have been looking into free autoresponders a while ago to try and earn a bit of money from affiliate marketing but never before had I thought of creating a newsletter and emailing my articles to subscribers!

If you are a member of a website like Associated Content where the number of pageviews matters, I suggest you read How to Promote Your Content and Increase AC Page Views in an Email Newsletter; it may seem a bit daunting at 5 pages long but believe me, it is worth reading if you are looking for a new way to increase pageviews for your web content.


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Friday, April 25, 2008

How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster

At last I have completed my series of articles (for now) on how to make money with Squidoo and how to become a successful Squidoo lensmaster.

I haven't quite become a squidaholic yet but I am working on it. These articles were something I had in the works from quite some time; the information was pouring in from everywhere so I decided to strucure it in 4 articles each focusing on one aspect of Squidoo:

5 Easy Ways to Make Money with Squidoo shows you the different monetization methods you can use on a Squidoo lens;

How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 1) focuses on how to make a Squidoo lens more search engine friendly, so that more Internet surfers can find it;

How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 2) explains how participating in the Squidoo community can help you get better rankings and more visitors;

How to Become a Successful Squidoo Lensmaster (Part 3) is more about how to promote your lens online and the use of fresh content to boost traffic on your Squidoo lens.

If you are interested in making money with Squidoo, also check out the One Month, One Lens, $1000 Profit lens; the title is self-explanatory and no, it's not one of my Squidoo lenses (although I wish it were!).


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My First Morachat Payment

It's official, the new Morachat is an honest Get Paid to Post forum!

Not that I doubted this for one second, but I just wanted to blog about my first Paypal payment from Morachat since the previous owner left last month without paying its members.

I requested my first $9 payout last night and got paid less than 24 hours later on my Paypal account; I was due $3.21 from the previous owner and this amount was added on to my payout as promised, even though this extra $3.21 was not the new owner's responsibility.

How did I manage to hit payout so quick? I only earned about $3 from posting on the forum but the Extra Work forum thread helped me cheat a little bit: I was asked to write 2 articles and got about $3 for each and this is how I managed to earn $9 in less than one month without being constantly posting on the forum.

I know it's not big bucks but Morachat and other Get Paid to Post forums are a good starting point for someone totally new to making money online as it doesn't require any special skills.


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Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Post Exchange Feature on Smorty

Smorty is a Get Paid to Blog website where you can get paid anything upwards of $6 per sponsored post you write. Now Smorty has added a new Post Exchange feature to their program.

So far I haven't had that much success with it; my blog's pagerank was 2 in January when I first applied and I wrote 3 posts for them, each paying me $6. About 2 weeks after writing my first sponsored posts for Smorty and PayPerPost, my pagerank dropped to 0 and I haven't got any other posts to write, even though I have tried to stay on topic as much as possible.

Smorty has created a new feature to try and help bloggers with their rankings: it is called Post Exchange. You won't get paid for participating in the program but you will get a backlink for each post you write.

Here is how Post Exchange works: you submit your blog to take part in the exchange and hopefully you will get to write a review of a blog that is in the same category as yours (and is also likely to have about the same ragerank as yours). The blog you are reviewing will get to review another blog (not yours, so there is no cross-linking, something that Google would frown upon). Some other participating blog will write a review of your blog and for each blog you review you will get one backlink from another blog participating to the scheme.

My opinion on Smorty's Post Exchange scheme: I submitted this blog and I found one task which I didn't take because the blog I was asked to review was a very poor one and didn't have much to do with Smart Ways to Earn Money Online. There are much better ways to get quality backlinks so I think I'll just leave it and continue doing a bit of article marketing instead.

Since I suspect that the drop in my pagerank was mostly due to the fact that I wrote a few sponsored reviews, I think I will drop the whole "Get Paid to Blog" thing altogether (including Post Exchange) and concentrate more on getting paid for my articles with Associated Content; the money may be very slow in the beginning but once you have traffic coming to your articles, you have a steady stream of dollars hitting your Paypal account every month!


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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Do You Google Scams?

Yesterday I received an email from Home Survey Workers claiming I could earn up to $1433 per month with their survey and group focus program.

Maybe it was the fact that the amount shown wasn't extraordinarily high, or maybe because it was not a rounded amount like $1000 per month or $100 a day (I get those a lot!) that made it look a little more credible than the scam offers I usually get. Anyway, I checked out the website and even though there was a registration fee, this was very small and I almost signed up!

The fee was $2.95 instead of $64.95, which seemed like a good bargain but luckily for me something inside me made me think of Googling the website before signing up.

I performed a Google search for Home Survey Workers scam and I found a lot of links from people who had apparently been scammed by this website. Some said they had not got the expected high amount of survey opportunities while others said they had never got their money back even though the website states that unsatisfied members can get their money back if they claim it within 8 weeks. One person even said that the company does not exist!

There were also a few positive reviews, but I assume that those who wrote them were simply trying to get referrals; one thing about the information that can be found on the Internet is that it is far from being 100% accurate as so many people try to make money from scam programs like this one.

Forgive me for not including a link to Home Survey Workers but I just can't see why I would want to direct you to a scam website. As for data-entry jobs, I don't think it's right to pay for something when you are supposed to be the one who gets paid. I know that $2.95 is not a lot of money but I'd rather use it on a yummy chocolate bar than an online scam!


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Monday, April 14, 2008

Shameless Promotion: My New Squidoo Lens

I have created and published my fourth Squidoo lens, which is also my first lens that has nothing to do with making money online.

My new Squidoo lens is about something I should have thought about a long time ago: as you may know if you are a regular reader of this blog, I am a French mum living in Ireland; I was finding it difficult to teach French to my children as I have been speaking English to them since the moment they were born and the fact that they could not communicate with their grand-parents easily was starting to bother me a lot!

This is why I have decided to create Learn French Online. Of course the fact that this Squidoo lens is not dedicated to making money money online does not mean that I am not trying to earn some from it, this is why I have added a few affiliate links, an Ebay module and also an Amazon module (so far).

I haven't started to promote Learn French Online yet, apart from blogging about it on Smart Ways to Earn Money Online with Internet Junkie so I will try to write down everything I do in order to try and get traffic to it. Now I must get to work so that I can write another great article about making money with Squidoo very soon!


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

PLR Wholesaler: Free PLR Content with a Twist

I have just come across the best free PLR (Private Label Rights) package so far. The reason why I am so interested in PLR content is not that I am lazy, in fact I hate the idea of publishing the exact same articles as other people, but because I know I can get one or more articles on one topic and rewrite them in my own words to create my own unique articles and publish them on article directories to bring traffic to my blog. I haven't even read any of the articles in the package so far but I know the free membership I just got is going to be very useful.

You heard me right, I said I haven't read any of the free articles and already I'm bragging about this PLR Wholesaler! This is not the only free PLR content available online, I came across several others before but never one that gave me absolutely all the tools I need to earn free traffic and money from them!

Here is what you get with PLR Wholesaler on top of the thousands of free articles, ebooks, tutorials, Internet Marketing courses, videos, websites builders and coupon codes for a few web products such as hosting packages (some of the products even come with Master Resale Rights so you can sell them for 100% profit):

You get to rebrand PLR Wholesaler with your own affiliate ID and if you are a Clickbank member you can even earn more money by updating your profile with your own Clickbank affiliate ID, but that's not all!

You will find a page on the website that gives you absolutely everything you need to earn money from giving away the PLR Wholesaler package (guess what I'm trying to do right now!):
- PLR Wholesaler Video,
- Banners,
- Solo ads,
- PLR Wholesaler review,
- Headlines,
- Classified ads,
- Signatures for forums or emails,
- Rebrandable PLR ebooks,
- Rebrandable software,
- Squeeze page and ecourse,
- Blog post (which, by the way, I am NOT using),
- 20 PLR articles (which I may use but only after putting them in my own words).

What I like most about this free membership website is that, instead of leaving you to your own devices with all those tools, it gives you step-by-step directions on how to use them to earn money and get traffic to your affiliate page, which is something I have never seen so far with any PLR content packages or affiliate products.

I guess this guy Gabor Olah is doing a very smart thing with his Free PLR Wholesaler: he is one of the rare Internet Marketers that understands that one of the best ways to make money online is to help others doing so too.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Morachat Paid to Post Forum Under New Management

At the end of last year I signed up to Morachat, a paid to post forum that pays you to chat online. I was very excited by this new opportunity, especially since the Morachat forum was such a friendly one but I must confess that because of all the work I was doing on this blog, my articles and my Squidoo lenses I just could not spend an hour a day on the forum as I had first intended to and therefore I still haven't reached the $9 payout.

There has been a few changes recently on Morachat, as the former owner Bryan decided to leg it and leave the Morachat, Moratraffic and other Mora sites members in the lurch!

Since I was not on the forum every day at the time, I was a bit in the dark as to whatever went on exactly; apparently some Morachat members have been paid their earnings in the past but in the last few months, Bryan's continuous absence of the forum left the most avid posters there wondering what was happening.

The Mora domain names have been bought back and the new administrators, Chris and his wife Rachael, have decided to keep the site running. They have changed the advertisements (without ads, no money for the members), are starting to run some contests (the last one: earn $3 to post the funniest YouTube video) and are giving the members new opportunities to earn money (on top of the money we get for posting): I already submitted my first article that will bring me an extra $3, and there is even a new tutorials section: Chris recently posted a call to members wanting a free blog and will be starting a blogging tutorial soon.

I think this is all great news for all new and existing Morachat members, so if you haven't yet joined Morachat and would like to find a friendly online forum that pays you for having fun online and gives you lots of opportunities to earn extra money online, Morachat is the place for you!


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Sunday, April 6, 2008

New Blogger Features Makes Blogging Easier Than Ever

As you may be aware, Google has blessed us Blogger users with 2 new features which should make it easier than ever for us to blog:

Blogroll:
Up until now, you could use the link list module so this is something I could do without but just for the sake of it I will try and change my blog's layout and use this new feature in the next few days (or weeks). You never know, using this may make a blog more SEO friendly than the existing link list.

Scheduled posting:
Now you can take a holiday! You can write posts in advance, indicate the date at which you want them published, hit the publish button and not worry about your blog not being updated for a certain period of time.
Up until now, you could save your drafts and change the date by going into "Post Options" at the bottom of your draft, but this meant that you could have for example a post dated April 10th, 2008 published on April 7th, 2008.
If you decided to take time off and have your daily posts written in advance, you could still write posts and save your drafts but this meant that you had to log into your blogger account every day in order to have your saved posts published at the right date (not exactly my idea of a holiday!).

Unfortunately Blogger doesn't provide its users with free automatically updated content yet but let's not ask for too much; I think it's a relief to know that blogger blogs are being constantly improved and it still doesn't cost us a dime!


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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Don't Buy Any Make Money Online E-Books Until You've Seen This!

Making money online from blogs is a very attractive way to earn an income for beginners. Unfortunately most people who want to earn money on the Internet give up before they get paid from their affiliate or other monetizing programme, others just buy expensive e-books or pay for online courses that claim they will make them rich in no time.

I haven't bought any of these so I cannot tell you whether they work or not, but I am convinced that some of these contain nothing much other than affiliate links for you to spend even more money; these are the ones that should read "Make Me Money Online" instead of "Make Money Online"! Some may contain good advice that you can read for free by visiting the right blogs so I wouldn't go out and spend money on these either.

If you are really interested in making money from blogs, before you go and pull out your credit card, head over to Grizzly Bear's blog. I've found this blog recently and even though he wrote his 5 Make Money Using Blogs lessons over a year ago, I am sure you'd be better off trying them out before spending your hard earned money on an e-book that tells you what you can find out for free online.

I really like Grizzly Bear's style, he explains everything so plainly that even a 10 year-old would understand his lessons; don't let the ugliness of his blog fool you, it's not here to look pretty, it's here to teach beginners how to make money.

If you're under 10 and can't find the links to the Make Money Using Blogs lessons, here are the links:
- Make Money Using Blogs Lesson 1;
- Make Money Using Blogs Lesson 2;
- Make Money Using Blogs Lesson 3;
- Make Money Using Blogs Lesson 4;
- Make Money Using Blogs Lesson 5;

If you're under 10, you shouldn't be reading this: go and do some homework, play some ball outside or if it's after 9pm, go brush your teeth and get ready for bed!


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